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On Pawnbroker’s Day, a Few Free Things to do With Your Kids


If you have kids, chances are you’ve attempted to reason, bargain, or otherwise convince them that it’s more fun to do something for free than something you pay for (“the best things in life are free, guys!”) Their requests range from a trip to Shake Shack, to a new pony, to a ride in a private jet. Maybe your bargaining efforts were successful, or maybe they weren’t. Because honestly, spending $40 to go to the movies and order a popcorn is a little bit steep just to keep the little ones entertained for 90 minutes. So, why not take a few tips from the best negotiators around? Next time your offspring begin expressing ennui, break out your pawnbroker skills, and talk your way out of a trip to Disney and into a trip to the backyard! Check out these negotiation tactics…

First, you want to lower their expectations. If your kids got into the car expecting to go somewhere other than home, quickly show them your intentions are otherwise. Tell them how tired you are, and ask if there is a DVD they would want to watch. Tell them you have work in the morning, and that you’d appreciate some uninterrupted quiet time tonight. At this point, your opponents may become hostile. However, you should keep in mind that YOU are the one in charge! Once the bar is sufficiently lowered, the little ones should be a bit more amenable to activities that won’t break the bank. Show your babies the natural wonders of Florida!

Year-round backyard camping is a luxury we take for granted here in Florida. When it’s 70 degrees in December, it’s time to break out the old tent and set it up out back. Make things truly magical with a fire and a bag of marshmallows for roasting!

Or, if you have an afternoon ahead with no activities planned, take a quick ride to your closest Sunrail station and take a round trip on the train! It’s free for kids under six with an accompanying adult, and only $2 for the adult ticket! Popular destinations include Park Avenue, downtown Sanford, and historic Longwood. What a lovely way to explore the City Beautiful!

Lake Lotus Park is a gorgeous, 150 acre nature preserve in Altamonte. It has woods, wetlands, and an absolutely beautiful trail to hike. It’s also a quick jaunt on i-4 from downtown, so you don’t have to worry about any lengthy car trips with antsy kids! The park is open Thursday-Sunday, 8:30am-5:30pm.

Florida is the perfect place to be when you want to enjoy the world on a tight budget.