Now with the warmer weather, it’s time as a family to be outdoors more and enjoy the sights and sounds of carnival season. The sounds of games buzzing at your ears, the smells of cotton candy and fried dough, the thrill rides enticing your ticket money, as well as spending time around family and friends.
I remember growing up we would have carnivals around major holidays- such as the fourth of July and Labor Day weekend. My hometown growing up made a 4-5 day celebration around the fourth of July- complete with a special running race, parade, vendors and bands playing outside while the traveling carnival would keep the kids active. I would come home with special prizes such as posters and mirrors from my favorite bands- and I would find a way to generate more money once my normal allowance was gone by cashing in cans.
It saddens me that what once existed in my local area for an amusement park is no longer there. Sometimes when I travel by that same road, I watch at condominiums are being built at a lightning fast rate. These days if you want to go to an amusement park you have to go to a Six Flags theme park and be ready to fork over a ton of money for a full day’s experience. Prepare yourself for long lines to get on to some of the thrill rides-as well as food concession prices that rival going to some of the biggest sporting or music concert events.
My daughters love going to carnivals. They have friends to look for, games to play, and hopeful new relationships to forge. We want those hours to take away any of our outside stress and burdens and just let loose to have some fun.
So I’m sure over the next four months I’ll be pestered by my children to give them just a little more money for that one prize in that one game they know they can win. Or they are dying to go on this one ride with their friends and it’s only 4 more tickets- and they need my help to get those tickets. I have to remember what I used to think as a child and know that these are memories that will stay with them for a lifetime.
I want people to remember that it’s about the experiences you have with your children more than any amount of items you buy for them in the course of a lifetime. If you are living on a tighter budget during the summertime, become creative and see how many experiences you can create for little to no money. There are free concerts in parks, there are festivals thrown by local communities, there are activities through your local libraries, you can find beaches to go swimming, possibly bike riding or hiking may be your things. Don’t be afraid to live, take in a new activity and grow. Stretch yourself and you’ll be surprised how willing your children will be to stretch themselves too.