Outings as a family of five can be tough on a budget. I try to keep costs under control by watching for free event. This past Saturday, the Smithsonian magazine sponsored free museum admission for museums around the country. This is a great way to visit a museum, but there's a chance that it might be extra-crowded since it is a free event.
Our county started a program last spring where library-card holders could receive a 4-person pass for a local museum. During the summer, those passes were hard to come by, but now that school is back in session, I've been able to grab two in the last couple months.
We headed over to the Heard Museum a few months ago, and the Arizona Science Center yesterday. The number of passes is limited, and each one is good for just 7 days, so you have to plan carefully once you borrow a pass. I love this program, though, and will definitely continue to use it. I hope that they extend the program beyond April!
Another thing to look for are free museums, or free places to visit. We had lived here for a few years before we discovered the Riparian Preserve. During the cooler months, it's a great place to visit, spot local wildlife, and enjoy a wonderful walk.
We also enjoy geocaching -- which does require a GPS -- but once you have a GPS the cost is just gasoline for your car and maybe a few small trinkets. My kids love the search for each cache, and it's a great way to be outdoors!
Getting out of the house doesn't have to mean spending lots of cash. What resources do you use your area to save money while still visiting new places?