FREE is Good! (part 1 of a 3 part series)

beach by vlitvinov
Schools out, and while many folks plan their summer vacation well in advance, there are that many more who don’t. All, however, face the daunting task of where to take the family, especially if children are involved. Pets are also often a consideration as to whether to leave them with a caretaker or pack their leashes and include them in the summer fun.

The cost of getting away can be a factor, and often dictates how far one can go and how long they can stay. Let’s face it, vacations can be quite costly; I have therefore collected a montage of fun or interesting places for the family, focusing on FREE. I have even included a post script where the family pet is concerned. Read on . . .

marine helicopter by ahisgettAlabama bound? Why not visit the U.S. Army Aviation Museum in Fort Rucker, Alabama, where admission is FREE and it has a kid-friendly environment. A Trip Advisor review stated, “Interesting and kid friendly . . . our 9 year old especially loved it as there was a helicopter he could climb into.”

An interesting factoid: Fort Rucker is a U.S. Army Aviation Center training military, civilian and international personnel in aviation and leadership skills and is situated in SE Alabama near the Florida and Georgia State lines. It is also near Enterprise Alabama, a city that built and dedicated a monument to an agricultural pest, the Boll Weevil (the only monument of its kind in the world).

A popular outdoor recreation area is Cedar Falls in Petit Jean State Park
A popular outdoor recreation area is
Cedar Falls in Petit Jean State Park
Families who live in or near Arkansas are indeed lucky. Check out their on-line calendar featuring FREE FUN ACTIVITIES and EVENTS for the entire year, including the 28th Annual Steamboat Days in Des Arc, or the 42nd Annual Smackover Oil Town Festival and you won’t want to miss Donkey Day: The True Spirit of Independence on the 4th of July in Mountain View.

You might easily hear the strains of “My Old Kentucky Home” when visiting the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest near Louisville, Kentucky. Admission is FREE but there may be a ‘nominal’ Environmental Impact Fee for vehicles during the weekends and holidays. Some events to look for during the summer months include ECO Kids Discovery Day on June 1st, then on June 2, bring the whole family for FREE Fishing Days at Berhneim’s Cedar Pond and Holly Pond.

Photo courtesy St. Louis Zoo.org
Photo courtesy St. Louis Zoo.org
Admission to one of the most well-known Zoos in North America is FREE; however, there are nominal costs for various attractions at the St. Louis Zoo in St. Louis, Missouri. If you get there early, during the first hour of operation, you can ride the Mary Ann Lee Conservation Carousel FREE, featuring “64 colorful hand-carved wooden animals, representing protected and endangered species at the Saint Louis Zoo,” or visit the Children’s Zoo at no cost as well. Another FREE thing in St. Louis is simply observing the iconic Gateway Arch.

Be sure to read part 2 of this 3 part series on FREE is Good!

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