$5 and Below

March 10, 2014


I was talking to someone in the community recently about how there are so many working parents with multiple children in the household. These parents so badly want to be able to sign their kids up for all of the amazing opportunities around town, but simply cannot afford it. We've all been there and understand how sometimes it can be tough to have fun on a budget.

So I have devised a little idea in mind to bring you some Parks & Rec offerings that are either $5 per child or free.  This way you can have fun with the whole family and not spend a ton!  Take this list, print it off, put it on the refrigerator and let the kids help you decide what to do next time you want to have a family outing without straining your budget in the process.


Click the links below to get to our calendar so you can get all of the details and register online!






  • Approximately $5 Animal Tracking - This is a fun educational activity you could do at Motts Run Reservoir or right in your own backyard! Head to Walmart or another arts and crafts supply store and pick up a box of plaster of Paris.  Mix 2 parts plaster with one part water.  To do this you put 1/2 cup of plaster in a small baggie with 1/4 cup water.  Do not mix the plaster with the water until you are ready to pour it into a baggie.  Mix it until it has the same consistency of pancake batter.   Get all of the plaster in one corner of your baggie and snip the end of with scissors.  Squeeze the plaster into the animal print you found and let it harden for about an hour.  Gently lift it up and let it sit for 24 hours. You now have an animal print cast!  To learn more about which tracks you   have found, go online and look up animal tracking.


  • FREE There's a Fungus Among Us - Another educational activity!  Take a hike through the woods at Motts Run and look for fungus and mushrooms.  They play an important part in our ecosystem by breaking down dead and decaying materials in the woods.  No special equipment needed just let the kids take pictures of what they find on your cell phone and then look up what you found online.


  • FREE Self Guided Hike - Motts Run has five miles of beautiful hiking trails.  Trail maps are available at the kiosk in front of the log cabin nature center.  Turkey Ridge is a great beginner’s hike with 11 posts marking a variety of interesting nature occurrences.


  • $1 - $5 Letterboxing - This is a great low tech outdoor family activity which is done internationally.  All you need is a small notebook, something to write with, a stamp pad and a stamp.  In order to start you need to go online to look up letterboxes in your area.  You will follow a series of clues to find them hiding all over the place.  There are many letter boxes hidden at Motts Run.  When you find the box a stamp will be inside and then just stamp your pad!  We also offer Letterboxing classes for $6 for ages 7-11yrs.


  • And finally...don't forget to go back to the wonderful post that our Nature Coordinator Mimi Dempsey wrote for you guys, As The Leaves Turn on the blog about how to enjoy our green spaces right here in the City!


Now gather up the family for some inexpensive fun!


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