Frugal Family Fun

Bass Pro Shops is featuring a FREE Halloween Event from Friday, October 24th through Friday, October 31st.  Kids can enjoy the following free activities at your local store:

  • Free 4×6 photo (Monday through Friday 5-8 p.m. or Saturday/Sunday 12-5 p.m.)
  • Free glow-in-the-dark glasses to the first 100 children to have their photo taken (Monday through Friday only)
  • Free Halloween scavenger hunt (Saturday & Sunday 1-2 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.)
  • Free Peanuts-themed coloring sheets
  • Free crafts (Monday through Friday 5-8 p.m. or Saturday/Sunday 12-5 p.m.)

On Halloween (October 31st), the following free activities will be available from 4-8 p.m.:

  • Decorate a real mini pumpkin
  • Trick-or-treating
  • Costume parade

The costume parade is limited to children ages 12 and under.  Children will be lined up for the parade at 6 p.m. (see store associate for location).  Participants will receive a free kid’s owl drawstring bag while supplies last.

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Toys “R” Us is featuring a free Bricktober Build Event on Saturday, October 18th from 12-2 p.m.  Participating children will have the opportunity to build and take home their own LEGO Bat Signal.

This event is intended for children ages 9 and up, and there is a limit of one per customer.

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Our Family’s Visit to Wendel Farms Corn Maze

by Katie on October 13, 2014

The weekend before I had surgery, our family visited the Wendel Farms Corn Maze.  We brought along almost a dozen extended family members for an a”maze”ing good time (sorry…I know that was corny, but I just couldn’t help myself!).

Our oldest son had gone to Wendel Farms last fall with his youth group and enjoyed it so much that we went back as a family a few weeks later.  Their corn maze has a fun twist compared to most traditional corn mazes….it’s open even after dark.

So, as opposed to following a map and seeing each twist and turn in the daylight, you have the opportunity to get completely lost in the dark instead.  Both years, we laughed until our sides hurt as we wound our way through the maze.

This year, our older two sons split off with their cousin and formed a young vs. old team (I’m not quite sure I was fairly placed as I landed on the old team….but whatever!).  We had snapped a picture of the map at the beginning of the maze and were armed with all the essentials for the corn maze – flashlights, water, and of course, chocolate!

The three-person “young” team had nothing but limited lighting from the moon (we chose a very cloudy night) and their overall sense of direction.  So, naturally the older, wiser, more prepared team won, right?!  Sadly, no…but I was rather impressed that three of them beat the ten of us.

Three of the five sisters in my family at the end of the corn maze.

After completing the corn maze, we ambled through the rest of the farm, discovering a variety of fun surprises along the way.  We teamed up for tricycle races:

The kids wandered through the smaller hay maze that was designed for younger adventurers:

And they tried their hand at the farm equipment:

We even stopped by to say hi to the farm animals:

And played a variety of farm-themed games:

Once we had explored the farm, we headed back to the farm’s store where the littler girls enjoyed a cup of steamy hot cocoa:

The older kids enjoyed cocoa too, although they were pretty sure that they were much cooler about it:

Wendel Farms is located near the Indiana/Ohio border in Brookville, Indiana.  The corn maze is $7 for adults, $6 for children 12 and under, and free for little ones who are two and under.  Plus, if you have a group of 25 or more, be sure to inquire about the group rates available at Wendel Farms.

For the price of general admission, visitors can enjoy a trip through the corn maze, the straw maze, the petting farm, farm land, education center, the vegetable patch, corn bin, trike track, and corn hole.  In addition to the corn maze, Wendel Farms also offers campfire packages, school tours, fall decorations, and more.

This is one fall tradition that will definitely be an annual one for our family!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Wendel Farms.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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The Cincinnati Museum Center is offering free admission on Friday, October 24th.  Visitors can enjoy free admission to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, and Cincinnati History Museum free of charge from 4-8 p.m.

You will need to pay for parking which is a fee of $4 after 4:30 p.m. and $6 before 4:30 p.m.

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Free LEGO Monster Mini Model Build Event

by Katie on September 29, 2014

Stop by your local LEGO Store on Tuesday, October 7th to build a free Monster Mini Model.  This event will take place at 5 p.m., and will be available while supplies last.

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Free Entrance to National Parks on September 27th

by Katie on September 24, 2014

In honor of the National Public Lands Day, everyone will receive free park entrance to all of the National Parks on Saturday, September 27th.  Be sure to check out the National Park Service site for park locations.

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Cincysavers is featuring a Family 4-Pack to Country Pumpkins Corn Maze for just $13.  This offer includes the following:

  • Certificate for 4 to the corn maze
  • $6 credit towards a Cushaw squash (for eating or decorating)
  • Free petting zoo, kiddie corn maze, corn box, straw bale maze, and play area

This offer is valid through November 1st.

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Free LEGO Racing Plane Mini Model Build Event

by Katie on September 2, 2014

Stop by your local LEGO Store on Tuesday, September 2nd to build a LEGO Racing Plane Mini Model.  This event will take place at 5 p.m. while supplies last.

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Stop by your local Lowe’s store to take part in their Build & Grow Clinic on Saturday, September 13th at 10 a.m. Children, along with their parents, are invited to build their own set of binoculars.

Check out the Lowe’s website to register for this interactive event.

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In July, our family had the opportunity to visit COSI (Center of Science & Discovery) in Columbus, Ohio.  Now for those of you who have never been to COSI, let me assure you, it is definitely a trip worth taking.  Prior to this visit, the last time I’d been to COSI was in grade school, and let’s just suffice to say that ‘s it’s been lots a few years since then.

Encompassing a complex that is 320,000 square feet in area, COSI is the epitome of hands-on fun and learning.  COSI features four strategic areas of focus – energy and environment, technology and innovation, health and medicine, and early childhood education.

COSI embraces that childlike love of learning, and makes it attainable for all of their visitors.  It is their desire to give others a more meaningful understanding of science, health, industry, and history through exhibits, demonstrations, and a wide variety of educational activities and hands-on experiences.

One of my favorite sections of COSI was the Gadgets Zone.  Our family spent a large portion of the afternoon in this area, exploring the many different facets of physics, chemistry, engineering, and energy.  The kids took turns experimenting with various pulleys to determine which system enabled them to hoist themselves up with the least amount of physical effort required.

Our youngest son spent the better part of an hour configuring circuits to create a variety of different outcomes – a doorbell ringing, a fan running, and illuminating a light bulb.

Meanwhile, our daughter loved building a variety of contraptions with her special “Daddy and Me” building time.

Another favorite for all of us was the area of Progress.  Traveling back to 1898, you literally feel like you’ve been transported back in time.  From the post office front to the street lamps, it seems as though you’ve walked into a completely different era.

Jumping forward to the 1962 town, the kids had a blast with their cousin in the old fashioned diner, although our daughter looks a little too comfortable with her imaginary beverage!

They also enjoyed looking at the different store fronts, as well as the differences in packaging and logos.

My personal favorite was the gas pump, even though I had a few moments of sadness knowing that $0.25 would now only buy a few drops of gas!

At the end of the afternoon, the kids even had the opportunity to work together to lift a car off the ground.  We literally spent the entire day from open to close at COSI (with a quick break for lunch in the parking lot), and still did not manage to see all of the exhibits and attractions that COSI has to offer.

Since it’s just under a 2-hour drive to Columbus from Cincinnati, it’s a great day trip for our family.  Plus, the membership prices are very reasonable, especially as a homeschooling parent:

  • Teacher & Family Membership – $95
  • Single Adult Family Membership – $95
  • Basic Family Membership – $115
  • Premium Family Membership – $160

Stay tuned tomorrow as I’ll be sharing our family’s experience at two of the side exhibits at COSI – Adventure in the Valley of the Unknown and Sherlock Holmes.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by COSI.  All opinions expressed on Cincinnati Cents are (as always!) mine.

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