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How I Saved Money on My Summer VacationHow I Saved Money on My Summer Vacation This summer has been a whirlwind! After a week in New Mexico, my family and I headed out to Colorado, where we spent time in Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park. Now, I'm not going to say that our...

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Little Sprouts At the Botanic GardenLittle Sprouts At the Botanic Garden On Tuesday, July 22, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden will host a "Little Sprouts" event for toddlers from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m., at the Backyard Vegetable Garden. The theme for this week is "Fruits." Engage...

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Free Family Day at Irving Arts Center This Sunday, July 20, the Irving Arts Center will host a free Family Funday from 2-4 p.m. At this event, families are invited to browse the galleries, and children can participate in hands-on art projects...

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$2 Movies at Studio Movie Grill$2 Movies at Studio Movie Grill From July 21-24, Studio Movie Grill is offering movie tickets for $2 to select shows as part of its Summer Refresher Series. These are older movies, but they all have sequels on the way, so this is a great...

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40 Percent Off Jamba Juice40 Percent Off Jamba Juice It's hot out, so this is a nice deal! Stop by Groupon and pick up their discounted deal to Jamba Juice. With this deal, you'll pay $11.25 for three Groupons, each of which are good for one 12-ounce freshly-squeezed...

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How I Saved Money on My Summer Vacation

Category : family, Featured

This summer has been a whirlwind! After a week in New Mexico, my family and I headed out to Colorado, where we spent time in Denver and Rocky Mountain National Park. Now, I’m not going to say that our vacation was cheap – we did put out quite a bit of cash between plane tickets, hotels/home rentals and meals out – but I did come away with several pieces of money-saving wisdom that I wanted to pass on to you. Enjoy!

1. Look for coupons. One of the first things we did in Denver was visit the Downtown Aquarium. Since tickets were pricey, I did about 2 minutes of Googling and found coupons that saved us several dollars off each admission. The kids loved it!

2. Make money (if you can). Being self-employed, I was in the unique position of being able to take on an assignment while in Colorado that earned us a bit of cash and only took about an hour’s worth of effort. Of course, this option isn’t available to everyone, but it did help defray a small portion of the cost of our trip!

3. Drive a fuel-efficient car. We caught a plane to Denver, but once we got to the city, we needed wheels. Toyota was kind enough to provide us with a Toyota Avalon Hybrid for the duration of our trip. Not only was this car super-nice, it saved us a TON of money in gas. We only needed to fill up twice, and that was with us driving 100+ miles on some days.

4. Skip the gift shops. Like most other kids, mine asked for (overpriced) trinkets as soon as we emerged from various museums and parks. And once or twice, I did give in. But I found that it was much cheaper to instead drive to the nearest Target and pick up a couple of small toys – provided, of course, that the kids’ behavior had been good. (Is it worth noting that my kids now cannot recall any of the items they wanted in the gift shops.) The toys you see below in my kids’ hands cost less than $10 combined, and they are still playing with them at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Do free stuff. We visited Red Rocks Park, which does not have admission charges, and Rocky Mountain National Park, which was also free for us. (Note: We have a special deal that allows us into national parks for free. Most families will pay about $20 for a week’s admission. Still a deal!)

Many thanks to Toyota for allowing us to use their Avalon during our trip. We had a great time! Let’s go places!

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“Little Sprouts” At the Botanic Garden

Category : entertainment, family, Featured, free

 photo strawberries_zpsf52b86cb.jpgOn Tuesday, July 22, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden will host a “Little Sprouts” event for toddlers from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m., at the Backyard Vegetable Garden. The theme for this week is “Fruits.” Engage in a learning experience with your toddler while enjoying the summer weather! Kids must be between 18 months and 3 years. There must be at least one caregiver per child – so unfortunately, moms with multiple young kids won’t be able to attend.

Admission to the Botanic Garden is free. To go to the garden’s conservatory, it’s $2 for adults and $1 for kids. Kids under 4 are free.

The Botanic Garden is at 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd. in Fort Worth.

Photo courtesy Paul Albertella/Flickr

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Free Family Day at Irving Arts Center

Category : entertainment, family, Featured, free

 photo irvingartscenterfunday_zps5048eb21.jpgThis Sunday, July 20, the Irving Arts Center will host a free Family Funday from 2-4 p.m. At this event, families are invited to browse the galleries, and children can participate in hands-on art projects that are themed to current exhibitions. All supplies are provided.

The Irving Arts Center is at 3333 N. Macarthur Blvd in Irving.

Photo courtesy Irving Arts Center

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$2 Movies at Studio Movie Grill

Category : Arlington, entertainment, family, Featured

 photo smgsummerrefresher_zps85b117e8.pngFrom July 21-24, Studio Movie Grill is offering movie tickets for $2 to select shows as part of its Summer Refresher Series. These are older movies, but they all have sequels on the way, so this is a great way to prep! Movies for the first Summer Refresher installment include The Hunger Games, Jurassic Park, Magic Mike and Skyfall. Get your tickets for the Arlington location here. There are no booking fees for buying online!

Enjoy SMG Sangrias for just $5 while you watch.

Find your local Studio Movie Grill here.

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40 Percent Off Jamba Juice

Category : Arlington, dining, family, Featured, food

It’s hot out, so this is a nice deal! Stop by Groupon and pick up their discounted deal to Jamba Juice. With this deal, you’ll pay $11.25 for three Groupons, each of which are good for one 12-ounce freshly-squeezed juice. Or, pay $18.75 for five Groupons. Both deals are about a 40 percent discount from the retail price.

If you buy this deal, you’ll have until Sept. 30 to use the Groupons. You can substitute a medium fruit-and-veggie smoothie for the juice, if you like. It’s also not valid with other specials, and you can’t earn Insider Rewards points with a Groupon purchase. See all the details here.

This deal is valid at many Jamba Juice locations, including stores in Fort Worth, Southlake, Watauga, Plano and Dallas.

Other deals available today include:

$12 for $20 in barbecue at Railhead Smokehouse – valid at the Fort Worth location

$12 for 4 admissions to the UT Arlington Planetarium – regularly $24; see an exciting show about the cosmos

$17 for a cut, shampoo and style from Lundquist Hair Design – $35 value; stylist Skyla McGough in Fort Worth will give you the look you want; pay $35 for a deal w/highlights, or $79 for a straightening treatment

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Uber Delivers (Possibly Free) Ice Cream to Fort Worth

Category : family, Featured, food, free

 photo ubericecream_zps2217368d.jpgHere’s a fun activity for a Friday! On July 18, Uber Fort Worth will offer an ice-cream-on-demand service to those who request it! It’s simple to participate. Just download the Uber app and choose the Ice Cream option. If a vehicle is available, you’ll be enjoying your desserts within minutes! The cost is $25 for 5 ice cream treats. Cars will serve a variety of locally-made ice cream items. You don’t need any cash either – the fee will be billed to your Uber account. Split the cost with some friends and have fun with this novelty!

There is also another possibility that can make the ice cream free! If you have any credits in your Uber account, you can apply that toward the cost of the ice cream. Never used Uber? Sign up at this link and you’ll get a credit for a free ride up to $30, which can be used toward the treats. Or, use it for a ride. Whichever you like!

This offer is also available in Dallas, and many other cities where Uber is operating.

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Free Shipping on Everything at Gymboree

Category : family, Featured, shopping

Today and tomorrow (June 16-17), Gymboree is offering free shipping on every order, no minimum purchase required. I am super lazy and hate going to malls, so this is the perfect deal for me! Plus, they’ve got sleepwear on sale for just $12, which is a good deal, since their pajama sets are usually well over $20. They’ve also got some jeans and fall-type wear on sale – I’ll be checking that stuff out for later in the year.

See the sale here and take advantage before the free shipping is over!

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Ice Cream Sunday at Kimbell Art Museum

Category : entertainment, family, Featured, free

 photo kimbellicecreamsunday_zps0e40ce9f.jpgThis Sunday, July 20, the Kimbell Art Museum will once again host its family-friendly Ice Cream Sunday event. From noon to 3 p.m., you can stop by the museum’s Renzo Piano Pavilion and get a free scoop of Blue Bell ice cream. The featured flavor is Magic Cookie Bar, a a sweet ice cream loaded with graham cracker crust pieces, chunks of dark chocolate, roasted pecan pieces and toasted coconut, all surrounded by a caramel sauce swirl.

There will also be plenty of other activities during Ice Cream Sunday, including an ice cream-inspired collage activity and a showcase of children’s films. Plus, you can visit their permanent art collection (admission to the collection is always free).

The Kimbell Art Museum is at 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth.

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Moon Day at Flight Museum

Category : entertainment, family, Featured

 photo moonday_zps68c852c6.jpgOn Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas will host Moon Day, a special event held in conjunction with the National Space Society of North Texas. Come and experience a full day of family-oriented activities, demonstrations, and programs, marking the 46th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing (the actual landing was on July 20). Over 25 exhibitors will offer fascinating displays and activities such as a close-up look at a meteorite, robotics demonstrations, space art, re-creating Moon craters, and a SAFE look directly at the sun through specially-equipped telescopes.

The first 200 children  to arrive will receive a free “Lunar Sample Bag” courtesy of Moonlite Printing & Graphics of Carrollton, full of magazines, stickers, activity books, posters and other materials of interest to space flight enthusiasts of all ages.

In Scouts? Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts can meet various badge and pin requirements through participation in specific Moon Day activities.  No registration is required, and the qualifying activities are presented throughout the entire day.

Museum admission is $8 per adult and $5 for kids. Kids 3 and under get in free. The museum is at 6911 Lemmon Ave. in Dallas. Update 7/17/14: Save on admission by picking up this Groupon – two admissions are $16, or four for $16. A good deal if you have more than one adult going.

 

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Stargazing Event in Southlake

Category : entertainment, family, Featured

On Saturday, July 12, Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake will host Starstruck, a special star-viewing party. If you love looking up at the night sky observing the stars, constellations, planets, and galaxies this spectacular stargazing party is for you! Come take advantage of the center’s super-high powered telescope, and view the stars like you’ve never seen them before. An instructor will teach you new constellations, and you’ll observe planets which can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Feel free to bring chairs, blankets, snacks, and drinks. Only red lights will be permitted as not to detract from the luminosity of the sky. (No phones, flashlights, lamps and the like.) Fee is $5 for nonmembers and free for members.

Bob Jones Nature Center is at 355 Bob Jones Rd. in Southlake.

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