The Library: My Go-To for Frugal Family Fun

This man says libraries are a parent's best friend.

Let me share a little secret about a powerful card I’m sure you are already carrying around with you that can save you hundreds of dollars and even a bit of stress this summer. No, it’s not a credit or debit card. It doesn’t even require a credit check, just a proof of residence. It’s your library┬ácard.

My family and I have been visiting our local library for close to 20 years and enjoying the benefit of way more than just books. Although books and a summer reading program for my three children were some of the first reasons we were drawn to our local library, they are not the reason we keep going back. Our local library has so much to offer in the way of entertaining the whole family, and I’m sure yours does too.

Click to read more about famous libraries and other places to visit for less than $20.

Classes

Libraries offer a variety of adult and child classes. Over the years, we’ve taken advantage of many classes for our three children: arts and crafts classes during holidays, and specific education classes, like a babysitting introduction when my daughter was looking to earn some money with a part-time job. My wife and I even attended a defensive driving class and snagged a discount on our auto insurance. These classes offer an excellent opportunity to increase our knowledge, meet new friends and–for mom and dad–to get a little break too.

Interested in Classes? This Woman Brings Financial Workshops to You

Music and Movies

We frequently borrow DVDs from our library, free of cost. Our library has a large selection of new releases and children’s favorites. It’s important to note though that children under the age of 18 often need to use a parent’s library card to take out movies because there are fees associated with late returns.

I wouldn’t overlook your library’s books on tape and CD sections, either. I highly recommend picking one up for a road trip or long commute.

Tickets

Our library offers free museum passes to 12 local destinations, and discount tickets to a local zoo, aquarium and water park — a fantastic saving for a family of five and a great option for some summer fun.

More on Discounts: How to Get Cheap Tickets For Everything From Movies to Concerts

A Place to Meet

We have used our library as a central meeting spot when working on group school projects. Our library offers several common areas, a private meeting room and a larger community room that can be booked for events by any resident with a library card.

Digital

More and more each day, we have access to e-books, e-audiobooks, e-magazines, e-music and e-classes from our library’s website for download. It saves us the trip to the library altogether. In fact, we can download a library app to our smartphones and access our digital library anywhere we go.

These are some of the many ways we use our local library to keep our whole family entertained. As you can see, it offers a lot of options beyond just books — but if you’re in the market for a hardcover, they’ve got you covered there too.

Click through to read more about this woman’s tips for entertaining the family for free.

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