Recession Mama

{May 22, 2009}   Free-For-All Friday

–by Carla

Not having gobs and gobs of disposable income to toss around freely now means having to dig a little deeper in the old brain to find ways to entertain Toddler Boy and Baby Boy (although BB is pretty easy to please) without forking over cash at every stop. I mean, you can only go to the mall so many times, or go to the indoor play center so many times, or go to the mall..oh wait, I said that. We go to the mall a lot, it seems. But this RecessionMama is now starting to enjoy all the free stuff that life has to offer. This big city girl who hates bugs, has never been camping and doesn’t really like the outdoors all that much … is really spending a lot of time IN the outdoors lately. Seems Toddler Boy is a born outdoorsman. He’d spend all of his waking hours outside if we let him. So mama has been schlepping toys in and out several times a day now for weeks and weeks and hanging out by our very own sandbox…


…and taking them to the park which is literally a 5 minute walk from the house (but most of the time I drive). And it hit me the other day while I was shaving my big toe gazing out the window, it’s really nice to do these things with the boys…it’s OK.

Free = good. Oh and on that note, I felt bad for Heather this week after she had to flush Goldfie down the crapper after his or her untimely death. The newest addition to their family had gone to the giant fish bowl in the sky and Heather had to shell out a bunch of money on something that started out as a freebie. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

So here for your enjoyment are a few listings of freebies, because some things ARE free:


* The library: You can check around where you live, but here’s some info on what Dallas has to offer: The Summer Reading Program is starting May 30.   It’s open to all ages from birth to age 18. All the Dallas Public Libraries provided free programs throughout the summer – arts, performances, animal shows, crafts, clowns, magicians, yoga, songs and more. Info here:  ttp://

* A great place to visit that lists all family-friendly and FREE activities in the Dallas area (not just Dallas), is through the KERA Art and Seek calendar at

* Then I basically searched for free activities in Dallas (even though I live in a suburb) …and was reminded of this great link:


…just plug in your hometown and bam, you’re on your way to freebie land….unless your free fish dies and you don’t want your kid to find out. Then you’re screwed.

recessionmama says:

Hey Carla. It’s Heather. What a great reminder about some of the simple and “free’ pleasures in life. Donald is sooo cute! He should be a kid model.

We really like hanging out in the backyard, going to the park and heading to the local library. The library has a good story time. We haven’t been in a while and we need to return.

Just a quick update on the fish. Maddie figured out that Goldfie was a goner. I fessed up, but didn’t tell her about flushing it. We got a new fish yesterday PLUS an Ariel motorized tank (PlUS a Nemo Tank for Bobby). This “free” fish just keeps adding up. So far it’s cost nearly $150. Gulp!

Katy says:

Toddler Boy is adorable and should be a kid model. I love the library. I got a card after the last show I worked on ended. I checked out a book for my book club (instead of buying it), and I rented a lot of free DVD’s. Poor Maddie! Was she upset? And I can’t believe you just spent $150 on fish and fish stuff!!

Phyllis Smith says:

My favorite time as a Mom was the simple pleasure if picking which park to go to that day. Oh I miss those days!! Enjoy them now…they go by VERY quickly.

Jean says:

I want to share a link that I found a few weeks ago with you and other moms…very similar to your Art and Seek site…this is called The Saavy Source and it has events, tip and other listings for parents in various U.S. cities. I plugged in Dallas and found a few free events including outdoor concerts:

There was also a listing for a free sculpture family event, geared more towards kids aged 5 and up. The listing is from last year but it seems that the free event (once a month, on Saturdays all summer) is being held this year as well, though you do have to pay $5 for the parking.

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