We don't have a lot of money to do much over the summer when my teenage son is out of school, so this year I have been requesting free information packets about neighboring states. They send tons of info about driving tours and sights that don't cost anything to go see. The price of gas eats up what little budget we have but with taking our own food and seeing natural sights that don't cost anything we can still have fun.
By Christi from Paducah, KY
We have done the same in the past!! We also take a big cooler for our food----sometimes stop at local grocery store (and don't forget your coupons!!!). We take lots of picnic lunches or share meals from restaunts and eat at the hotels. Its always fun to get-a-way for a few days!!! We like to visit other state's state parks---Indiana has several nice ones to visit!! Hope you have a fun summer!!! :)
It's been a few years since I lived in Paducah; so someone can correct me if I am wrong; but many of the most marvelous attractions in St. Louis (not too bad a drive from Paducah) are free! The science center, the zoo, the museums.... Six Flags isn't cheap; but if you find coupons and don't eat there, it is reasonable. If there is not a hotel in your budget, you can look into camping. Borrow a tent if you don't own one! You don't need to be a good camp cook--cold meals are fine in the summer!
Don't overlook LBL (Land Between the Lakes). There is some amazing parkland for hiking and biking (all free)!
If you haven't been to Cave-in-Rock in a while, it deserves a second look. The state park in Southern Illinois (the name escapes me at the moment), is amazing. Great hikes!
If you know someone with a GPS unit (receives information from satellites that give you latitude and longitute readings) that you can borrow; check out www.geocaching.com. It is a blast, and outside of the price of gas and GPS, is free. (You can get GPS units for under a hundred dollars, if your budget allows. With a little research, you can probably find a used one for half that!)
I don't recall if the Parks and Recreation department do summer courses; but give them a call. They are a marvelous resource!
The Vacation Bible School offered by a group of churches in town would probably love to have a teenage helper--the little kids really love having male teens around!
A little creativity (and it sounds like you have that!) ought to make for a great summer for you both!
Kentucky Dam and Barkley Dam also give free tours. AMC Theatres does free...yes free...summer movies on Wednesdays at various locations througout the US. They start at 10:00 AM and are G and PG rated blockbusters. The AMC theatre in Paducah participated last year so I assume they would do so again.
Envious because you live in a beautiful state and are not very far from many "free" spots that are not only lovely but some that are educational, too. The hills/mountains of Ky. add so much to your state also.
When we were in (Western Ky.: Home) one summer visiting, we had a good time seeing all the wonderful murals painted on the Riverfront in Paducah & just driving around seeing all the old sites where we used to visit with relatives, in years past.
Princeton, KY (using I-24 and the WK Parkway) has some murals painted on some buildings, all painted by the same fellow who did the ones in Paducah. They're nice to see, not as many as in Paducah, but still interesting.
Since I don't live in Western Kentucky now (I'm from Lyon Co., Kentucky), I can't be sure, but I think maybe Newsome's, in Princeton, Ky. might give free tours of their country store & country ham business.
Also, you might check with Broadbent's, in Cadiz, KY, off I-24, headed towards Nashville. It's a World Famous country ham manufacturers. They might give free tours of their operations plant. They have a gift shop & restaurant.
Keep an eye out for all the county fairs that are held in Kentucky in the Summertime. I always liked going to them & seeing all the sights. Be sure to eat before you go, & maybe keep a bit of spending money for those special treats that you only find at the fair.
Also, if you happen to know anyone who has a boat, offer to help out with a picnic lunch & ask to go out boating with them.
Swimming at the lake is always free or if you don't like the lake, ask at one of your local hotel/motels, if they have a reduced rate for local residents. Happy Summer!
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