I live in Kenosha, WI, a great area, almost right in between Milwaukee, WI (30 minutes away) and Chicago, IL (about an hour away). When I was a teenager, I remember complaining about there not being anything to do in town. But now that I'm older and a mom myself, I realize just what a wealth of things there are to do here in our area!
This past summer, there were so many free or low-cost activities going on that it was impossible NOT to find something to do. We have a great, almost brand-new, public museum that offers free family activities, a brand-new dinosaur museum, art galleries, and a trolley that runs by the lakefront (we are pretty much situated right on Lake Michigan). In addition to that, we had at least two free outdoor concert series going on every week, a civil war era reenactment camp, more church festivals than I can tell you about, many outdoor farmer's markets with crafters, etc., and special festivals and events such as Woofstock, which benefitted the local humane society, and special outdoor "movies under the stars".
Our lakefront is great too, with walking paths, playground areas, small animal-shaped statues that shoot out water for the kids to run through, and a few nice little coffee shops where I can get a treat of a coffee for myself and a cookie for my son for under $3. I could go on and on, but my main point in all of this is, look around your own town for free or low-cost things that your family can do. I was very surprised to find that, once I started looking around, there were literally dozens of things to do! The best part being, most were free or almost free! It's kind of neat to be "a tourist" in your own city, and makes you feel connected to your community.
By Lisa from Kenosha, WI