Five Fabulous (and Frugal) Things to Do with the Kids This Summer
Penny-wise pursuits for diminutive Daculans and their families to enjoy.
With the summer season in full swing and the kids out of school for a handful of fun-filled weeks, it’s time for local parents to fill our to-do lists and bags of tricks with entertainment options that won’t break the bank. The research team at Dacula Patch has unearthed a few great items to add to your itinerary over the next couple of months:
1. Make a “Great Escape” to the Hamilton Mill 14
Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning now through the first week in August, this local theater plays host to the 2011 Great Escape’s Kids Summer Movies featuring G and PG-rated family-friendly films such as "Shrek Forever After," "Ramona & Beezus," "Yogi Bear," and more. Shows begin at 9:30 a.m. and seating is limited, so plan to arrive a little early. Tickets are just $1.50 per person for individual films, or you can purchase a summer pass for just $5 and see them all! It just doesn’t get any better than buttered popcorn and movie-sized candy for breakfast, kids!
Thanks to our awesome Gwinnett County Library System, both the Dacula branch and Hamilton Mill branch are boasting jam-packed calendars of events all summer long. Mondays at Hamilton Mill feature pre-school story time for kids age 2 to 5 and school-age programs for kids age 6 to 10 starting at 11 a.m. (closed July 4), and this branch wraps up its summer reading program with Ken Scott’s “One World & Magical Stories” show featuring a rather toothy-grinned puppet named Croco.
Pre-school story time and school-age programs also fall on Mondays at the Dacula branch, but the fun starts at 2 p.m. Dacula’s library will also highlight special events such as puppet shows, “doggie tales”, and a finale with magician Ken Scott. No need for older kids to feel left out of the excitement, the Teen Summer Reading Program (TSRP) at both branches features events such as Playstation Rock Band Competitions and Tie Dye T-shirt Making throughout the summer.
3. Go Outside and PLAY at Dacula’s Gwinnett County Parks
We are fortunate to live in a county that has garnered national awards in addition to being recognized as the number one park agency in the state (serving populations of 80,001+) by the Georgia Recreation and Park Association. You and your family can while away countless summer days at the pool and on the volleyball court at Dacula Park, bring your furry friends for social hour at the dog park at Rabbit Hill Park, explore five miles of walking trails at Little Mulberry Park, ride your mountain bikes along a 7-mile trail at Harbins Park, or enjoy a picnic at the Pavilion before swinging, sliding, skateboarding, and socializing at the playground at Duncan Creek Park. There are also a host of summer programs at Dacula Park for the kids from art workshops to karate to choose from.
4. Monkey Around at Monkey Joe's
Located on Auburn Road in the Dacula Kid’s Village, Monkey Joe's features specials for every day of the week like Two for Tuesday when guests can buy two admissions and get the third for free and Wacky Wednesdays when kids 2 and under get to jump for just $5 and kids 3 and up pay $8.99 to enjoy a jump along with a slice of pizza and a small drink. While the kids play, parents can get a little work done and check their Facebook accounts thanks to free wi-fi at this location.
5. Getaway-n-Play at Stars and Strikes Family Entertainment Center
Located at 1700 Winder Highway, Stars and Strikes invites parents of kids 12 and under to register online for their “Kids Bowl Free” promotion for one free game of bowling a day all summer long between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. This fun-for-the-whole-family destination also features daily specials and Summer Passes for $99 which include unlimited bowling plus shoe rental, as well as unlimited lazer tag and bumper cars.
BONUS: Plus One to Grow on…
6. Pick your own at The Briar Patch
It’s blueberry picking season y’all, and at just $10 a gallon – it’s entirely possible to have fun while saving money. This family-owned and operated local farm features seasonal fruits and vegetables ripe for the pickin’ such as blackberries in July and apples in August. Agricultural tours for groups of 10 or more with activities for the kids are available by appointment. The Briar Patch is located at 2503 Cammie Wages Road and is open Tuesday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (but you may want to call ahead to make sure the patch isn’t over-picked on the day of your visit.) Blueberry cobbler anyone? YUM!