My son and I just had the most fun ten minutes we've had in a while, and it only cost us $5.50.
On a whim, I drove us down the road to a building I had seen but never visited, lured only by the gigantic "HONEY" sign on the front. Once I convinced him to get out of the car, we stepped into a little room no larger than a walk-in closet, and we were greeted by a wall of honey containers in several shapes and sizes. In the middle of the room was a large box with a hole in it that read, "Honor System, Since 1937." There were posters on the walls with pictures of bees and honey combs, and lots of information about how honey is made. I picked up a 12 oz. bear-shaped bottle of honey with a price sticker that read $4.00, but my son reached for a larger bear. I inspected the bottle--it was 24 oz. for $5.50. Sometimes my math is a little slow, but the value of the larger bottle was pretty obvious! We counted out dollar bills and coins, put them into the slot on the box, and drove home with my son cradling the bear in his car seat. We conversed the entire way home about the many things we could do with our Florida Orange Blossom honey. As soon as we opened the door to the kitchen, he ran to the refrigerator, pulled out some plain yogurt and started creating his lunch. Now he's waiting for Daddy to get home so he can share with him our new honey and the story of where we found it.
So, for $5.50 my son learned about the honey making process, learned to count money, found excitement in cooking, and will practice his story-telling skills a little later today. Also, that $5.50 went straight to a family that has owned the "HONEY" building for several decades and sets an example of trusting our fellow human beings. And we got a cute bear full of delicious honey as a parting gift. I think that is quite the value for my money!
Friday morning we will go to a local blueberry farm to pick blueberries for a final time this season, and we will make jam with those berries for Father's Day gifts. When we travel this summer, we will spend most of our adventure time finding local farms where we can visit animals and find delicious produce and other farm goods. All of this will be priced considerably lower than other forms of entertainment, and the benefits, well, are just too numerous to mention!
Your challenge for the day--seek out local agriculture, and pay your farmers a visit! If you need help, this website has a comprehensive list of U-Pick farms all over the country. You'll be saving yourself entertainment dollars and possibly grocery dollars, and you'll be helping the local economy. More than that, though, you'll be giving your little ones experiences they will treasure forever!
If you know of a local (to you!) farm that is great to visit, leave it in the comment section!