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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thanks to Groupon

There is no doubt in my mind that all of my glorious readers have heard of Groupon by now, but did you all know or think of it as a way to expose your child to the world without breaking the bank? This has been the best parenting on a dime site and I doubt that was even it's intention.

I'm sure some of you are a lot like me, doubting. Before I signed up I was thinking, "Ok, I can get some cheap nights out for the hubby an me, but where's the catch?" I was actually was REALLY skeptical. My first thought was another claim to save site to spam up my e-mail or something. Second thought, I'm gonna buy something and it's gonna have some crazy stipulations, to my surprise only 1 out of all my purchases was even slightly restricting! I mean it was a chain store and made just for Christmas gifts, so really not a surprise an not at all hard to use. But, before I even signed up I had to check even more, had a informal Facebook poll from my friends and family to see if it was worth it. So happy I did because I don't know if I would/wouldn't have if I hadn't have heard their thoughts. To be honest I would had probably just become a lurker, always looking at what I'm missing and thinking "I really should, but oh, it's probably a scam, you aren't missing out" just telling myself that over and over. My intention of writing this is just to assure the few of you still holding out to sign up and take advantage. This site isn't just for us, but it is great for our kids.

All we want to do is give our child all the opportunities we can and educate them the best way possible. Expose them to art, nature, and life. In times like these I don't pretend it's easy, but here is some tips to help your family without putting you in the poor house. Every area has their museums, some history and parks, you just gotta go out there and find them. The best thing is to check and see when/if they have free days or free events, take advantage of what your hometown offers. There are lots of sites out there, all you have to do is scout. We are fortunate to live in San Diego where we have a plethora of options. We have free days at Children's Museum and in our town, Balboa Park offers free Tuesdays, rotating museums open for free for residents and Military, but the best site I've found has been Groupon. Thanks to Groupon I have to admit that Riley has got to do things in her toddler-kid years that even I could have never imagined. The site has also made it more affordable to do somethings we love, but just to do it more frequently. It also made us into a tourist in our own town, doing things long forgotten.

I'll share with you a couple highlights of what Groupon -San Diego has gotten us.

This still has to be one of my favorite day trips to this date, we all did a Whale Watching Tour. I have always wanted to go myself but the timing or cost was never right, then this came along. So, at a discounted rate it was to good to pass up. Not only did the husband and I get to go, but it was so well priced that Riley got to a experience it. Not many kids can say they've been out on a boat in the ocean looking at marine life out an about in their natural state. It wasn't crowded, they didn't treat us like garbage for using a discount, it was just fun! The crew was amazing and the little one was treated even better, with a little coloring book an crayons. Like I said I am a skeptic, I always think ok, you get what you pay for so maybe we'll be treated different then those flipping their top dollar, so not the case.

Another fun day thanks to the site was our trip to the Chula Vista Nature Center. I haven't been to or thought of this place since my high school babysitting days (don't ask, but, yes it was a LONG time ago). This preserve was full of education in fun ways. Art activities and close up animal experiences that I hope she will carry with her all her life. My husband and I spent the day in awe, which is funny because we are Sea World and San Diego Zoo members, but there is just something about breaking from the norm and experiencing things in a different light that reminds us how awesome life is. The trip kind of woke us up and freshened our respect for it all.

I honestly wish I had photos of all our experiences to share with you, but really the best thing I can tell you is JOIN! Look for things in your budget take your kid out let them see and do things. Thanks to Groupon we even have a ceramic painting day planned. I am ever so thankful that this site came along.

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