I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t be the mom who stays at home with her kids all day and sits around the house. I want to get them out, have them explore and learn new things. Most importantly I want to exhaust them! I want them so worn out that they don’t complain about going to bed at night. Wishful thinking about wanting to go to bed at night, but hey, I try!
Now, living on just about one income isn’t easy. We have bills to pay, groceries to buy, cars to fill with gas.
So, I have been researching a lot to find places that are either free or inexpensive to visit. I call it “Mommin’ on a Budget”.
Do not get me wrong, we will get our expensive amusement park days in, but that cannot happen every day of week when my son isn’t at Pre-K.
But, if you look hard enough, you’ll find some awesome places out there. Especially parks. I’m surprised with how many parks have awesome free activities for kids to do.
I came across Long’s Park on Google Maps while drinking my morning coffee. After reading the reviews, and looking at some pictures (I’m totally that mom that goes on Instagram and looks at all the tagged photos of that location just to get some insight on the place, don’t judge, it totally works), I wanted to take the kids there. It’s a huge 80-acre park with multiple activities for the kids to do… FOR FREE. We were loving it! I must mention that this park was super clean and well kept.
So, here is what we enjoyed.
This was really neat! You walk through a large fenced in area where the animals just roam around you. No fences, no restrictions (except feeding the animals), nothing! The animals were very calm so you felt comfortable around them. There’s a variety of animals to see from roosters and chickens in their coop, to baby goats, and alpaca’s. Let’s not forget the pot belly pig that my youngest thought was the best. They have a washing station after you leave with soap, water, towels, and hand sanitizer. It’s very nicely kept. Only thing to remember is, you can’t bring strollers into the fenced in area, but we just sat ours right outside, no biggie.
Such a clean, well-kept pond I must mention. They have a path you can use to walk around the entire pond which makes it super easy with a stroller. There is multiple benches (shaded and unshaded) to sit on. There’s a small bridge you can walk on that leads to a beautiful gazebo and a few picnic tables. Ducks, fish, and wildlife are all around you. One thing I honestly noticed was that there was barely any flies or gnats bothering you. Might be a coincidence, but it was nice to not have to keep swatting bugs away. There’s a beautiful rock lining around the entire pond and small pier where you can walk out on to get a beautiful view of the entire pond. My oldest really enjoyed this part. You can fish there also, so we’ll be going back to give that a go.
So many playgrounds. They have tons located all over the park. The main playground is called Kids Place Playground. It is wonderful. My favorite part is that it’s completely fenced in. You need to open a large gate to get out. That put my anxiety at ease. I did not have to worry about my youngest running out or anyone coming and scooping up my kids (Yes, I think about that, and my anxiety sky rockets the first time I lose sight of my little’s). It’s also handicap accessible. I LOVED that feature. Knowing that any kid can have a blast on this playground is total brownies points with me. There’s many stations all over the playground that are learning mechanisms too. Let’s not forgot the music stations where you can play bells, hit some drums, and whistle. My youngest was all about the music.
There are a ton of smaller playgrounds located around the park too. Just as entertaining as the big one, and a great place to get away from the crowds. A lot of shaded also, so no burning slides! I’m waiting for the day where they come out with heat resistant slides for these little ones.
Cisco’s in the Park.
A perfect little place to end your adventures or even to visit in between. They have a nice variety of small finger foods if you forget to pack lunch (we did pack, so we didn’t try the food). But, we did try the ice cream and fruit smoothies! Yum, yum, yum! It was only $3 for two big scoops of delicious Hershey’s ice cream. I ordered a fresh mango smoothie for only $5, which was worth every cent. Super delicious! We really enjoyed that. They had shaded picnic tables for you to enjoy your sweet treats, we also decided to eat our lunch there. The staff was friendly and quick. It was a clean area for being the food area in the park. Very minimal bees and flies. Our lunch and dessert was very enjoyable!
There is also multiple sports fields and an amphitheater that hosts concerts over the weekend. From the looks of it, I think I might return to experience a live band one evening.
We really enjoyed our visit, and will return soon. If you live near the Southern PA area, I recommend this park to others, especially with little ones.