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Budget-Friendly Activities for Kids on the Gulf Coast

16 May 2013 by

Summer is the perfect time to get the kids out of the house and to have some fun. There are plenty of Summer camps in the Biloxi and Gulfport areas, however, the average camp runs up to $200 per week. I've compiled a list of affordable and great things to do on the Gulf Coast.

Reading is Fun

Harrison County Libraries have free summer reading programs, and most run weekly. The programs are an hour long, and within that hour, children will see a special guest, listen to stories, and make crafts, all while being encouraged to read. Last year we saw circus clowns, park rangers, and the 4H-Club.

At the end of the program children attend a carnival where kids who meet the reading goal will be given a goodie bag full of toys and vouchers for pizza, kids’ meals, ice cream, blowing and laser tag games, etc. from local businesses. Registration is required, and begins Tuesday ,May 28, and runs through Friday, July 5.

The McBride Library located on Keesler also has a free summer reading program for children ages 3-18 Registration is from on June 1, during an ice cream social. The summer program comes to a close with a bowling party on August 3.

Explore Outdoors

The Gulf Coast National Seashore, located in Ocean Springs, has free programs for children including Sea Stars (ages 3-5) Junior Rangers (ages 6-11) and, Junior Lifeguards (ages 12 - 19). In the past they have gone on alligator walks, explored nature and Native American history. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

Excel By Five is a great place for children 0-5 and is opened daily during the summer It has a lending library, 6 daycare-like rooms set up for different age groups and activities, they offer free classes to parents and caregivers and also always have the lowdown on local children’s events, and they host some as well. It’s located a block south of Keesler at Lopez Elementary and is free.

If you don’t mind spending a little money, Keesler Kids offers summer camps. Prices range from $15-$50 and include art, golf, and even an Astro Camp. Click for more about Keesler Kids.

The Seebee base has summer camps for children and teens. Click the links for detailed information.

Most movie theaters offer summer deals for children and The Grand in D’Iberville and Cinemark in Gulfport are participants. The Grand features a kids movie every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 am for $3.50 kids get a movie, popcorn, and soda    while the Cinemark has $1 kids movies.

 Fun in the Sun

Keesler and NCBC housing both feature community pools free to residents and fishing for kids at Seabee Lake and Biloxi Bay. There are spray parks in the area and the beaches are free:

Gulfport’s Jones Park on Hwy 90 Beach Blvd and 20th Ave • West Side Park at 4010 West Beach Blvd •  Gaston Point at 1506 Mills Avenue • Ocean Spring’s Fort Maurepas Park at 499 Front Beach  • Clay Boyd Park at 214 Morris Noble Rd.

If you don’t mind a 30 minutes drive Aaron Jones Family Interactive Center is a great place for families of children ages five and under. There an outdoor playground, golf, block room, wetlands area and even a mini city that features a bank, fire station grocery store, and pirate ship. Admission is free Monday-Friday 10am-2pm. 1415 Skip Avenue Pascagoula, MS 39567 (228) 938-6418

For little firemen and history buffs The Biloxi Fire Museum is open 9am-3pm on Saturdays. Admission is free, but donations are accepted; located at 1046 Howard Ave in a historic 1937 fire house, the museum features historical photographs and antique equipment.

What else do you love to do on the Gulf Coast?

For more fun things to do, check out Things to do in Biloxi

About the Author

January

January, Air Force Wife

January grew up as a DOD dependent and now is a proud military spouse. She currently lives at her 9th base, Keesler AFB, with her AF husband and 3 children. She enjoys traveling, reading, and volunteering.

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