We are going to northern Michigan to Gram-sit for a few days. We didn't have much time to financially prepare so it has to be as frugal as possible.
We leave Feb 8 but I'm planning things out now (food for the trip has to come out of my husbands check this weekend) and thought I would share. I have a notebook and multiple pages are dedicated to this trip. See below:
Has a chart of snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner ideas (in upper the corner). Then I have a food list that coordinates with the food in the chart. This is my Master Food List because some items/ingredients I have in house and some items I need to purchase. Next to the MFL I have a list of things we need to pack: blankies, white noise, night lights, hand warmers, first aid kit, etc.
I have my grocery list for the next two weeks and a list of meals at the top.
I have a chart with the days of the week listed and tentative activities planned for each day. It's a 6 hour drive so I have somewhere cheap to stop on the way there and back. I also have contact info to each place listed on this page.
On the way there/back
There is an Air Zoo in Kalamazoo. Looks awesome and for all of us it's only $24 for basic admission. We may go to the Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park but not sure. It will be $34 for all of us. Seems like it may be better to go in the spring. But if the kids are nuts in the car we may stop there in desperation. Who knows.
My uncle is going to draw us a map of locations where the locals go sledding down random hills in the town. It's free and they are lending us a sled. WOOHOO!
Hartwick Pines State Park has a small museum and maybe a trail we can hike on. It may be an option - depends on weather.
I looked up places to swim - my boys miss it.
There is one place in Traverse City - Great Wolf Lodge - but no day passes. Looks nice too but its too costly for us to stay. Check-in is at 4pm and check-out is 11am at $200+ a night; not in our budget.
There is another water park (Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark) a little over an hour from my Grams but word 'round the campfire is its not the best area to be driving if there a lot of snow. They do have day passes and it's not badly priced. It would be around $50 for all of us. We'll have to see.
We will most likely go to the local pool (Sportsplex). They have "open swim" time slots and for the whole family it will be $10.50. They also have open skate times but Adam and I SUCK at ice skating. Its too bad because I really wanted Brant to try it.
I'm hoping for dinner one night we can go to Lucky Jacks in Traverse City. Looks like a Showbiz Pizza or something. They have an arcade, bowling, bumper cars, etc. Could be a fun time. I signed up to get a newsletter which could have some specials in Feb. We'll see.
Details about where we are staying, what time my gram eats, where to pick up the sled, etc. Stuff like that.
I'm going to pack as soon as possible. In the meantime I'm going to bake: cookies, brownies, chicken Pot pie, etc. Meals I can freeze. I plan to bring a cooler and bring as much food with me as I can. I'm also going to pack lunch bags to pass out in the car. Yes it's a pain but it will save us money!