With summer now in full swing, and school finally over for the year, my son is excited about the months of fun and relaxation that lie ahead.
With all of the free time coming up, I am planning to make the most of the warm weather and time together. There are so many fun activities we want to enjoy and places we want to visit, but I am also trying to keep in mind that we need to stick to a budget. It can be very easy to spend a lot of money during the summer.
After research and planning, my family has managed to come up with some affordable activities in the area that will allow us to make the most of the season — without breaking the bank.
When I think of summer fun, one of the activities that comes to mind is miniature golf. There is something about being outdoors and enjoying a little competitive action that brings me back to my childhood. Growing up, my family would always play mini golf when we went to the beach for vacation.
Now, my son and I don't have to travel to the ocean to enjoy a game of golf. Instead, we can head up to Mitchell's Golf Complex, at 301 Mitchell Drive in Reisterstown. There are three courses to choose from, ranging in difficulty from regular to "Monster in the Pines," and ranging in cost from $5 to $7 per game.
For more information, visit http://www.mitchellsgolf.com. Days can get extremely hot and humid in late June and July. A cool dip in the pool can be very refreshing after a day outdoors. There are many local swim clubs that are open to the public for a daily fee. Glyndon Swim Club, at 4 Central Ave. in Glyndon, offers $15 day passes for adults and students 12 years old and younger, $10 day passes for children 3 to 11 years old, and $5 for military personnel with a valid ID. Children younger than 3 can enter free with a paying adult.
For hours and information, visit http://www.glyndonswimclub.com/home.html.
If you are looking for a break from the hot, steamy weather, the Reisterstown branch of the Baltimore County Public Library is not only a great place to visit and check out some books for summer reading, but also a place for people of all ages to enjoy some fun summer activities. There are programs for school-aged children, as well as baby and preschool story times on weekday mornings. For adults, there is a monthly book discussion group.
For hours and more information, visit http://www.bcplonline.org/branches/branch_re.html.
Dropping a line in a local pond can be an affordable summer activity that can be enjoyed locally. For just a few dollars for bait, you can enjoy a whole day of fishing at Gwynnbrook Wildlife Management Area, on Gwynnbrook Road, just off of Reisterstown Road in Owings. There is a nice fishing pond that is open to the public and a picnic spot so you can pack your own lunch or snacks for your day outdoors.
For more information and directions, visit dnr2.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/publiclands/central/gwynnbrook.aspx.
Visiting a local wildlife center or park can be a good way to enjoy the summer weather and also get some exercise. Irvine Nature Center, at 11201 Garrison Road in Owings Mills, has many activities to help educate area youth and adults about our local habitat and how to conserve our natural resources. The center is also open to the public to enjoy and walk the trails and view the exhibits there. Donations are always welcome.
For more information, visit http://www.explorenature.org.
Soldiers Delight Natural Environmental Area, at 5100 Deer Park Road in Owings Mills, is also a great place to hike and explore our area. There you will find not just beautiful scenery, but also a nature center that is open to the public and offers activities for children.
For more information, visit dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/soldiersdelight.aspx.
I hope these suggestions inspire you to get out this summer and enjoy the affordable options our area has to offer. The wonderful weather and time off school are fleeting, so take the time to enjoy every moment of it.