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Frugal Family: Summer Outdoor Fun

Summer is officially here. And it's a good time for some frugal family outdoor adventures.

National Wildlife Visitor Center Tram Tours

Take the kids and hop aboard a half-hour guided tram tour at the Wildlife Visitor Center in Laurel. Travel through forest, meadows and wetlands in a 40 passenger, all-electric, open-air vehicle at the Patuxent Research Refuge. Tour goers get access to the wildlife and their habitats for a great price. Weekend tours began mid-March and are available through mid-November. Tours are also available daily in the summer, late June through mid-August. It’s $3 for adults, $1 for children (12 and under) and $2 for seniors (55 and over).

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Visitor Center, is located at 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708. For questions, call 301/497-5580 You have several choices of times:

Weekend Schedule: 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

Weekday Schedule: (summer only) 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m.

Baseball Birthdays

Any birthdays coming up this summer? Might be a good time for a family baseball outing. Both the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles offer a free ticket voucher by email for your or your child’s birthday. Take a look at the special terms and conditions listed for the Nationals and Orioles' bithday deals and sign up your ticket vouchers.

Family Swim Night in Greenbelt

How about some outdoor fun in the water? You don’t have to go far. The Greenbelt Aquatic and Fitness Center is hosting a family swim night in the outdoor pool once a month every month this summer, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. And they’re announcing admittance is only $3 for all families, including pass holders. Mark your calendars and get your swimsuits ready, the next one is July 15.

Free Friday Concerts by the Water

While we’re talking water, how about Friday evenings on the river listening to live music from The Yards Park boardwalk stage? It's just south of Capitol Hill and east of the Nationals Ballpark. They’re going to have jazz, salsa, reggae and more throughout the summer. Picnic on the lawn or play with the little ones in the Kids Activity Zone. There’s a free concert scheduled every Friday night through August 19.

It's summer time and the living is easy, which means it doesn't have to break the piggy bank.

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