Head for the Hills — or the Nearest Grandparents’ House

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We’re heading to horse country this weekend, also known as The Grandparents’ House. When FishChick heard where we were going, she said, “Oh, good, I get to feed Gwampa’s horses.” Yes, indeed. The girl spends all day every day out in the stable with King and Kino — and Gwampa, of course. He loves it. As does she.

Visiting either set of grandparents is one of the least expensive forms of entertainment for our family. We pay for gas and travel snacks, but after that, the grandparents usually take over. Lodging is free, and we usually have to arm-wrestle someone in order to pay for dinner or groceries.

My dad plies the kids with junk food, and my mom has a virtual playground set up in the backyard. My in-laws have the aforementioned horses. That’s all the kids seem to need: fresh air, a change of scenery, and attentive people who love them. They don’t need — or want — much more than that.

Unlimited video game time doesn’t hurt either. I love how my friend Amy points out,

Traveling may bring new rules, but it also relaxes many others. And junk food is much better tolerated by mom on vacation.

Yes, and so are video games.

For us parents, it’s a nice change of pace, and a respite from being solely responsible for all that goes on with our kids. We usually get a date or two in the mix as well. Free babysitting is a most appreciated feature of grandparent visits.

While we’ve discussed going on a cruise or travelling on some wild, exciting, and expensive vacation, we’ve decided that for now, heading for the hills — or the nearest Granparents’ — is just the ticket for our family.

What do YOU do to save money?

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  1. We totally use “going to Grandma and Grandpa” as a mini vacation!

    Great way for me to get a “break” from the parenting and the occasional date with DH and the kids get spoiled rotten!

  2. Visitng the grandparents is the most relaxing vacation I can take. My dad is an early bird, so when the kids wake up I tell them to go visit Grandpa and my husband and I both sleep in. I would feel guilty except, my Dad loves having an audience (and it doesn’t get any better than adoring grandchildren). 😀

  3. Some of my kids’ favorite memories involve “Gwampa’s horses.” I love that. I’m sure you do too. Have a great weekend visit.

  4. I love the weekends we spend at my in-laws, especially now that my son is two and can run off with his cousins and give us some down time! It’s a win-win for everyone, to borrow an overused expression 🙂

  5. We love going home and visiting the grandparents. Unfortnately, we do not make it home as much as we like due to being stationed so far away. But when we do make it home the kids really enjoy being with their cousins, and of course the spoiling that goes on. Thank you for hosting!

  6. Yay for near-ish grandparents who love their grandkids!! 🙂 Your photos are beautiful as well. 🙂

    Thanks for hosting Frugal Fridays as always, Jessica. I don’t know how you manage to do everything you do!! 🙂

  7. Our grandparents are so far away…. But when the kids get older, they can go on plane trips and have a safe destination at the other end. That’s good, too, although it’s not very frugal. (Of course, the kids earn the money themselves.)

    Thanks for hosting.

    Annie Kate

  8. My parents live very close, but we travel with them on vacations and it is so nice to have a 4 adults to 2 preschooler ratio. The kids love the attention and my husband and I usually get to go out one night alone on a date. Love that.

    However, my in-laws do live far away, but going to see them is not relaxing for me. My MIL has trinkets and glass do-dads all over the house and my 2 yo finds them fascinating, so I get a little stressed.

  9. I am blessed in that my parents and in-laws are near. While it’s annoying to always have junk food when they go there, since it’s not just occasionally, I am glad that they get to spend time with them. They also offer much needed breaks!

  10. Our families are local, so no vacations at their houses for us! We DO have friends that have a large property that used to be a campground (before they moved there). So, we keep our trailer there and go “camping” for free. We usually cook our own dinners, just like at home, and sometimes go out for one or two nights. But we figure it’s cheaper than a hotel. When we stay at a hotel on vacations, we spend too much money on food since we end up going out to breakfast and dinner…we try to skip lunch when we are vacationing at a hotel.

  11. I must say from all sides I love to see my grandbaby and have fond memories of visiting my own grandparents when I was younger

  12. I remember as kids going to g-ma’s farm is all we wanted to do. While I never knew my g-pa, I had cousins that lived next door with a big family and there was never a lack of anything to do. Being only an hour away we got to spend many a weekend there (helped that my mom and aunt were best friends)…

  13. We love to visit family. Even though they don’t live anywhere that is normally thought of as exciting, we always have such a fun time swimming in their community pool, going to their zoo, etc.