Frugal Family Fun

by Niz Brown 10/06/2019

Getting about and experiencing the sights and sounds gets you out of the house and away from screen time for a while. You can find many low-cost and no-cost family-friendly experience in your area if you know where to look. Whether it is inside or outside activities you want you can find new and different ways of spending family time not the family fortune. With a little research, you can locate anything from hidden parks, museums, art lessons, story times and even live theater all at a nominal fee or free. 

Where do I Look?

Start your search online. Several sources keep track of specific areas. If you look at your community or chamber of commerce website, you'll likely find a list of local free events. When you are at your children's dentist or physician's waiting room look around for publications that list local children's services and activities. Your local library is a great resource. The library offers many free events and will have information about your area that you can use to discover places to visit. Don’t be shy about calling around to places and asking about free introductory lessons. Always utilizes your friends and neighbors, ask them what they have enjoyed doing with their kids and what they would recommend. Local faith-based organizations may offer community events free of charge and fun for all ages, check online for event information and details. 

What is There to Do?

In addition to the library check into the areas park and recreation programs. Parks departments can direct you to family-friendly hiking trails or areas of local interest. These places could be a geographic feature you never noticed or sites of historical significance. Many regions offer through the school district, free lunch programs during the summer months. Utilizing the program is an excellent way for kids to grab free lunch and then play with friends they have missed, for free! Check with any museums for free or special discounted days or programs. If your area has a college campus, you can look at the calendar of events of all sorts and usually offered free of charge. The college campus can provide anything from sports to art exhibits to guest lectures for your older kids. Many malls these days host evenings with activities for all different ages and have indoor play areas for younger kids to play and meet new friends. 

If you’re new to the community, check with your realtor for any local points of interest or family-friendly hidden gems to enjoy.

About the Author
Author

Niz Brown

Born in San Pedro, California, as a first generation Croatian, I graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a degree in Mathematics and Chemistry and then earned a teaching credential from San Francisco State University. In 1960 I married native San Franciscan Jim Brown. Jim, was a high school teacher before becoming the owner/chef of La Lanterna Restaurant in Kentfield from 1985-1992. He is now retired. I combined substitute teaching in Marin County with the rearing of our four children, all of whom are grown and have settled in Marin. I became intrigued with the world of homes when we acted as the general contractors in building our own home in Woodacre and another home in the San Geronimo Valley. I began to work the carpet business, and became licensed to sell real estate in 1976. I was an associate realtor with other companies before becoming an independent broker and opening my own office in downtown Larkspur in 1991.

Decades of experience in real estate, plus a passion for details, executed in a creative manner allows me to serve in an exceptional manner. I advise my clients on the preparation of a property for sale and use my skills to assist sellers in arranging for staging, clean up, etc. Then I begin the marketing by having the home professionally photographed I create a property website and create fliers and print advertising. The MLS places the listing on all media site. Then when a offer comes in, the negotiation skills and attention to the details of the transaction take over. Other agents often say "you have the nicest listings". I care deeply about the quality of service I provide. When it comes to representing buyers I am patient and tenacious. I am just as excited as the buyer when we find the right home. I love my job!

I network with agents from diverse brokerages. I operate a "bus tour" with 25 professionals from 15 different brokerages. Operating my bus tour is my way of establishing close relationships with colleagues and gives me the opportunity to serve more effectively. Real estate is a unique community of competitors who work together with love and respect and cooperate to serve our clients.

I have developed a passion for photography and painting larger-than-life images of flowers. I am a signature member of the National Watercolor Association. At close of escrow each of my clients is given a choice of one of my prints for their home.