Fake-cation Trip Idea #1 | Parasailing for Two at Paradise Parasail for $70 (was $140)


This was our favorite Groupon last year!  I was hoping to see it again.

You’ll get a 4 mile parasail for two at Paradise Parasail (at Osage Beach) for just $70.  We were able to upgrade last year for an additional $20. The upgrade provided pictures, an extra freefall, and half price for life sails!

The boys got to go last year, this year it’s the girls’ turn!

Get your Groupon to Paradise Parasail here: Paradise Parasail Groupon (under Springfield, Missouri)

New Summer Fake-ation Series


A few years ago, the ‘Staycation’ made it’s debut.  Everyone was broke and looking for ways to make staying at home more fun.  Sadly, sometimes staying home can cost more than a short trip.  I can only take so much sitting by the kiddie pool, sipping on strawberry lemonade.

When my son was small, we spent the summers exploring free, or insanely cheap, local places.  We never went more than 60 miles from home, packed a picnic lunch, and had an absolute blast.  Of course, I drove a Geo so we could definitely afford gas.

I’ve decided that this will be the summer of the ‘Fake-ation’.  I want my kids to experience all that the Ozarks has to offer at as little out of pocket expense as possible. 

I’d love to hear your suggestions on where we should go on our Fake-ations!  I’d like to keep these under a 2 hour drive (one-tank style trips) with little to no admission fees.  Staying overnight is perfectly fine- as long as there are inexpensive, decent, accommodations.

We are also accepting Fake-ation packages and discounts from area attractions to provide our large base of Southwest Missouri (Springfield and Branson area).  Please email info@thesensiblefamily.com with details.

Asking the Readers: Do You Assign Your Kids ‘Summer Projects’?


When I was growing up, mom always made us pick a summer project.  It was definitely nothing expensive or extravagant, just something we could learn about or work on all summer. 

One summer, I started a small garden.  One year, I took it upon myself to learn Missouri History.  For a few years, a friend and I made and sold jewelry at craft fairs.  During that time, we also wrote a series of teen novels. When I was 15, I started giving summer piano lessons.  By doing projects, I not only filled my head with a lot of useless knowledge, I learned how to be self directed, business minded, and creative.

I’m privileged enough to be able to spend summers at home with my children.  It’s really hard trying to work from home and enjoy them, so I end up pulling a lot of all-nighters, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

My son will be 13 this summer and has a huge interest in computers and design.  His project is going to be learning how to start his own business.  We’re going to work on basic web design, marketing, monetization, accounting, podcasting, video editing, incorporating social media, and copywriting. 

These skills are necessary in today’s world, and will be even more so in the future.  If all goes well, he should be able to have a nice, passive income stream set up that will allow him to save for a car and/or college. 

If there is enough interest, I’ll be setting up a series on this site detailing his progress. 

If you’ve got a pre-teen/teenager that would like to learn the same things, I’m open to doing a summer class.  By having a support system, they will learn to be even more accountable for themselves.  If you are interested, send an email to classes@thesensiblefamily.com for consideration.

As for my 7 year old daughter, her plans are cleaning, organizing, and decorating.  This should be interesting…

Do you do summer projects with your kids?  I’m looking for some more ideas for the kids and I’m sure other readers are, too!

I’m taking the rest of the day off!


As soon as the towels get out of the dryer (I’m just a wee bit behind on the laundry), we are headed to Big Surf!  We have so much fun at the waterpark!  Through today, you can get a BOGO coupon on their facebook page, so the total price for 2 adults and 2 kids is only $45. 

You can also get discounted tickets by visiting their website and clicking on the ‘Hang Ten Club’.  When you are prompted for the store name, enter ‘Gateway to Saving’.  You’ll save up to $10 off of your ticket!

Disney’s Christmas Carol Train Tour

Although the newest, destined to be a hit version of Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ is not set to hit theaters until November 6th, residents in select cities have the opportunity to see it, up close and personal.
In order to promote the movie, a train has been designed to travel the country, making stops in over 40 cities. This train is decked out in full Christmas decor, including a snowy backdrop, carolers, gifts, and much more! All visitors will be able to screen a 3D preview of the movie.
To make this even better, all events are family friendly and completely FREE!
You can view the website, schedule, and full details for the event here.
The train will make a stop in St. Louis at Union Station on July 31-Aug 2.

SnowFest ’09

If you’re in my neck of the woods (SWMO) and are looking for a fun and FREE way to cool off and let the kids run off some steam, check out SnowFest ’09. We go every year, and the kids LOVE it!!

Bring some gloves and extra clothes- you will get messy!

Saturday, June 20 – 4 to 9 pm

Who says summer can’t have snow? In downtown’s Jordan Valley Park, the 8th annual Snowfest features a mountain of snow, live entertainment, military equipment, interactive games, snowman building contests, and moonwalks for the smaller kids. Bring the whole fmily and climb the mountain of snow. Entertainment by 80’s cover band “Members Only”, tap your foot to the “Honky Tonk Renovators” and enjoy the classic 70’s party rock of “Sequel Dose”. For more information call 417-866-7444.

Bass Pro Family Summer Camp

With the majority of my readers stemming from the hometown of Bass Pro, I thought this was an appropriate post! Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, Bass Pro Shops across the country are offering a weatlth of activities and informative lessons geared towards the entire family! There are also crafts every Saturday and Sunday for the kids.

The activities/lessons are broken into half hour increments and include topic such as:
Shooting Basics
Bird Watching
Building a Campfire
Plants and Insects
Animal Identification
Making S’mores

You can view the full schedule and additional information by clicking here.