Summer in the Park - Life is About Events, Supported by Your Dollars and Cents

In this week’s edition of Monday Morning Quarter-Buck, Financial Planner Kate Welker, CFP® puts Amy’s famous saying to work: “Life is about events, supported by your dollars and cents!” The memories she is forming cost a minimum but will last a lifetime. Many of you may not know this, but July is Parks and Recreation Month, which is another reason Kate wrote this article. We hope you enjoy this week’s Monday Morning Quarter-Buck.

By Financial Planner Kate Welker, CFP®
Hornell, New York

Children in New York are finally out of school, so for my family, it feels like summer has officially begun. We are often looking for fun day trips, places to go to get the kids out of the house and away from electronics. One of the places my family has enjoyed are state parks. 

New York State has incredible natural beauty and the park system has really tapped into this. If you are not familiar with our area we have everything from gorges and lakes to mountains. There are 180 state parks in NY! 

A park visit is typically an inexpensive day out. The entrance fee is generally under $10 per vehicle, and we like to pack a simple picnic lunch to make it feel like an experience. Our state also offers an Empire Pass you can purchase which grants you access to all parks for the year - and did you know some members of the Southern Tier Library System offer Empire Passes as part of their free collection?

Take a look to see what other amenities you might be able to take advantage of. I tend to think of picnics and hiking, but many parks go beyond that. My children love the parks that have swimming options. Some are built into the rivers that run through the parks and others have actual pools. One park not far from me has a spray-ground, a playground combined with a sprinkler system. 

If you are looking to get away for a few nights look into the many different camping options. One of my favorite things to do in summer is sit around a campfire at night and I have many fond memories of camping in various parks. For the more conventional people, you can find tent sites, for those like me that like something a little more substantial there are many different types of cabins and cottages. Some parks even have houses to rent or bed-and-breakfasts to stay in. 

I’d encourage you to check out your state park’s website for more information on what is available near you. Enjoy an opportunity for a unique day out or a vacation on a budget.

My children and I are started a state park checklist to see how many we can visit this year, we’ve only made it to one so far but we hope to add to that soon. If you have a favorite park to visit let me know so I can add it to my list!