I have already talked about zoo and museum passes being available from the library but did you know that you memberships to these non-profit organizations are considered tax detectable donations?
In discovering that gifts just give us MORE stuff and what we really want is LESS stuff and MORE fun - we opt each year to make our family gifts to each other membership to the zoo and the children's museum here in Portland (the science museum is equally fun but we are limiting it to two). We enjoy our days there so much more now than toys or other items that would eventually be lost or left unused (as is evident by this recent picture from this weekends outing with friends - see more on our family blog soon).
The added bonus is that if you itemize your tax deductions then donations such as these may actually help you to save MORE! Yea for experiences and fun family days.
This is one example of where I think we pay a little more up front - for lots of cheap family fun throughout the year. Especially now that my husband is officially going to take on a stay-at-home dad role. Something I guess I'll have to get him to blog about soon.