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This one’s a scorcher: How to save on your summer family vacation

As a credit union, Dupaco is all about thrift – teaching people how to save more and spend less.

As a Dupaco member for nearly a dozen years, I can attest that this approach to money management is contagious. I’m constantly challenging myself to find new ways for my family to save more and spend less.

And saving doesn’t take a break during summer vacation!

With school out for summer, my family is eager to spend more time together, creating new memories. The icing on the cake? Over the years, we’ve discovered summer fun doesn’t have to break the bank.

Here are some great ways to save this summer:

Take full advantage of your membership. Dupaco offers its members discounts to some great events and destinations, including alpine slide rides at Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena, Ill.; admission to Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa; and admission to Lost Island Water Park in Waterloo, Iowa. Don’t forget Dupaco’s member pool party! (Advance tickets are required for the free swim on July 18.)

Bowl for free. Select bowling centers and schools nationwide participate in Kids Bowl Free, a program that allows kids to bowl two free games each day all summer. Find participating bowling centers in some of these Dupaco communities: Cedar Falls, Iowa; Waterloo, Iowa; and Platteville, Wis.

Go to the movies. When it’s too hot outside, a trip to the movies can be the perfect cool treat. Several movie theaters host a summer film series featuring discounted tickets on select days and times of the week.

Take advantage of free admission days. Some family-friendly destinations offer free admission on select days and times. The Iowa Children’s Museum offers STEM Family Free Night the last Friday of every month.

Head to the library. If you haven’t done so already, let your kids get their own library card. Trips to the library take on a new meaning for youngsters carrying their very own library card. Don’t forget to participate in your local library’s summer reading program, which typically offers plenty of great (and free!) events.

Get musical. Summertime means free concerts in the park, including the Dupaco-sponsored Music in the Gardens, a free concert series at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.

Explore new parks. My kids and I like to make an adventure out of discovering new parks and splash pads. Sometimes we stay in town, while other days we head to nearby cities. The only cost is the gas it takes to get there. Mix in a little education by having your kids map the driving route on an old-fashioned paper map; they can play “Garmin” on the drive there.

What are some of the ways your family saves during the summer?