Finer Frugal Things Friday: City Bus “Field Trip”

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In the book Corduroy: Lost and Found, Lisa and her dear bear begin the story on a city bus coming home from shopping. In Mercer Mayer’s Just Me and My Mom, the Little Critter and his mommy go on a train trip to the city and to a museum. Do you love when storybooks come to life and long-awaited plans come true? I certainly do. just-me-and-my-mom

This winter my son became interested in city buses because of the bedtime stories I just mentioned, frequent discussions in the van (“What’s that?”) while driving around town, and seeing the funny-looking roofline of the city bus station downtown from the freeway. I made an offhand comment:  “We should ride a city bus someday.”  It was all he talked about for two days!

We began planning a trip that would have to wait until warmer weather…and we finally did it last week.

We took a city bus downtown and visited the Children’s Museum. It was a dream come true, and for $3 ($1.50 fare both ways and a pass to the museum in my pocket), a very frugal morning!

We were going to make it “for real” and walk the first mile to our nearest bus station, but rain in the forecast urged me to change our plans and “cheat” a little. God provided, and with a breathless run to catch the bus (even when driving the first leg, I have trouble being on time!), we clambered on, all abuzz with excitement:img_7103

Here we are at the downtown central bus station awaiting our transfer. God provided perfectly:  we actually missed our bus stop and drove to the supermarket stop 5 minutes away, just making the bus only because it had to stop to pick up two passengers at two different stops. When we transfered downtown, we learned that we wouldn’t be able to get our originally planned bus home because of construction. (Gulp!)  The bus we could take instead? Dropped us off right at the supermarket, where our van was parked (but wouldn’t have taken us to the stop by our house had we walked). Praise God for His planning and not mine!



First ones on the bus to the museum – Lovey Girl was happy to walk around a bit:img_7113img_7112

“On the Farm” collecting eggs at the museum:


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11 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    My daughters keep telling me that they want to take the city bus. They get excited when they see one driving down the road. We don’t live near a bus stop, so I would have to drive to one nearby. Reading your story makes me think maybe we could do it. :) It sounds like you experienced some of the reasons why I haven’t done it and it still worked out for you.

    I’m glad I stopped by your blog. Thanks for sharing your field trip! :)

  2. Carrie says

    Isn’t that farm exhibit great? We were there during our July visit, and I still think that’s one of the better children’s museums out there, including some big cities we’ve been to.

  3. Barb says

    Your pics would be wonderful for the Ride the Rapid’s publicity campaign! I”m so glad you had such a positive experience. Growing up in the 60’s-70’s, my Mom didn’t drive so when dad was at work we went everywhere on the city bus. In those more innocent years I used to ride the bus downtown on Saturdays by myself to visit the public museum or the library, and in high school took a city bus to and from Mount Mercy Academy every weekday, transferring buses downtown–no transit center then. One more thing, you could catch a bus on any street corner back then. Thanks for bringing back pleasant memories.

  4. says

    Instead of a bus trip take a virtual field trip!

    Here’s a site with over 60 kid-friendly field trips.
    Try out MEET ME AT THE CORNER, Virtual Field Trips for Kids (
    they are fun, educational and free! Check out the fun websites linked to each episode.

    The current one is all about an interview with a man who raises and trains homing pigeons!

  5. says

    How fun! I’ve never been brave enough to take the bus with my kids. The bus system in Austin (Texas — where I went to grad school) was so great that I rarely drove my car. It was actually easier to jump on the bus than to find a parking place.

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