Family fun can still be had ─ but at a cost

Leilany Perez, Opinion Editor

Every family has a favorite place or activity that they enjoy such as movies and ball games. However, this fun comes at a cost ─ a high cost, in fact.
With the start of the new year, prices at many family fun locations have increased. Disneyland, for example, announced an increase in its ticket prices for 2019. A regular one-day admission is now $129 per person, while a regular two-day admission is $225, an increase of 10.3 percent or $12.
Sophomore Nimrat Sandhu says these steep increases impact struggling families.
“I think the price should be a little less,” Sandhu said. “Every person cannot afford to pay hundreds of dollars to go to Disneyland or thousands of dollars to stay there.”
Other events and attractions have increased ticket costs as well. If a family wants to attend a Major League Baseball (MLB) game, the least expensive tickets are about $20, while the average price for midrange seats is $50. For the average family of four, the cost adds up.
When films first became a fixture in American culture after the Great Depression in the 1930s, the cost to see a movie was 35¢ per person. Today, that same film will cost an average family of four $41 total according to local Regal Cinemas theaters. When extras like popcorn, candy and soda are factored in, the cost climbs to $60 for a family of four ─ way out of reach for most families’ disposable incomes.
Another form of fun families look forward to are annual vacations. National parks, theme parks, and sight-seeing out of town are some examples of annual vacations. However, these recent cost hikes are forcing families to look to cheaper alternatives to spend time together and have fun. Sophomore John Shinn admits that things have changed for his family, and they no longer go to the movies often. Instead, Shinn and his family go to national parks.
“Since the prices are getting higher, it makes it hard for us to go often like we used to,” Shinn said. “We used to go about four times a month, but now it’s just once a month. If we don’t go somewhere like Disneyland, we normally go to national parks. You get to hike on hills and see nature preserves.”
Going to local parks is another way to have family fun. Bring blankets and have a picnic on the grass or stay home; make it a tradition to have a family game night or a family movie night. Everyone can wear pajamas and eat bucketfuls of microwavable popcorn.
“You could just find your own games,” Sandhu said. “You can play cards or games like Ludo, which can help you get smarter and have fun.”
Many recreational places have become too expensive for families, such as Disneyland’s high priced admission tickets and tickets at a local movie theatre. Just because many people are unable to afford expensive recreational trips doesn’t mean that there are no other ways to have fun. Find cheaper ways to spend time together as a family.