Free Entertainment

Here is a photo of one source of free entertainment…a tree swing. This one just happens to be in our yard.

Another source of free entertainment is the American mall. The mall, free? What? How is that? Keep reading. I shop at the mall about once a year. I just think everything is so OVERPRICED! I can’t even afford the underwear that they sell at the mall. But I’ve learned to be a smart mother and I now can use every lack of funds moment to my advantage.

A few months ago, we stopped in at the mall just to eat at the food court.) O.k. so I go to the mall more than once a year, but going to the food court doesn’t count.) About twice a year, we like to go as a family and let everyone get whatever kind of food they want.

After all 5 of us have ordered food from different establishments we give our kids a lesson in sharing and divide the smor·gas·bord around the table. When we have each eaten every possible food group and we can feel them sloshing around in our digestive systems, we can’t help but feel like we’ve made it in life! The food court is a true symbol of American life. When your whole family can get their favorite mass produced food and enjoy it at the same table, you know you live in America. Or Japan, but we aren’t counting the fact that everyone in Japan has rice as their same favorite food.

Well, how do we top a night off when we have all just gorged ourselves on MSG? After forking out $20 for food, we are then ready for some free entertainment. First, we stop at the little kiddie quarter rides. The kids know we won’t pay the quarter, but they think it is fun to climb in anyways. It is the same concept for LG. As I watch the kids on the kiddie rides, he goes inside the video game store. LG knows that I won’t give him the quarter, but he likes to climb anyway.

And, then, before we leave the mall, I get my entertainment….no, not the IceCream Dots, but watching the family take bottomless rides on the….you’ve got it.. the escalators. Even though the girls have graduated from calling the escalators “alligators”, they still always love to ride. Now, as Mormons, you know we don’t believe in excess, (so we try not to go overboard on the riding) but we ride just enough to properly bother every possible mall-goer who believes the escalator was made only for floor transition. My daughters are 8, 6, and 4 and still think it is the escalator is the greatest invention in the whole wide world. LG usually putters out after 2 ups and 2 downs, but I like to keep on riding, so that I can keep getting a good glance at the girls smiling from ear to ear.

So, see, ladies, there are advantages (besides appeasing your budget nazi husbands) to only going to the mall three times a year….all kinds of free entertainment right under your nose.

And the quote of the day:

“I like an escalator because an escalator can never break, it can only
become stairs. There would never be an escalator temporarily out of order sign,
only an escalator temporarily stairs. Sorry for the convenience.” ~ Mitch



  1. Oh you are such a funny girl!! Love the escalator quote & thanks for the free tip! I laughed when my mailbox filled up with comments from you- you have the energy of 30 first graders! Bless you Alice- the world needs more of you!

  2. I love free stuff! I used to take my kids to the Peddlers Mall to walk them on rainy days. It was a huge antique mall back in Kentucky. I’m actually a little mall phobic and I don’t love fast food, BUT I have to admit I have a huge weakness for mall Chinese. There’s a Chinese place at the Clarksville Governers Square Mall that has the very best Chinese ever!!! I used to dream about their Lo Mein noodles when I lived in Europe. Seriously good.

  3. man, our mall does not have escalators–but it has a free kid play area. . .and well the food court–I guess it kinda has it all–pizza, hot dogs and yes chinese food.

  4. I don’t care much for shopping at the mall either. My kids also love the escalator. They only recently discovered it and they are so drawn to it. Yesterday on the PBS show, Caillou, my kids watched in silent awe as Caillou rode the escalator. When he was done they broke out babbling on about how they want to ride the escalator again. Its sweet that they love simple things.

  5. We love to go to the mall for daddy/daughter and mother/son dates. My kids love the mall food court, because it has McDonald’s *sigh*. But my daughter is perfectly content to window shop and my son loves the escalators! Plus ours has a kids play area that is great for rainy days.

  6. Now see, if I tried to take my kids on the escalator again and again just for fun, something would happen — Nick would probably manage to push the emergency stop button at some point and some nice older lady would fall from the escalator and break her hip or something — because that’s just what happens to us! LOL (We narrowly escaped Nick pulling the fire alarm at church Sunday! eek!)

  7. I was in the 4th grade and clogs were so in style! I was so scared to go down the escalator in my clogs. Although, they were only an inch or two high. I felt like I was on stilts. Literally, my family left me pining for a way to get down to the lower level. Me a big 4th grader, whining and fretting over how to get down and for my family not to leave me. My younger sister by 2 years, came back up the escalator to hold my arm and then I had to go barefoot! I blame my mother, it’s a mother’s fault for everything if you hadn’t noticed. I blame her because she had not taken me to the malls when I was younger to know how to work such a contraption.

  8. This was an awesome post! Have you been thinking on this a long while? I love it! You are one clever mom and one clever writer!This was my favorite part:“LG knows that I won’t give him the quarter, but he likes to climb anyway.”We do the same thing.

  9. This is funny. But you left a few free things out about the mall. First, people watching is totally free and really funny. people are just wierd, especially when they are shopping. Second, the pet store!! KIds love to go and look at all the pets and they could watch them forever. You just have to be sure you don’t end up leaving with one to still make it free.

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