What’s a Kindermoon? Something You Don’t Need to Spend a Bunch of Money On

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A few months ago, my 3-year-old daughter was watching cartoons when a commercial came on television. The little girl on the screen was wearing Mickey Mouse ears, and the famous Cinderella castle was in the background.

My daughter’s face lit up, and after the commercial ended, she declared, “Mommy, I want a kindermoon!”

I didn’t even know what a kindermoon was.

For those just as clueless as I was, a kindermoon is similar to what a honeymoon is for newlyweds looking to celebrate the beginning of their married lives. Or what a babymoon is for a couple who plan a trip to spend some memorable alone time together before their tiny human is born.

A kindermoon is a special getaway in that sense, but its purpose is to mark a child’s impending entrance into kindergarten.

And Disney found a perfect way to capitalize on a kid’s transition to elementary school — by promoting an expensive trip to one of the costliest theme parks in the country.

A Disney blog post from 2016 advertised a two-day, three-night kindermoon package for a family of three for $987. A similar current promotion (though it’s not tagged as a kindermoon) starts at $1,009. Fantastic, right?

Now, I’m all for celebrating your children’s milestones. Your preschooler starting kindergarten is a big deal. And I’m not anti-Disney. I took my daughter to the Magic Kingdom near Orlando the week before her third birthday. Penny Hoarder tip: The park doesn’t charge admission for children under 3. We had an awesome time.

All I’m saying is you don’t need a grand vacation at a theme park (or to spend all your savings) to celebrate your little one officially achieving big-kid status.

You could plan a special parent-kiddo outing. Take your kid to a cheap movie and then go out for lunch afterwards. Or take your child to dinner. Several chain restaurants have designated nights where kids eat for free, or practically for free. Some promotions are for the entire day, not just evenings.

You could host an end-of-summer barbeque with family and friends to celebrate. Invite loved ones who have children in elementary school, and ask the kids to share their first-day-of-school stories with your child. Ask the adults to bring clothing or things their kids have outgrown to save on what you’ll need to buy for the upcoming school year.

Or since you’re going school shopping anyway, shop without your kiddo and then wrap the goodies up and surprise your child with them. You could even arrange some sort of scavenger hunt. Hide the clothes in the closet, the book bag near the bookshelf and the lunch box in the kitchen.

It doesn’t take an extravagant trip to please a 5-year-old. If your kid is anything like mine, all he or she really needs to feel special is some undivided attention and a big dose of love.

Unless kindermoons really become a thing — let’s hope that they don’t — your children won’t be missing out if you don’t plan one. But if you still want to go the Disney route, here’s some advice from a Disneyland employee and tips from a regular Disney visitor on how to save while you’re there — plus info on what freebies you can score.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.