40 Free and Low-Cost Ideas for Family Fun
Sometimes saving money can be a real chore. You may begin to feel deprived that you can’t go out to eat or go to expensive movies. Especially on the weekends when the budget doesn’t allow money for entertainment.
But that doesn’t mean you have to sit around and watch television all day! There are many wonderful ways to have fun and entertain the kids without spending a lot. In fact, many of these activities are free! So, get off the couch and find something to do. You’ll feel better for it and you’ll be creating lasting memories with your family.
1. Go for a long walk, or a hike in the woods.
2. Take a family bike ride.
3. Borrow a movie or two from the library, make some popcorn, and have a movie night at home.
4. Pack some peanut butter sandwiches and cookies, and go on a picnic in the park.
5. Forget the picnic and go play at the park! Swing, go down the slide, climb the monkey bars and get dizzy on the merry-go-round.
6. Visit a local museum, historic home or other attraction.
7. Go window shopping (no buying allowed!).
8. Get out the coloring books and crayons and create refrigerator art.
9. Make an inexpensive craft project from recycled materials (there are thousands online!).
10. Create a photo collage on a piece of cardstock or poster board and hang on a bedroom wall.
11. Invite some friends over and have them each bring a dish for a potluck dinner and fellowship.
12. Play board games, Rummy or Yahtzee.
13. Work a crossword puzzle or word search.
14. Create your own word search puzzles. (You might even be able to sell them later!)
15. Make your own play dough with two parts flour to one part water, and a few drops of food coloring. Use it to create ornaments, trinket dishes, animals, and more.
16. Bake some cookies or a pan of brownies. Share a few with a neighbor.
17. Volunteer at a local food bank, women’s shelter, after school care program or hospital.
18. Take a free online class.
19. Work a jigsaw puzzle.
20. Read a book aloud to your kids.
21. Start a garden.
22. Tour a local plant or factory.
23. Go to a free church or outdoor concert.
24. Watch your local paper for free classes, activities and events you can attend.
25. Go swimming at a nearby lake.
26. Hold a Saturday kid’s day in your backyard with homemade games, crafts, and simple refreshments.
27. Go camping.
28. Go fishing.
29. Visit your local animal shelter and pet the puppies.
30. Visit a shut-in or elderly neighbor.
31. Join a club and get involved.
32. Watch a Little League game – even if you don’t have a child playing.
33. Write a long letter to a distant friend or relative.
34. Make handcrafted greeting cards and send one to several people you’ve not contacted in awhile.
35. Make your own string and jug band and entertain your friends.
36. Start a monthly game club with friends and family. Alternate whose house hosts each month and have everyone bring a snack to share. You can play the same game each month or a different one chosen by the host.
37. Play White Elephant Bingo with friends and family. Pick up an inexpensive Bingo game or make your own, and have everyone bring yard sale items for prizes.
38. Browse an antique shop and have fun talking about all those gadgets no one remembers any more.
39. Throw a Frisbee around, hit a softball, or toss a football with the kids.
40. Get involved in church activities. Large churches, especially, have something going on all the time. Join the softball team, attend a women’s seminar, meet new people and have a lot of fun!