If you’re trying to scale back on your family’s monthly costs or just like to be thrifty regardless, trying to come up with inexpensive but fun family activities can be a major challenge. Popular family attractions such as theme parks or shows can be incredibly expensive, and likely aren’t something your budget can afford every weekend.
Luckily, there’s a ton of fun and even educational things to do with kids that you can enjoy even on the tightest of budgets. Here are our selected top 10 suggestions for cheap family fun activities perfect for weekends:
1. Have an Arts and Crafts Day
Arts and crafts don’t have to be expensive. All you need to do is go down to your local dollar store and you’ll find a huge array of arts and crafts materials that are perfect for some cheap family fun. Once you get home with your cheap arts and crafts goodies all you then need to do is protect your kitchen table with some newspaper and you’re good to go! Home arts and crafts sessions can’t just be very inexpensive, but also can provide solid family time. This indoor activity for kids lets their imaginations and creativity run wild.
2. Read to Your Kids
Get your kids away from the TV this weekend by reading them a story. You likely have plenty of kids storybooks with amazing illustrations gathering dust somewhere in your house, so why not get them out? Teaching your kids the value and fun that can be gotten out of reading from a young age is very important, and you’ll likely have a lot of fun yourself reading to them. This is one of the best free activities for kids to combine education and imagination.
3. Rent a Movie
Taking the whole family out to a movie can be expensive especially when you factor in the high price of gas in recent years and of course the cost of popcorn and drinks. Save yourself a ton of money by renting a movie through an online streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu or renting a movie for a mere dollar from your local supermarket with a service such as Redbox. You can then spend an afternoon cuddled up with your loved ones watching a movie for remarkably less than what you’d have to pay for if you’d gone to the movie theater. Watching a movie at home is a relaxing form of family entertainment.
4. Go for a Walk
Your kids likely won’t be thrilled about the idea of going out for a walk but it can be a lot of fun and of course is completely free to enjoy. Pick a local hiking trail or a pretty park where you can go for a wonder. Encourage your kids to run wild and play games and if you have a dog definitely bring him or her along for the experience. Gentle walks with your family can provide solid bonding time and will likely present many picturesque opportunities for family photographs. This is one of the best free outdoor activities to do with kids.
Teach your kids the power of giving this weekend by signing up for a volunteer project. Perhaps you could all participate in a community clean up or help feed the homeless. Whatever the cause, volunteering can be a powerful activity for teaching your kids to be grateful for what they have and why giving back to others is so important. What’s more, your kids may even have fun making a difference and it will make for a much more meaningful weekend than staying at home.
6. Do Some Gardening
Gardening is therapeutic and can even be fun. If you have a garden why not set up a small vegetable garden that your whole family can help create and cultivate? And if you don’t have a garden you could still have a lot of fun this weekend with your family planting some flowers for your windowsills. Seeds, soil and pots can be bought from many discount stores and the joy your family will likely get from seeing their hard work pay off as their plants grow will without a doubt be truly priceless. This outdoor activity for kids is perfect for summer when everyone has more free time on their hands.
7. Bake Something
Fun things to do as a family can be at home! Even if you’re not the world’s greatest cook, you could still have a ton of fun with your family cooking this weekend (and note to moms definitely enlist your hubby to help out – as a man in an apron is without a doubt sexy!). Try baking something yummy but easy to make so that your kids can get thoroughly involved in the baking process. Cooking with your kids is a fantastic way to pass down practical skills to them in a fun and encouraging environment.
8. Host a Potluck
If you can’t afford to host a big family or friends gathering single handedly but want to do some socializing with your family this weekend, consider hosting a potluck. Send out invitations for free online and request that every guest bring a dish. This way you can save a fortune on food and still have a great time with your family and/or friends. Your kids will also likely love having some extra company this weekend. Fun places for kids can be in the comfort of your own home.
9. Score a Great Deal Online
You don’t have to completely avoid typical family attractions at the weekend as you may be able to score a great deal online at deal sites such as Groupon or even by just going to an attractions home website. There are all sorts of amazing deals to be found online for family friendly attractions so go ahead and do some online deal digging now!
10. Visit the Library
There’s more than likely a library you have access to in your local community in which you can explore a plethora of free books, CDs, computer games, magazines and DVDs. Don’t let this amazing and very thrifty local resource go to waste. Definitely explore what your local library has to offer and your whole family may be surprised at just how much great free stuff you can borrow and enjoy over a weekend (or two!).
However short for cash you are, you can still enjoy some fun, quality family time this weekend. Enjoy!