Ideas for Free Family Fun
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Check out this list of activities you can do with your family without spending any extra money. (Ok, you might spend a few bucks on some of these ideas if you don't have stuff on hand, but they'll still be pretty darn close to being free.)
Take a hike or nature walk
Go for a nature walk or hike. If you live in a city, you may need to drive somewhere nearby to get away from the hustle and bustle. You can search online for nearby areas to take a quiet walk or hike.
If you want to make it a little more interesting, make a list of items you want to look or listen for while on your walk. Or just enjoy some friendly conversation.
Go to the library
Jokes, magic tricks and science projects. Books can provide hours of entertainment. Or check out some old movies. Many libraries also provide a fun calendar of events like puppet shows, story telling or contests, so be sure to check out their bulletin board or online calendar.
Backyard (or indoor) campout
A full camp out is definitely fun but takes a lot of planning and expense. If you're looking for some fun and need to keep the expense low, throw up a pup tent in your backyard, or even in your living room! The kids will have a blast and you won't have to haul your whole house with you.
Visit a fire station
Make arrangements to visit and tour a local fire station or ask if there will be an open house for the community. As an added bonus, have the kiddos write a thank you note to the heroes who keep our communities safe.
Offering our time in serving others in our community is a great way to teach our children gratitude for what they have and gives a great positive boost to our own self-worth. There are plenty of opportunities if you take a look around. Make arrangements to visit a nursing home, help serve dinners at a mission home, collect items to be donated to a shelter or help by picking up litter along streets while going for a walk. An online search for your city will help you find opportunities in your area.
At home movie night
Dust off an old classic flick that your kids have never heard of that you loved when you were a kid. You can pull out all the stops and make it a full movie experience by popping popcorn and diving into movie treats. (May not be free, but it's definitely low budget and totally fun!) Something else that might be fun is lining the floor with blankets and pillows and getting nice and comfy.
Play at the park
A classic that'll never get old. It can be especially fun to find an old park that still has swings (many have gotten rid of swings). Some new parks have installed splash pads for extra wet summer fun.
Have a Living Room Dance Party
We turn YouTube on our TV and rock out to a dance party in the living room. My kids LOVE it. If your kids are a little older you can really impress them by busting out your old 1990's dance moves like "the shopping cart" or "the lawn mower" (LOL!)
BONUS: Burn extra calories if you can dance while holding a toddler.
Mom and Kid approved dance set list
Need some ideas of songs to rock out to? I realize music preferences vary widely, but these are some great (clean) dance-able songs.
A new twist on an old game is to make it a digital photo scavenger hunt. This can even get the teens involved. Make a list (or use one similar to this) and have a contest to see who can find the most items on the list. You can require someone from your group to be IN the picture too.
For young children a fun scavenger hunt would be using their 5 senses. Have them try to find things to see, touch, smell, and hear. Go home or into your garden to find something safe to taste.
Paper airplane contest
Nice for a rainy day! Start a paper airplane contest. Make up whatever crazy rules you want: plane that spins in the most circles, plane that lands in a target, tiniest plane, most creative plane, and on and on.
If you want to try different paper folding, find some fun YouTube videos on origami.
Set up a telescope, borrow one, or just hang out outside and check out the cosmos. For city dwellers it could be even more of an adventure by finding a nice remote area to drive to away from the city lights in order to see the brilliance of the stars. Smart phone apps like StarWalk can help you locate constellations and planets.
Play a sport
Whatever your favorite is, grab a ball and go play! Baseball, basketball, tennis, racquetball, anything. Get up and get active and "have a ball" with your family. (wha wha wha - lame pun, I know)
Chalk art - hopscotch
Draw a masterpiece or play a game. Simple as that.
Visit a historical site or monument
Most areas in our great nation hold historical significance. Research and find historical sites or nearby monuments to visit to share important events that helped shape our country and communities.
Making cookies is a fun occasion. Give it a little more purpose by baking the cookies for someone else. Take some to a neighbor, grandparents, friends or someone who could use some cheering up. (I'm sure they wouldn't mind if you kept some of the yumminess for yourself.)
Make individual pizzas for dinner
Turn the chore of making dinner into a fun activity. Let the littles help make pizza and top their own.
One way to make it fun is to turn your kitchen into a pretend cooking show. You and your co-chefs can pretend you're on an infomercial or in front of an audience as you explain out loud how to create a masterpiece.
If your kids are a older (and you're brave enough) turn the kitchen over to them and let them make dinner for you. They might love playing chef and/or server for you. Bonus - it prepares them for cooking for themselves in a few short years.
Got a nice view within driving distance? Take a nice drive and enjoy whatever view you have. Maybe it's not a mountain scene. The ocean, a lake, or going high above a city to view all the lights can all make spectacular views.
Start a water fight, a Nerf gun war or build an obstacle course.
You can also go retro and play Red Rover, Mother May I, Red Light/Green Light or Kick the Can. Whatever you loved to play as a kid, pass the tradition on to your own children.
Sit around the table for a family game night.
Local community events
Check your city (or nearby cities) for community programs. You might find free (or inexpensive) outdoor concerts, magic shows, fun runs, plays, school programs and more. It can be just as fun to be involved in a small community production.
Chances are you've already compiled a list of fun things for your family on a Pinterest board. So many people collect ideas and then forget about them. Maybe go back and take a gander at your Pinterest board to see what you thought might be fun. You can literally find thousands of fun ideas!