25 Budget-Friendly Family Activities

I’m a long time believer that family fun doesn’t have to cost a fortune; sometimes it just takes a little inspiration! I’ve put together 25 fun (and mostly free) activities to enjoy as a family, with friends, or at a party.

  1. Frisbee Golf. All you need is a frisbee, some laundry baskets, and a big yard or park.
  2. YouTube Night. This is a family favorite of ours. Everybody takes turns sharing a handful of favorite videos. (One of mine is Marcel the Shell.)
  3. Power Outage. Have your very own power outage by unplugging everything, lighting some candles, and hanging out with favorite books or stories.
  4. Fort Night. Built a fort together with sheets and blankets.
  5. Tag-team Cake Decorating. You’ll need a cake, frosting and decorations, and a stopwatch. Every person gets 15 seconds to decorate before another person takes over.
  6. Library Day. Go to the library and stay for (at least) a couple of hours.
  7. Museum Time. Most museums offer free days for families or students. Look into local options and take advantage.
  8. Archive Adventure. Pull out old family videos and slide shows and enjoy a walk down memory lane.
  9. Crazy Hair Salon. Gather hair styling supplies (lots of hairspray) and take turns in the chair getting a crazy makeover. Be sure to take photos.
  10. Park Hop. You probably know one or two local parks, but what about the ones just beyond your neighborhood? Go exploring and visit new parks a little further away.
  11. Upcycle Crafting. Get out your craft supplies and raid the recycling bin to create something new.
  12. Rock Toss. Find a local lake, river, or canal and practice the fine art of skipping rocks.
  13. What’s In Store? Many big chain craft and hardware stores offer fun and free mini classes, usually on Saturday mornings.
  14. Talent Show. String up some Christmas lights to create a stage and invite a group of friends to put on a show.
  15. Voicemail Makeover. Get creative and make new voicemail messages for everybody’s phones.
  16. Flea Market Finds. Draw names and give each person a fixed amount of money ($1 works great) to find a perfect gift at a local flea market or garage sale.
  17. Fan Yourself. Show up at a local skate park or ball park and give the players a surprise cheering section.
  18. Create a Soundtrack. Take turns playing DJ while creating personalized playlists for each person in the family.
  19. Go Fishin’. Did you know that many states offer free fishing days?
  20. Book vs. Movie. Read a book as a family, then watch the movie version together and decide which you like best. (The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is a favorite.)
  21. Get In The Way. Create your own obstacle course in the house or yard and race each other through.
  22. Imaginary Restaurant. Create a special bistro in your kitchen, complete with menu, table decoration, wait staff. Serve each other or invite guests.
  23. Go Treasure Hunting. If you enjoy adventure, it’s time to start geocaching.
  24. Take a Hike. Fall weather and changing colors are two good reasons to strap on your hiking boots.
  25. Mix It Up. Make breakfast for dinner and eat it on the floor or outside; use a projector to watch a movie on the ceiling; switch bedrooms for sleeping. It’s mixed up and such fun!

{Image via Livestrong.}

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