Budget-Friendly Ideas for Family Time


Families come in all shapes and size; whether you are newly married, have a house full of little ones, or are on the verge of becoming empty-nesters, the quantity and quality of your time together matters. Regardless of the season or the weather, there are plenty of budget-friendly (even FREE!) ideas for Family Time for you and your loved ones to try. So, if you’re looking to do more and spend less, read on to discover 14 Budget-Friendly Ideas for Family Time; there’s something on the list for everyone: 

IMG_6135Find Community Events

Most cities offer fun, free events. Find your community’s website online, or visit city hall for a community event calendar. Whether it’s a parade, concert, or festival, there’s a lot of fun to be had right where you live. “Liking” your city’s Facebook community page will also keep you up to date on the latest happenings. 

Free Do-It-Yourself Lessons at a Home Improvement Store

Most home improvement stores offer free DIY workshops for adults and kids. Grab your spouse and learn a new skill, like tiling or how to install decorative moulding. Kids projects might include building wooden toys, bird houses, or games. 


Most adults have lost the ability to just play. Whether it’s with your kids or a group of your grown-up friends, you’ll have a great time playing some of the classics: tag, capture the flag, ultimate Frisbee, or a pick-up game of basketball.

Support Your Local Teams

While professional sporting events can be expensive, most minor league or semi-pro games are relatively cheap. See what teams are near you, and maybe go watch a sport you’re not as familiar with, whether it’s hockey, baseball, or football. 

Library Story Time

The library is a great place for families. Not only can everyone leave with a book or even a rental DVD, most libraries offer free story time activities for kids (many are incredibly interactive). And how is a library card going to set you back…NADA!  Talk about Budget-Friendly Ideas!  This one is a “No-Brainer”!  Actually it will improve the brain with reading books, but I think you get the idea.  

Visit a Botanical garden

Botanical gardens are a beautiful way for your family to enjoy nature, and a lot of them have free admission. Many also have offer free events, such as storytelling, nature tours, or gardening workshops. 

Pet Store

The pet store is almost like a free zoo (as long as you don’t get talked into a new puppy)! Kids can enjoy seeing a wide variety of animals, including dogs, cats, lizards, birds, and other furry critters. Most adults even get a few kicks out of seeing adorable animals.

Get Active

Find a trail or a city parkway near your house. Go for a hike, bike ride, or bust out the roller blades. Getting fresh air and being active together is surprisingly fun and relaxing. 

Invite Friends over for Family Game Night

Family game night is awesome, but it’s even more fun when you invite friends. Have snacks and treats, and make it a party! 

Have a Picnic

Pack your favorite lunch and head to a nearby park. Don’t forget to bring some fun things to do, like a Frisbee or a football. 

Bake and Share

When the weather’s uncooperative, stay home and bake! Kids of all ages can help, and who doesn’t enjoy tasty treats? Better yet, make it a service project; whip-up an extra batch and take it to a neighbor; it can be a great way for your family to make new friends. 

Enjoy the Weather…Hot or Cold

Weather conditions being Hot or Cold shouldn’t force you indoors. Get outside and enjoy your favorite activity, maybe sledding or building a snowman if it’s Winter.  Swimming, Biking, or Hiking in the Spring, Summer, or Fall.  Or, you can try something new.  Find an outdoor store that offers cheap equipment rentals; snowshoeing, cross country skiing, biking, or fishing anyone? 

Search for Free Days

Museums and zoos are wonderful, but they can be expensive. Look on the internet or check with your favorite places to find out when they offer free or discounted admission, most do at least once a year! Also, many fire stations offer free tours and children’s workshops; what kid wouldn’t like to see a fire truck up close? Call your local fire department and schedule a visit. 


Give back to the community by performing volunteer work; find a local homeless shelter, clean up a park, or connect with others in your area to do some good. Volunteering not only helps others, but it will make you feel good as well, and it can set a great example for children.

With all of the fun things to do for less, stop making your budget the excuse for not spending enough time with your family. With a little planning and effort, there’s plenty you can do together!


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