These days many people are trying to get by on a small budget or living a frugal lifestyle.
I like to get out of the house and have fun with the kids during the weekend, but I don’t want to spend tons of money. And let’s be honest, sometimes families don’t have the money to spend on entertainment, especially large families or those who are just scraping by. Plus, both of my kids are under four, why spend a lot?
I have put together a list of 10 free activities that my family enjoys.
- Window Shopping – Just about every Saturday we go to Hobby Lobby and the local mall to walk around. It gives us exercise, plus there is always something new to see.
- Parks/playgrounds – There are 20 parks with playgrounds in our town, not counting sports complexes, dog parks, and the water park and swimming pools. We go to the park a block away from our house most often, but like to change it up a little with different places to play; the kids enjoy the variety of playgrounds. One park even boasts a herd of buffalo that are fun to watch.
- Libraries – Our local library is fantastic. There is a wonderful kids department that has books, videos, video games, a computer lab, story time, and a play area for small children. They have take home craft projects on Saturday and schedule fun events for kids like meeting Frozen or Paw Patrol characters. There are lots of amenities and activities for adults too- just last week a friend and I attended a free evening painting class.
- Farm store/pet store – Each spring we like to visit the farm store to see the chicks, ducklings, and baby bunnies. The kids love to see the fluffy little animals. We don’t have pets at home, so the kids think it is fun to go to the pet store and see the fish, turtles, hamsters, Guinea pigs, and other animals.
- Local advertised activities – Chances are there are tons of free community activities near you like Easter egg hunts, ice cream socials, playgroups, craft or cooking classes, trunk-or-treats, free museum days, and many other possibilities.
- Walking trails – There are four walking trails we visit. One is paved and there are three other grass nature trails. It is nice to be able to walk or let the kids ride in the wagon or trike without having to always be on the watch for cars.
- McDonald’s – Our two local McDonald’s restaurants offer free mini ice cream cones that are just the right size for a small child. The kids love to play in the PlayPlace too.
- Home Depot – In many locations Home Depot offers classes on Saturday mornings where children can don the signature orange apron and make a birdhouse or other fun activities.
- Walking tours – In the late 1800’s our city was home to a military fort and several famous historical figures like Wild Bill Hickok and General George Armstrong Custer. The older downtown area has a walking tour that highlights past events and places. Many cities have walking tours of historic, scenic, or tourist locations that you might not visit otherwise or that were hiding in plain sight.
- Volunteer or help a charity – Pay it forward and do something good for your community. Go to an animal shelter and play with or help exercise animals, find a trash pickup group, pack up unneeded items around the house and take to shelters, or spend time visiting elderly neighbors or nursing home residents. The smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference and kids love to help others.
Do you have ideas for free places to visit? Comment and let me know your favorites, I’m always looking for something new!