Cheap Family Activities: 73 to Enjoy and Save Big!

Cheap Family Activities: 73 to Enjoy and Save Big!
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Introduction to Cheap Family Activities

It’s difficult to find activities that are enjoyable for the entire family but don’t cost an arm and a leg. That’s why I’ve put together this list of 73 Cheap Family Activities!

Many of the ideas are free things that kids will love. I know life can be hectic and expensive, which is why activities like these are key for creating memories with your kids without breaking your piggy.

With plenty of budget-friendly ideas that range from indoor games to outdoor summer activities and everything in between, you’ll have no problem checking something off every weekend! There are lots of free things to do and some cost a small fee.

So let’s dive right into my collection of cheap family activities that won’t leave your wallet empty.

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Overview of What the Blog Will Cover

Whether you’re looking to explore the great outdoors, or simply spend time together indoors having a scavenger hunt, I’ve got some of the best things that will surely delight everyone in your household.

Moreover, with a little planning and creativity, you can create unforgettable memories with your kids. So why not gather your kids and embark on a new adventure together?

Cheap Family Activities: Outdoor

Ready for an exciting day in the sun with the fam? It gives everyone a chance to unplug from the screens and chaos of life, but it also promotes physical activity and encourages bonding.

1 Neighborhood Walks

Going on a short walk as a family is a cheap family outing and a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. Walking trails are easy and fun for little ones.

A mother, father and three children are walking down a road - cheap family activities.

2 Go on a Hike

Going on a hike together allows everyone to explore new trails, challenge themselves physically, and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.

3 Go on a Picnic

In the warmer months a picnic is another way to enjoy some quality time outdoors.

4 Geocaching

Geocaching is an exciting adventure that can take you on a journey to hidden places, uncover mysteries, and discover hidden treasures!

5 Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts will give you a great time of exploring, problem-solving, and adventure!

6 Playing at the Lake

Going to the lake is a relaxing and enjoyable activity for everyone. Maybe get ice cream cones too. The littlest kids love sandy beaches and will spend hours just playing in the sand!

7 Visiting a Local Farm or Orchard

Kids of all ages will have an enjoyable adventure visiting a local farm or orchard to pick and savor delicious and healthy food!

8 Camping in the Backyard

Each family member will relax and have fun on a backyard campout.

9 Have a Bonfire and Make S’mores

Having a bonfire and making smores or roasting marshmallows is a fun way for families to make delicious memories together!

Two girls are roasting marshmallows over a fire - cheap family activities

10 Playing Frisbee or Other Outdoor Games

Playing frisbee, horseshoes, and other outdoor games are quick activities for getting kids outside!

a man is throwing a frisbee - picture from video on how to throw a frisbee as a cheap family activity

11 Fishing

Fishing is a great way for families to enjoy the peace and serenity of the outdoors. If you’re lucky, you’ll also catch dinner!

12 Playing at a Community Playground

Community playgrounds are a great free places for families to socialize with neighbors. Don’t forget to bring a water bottle for everyone.

Two children are hanging upside down on playground equipment - cheap family activities.

13 Visiting a National Park

Visiting national parks is a good time for families to appreciate the natural beauty of our country. On certain days, the park service offers free admission. 

14 Going on a Nature Photography Walk

Taking a nature photography walk allows for capturing some unique images.

Youtube pic of video on how to take amazing pictures - cheap family activities

15 Flying a Kite

Flying a kite is an activity that can bring excitement to a windy day.

A mother, father and daughter are flying kites together - cheap family activities.

16 Having a Water Balloon Fight

Have a blast with an epic water balloon fight!

17 Making a Water Slide

Make a water slide to beat the heat and build teamwork and problem-solving skills.

a pic of a youtube of how to make a giant slip and slide

18 Playing Mini Golf

Miniature golf provides hours of competition while improving hand-eye coordination.

19 Sledding

Sledding is a classic winter pastime that provides an opportunity for outdoor exercise and hot cocoa afterward.

Cheap Family Activities: Indoor

Whether you’re stuck inside due to inclement weather or just need a break from the outdoors, there are plenty of affordable options to keep kids happy.

20 Family Movie Night with Homemade Popcorn

Cozy up for family movie night with a bowl of freshly-popped popcorn and your favorite blanket or quilt! Choose movie titles together.

21 Doing a Jigsaw Puzzle

Solving a jigsaw puzzle with kids strengthens problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and offers the satisfaction of completing it.

A mother and two children are doing a jigsaw puzzle together - cheap family activities

22 Making Crafts with Materials on Hand

Gather dollar store materials and toilet paper tubes to create unique crafts.

23 Building a Fort or Play House

Younger kids will love building a play house or fort in your living room out of a large cardboard box or lots of cardboard boxes. After construction, spend time playing together!

picture of the youtube on how to make the coziest blanket fort ever - cheapest family activities

24 Making Homemade Ice Cream

Cool off with a homemade ice cream treat – an easy and delicious activity that everyone can enjoy!

Homemade ice cream in a bread pan - cheap family activities.
Cool off with a homemade ice cream treat – an easy and delicious activity that everyone can enjoy

25 Playing a Board Game

Get everyone together for a fun-filled night of board games.

26 Playing card games

Gather around the table for an evening of card games.

Children sitting at a table playing cards - cheap family activities.

27 Reading a Book Together

Spend quality time with your kids by getting lost in a good book.

28 Having a Dance Party

Get your groove on with a dance party! Put the children’s music up loud and let everyone show off their moves.

29 Play Hide and Seek

Add some family fun and excitement with a round of hide-and-go-seek!

30 Play Dress Up

Let your imagination run wild with a game of dress-up! Little kids love dressing up in adult clothes.

31 Making Paper Airplanes and Other Origami

Whip up some paper airplanes and other origami creations with just a few folds!

32 Learn Magic Tricks

Harness the power of magic with just a few simple tricks! Wikihow is a good place to help you learn.

A little girl in a cape has a wand in one hand and a hat with a rabbit in it in the other hand - cheap family activities.

33 Have an Indoor Treasure Hunt

Create a map and hide some trinkets around the house. Give clues to the participants to follow along in the hunt.

34 Have an Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of items, tasks, or clues that participants must find and complete.

35 Camping Indoors

Take the camping experience indoors! Set up a tent in the living room with sleeping bags. Tell stories and have s’mores. Have a fun night by telling stories and having s’mores.

A mother, father and daughter are inside in a tent with a string of the living room with hanging lights - cheap family activities.

36 Create an Indoor Obstacle Course

Creating an obstacle course inside the house is a great way to be creative with household items.

37 Have a Tea Party

Have a fancy tea party by gathering around a beautiful table setup with delicious treats, cakes, and of course – tea.

38 Doing a Science Experiment

Gather the materials you need and set up your workspace – follow the instructions carefully and observe the results. Little Bins has lots of experiment ideas.

39 Have a Spa Day

Having a spa day is a relaxing and enjoyable way to bond and practice self-care.

Cheap Family Activities: Educational

Get ready to have some educational family fun! Whatever activity you choose, make sure to involve everyone in the planning.

40 Visiting a Museum or Art Gallery

Visiting local museums or art galleries is a great way to explore new cultures and ideas. Check out their special events and free days.

41 Going to a Zoo or Aquarium

Most kids love animals. Going to a zoo or aquarium is an exciting way to experience nature up close and learn about different animal and fish species.

A little girl is at the zoo looking at a giraffe -cheap family activities.

42 Exploring a Historical Site

Embark on a journey into history by exploring a historic site. Learn about the people and places that have shaped our culture by visiting historical landmarks.

43 Doing a nature study

Go on a wild and wondrous adventure with your kids and explore the great outdoors with a nature study.

44 Visiting a Planetarium or Observatory

Create some out-of-this-world memories by visiting a planetarium or observatory. For a cheaper option, go outside at night and observe the stars and see if you can find any constellations.

45 Doing a DIY Science Project

Doing a fun science experiment is a fun educational activity that will foster a love of learning and discovery.

46 Going to a Library

Visiting a library is a wonderful way to explore new ideas and learn new things. Don’t forget your library card!

Bookcases full of books -cheap family activities.

47 Learning a New Skill Together

Learn something new – engage kids in activities such as knitting, coding, and gardening to expand your collective skill sets!

48 Watching an Educational Documentary

Embark on a journey of discovery, uncover hidden gems, and share thought-provoking conversations as you watch an educational documentary together.

Cheap Family Activities: Social

Social activities can be made even more enjoyable by inviting friends and neighbors to join in. Grab those invitations and get those games ready, because the more the merrier!

49 Going on a Group Hike Nature Walk

Bring family and friends together for a group hike or nature walk – it’s a perfect combination of exercise, education, and entertainment.

50 Having a Game Night with Friends

A game night with friends is a good way to share time and have some friendly competition!

51 Hosting a Backyard BBQ or Picnic

Gather up your friends for a fun and memorable backyard BBQ or picnic. Enjoy each other’s company with good food and music.

52 Hosting a Potluck Dinner With Friends or Neighbors

Hosting a potluck dinner with friends or neighbors is the perfect low-cost way to indulge in delicious food and have good conversation!

Youtube picture of video on how to organize a potluck - cheap family activities

53 Participating in a Community Event or Festival

Participating in community events or festivals is a great way for families to get out and explore the area and meet new people. Look for free live music events.

54 Playing in a Community Sports League

Joining a community sports league promotes healthy competition and team spirit.

Cheap Family Activities: Creative

Looking for some affordable and entertaining activities to do with your entire household? Get your dollar store items, toilet paper rolls, craft supplies, and your creative side ready because we have some crafty activities below that are sure to spark your imagination!

55 Painting or Drawing Together

Painting or drawing together encourages creativity, communication, and collaboration.

a mother and two children are painting pictures at a table

56 Making Decorations

Making decorations will give kids a chance to express themselves artistically with their creations.

57 Making Homemade Gifts

Making homemade gifts is a thoughtful way to show others your appreciation and love.

58 Writing and Illustrating a Family Book

Writing and illustrating a book together is a creative way to share stories.

59 Making Homemade Soap or Candles

Making homemade soap or candles is a wonderful idea for older children to learn about science, art, and creativity.

60 Doing a Family Photo Shoot

Having a family photo shoot can be a memorable activity, especially when everyone loosens up and has fun with silly and spontaneous poses, such as making funny-face shots, that capture each member of the family’s unique personality.

61 Making Homemade Cards for Holidays or Special Occasions

Making homemade cards for holidays and special occasions is an excellent way for kids to create beautiful items they can share.

62 Writing and Performing a Play or Skit

Gather the family around and put on a show! Writing and performing a play or skit is an entertaining activity for the whole clan.

63 Creating a Family Scrapbook

Creating a family scrapbook can be a rewarding activity that allows everyone to reminisce.

64 Making a Family Time Capsule

Making a family time capsule is an exciting way for kids to capture family memories.

a pic of a youtube on how to make a time capsule - cheap family activities

65 Doing a DIY Fashion Show or Family Talent Show

Organizing a DIY fashion show or family talent show can be an entertaining way for kids to showcase individual style and creativity.

66 Making Homemade Jewelry

Making homemade jewelry enables kids to explore their artistic side while creating unique and personalized pieces that they can wear and share.

67 Making Homemade Play Dough or Slime

Making homemade dough to play with or slime with younger children is a fantastic family activity. Make different colors with some food coloring.

68 Paint Rocks

Painting rocks is a fun family activity that is perfect for any age group. Decorate gardens or any outdoor space with your creations.

three hand-painted rocks are in someone's hands
Painting rocks is a fun family activity that is perfect for any age group. Decorate gardens or any outdoor space with your creations.

Cheap Family Activities: Community

Attending free events is a great way to experience the best that your local area has to offer. Community events give you the chance to connect with your neighbors.

69 Benefits of Attending Community Events

Attending local events fosters a sense of community. Whether you’re into live music, food festivals, or craft fairs, there’s something for everyone.

Cheap Family Activities: Family Adventures

Countless local adventures are waiting for you in your own city or town. Don’t let a tight budget hold you back from quality time with your kids – embrace the adventure!

70 Nearby Destinations That are Free or Inexpensive to Visit

Visit a nearby city or town that you’ve never been to before. Take a day trip and explore! Visit the local museum or walk around the downtown area.

Furthermore, another idea is to visit a nearby state park. State parks are a great way to get outdoors and explore new places without spending a lot of money.

Go on an excursion to the nearest lake or beach. Spend a sunny afternoon paddling through crystal clear waters, catching fish, and exploring the shoreline.

Cheap Family Activities: Affordable Physical Activities

There are plenty of fun and affordable ways to get your heart rate up and have a blast together. With a bit of creativity and a little bit of effort, you can keep your family active and healthy without spending a fortune.

71 Cheap Family Physical Activities

What could be more fun than getting some exercise on a bike ride with your kids? Let’s not forget about the scenic views and fresh air that come with a good bike ride. Lace-up your sneakers and head out on a bike trail!

Additionally, you can do a yoga or exercise class together. Roll out those yoga mats and get ready to sweat and smile as a team!

What’s more, you can also head to your local park for a day filled with sports and fun. Play soccer, basketball, and softball. Or you can just throw a ball around with your little kids. You’ll get to be in the lovely outdoors working up a sweat.

Cheap Family Activities: Volunteering

Are you tired of the same old family movie nights? Looking for a way to bond with your older kids, doing something meaningful? Look no further than volunteering!

Volunteering will teach kids important values such as compassion, empathy and responsibility. Put down the video games and pick up a volunteer form.,

72 Local Organizations in Need of Volunteers

Consider volunteering at an animal shelter. From walking and playing with dogs to snuggling with cats, there’s no shortage of furry friends to love on at the shelter. Grab your kids and spouse (and maybe some lint rollers) and spend time at the animal shelter!

Further, you can also volunteer at your local food bank. Round up your family members and head to the food bank for a day of volunteering.

Lastly, you can volunteer at a local homeless shelter. You’ll get a chance to put a smile on someone’s face by serving them warm food, offering them care packages, or even simply just chatting with them.

Cheap Family Activities: Cooking and Baking

Looking for a frugal activity that everyone will love? Look no further than the kitchen! Get your aprons and create some mouth-watering masterpieces with your kids!

73 Several Simple and Affordable Recipes That Families Can Make Together

There are plenty of simple and affordable recipes that families can make together. For instance, making homemade pizza is a great food to make with kids.

home-made pizza on a cutting board - cheap family activities

Making breakfast for dinner is fun. With simple and versatile ingredients like eggs, pancakes, waffles, and bacon, everyone can enjoy cooking and eating together.

Baking together is another kitchen activity. There are many choices such as cookies, cakes, bread, or pies. Kids will be happy with creations they can eat!

Closing Thoughts About Cheap Family Activities

In closing, doing things with your family on a budget doesn’t need to be devoid of fun. Besides, it can also serve as an opportunity for us to teach our kids about finances and frugal spending.

Fun activities can be affordable such as picnics or board games. Being frugal allows families to do more activities together and spend quality time while saving money.

Conclusion to Cheap Family Activities

As a matter of fact, families can use their limited budgets to still have a great time. With creativity and some shoe-string budgeting, families can stay entertained without going into debt.

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A mother and father are piggy-backing a son and daughter and all are smiling with the words, "73 Cheap Family Activities".

Encouragement to Try Out Some of the Cheap Family Activities in this Blog

From cooking and baking to outdoor activities and volunteering, there are many inexpensive activities for the whole family. So, give some of these ideas outlined in this blog a try and see what works best for your family.

Come Up With Your Own Cheap Activities

While this blog provides many great ideas and resources for affordable activities, there are countless other options out there that can fit your family’s unique interests and budget. The key is to get creative and think outside the box.

Invitation to Share Additional Ideas in the Comments Section

I hope you’ve found my blog post on cheap family activities to be helpful. I hope I’ve provided plenty of family fun ideas for quality time together without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, there there are endless possibilities when it comes to inexpensive family fun and free and cheap things to do. I believe that by sharing our collective knowledge and experiences, we can help one another. Please, don’t be shy – share your thoughts, tips, and suggestions in the comments section. Thank you for being a part of my blog! I look forward to hearing about your Cheap Family Activities!


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      1. Such a great post! I can’t wait to send this to my brother for his family! Thanks for putting this together.

        1. These are amazing and simple ideas, definitely saving to my home screen to visit this blog post layer to do some these ideas with my children. Thank you ?

      2. So many great activities! Several of my favorites are on this list. You’ll never go wrong with these suggestions!

      3. Such a great list! I love all the options for exercise outside. I also loved the S’mores idea, after the walk of course 🙂

        1. Or, fewer calories with just roasted marshmallows. I actually like just the marshmallows because I really can’t eat too many s’mores because they are so sweet.

      4. I always love these kinds of posts even as a single person there are so many ideas that one can take away. Thanks so much for sharing!!

      5. Thanks for so many ways to enjoy my family. I love being able to have fun without having to spend a lot of money.

      6. A great list of activities to do with the family and not break the bank! Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts!

      7. Fantastic list as love ideas to do fun things with the grandkids. I pinned for future reference. I love this idea of a nature photography walk and am stealing one. And projects are always a big hit, too, for indoor time! 🙂

        1. Thanks, Laurie! I love going around outside and taking pictures. I even took some that I submitted on shutterstock that got accepted.

      8. I am so often at a loss of activities to do with my family that fit within our budget. Thanks for this list as I now have a ton of ideas. Would love to try gathering some rocks today and painting tomorrow!

        1. You’re welcome. I did rock painting with my youngest daughter (we had lots of nice rocks to choose from) and we had a great time.

      9. This is such a fun list! I loved water balloon fights as a kid! We always had them in our neighborhood growing up! So fun that made your list!

      10. Love these ideas! I’m also thrilled my family already does a lot of these but you’ve given me some additional inspiration for something new. Thank you.

      11. Thank you for this list of fun and healthy activities. Very useful for spending quality time with family.

      12. Such cute and engaging ideas! So many my parents did with us as kids like neighborhood walks, hikes, and days at the lake. Thanks for compiling!

      13. Wow, you’ve covered a lot of cheap family activities. I’m so glad you included volunteering in this post. It is very near and dear to my heart. I think it’s important to teach kids at a young age to give back to the community.

      14. Nice list something for everyone. We love to play boccee ball and as a kid played lots of croquet. IMO these activities are a whole lot more fun then going to the movies and spending a small fortune.

      15. Your post on cheap family activities is a goldmine of fun and affordable ideas! I love how you’ve curated such a diverse list, ensuring there’s something for every family to enjoy without breaking the bank. From outdoor adventures to creative indoor projects, your suggestions are sure to bring joy while keeping expenses low. Thanks for sharing these budget-friendly ways to create lasting memories with loved ones!

      16. This is a great list of things for families to do together. Nice job on listing these activities.

      17. This is a cool compilation list of activities. I read the first one, neighborhood walks, and immediately thought to myself, yeah that can be a great time to spend with the kids.

      18. Excellent article on how we can remain frugal and keep our family active. With so many activities listed here I am certain I will return often to add a few more to our list.

      19. What a fantastic compilation of affordable family fun! Your diverse range of activities promises unforgettable bonding experiences while keeping budgets intact. Well done!

      20. Great ideas, we are going on a family picnic soon and these would be perfect to try them. And it help to save money.

      21. So many options presented here! There are a LOT of things you can do with your family that are inexpensive. Your post presents dozens of viable options.

      22. It’s amazing how these fun activities even carry into your adulthood and the things you do with the next generation. I loved spending time at the beach as a kid – packing a lunch, enjoying the sun, and going for a swim – and now I enjoy doing it with my family as an adult, too.

      23. Great activities for the whole family! It feels like everything is expensive and there are costs everywhere. It is nice to have a list of things to help budget and keep costs in check. Kids are expensive!

      24. Such great list. I can’t wait to do some of these with my daughter. I love family bonding time.

      25. This is a really great list of free activities, perfect in time for summer. We love going mini golf and heading out for walks.

      26. Wow! You have an amazing list of 73 cheap family activities! This is the type of list that I’ll keep coming back to for new ideas. We usually love going to the playground and doing crafts and games.

        1. Awesome, Dana! I’m happy you found the list to be a great resource for cheap family activities!

      27. Whenever I travel out west to visit family, we always go to National Parks! They have a Parks Pass and then we pack a lunch for a cheap outing. All it costs is gas. 🙂

      28. Great list of ideas. Many I have tried and never even realized we were doing quality things. Simple can be quality as well.

      29. These are not only cheap, but I also see them as a great opportunity to spend time together as well.

      30. Fantastic list of budget-friendly activities! These ideas make it easy to enjoy quality family time without overspending. Thanks for sharing such creative and affordable options!

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