Famly fun can be hard on the wallet. Taking my brood to the movies costs as much as my first semester in college (give or take). When it comes to activities everyone can enjoy together, I try to keep the budget in mind. I explain to my kids; the more days we do fun free things together, the more money we can save to spend on the big fun things they beg to do – like amuesment parks.
Try one of these ideas for free or cheap family fun this weekend.
Have a Picnic
At the park, on the beach, or in your backyard – a picnic is a welcome change of pace to meal time. Something about eating a sandwich on a familiar quilt while enjoying the shade of a giant tree makes everything in the world seem right.
Explore Your Local Library
If you haven't already, visit the main branch of your city's library system. They are usually the largest and have the most diverse collection. And almost all libraries have a story time for little ones as well. Check out a few movies and books to enjoy as a family.
Visit a Farmers' Market or Farm
Enjoy the goodies your local farmers have to offer. Head to the farmers' market and have the kids choose veggies and other food items that can be used to make dinner that night. Many farms have "you pick it" days and times where anyone can come and pick there own fruits and veggies straight from the earth.
Settle in for an evening of enertainment, variety show-style! Here's how it works: each family member prepares a song, dance, skit – or anything their creative minds desire – to be performed for the other famliy members to enjoy. Loud applause and high fives are sure to follow.
Braid bracelets, paint t-shirts and see who can roll the longest play dough snake in history. A few craft supplies can sustain an afternoon of fun. My boys and I recently made dream catchers for their rooms by watching a tutorial online. Our supplies were only $10 to make two dream catchers.
Host Potluck Night
Invite some friends and neighbors over for a group dinner and ask everyone to bring a dish to share. Keep it casual with paper plates and plastic utensils to minimize clean-up. Enjoy good food, good friends, and no dishwater hands.
Make Your Own Backyard Olympics
Create a list of events (sprints, hoola hoop, basketball free throws, timed hopscotch) and have famliy members sign-up to compete. Encourage everyone to create a costume or outfit that shows their personality, then have them wear it for the Backyard Olympic challenges. Have some small prizes for everyone who participates and enjoy a creative way of burning off some energy (and calories).