4 FREE Family Activities that are Unique and Fun
Finding free family activities that are both unique and fun can be a challenge, especially if you have younger children. However, as part of a commitment to paying off debt, I’ve spent the last year tirelessly researching budget friendly activities - so you don’t have to! Even if finances aren’t a concern, the following 4 ideas are great for getting out of the house and spending quality family time together.
1. Go to your local library
I’ll be honest, at first the idea of family time at the library gave us pause. It conjured up imagery of a stuffy old lady telling us to “shh!” while we sat in absolute silence with a book. For those of you with toddlers, you know that silence ANYWHERE is next to impossible.
However, the stereotype we imagined couldn’t be further from the truth. Libraries are hotbeds of civic engagement. It’s where, in the U.S.A. anyways, we go to vote for our favorite local/national candidates for public office.
In my opinion, this is the one free family activity that gets you the most bang for your buck. There are educational programs for adults and children, digital libraries with movies and music, and most popular magazines are available for you to read - just to name a few of the perks.
Every Thursday, my family likes to start the day off at our local library. Ezra goes to baby-time, where they read stories and play with toys to help with their cognitive and social development. Then David and I will go look at the latest movies and music, talk about articles we read in the New York Times or one of David’s tech magazines, and then we play with Ezra and read him some more books.
I guarantee you it’s not boring and there will be no one “shh-ing” you. Plus, it’s free to check out all of the media if you want to continue the fun at home!
2. Plan a family trip to the museum on a “free day”
Most museums offer free admission days or family nights, where you can come and tour the main collections. Granted, these are usually on weekdays, which could interfere with work schedules, but there are also plenty of special events that take place on the weekends as well.
For example, one of the art museums near us hosted a special, free event this past Halloween on a Saturday morning. Our local grocery chain, also sponsors a free family night once a month in the evening at the children’s museum.
It may take some research to figure out when all the free admission days are, but it’s a great way to get out of the house, look at and learn about art and culture, and spend quality time together as a family.
3. Take a family stroll through your local farmer’s market - for free!
Going to the Farmer’s market is one of our family’s favorite Saturday morning activities. It may seem like this would be on the expensive side, because most people go to the market to buy food, but we have found that this isn’t always the case.
The farmer’s market isn’t just for selling produce. It’s also a great place to go to walk around, get to know your local farmers, and listen to music. Most cities will have one big market that forms, usually on the weekend, and will include food vendors, local artisans, and musicians playing fun, family friendly music.
It’s a great way for the family to get some fresh air, meet new people, and hear (or dance!) to a great band. No purchase necessary! Click here to find a market near you.
4. Enjoy a family picnic at the park
If the weather is nice, venture out to the nearest park to enjoy lunch… or breakfast or dinner! It’s a great way to take a break from the distractions of television, social media, or even some unfinished chores, so that you can focus on quality family time together.
After eating, you might even be tempted to go on a walk or relax at the playground while the kiddos play. This is my family’s favorite way to get healthy together. Studies have shown that walking and being outdoors is a great way to boost creativity and ease symptoms of depression and anxiety.
So much goodness for your family’s soul and the best part… it’s free!
Bonus Free Family Activity: Volunteer together for a good cause
I decided not to officially include this activity as part of the other four, since it may seem more like work rather than quality family time together. However, the truth is that this is a perfect way to bond and connect with one another.
By giving the opportunity to showcase special skills and competencies, volunteering allows you to see your family members in a different light. Children don’t always know what their parents do when at work and parents often get stuck in, well, parenting mode, which can make it difficult to know your family members on a deeper level outside of their typical roles.
When everyone comes together for a great cause, it allows for new levels of respect to be fostered, while also benefiting your community. Plus, it doesn’t cost a thing! Which is a win-win in my book.
Well there it is. These are the main ways our family likes to spend free quality time together. We sometimes do one activity more than another, but it just depends on what’s going on in life.
What about you? What are some budget friendly ways you love to spend time with your family?