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10 Ideas For Budget-Friendly Family Fun

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10 Ideas For Budget-Friendly Family Fun

With daily schedules and obligations, finding quality family fun time can be extremely challenging and expensive! But it doesn’t have to be. Below are 10 unique ways to make household memories that won’t break the bank:

10 Ideas For Budget-Friendly Family Fun
  1. Backyard or living room campout
    If the weather cooperates, pitch a tent in the backyard. Use a fire pit to make hot dogs and s’mores and enjoy a night under the stars. Alternatively, put up a tent in the living room, make a blanket fort or a pallet on the floor for a family campout.
  2. Family game night
    Pick a few family favorites and have an old-fashioned game night. Even a simple deck of cards can turn into endless fun for all ages (MemoryTM or ConcentrationTM, Go Fish, War, Slapjack, Snap, etc.). For older kids, games like Charades or PictionaryTM can quickly come together using only paper, pens and a timer.
  3. Nature hunt
    Make a list of items found in nature (rocks, plants, animals, etc.) and go on a nature hunt! If the children are younger, use simple terms such as colors, shapes and sizes. Older kids’ lists can include more specifics like species, habitats or textures.
  4. Research and visit a historical marker
    The Historical Marker Database contains a geographic listing of historical markers all over the world! Use it to find the locations of numerous markers, as well as learn more about the historical significance of each site.
  5. Scavenger hunt
    The great thing about scavenger hunts is the ability to have them almost anywhere, any time. There are numerous ways to make scavenger hunts fun. Here are some examples:
    1. Hide items ahead of time and give the “hunters” a list of treasures to find.
    2. Consider themes like ingredients for a special treat, and then make the recipe at the end to celebrate.
    3. If kids are going door-to-door, keep the items inexpensive (pen, paper clip, tissue, etc.) or donate items to the neighbors ahead of time to ensure they’re prepared to play!
    4. Do a photo version. Instead of collecting the items, kids take pictures of them.
    5. Consider the age group of the players – use picture lists for younger kids and clues or riddles for older participants.
  6. Geocaching
    So, what is “geocaching?” defines it as “a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.” A GPS-enabled phone is all that is needed to play! More information can be found at
  7. Pajama party/movie night
    What better way to wind down the week than with a family movie night? Pop some popcorn or make a shareable snack, change into comfortable pajamas and relax for a couple of hours together.
  8. Picnic at a local park
    Pack a lunch and find a local park to enjoy some quality family time. Up the ante by trying to locate a new park or incorporate the nature hunt into the day’s festivities.
  9. Attend a local concert or street festival
    Many communities have free events during the spring and summer months. Your local chamber of commerce or city website should have an event calendar showing these types of upcoming events. Some examples include art walks with local art galleries, street festivals, concerts in the park, carnivals and more!
  10. Upcycle a sandbox into a garden
    As long as the ol’ plastic turtle or crab is BPA-free, upcycle it into a simple family garden project. Make sure there is enough sun or shade (partial shade is usually best). Elevate with garden pavers and drill drainage holes throughout the base. Add a weed barrier, gravel and soil. Choose plants, keeping in mind that shallow root plants are best. Have the kids make fun name tags for each addition, follow individual plant directions for watering and watch it grow! HGTV has some great tips and information here.

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