Want to create fantastic family memories without busting your budget? Entertaining our kids on the weekends doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Every time you choose to do something a little unique, without spending money, are moments your kids will remember forever. So to help you find that special time with your family, here are 35 free family activities to fill your weekends!
Special family time
- Go camping in your living room or backyard. Make forts in the living room or pitch a tent in the backyard. Bring flashlights, snacks, and cozy sleeping bags to cuddle up telling stories and playing games!
- Have a family game night. Dust off some great board games or card games from the closet and have an afternoon of friendly competition. Winner gets to choose dessert!
- Create a family bucket list. Pull out a notebook and create a list of all the things your family wants to do together. Pick a few things you know you can achieve and start making a plan today!
- Play balloon volleyball. Hang up a sheet or piece of string, blow up a balloon, and play some volleyball! Younger kids love just trying to keep the ball in the air! Count and see how long you can master bouncing it around the house.
- Use memberships you already have. Do you belong to a gym or have a membership to the local aquarium or children’s museum? Make the most of the money you are already spending. Go for a swim or take the kids to see their favorite fish.
- Volunteer. Nothing creates a better bond than giving back together! Look for local charities in your area asking for help and pitch in. Habitat for Humanity, local animal shelters, soup kitchens, and more are always looking for a little extra (wo)manpower.
- Family storytime. I used to love reading books with my family. We would pull out the Sherlock Holmes stories or The Series of Unfortunate Events and take turns each reading a chapter.
- Sell things you don’t need. Alright, so selling things you don’t need or want around the house may not sound like much fun. But if you offer to split any profits from toys and clothes your kids sell, it might motivate them to finally clear out their playroom! Let them help take pictures and write the descriptions on LetGo or your local Facebook Marketplace.
- Family yoga. Yoga is amazing for balance, core strength, and creating inner calm. Find a free YouTube video with a yoga class for kids and families (here is a great one for preschoolers!) and see who is the most flexible!
- Have a nature scavenger hunt. Find a printable scavenger hunt list on Pinterest and take a trip to your local park or forest. See who can complete their list first while getting some fresh air!
- Take a hike. Search for local hiking trails in your area and explore somewhere new. Pack a yummy snack to eat on the trail.
- Go for a bike ride. Load your bikes in the car and go on an adventure to a new bike path.
- Have a picnic in the park. Make some sandwiches and snacks, find a comfy blanket and frisbee, and head out for a family picnic!
- Try your hand at geocaching. We love geocaching! If you haven’t heard of it, there are little “caches” hidden all over the world with tiny treasures. Download the free app and spend the day being treasure hunters!
- Discover local birds. Do a search for the type of birds native to your area and head out to try some bird watching. Binoculars are helpful here, but not required!
- Catch a fish. Pull out your fishing poles, dig for worms in the backyard, and find a local creek or pond to go fishing! If you don’t have fishing gear, no problem! Fuss has caught multiple Sunnies with nothing but a piece of string tied to a stick, a hook, and some small pieces of bread.
- Make homemade pizza and watch a Netflix movie. This is one of the coziest family nights and so much fun! Pizza crust is so easy to make and cheaper than buying takeout or frozen pizza.
- Cook a special dinner with each family member providing a course. Soup or salad, dinner, sides, and dessert. Everyone can choose a place to pitch in and take turns using the kitchen. You don’t need to pay a restaurant for a memorable and delicious dinner!
- Bake cookies from scratch. Cooking with Fuss Fish is one of my favorite things to do. Even at 2-years-old, he loves helping “mix, mix!” and pouring the ingredients into the bowl. Help your kids make their favorite cookies from scratch – and don’t worry about the mess!
- Host a potluck dinner with friends. Make the main course with what you have on hand at home and invite friends over for a potluck dinner. If you want to make a day of it, invite them to stay for a game night as well!
- Try a new recipe. Enter the ingredients available in your refrigerator and pantry into Supercook to find a new recipe you can make with what is on hand.
- Attend a free local concert. Many towns have free outdoor concerts in the summer. Or you can usually find a local high school or college concert to attend for free. Go enjoy some music and support your community!
- Hold a lip sync contest. Have you ever seen Lip Sync Battle? Have each family member pick a favorite song and try out their lip sync skills. Record video on your smartphone and vote on a winner!
- Create a backyard obstacle course. Obstacle courses aren’t just for Ninja Warriors. Use what you have around the house and in your garage to create an obstacle course. Then see who can get the best time!
- DIY something from Pinterest. We’ve all pinned those crazy Cookie Monster cupcakes or pallet bookshelves on Pinterest. Why not try to tackle one of those projects as a family this weekend!
- Have a paper airplane competition. All you need is printer paper for this activity! Tape out some distances in the hallway and see whose plane flies best!
- Build a marble run out of cardboard. Personally, I LOVE this one. It takes time to design and make the marble run and then you can get hours of fun out of it. Here is a great tutorial to get you started!
Learn Something New
- Attend free activities at your local library. Your local library is an incredible resource for free family activities! Check out your library’s website for story hours, movie nights, and special events!
- Visit free local museums. Look up local museums in your area that are free or have free attendance days. If you can’t find any, ask your librarian what museum passes they have available. Many libraries rent out passes!
- Lowe’s / Home Depot free classes. Lowe’s offers free Build and Grow classes for kids on Saturdays and Home Depot offers kids workshops on a regular basis. Let your child learn a skill and come home with a free bean bag toss, birdhouse, or periscope!
- Learn a new skill with YouTube tutorials. There are YouTube tutorials for everything. How to play guitar, draw a puppy, change your oil, or do a perfect French braid. Pick something you want to learn as a family and search for a YouTube tutorial to get you started.
- Conduct a science experiment. Who doesn’t love making a baking soda and vinegar volcano? Check out these 50 science experiments you can do with household items and learn something new as a family!
- Do a Khan Academy class. Khan Academy offers tons of free online courses for all ages. Try out a class in math, science, art, engineering, or programming.
- Whole Foods Kids Club activities. Many Whole Foods locations offer free cooking classes or craft activities for kids. Find out what events are offered at your local store here and take advantage of these great lessons!
- Learn a new magic trick. Head to the library for a book of easy magic tricks or turn to our trusty friend, YouTube. See who is best at slight of hand as you try out a few tricks!
Family Fun Doesn’t Have to Cost Money!
With constant TV and radio ads for amusement parks, trampoline centers, movie theaters, and more it is easy to think that entertainment has to come with a price tag. But there are plenty of free family activities to fill your weekends while creating amazing memories. Think outside the box and have fun as a family without spending a dime!
What are your favorite free family activities? Are there any items on this list you want to try with your kids? Drop a note in the comments to share your ideas!
This post was proofread by Grammarly.