Times are hard financially for many. After paying for gas, groceries, mortgages and other essentials, there isn’t much left to play with. A lot of families are struggling with the ability to stay within their budget and still have the financial means to take their family out for fun activities. Luckily, we came up with some tips for parents who are on a tight budget but still want to find inexpensive ways to have fun with your kids.
- Check your local newspaper: Here you can find out about local festivals, fairs and other upcoming community events.
- Visit the library: Check your local library to see if they offer a free story time or a reading program.
- Go bowling or roller skating: Both of these places offer discounts for family night. Roller skating is a fun way to get in a little exercise and bowling is fun for everyone. You can find a list of bowling alleys and register your kids for free bowling or you can find a skating rink near you.
- Sign your kids up for free workshops: Various places like Lowe’s, Home Depot and Michael’s offer free workshops where kids can participate in different projects.
- Check out your local zoo, aquarium or museum: Most of these places offer family discounts and offer seasonal passes if you live nearby and want to visit often. Some places also let you choose the option to set up a payment plan for seasonal passes. Visit the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or Museums in the USA for more information.
- Plan a picnic for a day in the park: Packing a lunch is fast and inexpensive and your family will love the chance to run around and enjoy the fresh air. Also, you should bring old food like bread and crackers to feed the birds.
- Head to the drive-in movies: An alternative to going to the movie theater with reasonable prices. The cost of the drive-in is inexpensive in comparison to the theater plus you can pack your own snacks. Check this link for a full list of drive-in theaters.
- Take a bus trip: Go out with your family and be a tourist for a day. Visit historic locations and go sight-seeing.
- Visit your local theater: If your child is interested in the arts (i.e. dance, drama) take them to see a live performance. Check out sites like Goldstar.com for family friendly attractions around town.
- Go volunteer: Donating your time to help others is a great way to give back and an opportunity for your child to learn about others. You can take your family to volunteer at your local animal shelter or soup kitchen. Joining community service clubs like Kiwanis International is a good idea as well.
BMWK, what tips do you have for family activities on a budget? What are the best free actives that you’ve done this summer?