free family activities ideas

Finding free or cheap family activities is easy once you know where to look. Then after trying a few, some become favorites and then super-easy to incorporate into daily or weekly life. The ages of the children will determine which type of event to attend.

I’ve noticed that the younger the child, the easier and cheaper it is to entertain them – one of their blessings! My list consisted of the following and are in no age order:

    • save your bread crusts in the freezer and feed to the ducks at the park or lake
    • there is the town or city parks, but little kids love all playgrounds, even those at different schools than they attend
    • the treasure trove of free stuff at a library – absolutely check that out!
    • 4H events, get to see the animals and largest pumpkins ever
    • almost any lake in the summer, we used to try to go to all of them
    • garage sales – okay, not free, but a cheap toy is priceless, lol
    • museums, some are free
    • small airport shows are free
    • car shows, usually free on the city streets
    • concerts in the park, usually free, and they’ll have kid events
    • camping in the livingroom, we did this one a lot!
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This is our actual little garden bed at the government housing unit

    • making your own pizzas, kids love to put their own toppings on
    • growing a garden, gardeners are often willing to share seeds, I planted a tiny one outside my townhouse, see image to the right!
    • bike clinic, where the local police had a bike safety event and kids did obstacles and got free tune ups
    • free movie rentals from the library too
    • some walk, run or roll fundraisers, these events just want people to attend and promote
    • farmers markets
    • picnics, any park will do, or school playground on weekends
    • card games or board games, find cheap used games at the thrift store
    • kids like to cook, try biscuits, 4-5 ingredients
    • did you forget blanket forts?
    • Home Depot’s free kid workshops
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Blanket Forts! never go out of style

  • local historical places, we used to visit some old WW2 bunkers
  • some ecological place, for example, we have some waterfalls nearby
  • stop by the tourist info, they have tons of info
  • play easy card games like ‘go fish’
  • teach how to play solitaire
  • going through the car wash can be fun
  • plant a herb garden indoors
  • ask other friends or moms, what works for one may work for another


We also have an article on fun and cheap things to do.

This link leads to a great website that shows kids how to make art that you might want to hang on the walls – can’t beat that!
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