Articles, Saving Money

5 Affordable Activities For The Whole Family And Save Money

Written By: Ava Roman
Reviewed by: Mike Reyes
Last Updated January 23, 2023

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yellow red and green plastic toy

Family bonding time is important for kids and adults. But, while doing things as a family can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. That’s why we put together this guide on affordable activities the whole family can do – and save money while at it. So, if you’re looking for low cost vacations or splurging on a big event to enjoy that time together – this is not for you. Rather, anyone can do these things, no matter where they live. Lets dig in!

Five Free Or Low-Cost Things To Do As A Family

a happy family with kids hoping to avoid financial mistakes

Have A Game Night 

A great way for families to bond is by engaging in game nights. Games can inspire friendly competition and encourage conversations. 

Another great element of game night is that it doesn’t have to involve screens. Board or card games are all you need. This can help reduce the effects of excessive blue light many kids –and adults–live with each day. 

From matching games, Old Maid and Uno, to Sorry, Life and Monopoly, many inexpensive games can provide an evening’s worth of fun. 

A great game night often involves snacks, and you can make it more enjoyable by allowing the kids to have a few extra treats that night. You can get adventurous by making faces with the food on their plates or allowing them to create snacks for everyone to try. You could also choose a theme to base the game around.  

These games aren’t just fun. They help improve motor and problem-solving skills. It helps them learn cooperation, problem-solving and social skills. 

It’s also good for parents. Games are a way to destress and let children see a fun side of you. It lightens the mood and may help you learn more about your kids. 

Visit A Playground 

boy sitting on swing chair

Playgrounds are an excellent way to get outside and exercise in a fun way. Many public parks have these areas for kids to explore and adults to engage with. 

From slides to monkey bars, these activities encourage motor skill development, creative play and consistent movement. 

Public playgrounds are excellent, free resources for families to enjoy time outside. Climbing, crossing and jumping on equipment helps kids challenge their bodies while learning to navigate different obstacles safely. 

Thanks to the contained play area, parents can track their child from a nearby bench or engage with them, playing an imaginary game, pushing a swing or enjoying time on a teeter-totter. 

Taking your child to the playground helps you get out in the natural light, which can benefit mood regulation and circadian rhythms, creating a happier, healthier family at home. 

Enjoy A Picnic

sliced cheese on brown tray

A picnic is an excellent way to get some free sunshine while enjoying a meal and activities together. 

All you need are snacks or an easy meal to pack up and settle in a yard or park to enjoy. 

There are many benefits to having a picnic with your child, with the first being the opportunity to introduce new foods. Kids can get picky, making it hard to provide enough nutrition to thrive. 

If you have a picking eater, getting out for a new experience or change of scenery could motivate them to taste the food. However, you should also have food you know they’ll enjoy. 

Eating in a new environment now and then provides both kids and adults with mental stimulation by touching, smelling and tasting food. The environment you choose also serves as a learning opportunity to discuss nature and items around them.

Getting enough vitamin D is important for both physical and mental health and sitting outside during a picnic is a great way to get extra rays. Just remember the sunscreen. 

Bring a ball, jump rope or other items to keep the fun going after the meal.

Hold a Scavenger Hunt 

Scavenger hunts hold a world of possibilities and are a great way to spend time with your kids. 

Make a list of items to find, whether it’s on a nature walk, through the house or at the grocery store. Let your kids engage in friendly competition or play with them to see how many items they can find before the time ends. 

These games teach children to be aware of their surroundings and can help them learn about things they didn’t previously think about. 

Ideas to find are rocks, leaves, bugs and birds, books, watches and food items. You can offer a small prize or just enjoy the search together. 

Visit the Library 

assorted-title of books piled in the shelves

A good library is magical for kids and adults, with stories that spark creativity and teach about the world. 

There are several public libraries throughout the United States. Many have activities throughout the year for families to enjoy together. Taking advantage of free or low-cost events can help you try something new, make new friends and improve your child’s reading comprehension skills. 

A library card is a great way to teach your child about responsibility, as they need to care for and return the books they take out. It also allows them to check out books they want to see if they like them before they make a purchase. 

Library visits and events are especially great for the fall and winter when it’s hard to do many outdoor activities. 

Many libraries now offer virtual catalogs, so you can join in on the fun if you don’t have a close location. 

Enjoying Family Time This Year

It’s easy to be caught in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but it’s necessary to have fun, and family time. Whether it’s visiting a favorite walking trail, going across monkey bars or playing Chutes and Ladders, quality time doesn’t have to be expensive to be memorable. 

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