Having fun together is important for every family. When you’re on a budget though, it can seem like every activity takes a bite out of your monthly budget. There’s no need to get frustrated however: there are plenty of opportunities for frugal family fun.
Local Community Centers
Try out new family activities at free clubs and organizations like your local public library. Many offer craft sessions, reading groups, and technology classes in addition to the numerous books and DVDs you can borrow. A nearby community center may also offer low cost fun activities for kids. They’ll have facilities and resources dedicated to classes for the whole family like swimming, painting, cooking, and dancing.
As you hunt for frugal family activities, consider volunteering. Spending time helping others can bring your family closer together while teaching your children valuable life lessons. Call a nearby soup kitchen or animal shelter to see if you and your family can help out for a day. If your family enjoys spending time outside, consider participating in a public park or beach clean-up day.
Getting outdoors is a great way to have free family fun. Check out national parks or state parks in your area to see if there are hiking trails suited to your children’s activity level. Be sure to bring along water and nutritious snacks so you can stay hydrated and energized on the trail. If there’s a river or lake nearby, consider a day canoeing, kayaking, or just lounging on the shore. You could even go camping for a night or two.
While hiking, swimming, and camping outside can be a lot of fun, you can get outdoors closer to home too. Try making a sidewalk chalk mural, playing frisbee or a game of catch, taking a bike ride around the neighborhood, or flying a kite at your local park.
Indoor Games and Crafts
You don’t have to leave the house to have frugal family fun. Indoor family activities like board games and playing cards can be great on a rainy day. You could also take in a movie day or spend the afternoon crafting homemade projects as a family. A pack of multicolored origami papers can spark several fun projects. Spend a weekend afternoon folding an origami zoo with your child. Use household extras to enhance your projects. For example, you can use a needle, thread, and hangers to construct an origami mobile. Or, break out the kitchen scissors to cut the origami paper into snowflakes, and then hang them from the ceiling with thread and tape. It’s a fun way to brighten up your home and spend time with your family without spending.
Doing some creative cooking as a family is also budget friendly and entertaining. Consider constructing a gingerbread house or baking a batch of cupcakes and then decorating them together. It might get a little messy, but preparing meals and treats together can provide a lot of free family fun.
Entertaining your family doesn’t have to be expensive. Having frugal family fun can be simple with research, creativity, and dedication. Sit down with your family and talk about your options so you can plan your activities together.
Rachel Schramm writes articles for Allied Cash Advance about online commerce, responsible borrowing, investment, and budgeting. Allied Cash Advance is a responsible payday loans and cash advance lender.
 Wachtel, Allison. “10 Great Ideas for Frugal Family Fun.” HowStuffWorks. n.d. n. page. Web. 2 May. 2012. <http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/10-ideas-frugal-family-fun4.htm>.
 Baker, Kathleen. “100 Fun, Healthy and (Mostly) Free Family Activities.” UltraSound. n.d. n. page. Web. 2 May. 2012. <http://www.ultrasoundtechnicianschools.org/100-fun-healthy-and-mostly-free-family-activities/>.