Family Activities That Require No Money

I love spending time with my family, and I want to do some family activities that don’t cost too much money. When you are on a tight budget, finding cheap family fun and doing family activities that require no money is important

These days, most commercial activities are pretty expensive, but family activities don’t have to cost a fortune to be fun.

Unfortunately, a family that has to watch how much they spend on activities sometimes can’t afford to visit major museums, carnivals, or even the zoo.

You don’t want to go broke by going out every day, so it’s time to start thinking about free family activities that your family can do this summer. Use these activities this year, or use some ideas to start planning for next year!

Family Activities That Require No Money

School Programs

Remember participating in school programs as a child? School programs aren’t always just for parents and grandparents. Many schools encourage the community to attend their programs, which can be pretty entertaining.

If you’re looking for free family activities, keep your eyes open for school programs. Some charge a nominal fee, but others are entirely free.

Parks and Picnics

We often forget about going to the park or on a picnic. These free family activities are no more difficult than gathering up some chow and Frisbees!

Walks and Bike Rides

These days, it’s a trial to get most children to “unplug” from the video game system. Even we adults spend hours on the computer before we even realize it.

Why not take a family walk or bike ride? Create a theme for the day by picking a color to look for or a particular plant. Then, take a different route each day for some variety!

Have a Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt

Grab some free printables and head out for a scavenger hunt in the great outdoors! Even if you live in the city, you can find nature peeking through cracks in the sidewalk, flying in the sky, or crawling on the floor. So put on some walking shoes and get hunting!


Gardening may not seem like work to those who love it, but to children, it can seem like a chore if we, as parents, don’t approach it right. Help children pick out their seeds and set up their small garden area.

Work together to set up a small vegetable or fruit stand to save money for fairs and carnivals.


Why not play some sports as a family? Frisbee, swimming, tennis, and football are just some sports that a family can play together. Invite other families as well for socialization and variety!


Although all adults must have a fishing license, children can often be without one, depending on their age and location. Check with your state licensing entity to learn about the laws in your area.

Fishing doesn’t have to be a complex and expensive experience. Children have fun just putting some worms on a hook (with the help of their parents) and trying to reel in some fish. Smaller children may enjoy looking for frogs or other critters that might be found on a fishing trip!

State or County Parks

County parks and state parks are excellent places to find free activities for families. State and county parks offer everything from ice skating to fishing, and they often host special activities such as nature explorations, day camps, and much more.

Call or visit your favorite local parks to find out what they offer, and mark your calendar for free family events and activities that will keep you and your family busy all year long.


Local Museums


Those on vacation look for museums and other local activities, but we often don’t bother to visit our city’s museums and historical attractions. Think of the local museums and galleries in your area, and if you haven’t seen those places of interest with your family, give them a try.

Even if you have visited local historical places, go back for another look. Many museums and galleries add new items regularly, and you might even find something of interest that you missed the first time around.


Watch Your Newspaper for Special Events

Be the queen of free activities, and find all sorts of fun, free family activities.

Watch your local bulletin boards, newspaper ads, and other forms of advertisement for free activities of all types. Cut out the ads and jot down notes to post as reminders.

Don’t Forget Your Local Library

The library is an invaluable resource of free activities for the entire family. My local library continually offers classes, programs, and other activities of interest.

If nothing else, take the family to the library for a few hours of fun. Many libraries offer educational toys to entertain the kids, computer games, and of course, print media of all types for all ages and interests.

Read To Succeed

The Read to Succeed program is a program developed by Six Flags as a way to encourage children to read. Children K-6 grades read for 6 hours to earn free tickets to Six Flags theme parks. This program is usually run through participating schools.

You can inform your child’s teacher about this program. Teachers who use this Read to Succeed Program are also eligible for free tickets, including home school teachers!


Holiday Displays


I love driving around and looking at holiday displays, and with the price of gas, I realize this activity isn’t exactly free, but who says you have to drive?

If you live in a city or town, bundle up the family and do a little legwork instead of burning fuel in the family car. Some of the very best Christmas and Easter displays are best seen on foot, and it doesn’t cost a dime to look.

Family Activities That Require No Money

There are tons of free family activities that can be done throughout the year. Some of them can even earn the family money, such as gardening.

Why not sit down with your family and discuss various things they’d like to do?  Then make a tentative plan for how you will accomplish these activities. Make it a family challenge to come up with the free-est family activities that you would all enjoy!


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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.