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40+ Free & Frugal Family Activities

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40 Free and frugal family activities

40+ Free & Frugal Family Activities

Now that spring is on the horizon, our family activities can be expanded to the great outdoors! I am excited to share with you our family’s personal list of free and frugal family activities that we came up with last week. Of course the ideas can be limitless, but for some of you having a list to work off of will bring out some ideas and the very inspiration you are looking for!

Go Bowling. For those of you in the US and Canada, there are many places that participate in the Kids Bowl Free program. You’ll have to check out their website for all the details.

Peruse a local pet store. While this won’t be for everyone, we enjoy doing this every now and then for a time of cuddles and learning about animals.

Go to the local flower nursery. We’ve done this as a family countless times. We love learning about different plants, flowers, and trees as well as looking at all the beauty as well as smelling the flowers too.

Go on a hike. This is one of our FAVORITE family activities.

Go on a picnic.

Eat at a local restaurant during their lunch specials.

Go swimming at a swimming pool, lake, river, or ocean. We’ve done all of these countless times and love it.

Go to the library.

Go ice skating.

Take a trip to the fire house.

Take a trip to the local police precinct.

Fly kites.

Built a fort (inside or outside).

Have a family movie night.

Go for a bike ride.

Go bird watching.

Plant a garden.

Have a family baking contest.

Have a family slumber party.

Draw pictures of one another. This is definitely a time of much laughter for our family!

Have a family game night.

Visit a local museum.

Ride public transportation somewhere (bus, train, etc).

Go on a scavenger hunt. One of our kiddos absolute favorites!

Play sports. Our current family favorites are football, baseball, and running.

Go roller skating.

Have a read-aloud party. We do this often. It’s a big to-do in our home. We get all of our favorite books and snacks, dress in our favorite comfy clothing, and curl up together on the couch, taking turns reading stories out loud.

Play tag (inside or outside).

Do some special art or craft project.

Go fishing.

Invite friends over for dessert.

Go camping in the back yard.

Play mini-golf. We used to actually set up our own course in the back yard when the children were younger. It was a creative challenge, but tons of fun!

Have a family puzzle night. Another of our children’s current favorites. We currently do this once a week.

Have a night of family improv. We are all some serious characters in my family – so this night happens even when it’s not planned! Ha!

Play charades.

Take pictures of each other. As a professional photographer, this is always a good laugh for me, and the kids and hubby enjoy it too.

Go to a botanical garden.

Go to the zoo.

Go to the dollar movies.

Go to a local or state park. You can find a list of national parks in the US here.

Take your pet for a walk.

Have a family at-home spa night. This is a popular one in our home! Each family member will commit to a “station” where they will perform their service for the other family members. Last week our 4-year-old son had a “rubbing” station where he rubbed each one of our feet for 30 seconds. It was too cute. Our daughter did manicures, I did facials, our 6-year-old son did a “lotioning station”, and my hubby gave us all back rubs! It was a huge hit for all of us.

Don’t see anything you are looking for? There is always Groupon. If you don’t know, Groupon is a website that provides volume discounts for people – kind of like a huge coupon for everyone. You can find up to 90% off of local activities, restaurants, services, products etc. The discount possibilities are endless! And if you are a frugal minded family like ours, Groupon just might become one of your new BFF’s. Wishing you and your family lots of free and frugal fun this spring and summer!


About Carlie Kercheval

Carlie Kercheval is a happily married work-at-home homeschooling mom. She and her college sweetheart have been blessed with 3 precious children to raise while traveling the world as a military family. Carlie is the founder of Today's Frugal Mom™ and Managing Your Blessings. She is also the co-author of the Learning to Speak Life™ family Bible studies and co-founder of Fulfilling Your Vows. When she is not busy enjoying her family and the great outdoors, you can typically find her cozied up somewhere under a blanket with a good book. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.


  1. Wow, what an exhaustive list! It reminds me that there’s never a lack of fun things to do with my family and it’s ok to try something new once in a while.
    I really like the family spa night idea! Think we might go for it next week!

  2. I love all these ideas! Thanks for sharing at Family Fun Friday! Monica

  3. Pinned it!

  4. Great ideas! Thanks so much!