When money is tight, it may seem like entertainment is out of reach. However, there are many fun things to do that cost nothing – or cost very little. You just have to know how to find them.
Finding Things to Do in Your Community
There are many resources you can use to find free events in your local area. Lots of cities host free summer concerts, street fairs, workshops, or other activities. Check community websites for ideas. In addition, the public library is often a goldmine of free events. Besides the unlimited supply of free books, libraries often also host things like readings, movie nights, workshops – even dance or art classes. The library is an amazing resource for fun, cultural, and educational activities.
Also look for local attractions, such as local farms, museums, or racetracks that might host free family days or other free events. People often overlook free events that take place in their hometowns. Think like a tourist to find events you may not have participated in or places you may not have visited that are right around the corner.
Find Things to Do at Home
You don’t even have to go out to have a great time. Try one of Embassy Loans’ great ideas for free family fun at home:
1. DIY pizza night! You have to eat dinner anyway, so make it a family affair with homemade dough and a “topping bar” where family members can add their own sauce, cheese, and toppings. Shop grocery store sales for supplies, and this can be cheaper than ordering takeout pizza.
2. The blanket picnic. Kids love the picnic experience, so spread a blanket on the living room floor, break out the paper plates and sandwiches, and maybe even put on a funny movie or TV show. Alternatively, skip the TV and enjoy the family conversation. Mealtimes are a great chance to catch up with what’s going on in everyone’s lives, and “breaking the rules” by eating on the floor is fun for kids of all ages.
2. Camp indoors. Have a tent? Set it up in the living room. If you don’t have a tent, no biggie. Get out the sleeping bags or blankets, make popcorn, and watch a movie – no bugs, bad weather, traffic, or questionable bathrooms to deal with. Have a fireplace? This is the perfect time to put it to use.
3. An oldie but goodie: family game night. If you have younger children, arrange teams of younger children with older siblings or adults if the game requires thoughtful strategy, such as Monopoly. Allowing the kids to invite friends or letting them play music in the background can encourage teens to participate. Here’s a fun twist on a family puzzle: hide puzzle pieces throughout the house and make up clues for the kids to solve to find them. Or, mix the pieces of two or three different puzzles for an extra challenge.
4. Go outside. Remember that hiking and camping are free in some places; do your research to find the options near you. If you don’t have the time to invest in a weekend trip, remember that a walk to a local park for a family football game or other playtime costs nothing and can strengthen communication and family togetherness.