11 Fun Family Activities on a Budget. Having fun as a family doesn’t have to mean expensive days out or costly shopping trips. In fact, there are numerous ways you can spend quality time together without spending anything at all. Whether you’re watching your spending, saving up for something special, or simply want to enjoy time together without worrying about the cost of activities, take a look at these top ways you can spend quality time with your family without blowing your budget:
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1. Game Nights – Family Activity on Budget
Go retro and pick your favourite board games to enjoy the ultimate game night. From Monopoly and Cluedo to Articulate and Beat the Parents, there are endless options out there. What’s more – you can select games that are age-appropriate for your kids, which means no-one will feel left out as you battle it out to be crowned the champion.
If you know other families who have regular game nights, you can expand your repertoire by swapping board games or even joining forces to have an inter-family game night. Making game nights a regular feature on your calendar will ensure your family can always have fun, regardless of what your budget looks like.
2. Go Camping – Family Activity on Budget
Even if you’re not a natural outdoorsman (or woman), family camping trips are always fun. Whether you spend your time hiking local trails, playing on the beach, or simply trying to get to your tent to stay up, you’re bound to end up laughing.
If you already have some camping equipment, this can be a budget-friendly way to have fun as a family, particularly if you have low-cost campsites nearby. Alternatively, try camping in your back garden if you want to avoid any overheads and bypass long car journeys. Not only will kids love the idea of camping at home, but you’ll also have easy access to mod cons and amenities!
3. Visit a Museum – Family Activity on Budget
Museums are a great place for family day’s out, especially if you choose one that has child-friendly attractions and experiences. People tend to assume that visiting a museum is an expensive activity, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, many museums offer free admission, so you’ll only need to pay for travel. However, you don’t have to visit in person either. Most museums now offer virtual tours, which means you can ‘visit’ exhibitions all over the world without leaving home!
4. Bake Cookies – Family Activity on Budget
Baking at home is a great activity to do with kids and they’ll love making sweet treats, like cookies, biscuits and cakes. With free recipes available online, you’ll only need to purchase the ingredients and any equipment you need, like a biscuit tin or cake tin.
As well as being budget-friendly, baking at home can be an effective way to reduce your costs. When you’re preparing delicious baked goods at home, you won’t need to buy pre-packaged bars, cakes, and slices at the shops, which means you can reduce your grocery budget while having fun as a family.
5. Make a Family Music Video
This is one activity that’s guaranteed to get everyone’s attention! Even the teenagers in your household will want to get involved with this particular family activity, which means it’s a great way to motivate everyone to take part.
Let your kids choose their favourite song or band or recreate a popular music video, using your phone or tablet to capture your efforts. Create outfits from the clothes you have at home and use household items as props as you channel your musical idols. Just make sure you agree who can view your music video in advance, otherwise, you might find that you’re the next viral sensation on YouTube!
6. Go for a Nature Walk – Family Activity on Budget
Hiking can be a great family-friendly activity, but it isn’t always suitable for little ones. If you want to do something fun with young children, consider going for a nature walk instead. Before you get started, create a checklist of items for them to tick off as they see them. This can be conkers, daffodils, birds, acorns, or butterflies, depending on what time of year it is.
The beauty of a nature walk is that you don’t have to travel far to have fun. Just walking around your local area can be the perfect place to conduct your nature walk. Alternatively, explore your garden and let your kids hunt for things on their checklist. If you want to add a little competitive spirit into the mix, offer a prize to whoever manages to check off their list first.
7. Try Indoor Bowling – Family Activity on Budget
Bowling is a fun activity, no matter what your age, and indoor bowling makes it even easier to play whenever you like. You can purchase indoor bowling sets, or you can improvise with some empty bottles, a ball, and a line of duct tape. Use your hallway to create your own bowling alley and split the family into teams or play individually.
As well as being a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy, indoor bowling can also be an effective way for toddlers and young children to practice their hand-eye coordination. Choose a larger ball for youngsters, as this makes it easier for them to succeed, and let them hone their skills as you see who can knock the most skittles (or bottles down).
8. Have a Family Disco – Family Activity on Budget
If you want to let your hair down, play some music and host the ultimate family disco. Take a look at the apps on your phone or tablet and you’ll find some spectacular lightshows that you can use to create a glitterball effect. This, combined with your favourite tunes, is all you need to enjoy a family-friendly extravaganza.
As well as being a fun way to unwind, dancing can actually be a great form of exercise. Make it a weekly family activity and you’ll be able to treat it as workout too!
9. Plan a Treasure Hunt
If you have young children, there’s no doubt they’ll taking part in a treasure hunt. You can hide small treats or use existing toys around the house or in your garden and provide them with clues to find them. This is a great way to encourage your kids to think outside the box and, when you’re setting the clues, you can make them as easy or difficult as you like.
If you want to take things a step further, why not try geocaching? Millions of people take part all over the world by positioning hide and seek containers or ‘caches’ at various locations. You then use a GPS system to find the coordinates and uncover the treasure or leave some of your own. Most phones have GPS functionality, so you won’t need any extra equipment to get started.
10. Visit the Beach
The beach is always a great day out, even if you can’t rely on the weather! Pack a range of clothes, so that you’re prepared for all eventualities. With any luck, you’ll get a sunny day and be able to play in the water and explore rock pools but, if not, you can still enjoy the sand and take long walks up and down the coast.
Depending on your location, a visit to the beach can mean paying for fuel or train tickets but, other than this, you won’t have any other costs. By taking a picnic with you, you can ensure that your day trip to the beach is a budget-friendly activity that everyone can enjoy.
11. Play Sports
Playing sports is a fabulous way to keep your kids (and yourself!) active. Whether you have a kickabout in the garden or head to the local park for a game of rounders, there are endless games you play and it’s easy to modify them so that youngsters can join in too.
While nothing beats getting outdoors and enjoying the fresh air, if you already have a games console at home, you could even try having a ‘virtual sports day’. With e-sports, virtual reality devices and movement tracking functionality, you’ll be surprised at just how realistic sports gaming can be.
Planning Fun Family Activities on a Budget
If you want to have fun with your family on a budget, plan ahead when you can. Special treats, like days out or even holidays, can be affordable if you book them in advance. Many venues offer money-off coupons and discount vouchers, so be sure to collect these throughout the year.
In addition to this, some venues have family-friendly performances, attractions, or times throughout the year, which can substantially reduce the cost. If you want to visit a theatre in the West End, for example, try and book tickets for a show during ‘Kid’s Week’. This typically runs throughout August and means that you’ll get a free ticket for a child under the age of 16 with every full price ticket you buy, as well as the opportunity to purchase two additional kid’s tickets at half price.
By looking out for these types of promotions, you can keep your social calendar full, without blowing your budget.
Try New Family Activities on a Budget
When you find an activity that keeps the whole family happy, it’s tempting to stick with the same routine. However, any activity will get boring if you repeat it too frequently. By incorporating new ideas into your schedule, you can keep youngsters entertained and introduce them to new things.
They may not jump at the idea of a visit to a museum, but once you show them what attractions on offer, they’re likely to be far more persuadable. Similarly, kids might be a little hesitant about trying a new activity, like cycling or rollerblading, but once they’ve learned the basics, they’ll be eager to keep practising.
Every parent has heard the phrase, ‘I’m bored’ repeated numerous times, so you’ll already know that keeping youngsters entertained can be a tricky task. By incorporating new activities on a regular basis, however, you can capture their interest and keep your kids occupied.