Sense & Centsibility Blog

How to Have Family Fun on the Cheap

Flashback Friday to this post about free and cheap ideas for family fun. There's still time to get outside before the snow flies and there are ideas for the heart of winter, too. Read on and enjoy saving money while you and your family have some fun!

Budget conscious families are always looking for ways to save a dollar. While having fun together is important, it can also be expensive. If you’re willing to be creative and do a little homework, there are many options for free or low-cost entertainment that offer hours of family fun without breaking the bank. Here are just a few ideas I came across.


There could be more to do where you live than you ever dreamed of:

  • Use the internet to search your town or city name and state, followed by “free activities.”
  • Call your local library for free book readings, kids’ story time, and other programs. Don’t forget to check out books and movies.
  • Check your local newspaper, visitor bureau, city hall, or chamber of commerce for upcoming free or low-cost events.
  • Call or visit the websites for your local high schools and colleges for concerts, plays and sporting events.
  • Explore a new part of town.
  • Visit a county fair or farmers’ market.
  • Check to see if your local zoo, museum, art gallery, or aquarium offers a free family day.
  • Have a staycation and camp in your backyard.


If your family loves the outdoors and physical activity, the following suggestions for family fun may work for you. Or if your family needs a bit more fresh air, these are simple ideas for rediscovering the great outdoors.

family outside

  • Collect rocks, leaves, feathers, or hunt for 4 leaf clovers. Then create something colorful to remember your day!
  • Visit a berry farm to pick your own ripe delicious berries.
  • Call your local extension service for information about working farms that offer tours.
  • Go sledding or ice skating. Take a walk or hike. Fly a kite, ride bikes, or rollerblade.
  • Back yard activities: play horseshoes, croquet, badminton, tag, or hide & seek. Watch the clouds or star-gaze. Bird-watch, feed birds, or plant a garden with your kids. For you hearty folks who live in a snow belt, build a snowman, have a snowball fight, or make snow angels.
  • Check with local and state parks for free activities or programs. Click HERE for a ParkFinder.


Your own family also might have plenty of ideas. Follow their inspiration to see which fun-filled activities you can do together without costing a dime. Not only will you keep your budget intact, but you can share real quality time as a family. So, put on your thinking caps and enjoy the fun-filled days to come!

To find out about more creative ways to save money, call LSS Financial Counseling to schedule an appointment with a Financial Counselor. We can help you take action today to improve your spending habits, build up emergency savings, and conquer your debt. Or, START ONLINE COUNSELING NOW. It’s free and just as effective as phone or in-person counseling, but you can do it at your leisure. Contact us today!

By Barbara Miller