Free or Inexpensive Ideas for Entertainment

I helped teach a Budgeting 101 class last weekend and I made a list of free/inexpensive things that you could do with your family that might help you save money on your entertainment budgets. Here’s the list so far:

1. Full-Moon Walks
2. Library Trips – You can get books, movies and games for free. They often have summer, storytime and holiday programs, too.
3. Picnics – Find a new park you’ve never been to
4. Family Game Night –Find board games at thrift stores and/or garage sales
5. Check online for Free Museum Days
6. Find a dog park and watch the puppies play
7. Bike Rides
8. Free Entertainment at Farmer’s Markets, etc.
9. Free craft days at craft stores, libraries, churches, etc.
10. Letterboxing & Geocaching
11. Watch local sports teams and cheer them on
12. Watch a parade – they often have free items to give away
13. Enjoy a snowball fight or making a snowman in the winter (Or build a “snowman” out of boxes and white paper in the summer!)
14. Bake cookies and bring to the less fortunate
15. Swap babysitting with friends so you can go out for the evening
16. Visit family nearby.
17. Find a “pick-your-own” farm and pick fruit/veggies
18. Find forest preserves and go hiking
19. Take advantage of “free fishing days” where you usually don’t need a license to fish
20. Take a trip to the Zoo. Watch for discounted tickets or try to find free zoos nearby. Search online for free petting zoos or farm visits.
21. Watch your paper for inexpensive classes, such as cooking, crafts, gardening, sewing, etc. These are often offered at colleges.
22. Sign-up for free classes offered at hardware stores, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot
23. Swap “free time” with spouse so you can each have a fun day to yourself without needing a babysitter
24. Set up potluck BBQs with friends, switching houses each time
25. Watch Groupon and Family Finds for discounted deals in your area
26. Have a scrapbooking night with friends. Use coupons to save on supplies. You can often find them at thrift stores and garage sales, too!
27. Watch for town-wide garage sales to not only save on clothing, toys, kitchenware, etc. but you can find some board games or outside toys, too!
28. Watch for discounted days at your town swimming pool.
29. Check to see if your town offers free movie nights or other park events.
30. Have a “backyard camping” adventure putting up a tent in your own yard
31. Have a “something different” day once a month where you do one thing you’ve never done before
32. Make a fun craft with supplies you already have. Check Pinterest for ideas!
33. Create your own scavenger hunt within your house/neighborhood.
34. Make an indoor tent/fort using chairs and a blanket and pretend to camp indoors. Or drag out sleeping bags and “camp” inside your family room.
35. Have the kids put on their own puppet show using items you already have.

What other ways have you found to have fun on a budget?

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