Guest Post: Family Fun without Paying a Ton!

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So you are short on cash, but you have a family desperately in need of fun! What do you do? There are plenty of fun, frugal ways to have fun when you are strapped for cash.
Here are the top 10 favorites for my family:
1.       Go to the park. Sounds simple. Boring? Never! Bring a picnic lunch and make an entire day of it. Play hide and seek, tag and I spy. Lay on a blanket and talk about what shapes the clouds are making. Bring some crayons and paper and color. Anything that can be done indoors can be done outdoors. It just FEELS a bit more fun when you are amongst nature!
2.       Make it a playdate! Invite some family and friends over and make it a potluck! They bring the drinks you provide some low cost snacks. Arrange it after or well before a meal time so you don’t have to worry about providing a costly meal.
3.       How about some window shopping? This can be tough with little ones, but if you let them know your expectations up front (we will not be buying anything!) and make a game of it, the whole family can have fun.  Go into the stores you generally don’t go into when you are purchase shopping. Honestly, window shopping can sometimes be the best motivation to save your money!
4.       Check an online site like Nickelodeon’s Parents Connect for free events in your area. Some museums and zoos have one day a week where for a few hours they have free or deeply discounted admission.
5.       Play sports! Bike or roller skate as a family. Walk around the block. Go to a local field and play baseball or football. If other neighborhood kids are out and about, invite them to play! Some of my best memories growing up were impromptu pickup games.
6.       Have a book reading party. Everyone chooses a book and gets to be the storyteller. Better yet? Make up your own original stories! There are sure to be laughs all around!
7.       Cook or bake together. Make dinner and dessert a family affair one night. Expect to get messy and expect to eat a lot! Most of all, expect to have fun.
8.       Make it a movie night. It can be the newest blockbuster, an old family favorite or even old home movies! Grab some snacks and some blankets and snuggle together for a nice evening together
9.       Scavenger Hunt! This takes some planning, but kids LOVE it. Leave a trail of clues and leave a fun surprise at the end for the kids. They’ll have so much fun that they won’t even realize they haven’t left their house the whole time!
10.   Pull out the arts and crafts and make something together. Pick a theme…like robots or cars and everyone makes their own version. You don’t need expensive crafting supplies. Crayons, makers, paper plates, plastic cups even pasta! Use your creativity and be amazed at what you can come up with.
We all have tight times financially. It doesn’t have to be the end of fun. You can still have fun together as a family even without shelling out money for arcades, video games or expensive outings. In fact, you might even have MORE fun!
Heather is a married mom of two who blogs about great deals, money saving tips and family fun. She is incredibly passionate about saving money and having fun while doing it! Her family is a great source of inspiration for her to work hard at saving money and finding fun and frugal ways to lead a high quality life. Go visit her at
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