Cheap Entertainment Options For Your Family

Cheap Entertainment Options For Your Family

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Are you fed up with throwing money down the drain to vary your kids’ routine? Have you come to the point when you run out of ideas to keep children engaged for several hours? Well, worry no more because our suggestions are 100% tested and functional.

You don’t have to go to Disney World to make your kids happy. There are plenty of entertainment options you can relish on a strict budget. With our cheap ways to entertain your families, your kids will never get bored again.

Fun Things To Do At Home

Are you planning to tighten your belt? Are you striving to make the most of the current situation? Well, entertainment doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There is a massive selection of games that you can enjoy in the comfort of your home. Most of them won’t press you to spend any money. Read and put our cheap household entertainment ideas into action right away!

1. Make Online or Pinterest Crafts

With so many crafting ideas online, who wouldn’t dare to become a craftsman? Opinions vary from making home-made stickers to lava lamps and origami. Try out making jewelry and home decorations.

If you want to avoid excessive spending, use any materials that you might have at home. Use natural resources such as leaves, flowers, and wood. For instance, you can make a keepsake box with pressed flowers and leaves in it. This way, not only will you save on supplies, but your work of art will become unique memorabilia.

Moreover, you can make some cool Mother’s Day crafts or try some awesome Easter baskets ideas, depending on the season.

2. Game Night

Want to have a whale of a time for free? Dive into the kingdom of fun learning games for kids. We urge you to try out Zingo and improve your kid’s memory, concentration, and matching skills. Play Spot It to boost visual perception and bring the family together.

A classic game of monopoly or Sorry has never bored anyone on a rainy day. Make a mix of card and board games, and let the winner decide which game will be played next. You can even design your own board game based on an old favorite. Or start from scratch and create a new game with your own rules.

3. Camping In Your Backyard

Going camping, sitting by an open fire cuddled under the blanket is every child’s dream. Adult’s too, right? Yet, if you want to avoid a pricey weekend out camping, take resort in your backyard. You can still have a great time provided that you have camping food, sleeping bags, and a campfire.

When backyard camping is not an option, why don’t you head to the nearest park or forest? Those are cheap options, and you can also enjoy fishing, cycling, or wandering the trails. At night, read some lovely stories around the fire and look at the summer sky. Individually organized camping experiences can cost you a fraction of what you would otherwise spend.

4. Chalk Drawing

Why don’t you make a chalkboard wall? Or write on the cement driveway in front of your house? Draw hopscotch and remind yourself of the good old times playing it alongside your kids. Write the alphabet and practice spelling. Or have a drawing contest and may the best win.

For as little as $10, you can find chalkboard paint and apply it directly to the wall. Choose between a wall in the house or maybe a free-standing surface. Your kids will be over the moon. You’ll spend hours drawing, erasing, doing homework, playing games, etc. So get creative and make your kids learn the subtle way, without them knowing that they’re studying.

5. Baking

Cooking is what brings the kids to the kitchen, isn’t it? No kid will turn down the opportunity to mess around with the kitchen utensils. If you’re worried about the safety of your kids, there are tons of simple recipes without having to use the oven. Dress the kids up and bake some cookies with the ingredients you have available.

Making a cake and decorating it with fruit, nuts, and chocolate is another family-time spending idea. Apart from learning basic cooking skills, time truly flies in the kitchen so that you will spend some quality time with your kids.

Plus, this will be a great life lesson for your kiddos to learn the difference between home-cooked meals and junk food.

6. Make A Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunting is both physically active and a brain challenging game. You can do it at home, in the garden, or even in the nearby park. Draw up a list of exciting items that your kid needs to find. Our suggestions include a straw, a coin, a pine cone, something pink, and the like.

You can be more creative and send the kids off to look for something that makes them laugh or smells nice. You can make a contest on who brings the smallest item, for example. Your options are limitless, so rely on your inspiration, and start scavenging!

Go Outdoors

If you’ve been looking for cheap ways to entertain your families, look no more. We have selected the best outdoor activities for families eager to spend valuable time together. Here are our top ideas:

  • Go out and move – Pack your rucksacks and hit the road to the nearest wood or natural park. Climb trees or try catching fish in the streams. Do everything you enjoy including hiking, cycling, or just exploring nature. A good old saying goes that kids never remember their best day of TV.
  • Plan a picnic – Instead of splashing out on fancy restaurants, pack a picnic, and plan some outdoor games and activities. You’ll have the entire day for your family and a delicious, inexpensive meal on top. Just prepare your basket and enjoy the sunshine!
  • Start a rock collection – Explore nature to find unique and multi-colored rocks and start a collection. Apart from having fun while looking for them, they can embellish your garden, too. Not speaking of how much kids can learn about rocks, the Earth structure, and the soil.
  • Go to the beach – Even if you don’t have the sea nearby, any lake will do the job. Enjoy the water, relax, and sunbathe with your kids. Play volleyball and build sandcastles. Don’t forget to take pictures and put them in your family album.
  • Fruit picking – To have the time of your life amuse your family with fruit picking at the local farm. From May up to October, you have various options to choose from, such as strawberries, apples, and plums. Apart from teaching them the benefits of healthy food, you might enjoy a pony ride, too.

Visit Free Libraries And Galleries

Are you in pursuit of valuable and cheap entertainment for families? Check out the local library to inspire a passion for books and stimulate your kids to read more. Regardless of their interest, there will be a perfect book for everyone in the family. Find out about reading times so that kids can learn to appreciate the beauty of books. Plus, in most libraries, you can also have a nice cup of coffee too.

Galleries are the perfect idea for cold and windy days. The majority feature interactive workshops for kids that everyone is fond of. We advise you to look for government-sponsored galleries that don’t charge you for tickets. If you’re not in the mood of going out, you can always attend virtual tours or talks about the exhibits.

Fun Places To Visit On A Budget

The golden rule is that the most expensive activities are not the best by definition. Indeed, there are numerous fun and learning activities you can fit in your tight budget. Consider the following places and give them a proper try because your kids will be mesmerized and ask for more.

1. Petting Farm

Visiting a kid’s farm sounds lovely, even if you have babies on board. Introduce your children to farm animals without having to break the bank for visiting posh zoos. This is an even better opportunity for kids to get closer to wildlife and learn many things about their way of life. Most farms allow kids to cuddle with or feed the baby lambs.

You can also visit a working farm if there’s one in the vicinity. This is not only about the endless patches of corn and pumpkins. It can be way more amusing to meet the baby animals in the spring. So, get ready and visit the nearest rural community. You might as will be able to snag some organic food such as fruit, vegetables, eggs, and dairy products.

2. Dollar Store or Target’s $1 Section

Imagine shopping without tantrums and whining? Though it seems like an impossible mission, we have the best cheap entertainment for your family. It’s time to give your kids a few dollars and visit the local Dollar Store or Target’s 1$ section. Such sections are filled with books, art supplies, coloring books, and small toys.

The result – ecstatic kids and a lot of precious time spent shopping together for just several dollars. Plus, the new supplies will keep them busy for the rest of the day. A double win for parents, isn’t it?

3. Bowling Alley

Who wouldn’t like to score a strike and beat the rest of the family? Bowling is an excellent activity and cheap family entertainment to keep the kids active. Even if your kids are little, blowing with bumpers down the gutters can spare them the frustration.

To be honest, bowling can be quite expensive if you opt for high-end bowling centers. What you can do is look for family specials and off-peak times. Most alleys have trouble attracting keen players during the day, especially throughout the week, so this is your chance to bowl for half price. Don’t forget to request cheaper rates for families and regular customers.

4. Local Museum Or Planetarium

When seeking cheap entertainment for families that is both fun and educational head to local museums. Even better, why don’t you establish museum-visiting days for the family? Search online and check whether local museums have free entry on particular days of the week. Make use of freebies and enjoy time together with kids.

The alternatives you have at disposal are huge. Visit museums dedicated to nature, art, wildlife, or even a planetarium to find something that each member of the family will enjoy. Finding a museum that attracts your children will most likely help you decide what interests them the most. Even virtual museum tours of museums and botanical gardens are great fun when you can’t afford to pay full-price admission costs.

5. Kid-Friendly Restaurants

The truth is that not all restaurants cater to kids. On days when you decide to vary your routine and eat out, pick a kid-friendly restaurant. Most of them have special menus for kids, and some of them even offer free meals for children if adults order food.

Moreover, most kid-oriented restaurants have playgrounds with various outdoor activities to keep kids engaged all the time. Try out Applebee’s where kid’s regular and healthy menus cost under $10. Check out Olive Garden that, apart from great food, has created five special characters to keep the kids entertained. If you’re keen on seafood, savor Red Lobster’s Family Feast dish.

6. Jumping Gym

When on budget, jumping gyms can prove to be lively and cheap entertainment for your family. Depending on whether you prefer indoor or outdoor play centers, activities for kids can vary. Activities can include bounce houses, trampolines, foam staircases followed by giant slides, and climbing walls.

Small kids particularly like the ball pits. Knowing that your kids play safely is what makes soft play centers ideal places for fun. The best thing about jumping gyms is that you can get some time of peace while the kids get tired.  All this for as little as $5 admission fee per child. Sometimes, specials and family discounts may also apply.

Attend Local Community Events

The number of community projects and groups is continuously on the rise. Depending on the interests of your family, you can attend concerts, fairs, and even do some volunteering. Volunteering can teach children great lessons, such as the importance of meaningful hard work.

1. Local Events

Attending an open-air concert or festival in the summer is a great idea for cheap family entertainment, in some cases even free. Since those are held in local squares and parks, take some drinks, and the entire family can enjoy the experience.

Attend a free community movie night if you’re keen on films. Check if your local district is hosting events with family-friendly movies and enjoy the projection on a giant wall under the stars.

Our final piece of advice is to check your community calendar regularly. This information can be found on the city’s website, under the ‘events’ section. You might as well keep up with calendars of neighboring towns.

Pro-tip, you can combine visiting local events with collecting and recycling aluminum cans for cash. So, you will have free fun for your whole family and make money at the same time.

2. Community Space

Rely on community halls if you want to merge with people and foster a sense of belonging. Most celebrations, fairs, social, and economic interactions take place just there. Enjoying a local public square with fountains and a music band sounds irresistible, right?

Turn To Discounts and Deals

Before you decide to pay the full price, always check sites that offer various promotions and discounts. Among others, the following ideas are a must. All of them feature discounts on multiple museums, bowling venues, playgrounds, and zoo tickets of up to 70%.

1. Groupon

The best online discount and coupon site will do wonders for your family budget. Offering discounts of up to 70%, you can filter deals by location and preferred activities. Groupon also displays deals on high-end restaurants and playgrounds.

We recommend you try out some of the educational or creative art activities. Depending on the age of your kids, you can make fabulous memories, both indoors and outdoors.

2. CertifiKID

Being the nation’s leading site for family-friendly activities on a budget, CertifiKID offers free resources to save on kids’ activities near you. With a consumer rating of over 4.5, most people that make use of the services are satisfied. From adventures and family getaways to birthday party packages, find the best deals at half price.

The website works with major brands and local businesses and doesn’t charge an up-front fee. Plus, you might also earn a 5$ credit if you refer a family to the site and they buy with CertifiKID for the first time.

3. 365Tickets

Are you looking for cheap entertainment for families to spend a day out? Check 365Tickets for excellent deals. You will find a vast selection of discounts on historical and cultural sites, but also some amusement parks and zoos.

Discounts will save you up to 50% of the regular price, and you can often waive additional booking or card fees. So, next time you plan a day out, browse the pages of 365Tickets thoroughly.

4. Cash In Your Loyalty Program Points

Consider point-based programs to make use of the store’s current offers and deals that guarantee excellent family time. Other stores offer membership programs for loyal clients, and you can easily earn a monthly pass to an entertainment center for free.

Furthermore, make use of the promos you’re being offered as a regular client. For instance, some visit-based programs grant you a tenth time gratis after you visit the place nine times. Cashing in your loyalty rewards is one of the proven ways to make quick cash.

Final Thoughts

To cut a long story short, don’t fall for hefty activities that lighten your wallet every single day. Instead, be creative, do some research, and make unique memories with your beloved ones.

From cheap household entertainment to great outdoor activities, we took great care to select the best ideas for frugal parents. Put our suggestions into action and feel free to share your experiences with us.


What can I do with kids for cheap?

Any indoor activity with kids will cost you less than spending quality time outside. When at home, focus on doing creative and educational activities such as reading books, playing board games, and making jewelry or crafts. If you still want to spend time outdoors, go to the local museum, visit a jumping gym, or visit a farm. Spending excellent family time is not always about the money, but your will to dedicate yourself to what you’re doing.

What can families do together at home?

When looking for cheap household entertainment, any of the ideas above will do the trick. Make cookies or choose an old recipe and experiment with ingredients. Organize a treasure hunt and give the winners their well-deserved prizes. Learn to do some magic tricks and make a performance at home. Lastly, movie nights with tea and popcorn is what always hits the spot.

What can families do for free?

With us, you’ll never run out of cheap family entertainment. Visit a national park and explore nature while hiking or wandering the trails. Have a picnic in the nearest park or spend a lovely day on the beach. Go cycling to an unknown part of the city and find a perfect spot for taking family photos. If you prefer to stay at home, you can always organize quizzes and competitions, or spend time baking and creating works of art.

How do I make a family party fun?

Hosting a unique party on a budget is not an impossible quest, but it requires an impeccable organization. If you live in a house, set the party in your backyard and invite people to contribute with food and decorations. Alternatively, you can make a picnic party or take the kids to an outdoor adventure at a campsite. Finally, consider throwing kids’ parties at a local farm, making the entire thing both entertaining and educational.


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    30 thoughts on “Cheap Entertainment Options For Your Family

    1. Michael says:

      Let’s have fun with the kids!

    2. Abi says:

      We play boarding games with the kids all the time. The kids enjoy it, and quite frankly we enjoy it too.

    3. Elijah says:

      My daughter loves only her phone. Everything else is “boring”

    4. Mat says:

      In these internet times, we already forgot how to play with our kids.

    5. Logan Reves says:

      Wow it brings me back the memories of my childhood. Playing with my parents and my sister. Those were times. I don’t think that nowadays families entertain themselves this way.

    6. James says:

      Great ideas!

    7. Christopher says:

      Playing with kids and entertaining them is a crucial part of their growing-up. As parents we have the responsibility to spend some time educating them and playing with them. It doesn’t always mean that we have to spend a ton of money on their toys. What is important is the love and the care that we give them. And our time, of course.

      1. Serenity says:

        You are right!

    8. Avery says:

      Our local library has kids’ night. The employees are entertaining the kids reading them some stories, playing with them for a couple of hours and this only cost $5 per visit. My kids love it, we are their regular customers. Plus they gave them a story to read it at home till the next week.

    9. Grace says:

      Thanks, great tips as always.

    10. Brooke says:

      I tried to teach my granddaughter to do some simple knitting. She adores it. Now we don’t have problems, she can sit for hours and do some knitting for her dolls.

    11. Luke says:

      Enjoyed reading. Nice ideas, thank you!

    12. Kaylee says:

      I usually go with my kids to the zoo and than to a restaurant. It’s not cheap though. I’ll have to try some of your ideas.

    13. Gabby says:

      I do some baking with my kids. The kitchen is a mess, but it is really fun and we are all happy with the result.

    14. Isaac says:

      Nice tips but as we are busy the whole day we rarely find some quality time to spend it with our kids.

    15. Zoey says:

      Once a week we have a game night. Usually I and my husband let the kids decide what we are going to do. But definitely I will use some of your tips.

    16. Brayden says:

      Play with your kids. This they will remember.

    17. Layla says:

      I do not allow my kids to spend so much time in front of TV. Since I am not working, I always find some fun ways to entertain them.

    18. Lan says:


    19. Chase says:

      Planetarium and zoo and other stuff are ok, but not always cheap and affordable. I think that entertaining kids at home is the cheapest option.

    20. Ian says:

      Enjoying with kids whatever you do, that’s what is important.

    21. Lucy says:

      Enjoying with kids whatever you do, that’s what is important.

    22. Jocelyn says:

      Definitely worth a try!

    23. Kim says:

      With all what was happening and the quarantine, we have to be inventive and find some things to do at home, or we all gonna go crazy.

    24. Ayden says:

      Yea, even online school is practiced these days. And again making kids dependable on the net and the computer.

    25. Darinka says:

      When we were kids, we enjoyed to be outside playing with other kids. Our parents had more time to spend with us. Todays’ kids are spoiled and have everything and yet not satisfied.

    26. Maja says:

      How to raise your kid to see the true values in family when we are outside working in order to pay bills? Or finding some ways to cutting on expenses?

    27. Lucy says:

      As a single parent I work from home in order to stay in the house. And yet I do not have enough time to spend with my kid.

    28. Autumn says:

      Definitely I will try to find some discounts that you proposed. Cutting on home expenses is mu goal, since the home budget is smaller and smaller every day.

    29. Jose says:

      Nice article. Always useful tips. I am going to use some!

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