Affordable Family Activities


Flickr Photo Credit: Mike Baird

After coming up with a list for adults and couples of things to do with a little pizazz, I felt obligated to at least offer an initial selection of ideas for things to do as a family that are a bit more in the budget realm. Here they are:

  • Homemade popcorn and movies – Explore with seasonings and toppings and get some free library movies ( or swap out with friends). We add garlic powder and grated Parmesan to our popcorn in addition to the traditional salt and butter. Most people ask us what we do so they can try it at home.
  • Family photo shoot – Basically the homespun version of the idea in the previous post. Or go out on a clear picturesque day and take nature pictures together.
  • Board games and snacks – This is a great way to get a couple of families together for an evening of fun without the costs of sitters and meals out.
  • Camping – Kids really dig this.
  • Library day – Go when it’s raining and take your time picking out some really cool books. Or, check out the library schedule to see if they’re hosting a fun event on a particular day.
  • Picnics – Switch out the wine and brie for tuna salad and carrot sticks. You’ll still have fun.
  • Family art projects for the house – I’ve seen some really fun ideas over the years, and if you are open to that modern art and loft decorating type of style, you can have some quality pieces prepared as a family. Take the marble painting idea to a whole new level by getting a larger piece of paper and a large smooth surfaced ball. Dip it in paint while you are laying the paper out on a flat smooth surface, preferably a studio or garage floor that you don’t mind getting damaged. Take turns rolling it across the paper and re-dipping the ball when the paint runs low. Frame it and hang it behind the sofa. Tie-dye sheets and pillow cases for the kids’ bedrooms. Mosaic your outdoor fireplace. There are many other ideas, these are just a few.
  • Build and decorate a loft style piece of furniture as a family.
  • Take a martial arts or other class together.
  • Gardening.
  • Kayaking is great exercise and a fun outing for the day.
  • Nature walk.
  • Cook together.
  • Learn to play musical instruments and incorporate music into your family life.