Since most schools are back in session, we don’t have to think about keeping our kids busy as much. We do however have weekends that we need to plan fun things for our family to do together. This can, however, put a huge dent in your budget. You can prevent this from happening by doing a little planning. Decide on a budget for your family fun weekend and stick to it. Make a list of your family’s interest and start from there to decide on what you will do. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Check Community Calendars
Find out what your community is planning to do and see if that might interest you. We have had several activities in my community that were not only fun for the whole family but FREE. We have gone to basketball camps, back to school bashes, movies in the park, and even egg hunts in the spring. Find out where you can find a calendar for events happening in your community. This might be online, in your local newspaper or even on a local television channel. You never know what might be happening unless you check.
Parks and Beaches
If you have local parks or beaches you should take advantage of them. Most are free of charge and open to the public. My local park has playground equipment, a walking trail, skateboarding area, basketball court, shelters and grills. My kids could play for several hours there. We sometimes even pack our cooler and grill a meal while we are there. We also have a free beach area that we can visit. You could go there and dip you feet in the water, build sand castles, throw a Frisbee, or even fly a kite. Check around your area and discover these hidden treasures.
Visit a Pet Store
I do not have any zoos near my house and if I did I probably would not be able to afford to take my family. If you have pet stores though, your kids might enjoy peeking in the cages and seeing the animals there. This won’t cost you any money (unless your kids talk you into buying a pet) and you could spend plenty of time there.
Classes Held at Stores
Many stores like Home Depot and Lowes offer classes on the weekends for kids. Most of these are also FREE. Kids can make things like birdhouses and learn some skills as well as have fun. So check out some of the stores around you for some great classes for your child.
Movie Night at Home
Movie nights at home are a great way to have fun and save money. It could easily cost over $50 to take my family to the movies, so we opt for family movie nights. We like to get movies at our public library where they are free. I have learned though that you need to plan ahead and reserve movies that are newer in order to get those movies. They also have a large shelf of older movies to look through and pick something your family would enjoy. We also like to rent movies from Redbox. Movies are only $2 per night and you can even find codes sometimes for free movies. Lately, NBC has also been having Family Movie night on Friday nights. We have watched a couple of good movies that way too. So check local listings as to when those are planned. I also like to plan simple snacks. We always have popcorn and I let the kids pick out a box of movie candy from the Dollar Tree. Family Movie Nights can be lots of fun and very budget friendly.
Visit the Public Library
We use the public library a lot for family fun. Our library has an area for kids to play that has lots of fun toys and books. My kids could spend hours there. We also look for books to read and movies to watch. Occasionally, Libraries plan activities, so check and see if your library has anything going on during the weekend.
Stay at Home
Since your kids have been at school all week you may find that they just want to stay at home. There are lots of fun things you can plan at home. One of my kids’ favorite activities is baking. My kids love making cookies or brownies and I have even been thinking about letting them make some homemade bread. Your kids might also enjoy playing outside if you have a yard or swing set. My kids like to play baseball, yours might enjoy another sport. We have also enjoyed water balloons, when the weather permits. If you have a video game system your kids might enjoy that, and most adults do as well. So, look around your house and see what you could do for fun there.
Whatever your family decides to do on the weekend, it does not have to be expensive. Just make sure you plan ahead and let your kid’s even help in the planning. This will help your family have a fun and frugal weekend!