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Entertain Your Family For Less

Throughout the year, there are many times when we as parents wonder how we will keep our kids entertained, whether they are on a school break, or in the summer, or during the holidays. Coming up with ideas that are fun but that don’t cost a lot of money can be quite challenging, especially if your family is experiencing a financial hardship or trying to cut costs to survive the current state of the economy. The good news is that if you are willing to do a little extra work and research, there are plenty of ways to entertain your family without paying a huge price tag in the process. By combining imagination and creativity, you’ll be able to put together some fun family activities without breaking the bank. Below, I will cover some great ideas that you can easily implement into your family nights, so take some time to read over them so that you are familiar with many ideas.

Board Games

Currently there is a push in the retail world for families to implement “family game nights”. This is a great way for children of all ages to come together one night out of the week with their families and enjoy a night full of laughs and memories. It seems like when families get together to play a game, many laughs are shared and memories are created that children will remember for years to come. Board games are also great because they can be enjoyed throughout the year. They can be played during the cold months or during the hot months. Whether your family gathers around the dining table to play a game of checkers, dominoes, or even play with a deck of cards, this is a great and inexpensive way to stay connected with family members, while allowing some time to discuss each others interests and day to day activities.

Movie Night

These days going out to a movie theatre can be quite expensive for an entire family. First, there’s the tickets, then the popcorn, then the drinks, and so on and so forth. By the time you get out of the movie, a family of four can easily have spent about $75! Imagine how much fun you could have had with $75 and you wouldn’t have been sitting for the entire time. A great way to enjoy a family movie night is to check out the local library or the local video store. While it is still expensive to rent a movie, it is still cheaper than going out to one. By going this route, you will have plenty of money left over to pop some popcorn at home, and buy a 2-liter of soda at the grocery store. Besides, it’s much more comfortable to gather around the TV all cuddled in a blanket, maybe around the fireplace while you enjoy a show.

Local Events

For the most part, many people are simply unaware of the many activities that are happening within their own communities. Some of these activities cost and some don’t, and this is where your good eye and wisdom will come into play. Often, there is a section in the local newspaper that describes what is happening in the community that week, and they will list prices or give you a phone number to call to find out the cost. Other places that you can check is online and local community boards at the city offices. Even, ask other parents for ideas on places to go or what is going on.


Creating memories together as a family doesn’t always have to involve games, balloons, and treats. Families can create more meaningful memories together as they are volunteering around the community. It is a good idea to contact your local city offices for ideas that are going on around the city. A great way to volunteer is to contact the local homeless shelter to serve a meal, or pick up trash around the local park or pond. You can even contact a senior citizens home and have a game night with the residents. Residents would love the company and a chance to laugh and have fun. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and recognize how blessed your family is to have each other.

Store Sponsored Events

Check with local stores to see if they sponsor activities for kids during the month. Stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Toy’s R’ Us, Barnes and Noble, and many craft stores often have days like on Saturdays where children can come enjoy a fun activity for free! This is a great way for kids to learn new skills, even social skills as they interact with other children. Even if the activity isn’t free, often times it is quite cheap. This is a great way to spend an otherwise boring afternoon.

Get back to Nature

During the Winter months, we try to keep our kids inside as much as we can, because of the extreme temperatures that occur. So, after months of being couped inside, it will do every member of the family to get a little fresh air. It might take a little planning, but going on a weekend camping trip would be loads of fun for your children and for you. You can also find a cheap community swimming pool, some great hiking and biking trails, or just enjoy a fun game of baseball at the park. All of these activities are great ways to burn off excess energy that your kids are likely to have., plus you’ll be spending valuable time together as a family.

These ideas are just a few of the many that are out there. Take some time to compile a list of great ideas, then use that list to refer to often. These activities are great because they are either free or quite cheap and are a great way to encourage family connections. During this time when money is the subject of so much attention, you may find it to be a welcome relief to forget about how materialistic our society has become and get back to the basics when it comes to family fun.