Here are some quick ideas for outings with your kids that are FREE! Some of these may already be routine for your family, but hopefully you’ll come away with some new ideas as well. There are so many fun free activities you can do together as a family.
Unless your children are currently begging for a puppy or a kitty, then why not pay a visit to the pet store? My girls love to watch the hamsters, ferrets, birds, turtles and fish. We always have a conversation in advance about how we are NOT going to bring anything home!
We tend to associate picnics with lunch, but why not change it up and have a breakfast picnic? Grab donuts or bagels and some fruit, or make some breakfast burritos in advance. Head to a nearby pond with a blanket (and a thermos of coffee for you!). Then go for a walk, or play frisbee!
The library is great for all ages, from infants to adults. I am obsessed with the fact that we can check out as many books as we like, enjoy them for weeks, and never pay a penny for anything! Kids can also play computer games, and attend story time. Parents can check out the latest NY Times Best Sellers for FREE.
Plan a scavenger hunt for your kids. Cater the search and location to their ages, of course. For young children, look in the neighborhood for things like a dandelion, a roly-poly and a long stick. Older kids may enjoy a photo/video scavenger hunt at the mall (especially on a rainy day). There are a lot of scavenger hunt list ideas online.
Feed the Ducks
Stale bread in the fridge? Old crackers in the pantry? Go feed the ducks!
Yes, this is obvious, but have you ventured beyond your neighborhood one lately? Take time to discover new playgrounds you haven’t tried, yet. Maybe there’s a super fun playground just one town away. And next time, try another one.
There are public tennis courts everywhere! At your local schools, or through Parks and Rec. School courts are free to the community, as long as the school doesn’t need it, and as long as you follow a few rules (like proper shoes and no pets…nothing major). My girls are young and not really tennis players, yet, but they love to run around after tennis balls.
My girls love to go to the mall, even if we’re not planning to buy anything. We go the Disney Store and play for awhile, to Barnes and Noble (they have a fantastic kids’ section) and to the indoor play area. If you have a pre-teen girl, she will love trying on expensive formal wear, just for fun. Free!
Choose a volunteer activity for your family. Maybe it’s working together at a fall festival, or walking the dog of an elderly neighbor. Or, there are many volunteer match organizations who can help you find something family-friendly.
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Of course, in the summer we have swimming and splash pads – both free! Bicycling, hiking, flying a kite… What other FREE family outing ideas can you share?