After a week’s worth of hard work, there is nothing I enjoy more than spending the weekend with my family. While I’d love to take more trips or check out those pricey new restaurants downtown, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to have fun with the family while not breaking the bank. In fact, I’ve learned over the years that the amount of money spent does not necessarily equal the amount of fun had by myself and my family… if only I learned that in college!
Here are a few things my family and I love doing when for budget friendly family fun!
Check out a State Park
Well, I suppose it doesn’t have to be a state park, but if your area is anything like ours, we have some real hidden gems in the parks department. Our favorite is Lake Murray State Park, which I highly recomend. Between fishing, playing catch, or just lounging around on a blanket and reading books, or conversing about our week – we love the time we get to spend together at the park.
Go to a Movie – At Home
Going to a theater is getting quite costly, especially for our growing family. It’s amazing how a 2 hour movie, popcorn, soda and a box of candy can quickly add up to $60+.
We’ve learned to skip the lines, start up Netflix and pick something family friendly from our queue. The littlest ones like to create and then collect tickets, we make popcorn, enjoy some candy and just revel in our time together watching a great movie.
You don’t have to do anything extravagent, but break out some craft supplies and be silly. Maybe you can make picture frames, or decorate paper bag puppets, just do something fun! You could even break out the play dough and tools and have fun creating with those. Again, you don’t need to be a “Pinterest mom” (or dad) to have fun with your family.
Visit the Farmers Market
I used to fall into the camp of grocery shopping being “my” time. After taking my kids with me to the farmers market, I don’t know that I can ever go back to shopping by myself. The kids have a blast talking to the vendors about where their food comes from, as well as picking out choice fruits, vegetables and meat.
Not only is it great for learning where their food comes from, they’re often ready to help me prepare a meal with our newfound farmers market goodies.
Board Games With Friends
Board games are every parent’s best friend. There’s no easier way to spend time with your family than sitting down to a board game like Sorry!, or Monopoly. We take it up a notch after noticing that our oldest was getting a bit more independent and would prefer to skip our game nights in favor of more time with their friends. After inviting her friend to join us, it has become a weekly occurrence at our house. Now all of our kids take turns inviting a friend to join us for game night, and perhaps a sleepover afterwards.
NERF gun battles
Come on now, what weekend isn’t complete without a parents vs. kids battle? In the summer, flip this idea around and include water balloons, shaving cream, and whatever other mess makers you can think of! Activities like this help your family bond and create memories.
These are just a few fun ideas that you and your family can take advantage of this coming weekend. With a little creativity, I’m sure there are dozens of fun little ideas you can come up with that involve your family, an obligation-free weekend, and not a whole lot of money.
Share your ideas in the comments!