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6 Budget-friendly family fun ideas

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, pets...

Fun without breaking the bank!

You don’t have to break your budget to have fun with the family. Try these wallet-friendly activities to have a great time without spending a ton.

Fun without breaking the bank!

Game night

Yes, it sounds corny, but family game night is actually a lot of fun. Your idea may be greeted with groans, but once you get started, everyone will have a blast. Let a different family member pick a game each game night. Make sure the games you play are ones everyone can play. If you have a lot of people, break up into groups and play a game for smaller kids and a game for older ones.

Backyard crafts

The backyard is the best place to get messy, because all you need to clean up is a hose and a beach towel. Get an old sheet and some finger paints and let the kids go to town!

Ice cream buffet

Ice cream is the perfect treat on a summer night, but heading out to an ice cream parlor can be costly, especially when you've got a family to feed. Make your own ice cream buffet at home — you'll spend a lot less and you'll make better memories that way! Set out one or two containers of ice cream, whipped cream, syrups or sauces, sprinkles and crushed up cookies or candy. Scour your pantry and set out anything that will work.

Free concerts and movies

Lots of towns offer free outside movies and concerts during the summer months. Find out of your town does and take advantage. That type of entertainment is usually costly, and you'll have a great time without spending a thing. Pack drinks and snacks to avoid buying it there. If your town doesn't offer it, look around for a neighboring town that does.

State parks

Scout out a state park near you and go exploring. Most of these parks are free or only cost a small fee. Pack a picnic lunch and spend a day exploring it. Hike a trail, fish, catch a view, play on the playground — whatever they offer, take advantage!

Potluck party

It's a lot of fun to throw a summer party, but putting out a spread for a crowd isn't cheap. Instead, throw a potluck party. You spring for the meat on the grill, and have everyone else bring a side dish or dessert. You'll get a full spread and then some without spending much at all!


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