After a busy week of work, school, sports, playdates, lessons and everything else families try to fit in, who isn’t ready for some fun family time?
But who has time to plan an outing that the kids and adults will enjoy, that won’t cost a fortune and that won’t have you back home in twenty minutes looking for something better to do? Well, we’ve done the hard work for you and come up with five fun weekend activities you can do for $50 — or less. So your only job is just to get out there and have a good time.
Indoor game day
An indoor game day can be a great way to spend quality time with your kids. Let each member of the family choose a favorite game, split into teams where necessary and start playing. Keep some jigsaw puzzles on hand — the large 48-piece puzzles for little kids and a 1,000-piece monster for anyone else — in case someone tires of a game or needs redirection.
You can even set a loose schedule — games for small kids in the morning, games for the big ones while the younger ones nap and so on. Don’t limit yourself to board games. Offer suggestions such as Twister, Wii Sports and charades. You probably already own most of the games you’ll play, but you can even splurge on a new one or two without blowing the budget.
Family baking day
This is one activity where you can really enjoy the fruits of your labor! A family baking day lets you spend time with each other and fills your freezer with goodies you can all enjoy throughout the year (gift them, too!).
In the morning, start by searching out recipes and deciding what you’ll make. Involve everyone in choosing the goods, creating a shopping list and prepping the kitchen. Once you have your ingredients, set up different stations in the kitchen and get started. Rotate cleanup duty, assign a taste-tester to each batch and try not to eat everything that comes out of the oven immediately!
What are your favorite things to cook or bake with your family? Share in the comments section below!
Movie theater at home
If the weather outside is frightful, a double or even triple movie day is a cozy way to pass the time. You can rent movies from a $1-a-night kiosk like Redbox, which means you can afford to rent one for each age group in your family. Pop up some popcorn and let each child choose one movie snack. Be sure to grab lots of pillows and blankets and get cozy as a family. You can find theater-sized boxes of candy at the drugstore to add to the movie theater feel. Issue kids their very own movie tickets and let them “enter” the theater area.
Want to get out of the house? Look into your local children’s museum. In most cases a family membership costs more than $50, but if you go two to three times in a year, your cost per visit is within our budget, and membership usually gets you discounts at other museums. You’ll find activities and exhibits for babies, toddlers and elementary school kids, but middle and high school kids are likely too old for a children’s museum. If that’s your age range, look into other local museums or planetariums. You should be able to find something in your city that interests your children and offers a family membership at a reasonable price.
Love the outdoors? Plan and plant a garden together. In just one weekend, you can easily plan and plant a garden in your backyard. This activity offers something for everyone: woodworking, digging in the dirt, planting seeds, choosing flowers — everyone can participate to create a garden that truly meets your family’s needs. Bonus: if your kids plant vegetables, they might actually eat them!