*Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Fidelity and MEFA but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. I’m proud to be partnering with them to help spread the word about their U.Fund 529 College Investing Plan and the #UFundDreams Tour. I have been compensated for my time.*
It’s no secret that family activities can be costly. You can easily spend $100 or more for a family of four to catch a movie. So imagine spending that much weekend after weekend. Limiting your entertainment budget is an easy way to decrease your spending. Don’t worry, cutting back on your spending does not mean that you have to give up on the fun! Here are 15 Fun and Cheap Family Activities that your whole family will love.
15 Fun and Cheap Family Activities
1. Check out the activities calendar in your area
The internet is truly an amazing resource. You can find all sorts of activities in your area. For example, I searched “family activities in Massachusetts” and a whole list of things came up. You will find lots of activities with many of them that are even free.
2. Visit your local library
You would be amazed at what resources you can find at your local library. They have not only books, but you can rent movies and they often hold free family activities. We can also get discounted museum passes at our library and even rent a telescope! So be sure to use this valuable resource in your town.
3. Go to a sporting event in your town
Even though your kids might play sports themselves, there is something so exciting about watching the “big kids”, better known as high schoolers, play a game. It’s a great way to foster the town spirit.
4. Listen to a podcast
Podcasts are great free entertainment on a rainy day. There is a podcast section in iTunes and it’s easy to use. If you need help, just search “help getting started with Podcasts” on the internet.
5. Have a family game night
Pull out all of those unused board games that you have in the closet collecting dust and have a game night. You can even create teams, like kids vs. parents.
6. Bake something
If your kids love to cook as my kids do then get in the kitchen and bake something new. It can be a dessert, like these Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. If you don’t feel that your baking skills are up to par, they also sell no-bake dessert kits in the store. Getting their hands dirty is always a kid favorite.
7. Have a nature scavenger hunt
There are great printables online for nature scavenger hunts. They do sell scavenger hunt kits as well. You don’t have to go far either. You can do this in your local park.
8. Go for a hike
There is nothing like a little exercise, some fresh air, and the beautiful sites of nature. If you are planning on hiking a lot, I would recommend investing in a good pair of hiking boots.
9. Host an outdoor movie night
Nothing is more fun than watching a movie outdoors on the big screen. Remember my library tip? Well, our library even rents out projectors and movie screens for free! Grab some blankets and pillows and pop the popcorn. Kids can even sit on their favorite beach floats. You will be the hit of the neighborhood.
10. Learn origami
All you need is YouTube and some scrap paper for this one. Test out your skills and see who can make the best paper crane or frog.
11. Make a time capsule
Grab a small box and have each family member walk around the house and collect 2 items that represent the current place in time. Think newspapers, photos, and small toys. Put them all in the box and tape it up tightly. Write open on this date (5-10 years from now) and store it in the closet. Think of how awesome it will be to open this little piece of family history in 5-10 years.
12. Give Geocaching a try
It’s a treasure hunt and outdoor activity all rolled into one. Best of all, you only need a smartphone to play! Visit geocaching.com, type in your home address, and a list of geocaches will pop up. Pick one to add to your GPS and head out on an adventure!
13. Go camping
Most campgrounds do charge a fee, but they are usually fairly reasonable. Borrow a tent from a neighbor and head out on an adventure. Nothing in life is better than the smell of a campfire and the taste of a s’mores with a marshmallow that was roasted in the fire.
14. Visit the zoo or museum on “free” days
If you go on their website, many zoos and museums have free or low-cost admission days. This is a great way to have fun without having to spend a lot. The only downside is that they are usually very crowded, so if crowds are not your thing then you might want to steer clear.
15. Go on a picnic
A picnic is a fun way to get outside for foodies like us. It combines fresh air and delicious food. We regularly picnic at all kinds of places like the beach, the park, and the playground. Grab your blanket and basket and head outdoor for dinner in the park!
There you have it, 15 Fun and Cheap Family Activities that won’t break the bank. So you might ask, what do we do with all of this money that we are saving? Well, we contribute some of it to a college savings plan for our children.
More About Our Saving
We are enrolled in the Massachusetts 529 plan, MEFA’s U.Fund College Investing Plan. A relative of ours actually opened the accounts for our children when they were born. We have contributed to them ever since because it is a flexible and affordable way to save for college.
If you want to learn more, the U.Fund Dreams Tour will be heading to the Boston Children’s Museum for CreatedBy. It’s on Friday, October 25th from 10 am-9 pm and Saturday, October 26th from 10 am-5 pm.
We will be there on Saturday and we can’t wait to meet and chat with the Fidelity staff at the U.Fund Dreams Tour tent and to learn even more ways that we can save for our children’s future. The friendly Fidelity staff will be on hand and they can answer any questions you might have as well.
The U.Fund Dreams Tour tent is fun for the kids with a photo booth complete with props and a launch game for the kids to play while the parents learn more about the MEFA’s U.Fund College Investing Plan. So come join us for the fun and to get some great info on MEFA’s U.Fund!
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