Here we are at Part 3 of this month’s Better Weekends series!
(You can see Part 1 here about having fun weekends with kids and Part 2 about balancing chores and fun on the weekend. And the original post from earlier this year with tips for better weekends).
One common roadblock to fun weekends that came up over and over again was not having the budget to do fun things or visit different places every weekend.
Good news – if there is one thing I firmly believe it’s that you do NOT need to spend money to have a good time! It’s easy to look at the things you CAN’T afford to do, but when you start looking for things you can do without much of a budget, you’ll be amazed at what you can come up with a little creative thinking!
And when I asked on Instagram, there were so many good suggestions!
10 Fun Weekend Activities on a Budget
- GO ON A WALK. There are so many ways to make a walk a fun party of your weekend! Take a walk in nature, go for a family walk in your neighborhood, try a new walking trail, walk to get dessert or take a walk through a part of town you don’t visit often. Not only is it free, but it’s also a great way to get out of the house and get your body moving.
- HIKING. This is one of our favorite free activities on a weekend where we have more time than we might on a week night. Sometimes it’s a family hikes, sometimes we get a group together and go with other families or couples. I keep a list of family-friendly hikes to try and we try to revisit favorite ones too! A hike along or to water is always extra popular and if you really want to ramp up the fun factor without spending a lot, bring along donuts or another special but inexpensive treat or snack.
- MOVIES. Watching a movie might sound basic, but you can really step it up with just a little thoughtfulness. Watch a movie in a fort, pick a movie that fits the season, watch a movie at a different time of day than you normally do or invite friends over to watch with you. A few bags of microwave popcorn cost only a dollar or two and make it feel extra fun.
- PARKS/PLAYGROUNDS. The year we moved to Utah, I made it a goal to visit as many new playgrounds as we could. It was so fun to explore new areas, discover new favorites and get outdoors. We also love riding bikes or scooters to a local park, meeting up with friends at the park, or starting the weekend out at the park for a Friday evening outing or a Saturday morning way to get out of the house early in the day. And don’t forget state or national parks!
- PICNIC. Oh, I love this one. Pack and picnic and take it to the park (invite friends to join!). Do a picnic and movie in the living room. Have a picnic in the backyard. The same sandwiches you were going to have at the kitchen table feel extra special on a blanket in a new location.
- WATER. I heard one mom once say that water was the cure to just about any childhood ailment, whether it was a glass of water for a dehydrated kid, a dip in the pool, or a calming bath. Turn on the sprinklers, find a splash pad, or visit a lake or beach.
- GAMES. You know our family loves games and they’re such an easy way to invite friends to join you, have fun as a couple once your kids are in bed or play with the whole family. And not just board and card games! Try pickle ball or a backyard game!
- FRIENDS/ FAMILY. There’s something special about spending time on the weekends with the people you love most and it doesn’t have to cost much (or anything!). Try having day time playdates, inviting friends over for games or dinner or dessert. Host a s’mores party in your backyard or meet up for a game of pickle ball or a picnic at the park.
- FOOD. Most of us love food and it’s a great way to make your weekend feel more celebratory, no matter your budget. Eat outside, have a dessert potluck, try a new recipe, make something more laborious for Sunday breakfast or get a little treat from a local bakery (much cheaper than a whole meal!).
- HOME. Sometimes, there’s nothing more luxurious than staying home during the weekend. Sleep in (or take a nap if your kids get up early!), spend time in the backyard, do a craft project or snuggle up in bed with a book or show.
- BOOKS. You know I love this – so many of us feel like we don’t have time to read but the weekend is a great time to focus on it. Visit your local library (or visit a new one!), check out the used bookstore or peek at the book section of a thrift store. See if your library has events going on. Have a family reading morning or afternoon.
- OUTINGS: Watch for festivals and community events (I like to google the name of my city and “free events” to see what’s coming up!). Go to the farmer’s market. Get a season pass to a museum or zoo and go often, ride your bike downtown. See if there are free days or evenings at local museums or zoos.
Any other suggestions for free weekend activities? I’d love it if you shared!