Entertaining your kids on a day off can sometimes pose more of a challenge than simply going to work. Spending quality family time together is important, but not every weekend or day trip can be over-the-top extravagant. Sometimes, just opening kids up to new experiences allows you to bond as a family and helps you all enjoy a low-key day together. Here are some ideas for quality family time that won’t cost you a bundle.
Chances are you don’t need to travel far to find something fun to do. Plenty of fun activities exist right in your backyard. Look for local tourist spots you haven’t experienced together. From museums to historic walking tours, local entertainment can be a fun way to help your kids learn more about the world around them. Purchasing family memberships to local zoos or museums can save you money and give you the chance to visit your favorite places several times throughout the year.
Minor-league sports teams are often a bargain compared to major-league ticket prices. Attending a minor-league ball game or hockey match can score you great seats close to the action. This front-and-center view will keep kids engaged and give them an opportunity to watch live sports. Also, minor-league sports teams typically cater to families, with activities and entertainment for kids when there’s a break in the action.
Spend time together helping others. Attend a family fun walk to raise funds for charity. Sort canned goods at a local food kitchen, or plant flowers to spruce up your neighborhood. To search for local opportunities, check out websites like VolunteerMatch, which allow you to sort activities by location and interest.
Dragging kids (and parents) away from their screens can help encourage the positive family interaction you need. Leave the phones at home when you get outside and go exploring. Spend a day together enjoying nature by hiking trails, riding bikes or taking a boat out on the lake. Check local parks with low-cost or free admission. Another perk to keep in mind: In 2017, many U.S. National Parks that typically charge an entrance fee will be free for 10 days.
Opportunities abound for families ready to try learning a new activity or sport. Discuss your options as a family. You may even want to let your kids take turns picking a new activity. Local community activities sponsored by the library or other organizations may be your best bet when seeking new opportunities that don’t cost a lot. You can also ask about free trial classes to test a new activity like canoeing or ice skating before committing to a pricier, long-term session.
Quality family time doesn’t need to cost a lot. Kids value the experience of spending time together, and the simplest activity can spark a lifelong memory. Breaking out of your routine and trying something new is one of the best ways to engage in fun activities that you’ll look back on for years to come.