Nearly free family fun

Get your family moving with these low-cost and free ideas


Go for a walk or a bike ride, go swimming at the beach, jump rope, build a snowman, rake leaves and jump into the pile, play tag or hide-and-seek, play soccer, basketball or softball, swing on the swing-set, slide down a snowy hill.

Get outside

Have a picnic at the park, in your backyard (or in the living room), look up at the stars or clouds and tell stories about them, go on a scavenger hunt, play fetch or walk with the dog, walk over and visit a neighbor.

Take a tour in your community

Research your community and visit the local sites as if you were a tourist, involved family members in learning about attractions in advance and planning the mini-trips.

Visit the farmers market

Let each family member choose some produce and help to plan and prepare the family’s meal with fresh, local ingredients. Ask the farmers how they prepare foods that are new to you. Learn more about farmers markets and how to use SNAP/EBT.

Organize a family night

Set aside one night a week to gather as a family and enjoy indoor activities together: rent old or classic movies, play board games, play card games, play charades or storytelling games, create a journal of your family’s stories.

Get creative with arts and crafts

Assemble a box with home-made play dough, art clay, water paints, finger paints, tempera paints, paint brushes, paper, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, markers, pens, glue, glitter, scissors, paper punches and other found objects (try garage sales). Designate a time and place for family members to get creative together.

Visit the public library

Make it a habit to visit the library regularly; use the internet, borrow books, tapes and videos or DVDs, attend story hour or other library events, read the newspaper and magazines you don’t subscribe to, reserve a study room and work on a project while others do homework. Make sure each family member has their own library card.