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Free or Cheap Things to do with Kids

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Growing up in a large family, we were forced to be pretty creative in our attempts to avoid boredom. It is possible to have a lot of fun while spending little or no money. Now that I have children of my own, I always seem to enjoy things more when they are free or cheap. When you spend less, I think it is ok for things to "go wrong" and you aren't constantly thinking "Gosh, I hope this is worth the money!" Here is a list of some free or cheap options for anyone. Please feel free to add!

Visit a Thrift Store or Dollar Store
Give your kids (and yourself) a dollar or two and split up! See what you can buy for a few bucks and vote on who got the best deal

Take Pictures
Have every family member take turns with the camera and pick a few of their favorite pictures. Have a contest and the winner gets to be printed and framed for a month until the next contest

Have a Play
Help the kids write a play. Make sure you record it to play at their wedding!

Playground or Park
Movies and Homemade Snacks
Make cookies or popcorn and pop in a movie, maybe even a home video!

Make Popsicle or Cookies
Try a new recipe!

Create an Obstacle Course

Water Gun or Water Balloon Fight

Capture the Flag

Pack a picnic, grab the kids and go on a hike. You can search for local hiking trails online!

Search For Free Events Online
Most areas have a website or magazine with a list of local events or festivals. Often, you can fine some free events in your area.

Check our your Library, School, or Museum
Sometimes there are free or cheap events right in your community

Write a Song or Poem
Maybe I just grew up in a competitive family, but we always had contests. I didn't always win but I always had fun trying!

Here are a few options! Have Fun and please feel free to add :)
VirginiaPeanuts posted Feb 04, 2012

I always take my kids to, Bay Beach Amusement Park, Green Bay.
$.25/$.50 a ride....

encorez (rep: 10k) posted Feb 04, 2012


surf the web and play online games for free ;)

gangstabarbie (rep: 21k) posted Feb 04, 2012


Get them to make pizza for me for lunch. They enjoy putting the indigent.I can take a break and only need to handle the bake it.

barang_square (rep: 631) posted Feb 04, 2012


I love doing pizza with my kids! It is cheaper than ordering out and so much fun!

VirginiaPeanuts (rep: 12.4k) posted Feb 05, 2012


When my 13 years old daughter gets depressed or upset about something, I take her to Target. After an hour of browsing, she is a different person! And we don't even have to buy much. I don't know why, but it works only with Target.

vev220 (rep: 2) posted Feb 07, 2012


^ Target IS pretty relaxing. Ours never seems too crowded and the lines are never long. Maybe that's why!

VirginiaPeanuts (rep: 12.4k) posted Feb 07, 2012


I gather random art supplies for my son (sometimes homemade, sometimes dollar store stuff) and with a 50 cent piece of cardboard we can make some creative board games! Marshmallows and Lego pieces make great game markers :)

munkin2u (rep: 1.3k) posted Feb 08, 2012


My son and i LOVE story time at the library. We get to do free crafts, take out books and movies. We are typically there for 2 hours or so. They also have a playground sometimes we pack a lunch, and hang out for hours with his library friends.

Also they have free or very discounted movie tix at our local theatre during school breaks, that's always a good time.

Toddler time at the bowling alley, it's only $5 for a movie, and bowling..parent is free.

And as always, check with your local libraries for free and discounted tix to museums and local attractions.

kimeeb (rep: 136k) posted Feb 22, 2012