As summer approaches, I’m always looking for free activities to do with my family, that don’t cost me any money, help create memories, and fill the gaps in our days.
You could go shopping. I used to do that a lot before simplifying. It was something to do.
I would go buy all the things to make a new craft. Or I would spend the day looking for a new way to redecorate a room.
However, it was when I started getting creative, looking for free activities in our area, using up some of the supplies we already had on hand, or exploring our community, that I really started to save money and enjoy my days.
When we started cutting the clutter and stopped spending money unnecessarily, we all of a sudden had more time on our hands.
The problem, we did not know how to use this time! Spending money on experiences is fun, but sometimes, you need free activities to do.
These ideas will allow you to spend more time with those you love without spending a dime and without adding more clutter to your home.
Related Post: 15 Easy Steps to Start Decluttering When Overwhelmed
20 Free Activities You Can Try Today:
1 – Go on a hike
Hiking is an activity you can enjoy no matter where you live. There is always a park or trail nearby.
If you are unsure, check out the AllTrails app or website. It has so many great ideas.
If you have kids, getting them out into nature can be a blast. It is also good for their little bodies and brains.
2 – Find a new playground or park
My kids LOVE finding new playgrounds, and there are some pretty amazing ones out there.
If you are stuck in the rut of going to the same local playground, go out and explore. Find a new favorite.
Too big for playgrounds, then simply find a park. I feel like our state parks are so underutilized.
Try geocaching, have a picnic on a new lake, or go play disc golf! Get outside of your comfort zone and waste a day somewhere new. It may not feel so wasted when you are done.
Spending time outside in a new place is one of my favorite free activities.
3 – Put together a puzzle
I have several puzzles in my game storage area I have been wanting to put together for years.
However, I rarely have the time to sit down and be so “unproductive”. Take a time-out. Get your family involved.
I was amazed when I taught my four-year-old how to do complex adult puzzles. She caught on very fast and enjoys the satisfaction when we finally finish one.
We have a long, formal dining room table. It’s too long for our day to day meals, so we’ve started leaving a puzzle up at the end. Now, when we want some time to chat or hang out but don’t want to waste it starting at the TV, we sit down there and work on the puzzle.
4 – Go to the library
The library can provide hours of entertainment. Did you know many libraries now let you check out games, puzzles, music, and videos?
If you have little ones, the library often does story-time or craft-time, even on the weekends and especially during the summer.
If your local library is small or not that active, head over to the closest large city library. You don’t have to be a member to enjoy their activities.
I’ve found the libraries have an untapped wealth of free activities for the community to enjoy. Talk to your librarian or check out their website. You may find the perfect free activity to do this week!
5 – Repurpose something in storage
There was a day I got in the car to head to Target so I could buy a basket for storing some item or another.
After a second thought, I headed back inside and rummaged through my closet. I found the cutest basket that was not really being used for any good purpose.
I saved myself at least $15 and the time!
When we store things, it costs us money and space. Go grab something out of your storage area and repurpose it. It will give you a creative outlet, and it will serve you going forward.
6 – Clean out five items from your closet
A clutter-free closet can be incredibly calming.
However, we don’t always have the time to take on a major re-haul of our fashion overload tendencies.
Head to your closet and pick out just five items you know you can live without. Put them in a giveaway bag and make your way to your local donation center.
Decluttering is my one of my favorite free activities! It’s calming and productive.
Related Post: How to Get Rid of Stuff After Decluttering
7 – Finish a craft
You know all those Pinterest craft ideas you are hoarding on your craft board? Go do one.
Look for one that uses up supplies you already have on hand.
I’m guilty of picking that one project that requires a trip to the store. Don’t do this! You are trying to not spend money today.
If you have kids, break out the coloring books and crayons. Nothing says mindfulness like spending time coloring in the moment, with your children.
8 – Read a book
How many books are on your bookshelf or hoarded on your Kindle you have never read?
You bought them for a reason. Go read one.
If you don’t have a book, check out your local library or download one for free to your Kindle from their online offerings.
You can even download your library’s app and “borrow” the books digitally from your library that way.
Reading is a form of self-care, and so many of us don’t indulge often enough. Reading is also a free activity!
9 – Invite a friend over
Out of all the free activities to choose from, this is my favorite.
Do you ever get a call from a friend right when you need it? Be that friend today.
Call someone you have been meaning to catch up with and invite them over for a tea or coffee. Let the kids play.
Relax and enjoy the companionship. This is way better than a Starbucks drink by yourself, and it is cheaper!
Related Post: Why Moms Need to Spend More Time With Friends
10 – Watch a movie with the whole family
Chances are you have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and/or cable. Pick out a movie the whole family can enjoy.
Make some popcorn and put away all of your devices.
In fact, put your devices on silent. Disconnect for a couple of hours and enjoy the company of your family.
Listen to sweet belly laughs as they watch something funny, snuggle on the couch with your spouse, or simply veg out alone.
Don’t put on a movie and then scroll social media! That’s not going to recharge you, and you will miss the movie!
11 – Ride a bike
How long has it been since you took your bike out of the garage? I think my bike sat for years unused.
In fact, we once discussed giving it away during our big garage clean-out. Thankfully, we held on to it.
Now that we are not spending money on things, we have time to ride bikes with our kids. Ride around the neighborhood or at a local park.
If cycling isn’t your thing, then find another active sport to engage in today. It could be as simple as a walk around the neighborhood. Exercise is always a great free activity!
12 – Find something free to do in your town
So many towns and cities have free events, especially on the weekends and especially in the summer months.
Check out your local Macaroni Kid website. They usually have great ideas for free activities to do with kids.
The local library will often have magazines listing out community events or you could follow your town on social media. Our local community lists out tons of free activities on their page.
Related Post: Kid’s “I’m BORED!” Checklist (+Free Printable!)
13 – Go on a picnic
Going on a picnic is one of our family’s top free activities to do.
Grab a blanket and stuff a reusable grocery bag or soft cooler with some goodies.
You don’t have to be fancy. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and chips will do.
Your kids will have a blast! Your mental sanity will enjoy the sun and break.
Don’t worry, you are never too old for a picnic. Kids already moved out? Call a friend. Enjoy some sunshine and relaxation.
14 – Play a board game
I love board games, and so do my children!
However, if you have young kids, playing board games can sometimes feel like a lot of work. “That’s not fair!” “I wanted to win!”
Board games with your kids are fun. They are also an excellent time to sit with your kids and teach them about life.
15 – Use up items in your pantry to make a recipe
Let your kids help. It can be painful sometimes, I know. The mess that will ensue will be memories though.
16 – Facetime or Skype someone by surprise
Technology today is great.
We live two time zones away from our family, but the kids still keep in touch regularly via Facetime.
It always makes my heart happy to see my mom smile when she gets a surprise phone call from the kiddos.
17 – Write a letter and then mail it
Email, texting, and social media make it so easy to be connected today.
However, there is something special about receiving a letter in the mail.
Break out some old stationery. Have your kids draw pictures or write a letter too. Then head over to the post office or to the mailbox before you forget to send it!
18 – Check out free culture passes from your library
This is my favorite little secret on how we enjoy our local city for free.
Most libraries have a culture pass. They may have different names, but the purpose is generally the same.
These passes usually let you check out local museums and attractions for free! Our local library even offers a free State Park pass you can use for one to two weeks! How cool is that?!
19 – Visit a nearby park
Most areas have an abundance of parks. Pack a picnic and go check out one today.
You can go to the beach, on a hike, go fishing, or play on a playground at many parks.
20 – Start planning your next vacation!
Nothing is more motivating for remembering why you don’t want to spend money than starting the planning process for your next vacation.
Get the whole family involved. Look at a map. Check out airline fares.
Is there a new city you have always wanted to explore?
Start putting together your plan today, even if it will be a while before you can take the next trip.
You will have something to look forward to as you continue your efforts to save.
Free activities to enjoy with your family
I love finding creative, new and free activities to do with my family.
Having fun with the family doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be totally free, or it can at least use up supplies you already have on hand.
What are your favorite free activities to do with your family? Please share your comments below.
Less stuff, more adventures!