I have adopted a philosophy of being a moment maker. That means I want to have moments in life that create a memory with those that I love! Gifts are great but I believe that we cherish memories more than gifts! So we have to look for ways to create moments. You might think it will cost a lot of money to have impactful memories but you can actually find plenty of Free Things To Do that are great moment makers!
Free Things To Do
Vacations and kids’ activities are great moment makers but they take time to save for and you can’t do them every weekend. However, with just a little bit of planning, you can find free or cheap things to do near you! That’s right, free or cheap! If you have no idea where to begin, let me share some of my favorites!
How to Find Free Things to Do Near Me
1. Check your local community calendar.
Regardless of the size of your town, you will likely find free things to do on a pretty consistent basis. I was in my Parks and Rec’s office this week and they had all their upcoming events planned for this year! They have activities like Family Game Night and Movies in the Park.
2. Facebook Groups
If you are on Facebook you really need to search for different Groups that exist. There are groups that exist for almost any type of activity you could think of and for groups that are meeting in your area! This is a great way to find out about local activities and to network! To find groups in your areas, go to Facebook. Enter relevant keywords in the search box at the top left of the page. Then you will click the “Groups” tab to see a list of groups. You can click to join and become a member.
3. Visit your library
Your library is a great resource for finding local activities! Plus, they will have the local newspaper which is great for finding local free events.
I subscribe to a website called Allevents.in and they send out updates about local events. These are not always free but I do like this site to know about opportunities in my area!
There are a bunch of apps that you can download to your smartphone that will help you discover activities in your area! Search for local events in your app store to find different apps.
15 Free Things to Do in a Weekend
1. Visit a State Park
Many of our local State Parks have free admission. That opens up all kinds of fun opportunities for your family! I think one of the best memory makers is spending time outdoors. Especially if you can go camping! Check out your state’s website to check for fees and then head out to make some great memories!
2. Join a local library book club.
You can check the book out for free and enjoy many of the activities and talks the library will sponsor to go along with it. You can even earn prizes for the books you read. Plus, they have DVDs you can check out and plan a family movie night.
3. Catch a Free Concert
Does your community have an amphitheater or concert venue? These are a great place to catch a concert for cheap. Check surrounding areas to see what they have scheduled.
4. Attend Local Festivals
We attend several of these a year in our area and enjoy walking through all the vendors. This does not cost us anything and our kids look forward to it every year!
5. Go Geocaching
Have you heard of Geocaching? It’s an outdoor scavenger hunt and adventure! You will need to download the app to your smartphone but it’s free to use. Once you have the app you simply go searching for “geocache” that are in your area. Geocaches are physical containers that are hidden outside. Many geocaches will have treasures in them. Make sure you take small treasures on your hunt. Once you find a geocache, take a treasure and leave a treasure. Most of these are small trinkets like erasers, stickers, or pencils. Geocaching is a lot of fun and something the whole family can do!
This is a great way for the family to learn the value of serving others together. Many churches will have opportunities to serve the community but there are other organizations that post opportunities. Our local animal shelter is always asking for volunteers. Load the family up and go take dogs on a walk!
7. Go stargazing.
Look up the various constellations on the internet and then go out on a clear night and see if you can locate them. Make a checklist prior to going and see how many you can check off.
8. Try bird watching.
Visit local parks and hiking trails and see how many different birds you can spot. You can snag a pair of binoculars at the dollar store before going, and make a list to check off just like you did for the constellations.
9. Visit Michael’s Craft Store for free and inexpensive crafting events for kids.
You can find the schedule of events online and will find that most are just a few dollars to attend. They offer all sorts of planned DIY projects, like washi tape and jewelry making crafts.
10. Make homemade play dough.
You will find that Pinterest is FULL of various recipes, scented recipes, even edible play dough recipes. You are sure to find one that is easy and enjoyable for your kids.
11. Have a loaded water balloon fight.
This is no ordinary fight. In this case, the water balloons are loaded with shaving cream. This is a fun way to have a balloon fight and one that is sure to get messy.
12. Enjoy kid meal discount days at local eateries.
Most eateries offer kids eat free or discounted night, so find out when some of them are offered in your area and take advantage of them.
13. Attend discount days at your local theatre.
Many theatres offer a $1 kids day or some sort of children’s discount day, so find out when they are happening in your area and take in a flick for cheap or free.
14. Make your own root beer or purple cow floats.
All you need is root beer, grape soda, and vanilla ice cream. Kids will love creating and eating this traditional and old fashioned summer treat!
15. Go camping!
This is a great way to get out and enjoy nature, and most campsites can be reserved for under $20 a night. Or, just pitch a tent in your backyard!
15 Free Things to Do with Kids This Summer
1. Splash Pad- More communities are building splash pads and these are great afternoon fun! If you do not have one in your community, do some research and find one close that you can visit!
2. Sprinklers- You can always make your own sprinkler park in the back yard! Kids love to play in the water so this is always a lot of fun!
3. Take Pictures- Most phones take great pics! Search online some tricks of the trade and then go out and take some pics! This will help you to capture your creativity and make memories that you can keep.
4. Cook Something New- There are lots of dishes that are just better in the summer! Try some fun drink recipes or a new dessert!
5. Science Experiment- Your kids will love trying new science experiments! Seach online for fun experiments that use common household supplies!
6. Go on a Bike Ride- Our area has so many bike trails to explore! There are trails for beginners to experts. This is a fun way to get some exercise!
7. Baseball Game- If your community as Minor League Baseball then you can usually score tickets for cheap! Minor League games are great entertainment for the whole family.
8. Backyard Movie Night- If you have access to a projector then it can be fun to host a backyard movie night! We did this for my son’s birthday party and the kids LOVED it!
9. Make S’mores- You can build your own firepit or buy one. We love sitting around the fire pit at night and roast s’mores! Some of our best conversations are during this time.
10. Host a Neighborhood Cookout- I know this is not free, or necessarily cheap but you can have people bring sides and desserts. You provide hot dogs. The reason that I like this is it provides community in the neighborhood. It’s one of the best ways to get to know your neighbor. It’s worth the cost.
11. Start A Garden- Seeds are really cheap and you do not need a lot of space to have a garden. We have a community garden near our house and you can go help take care of it. The great part is you can grab fresh veggies throughout the summer!
12. Learn to Can Fruits and Vegetable- Take the fruits and vegetables from your garden and learn to can. This is so practical and will help you save money. Plus, you can give away cans to your friends and family.
13. Start a Workout Routine- Summer is a great time to start a new routine! Run, bike, swim whatever gets you active and burning calories is a good thing! Check with your city calendar. Many will offer “couch to 5k” courses in the summer. Some of them are free to join. I have also seen people post on Facebook about starting a running group for beginners. Be intentional and you will find a routine that works for you!
14. Read a Book- Check one out at the library for free and then spend your free time inside an air-conditioned space enjoying a good book. The whole family can do this!
15. Lake Day- If you have lakes or rivers that are close then you can spend the day soaking in the sun and playing in the water. Most areas are free or have cheap entry fees.
No one regrets making moments that are lifelong memories! Many of the moments that you shared will be talked about for years! Most of all, your kids just enjoy spending time with mom and day (even if they will not admit it)! So make the most of 2020 and be a moment maker!