Regular family time is good for the soul! And it’s one of the best ways to strengthen your family! Life is busy enough and you shouldn’t have to think too hard about your next family activity! That’s why I’m giving you a list of 42 fun ideas to do with your family for free or cheap! Family fun should be quality time together without having to break the bank!
Find some kid friendly trails in or nearby your city.
2. Bike Ride
Check out some of the kid friendly trails in your area. Some of these might overlap with hiking trails. Just don’t forget the helmets!
3. Backyard Campout
Make your campout complete with a tent, sleeping bags, and s’mores! Nothing makes memories like camping! And who says you have to leave the comfort of your home to do it?
What kid doesn’t enjoy swimming? Scout out local lakes, water parks, or splash pads. If there isn’t one nearby, then pull out your sprinkler and throw on the swim suits!
5. Picnic in the Park
Ahh! Fresh air and good food always make my day!
6. Visit the farm
Do you have a farm nearby? We love to see the farm animals and go fruit picking!
7. Play a sport
Some of my favorite childhood memories are playing catch and wrestling with my older brothers.
8. Roller skating
If you don’t have your own roller skates, find a nearby skating rink! Kids love it! And getting exercise and reminiscing your 80’s childhood will surely bring a smile to your face! 🙂
9. Go sledding
10. Build a snowman
Make sure you have hot chocolate for these last two! Or you might end up being the snowman off the Campbell’s soup commercial.
11. Wildlife scavenger hunt
Go for a walk and see how many different animals you can find. We live close by a park that has a pond with geese, ducks, and turtles…and there’s bound to be a squirrel or two. 🙂
12. S’mores and a bonfire
13. Arts and Crafts
14. Learn to make a new recipe
15. Build a Fort
16. Board Games
17. Indoor Campout
Seriously, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home for this! Or even be outside! My kids always feel like it’s a party when we put up our small tent in the family room. You can even go as far as having tin foil dinners and make “stove top” s’mores! We like to pull out the flashlights and read bedtime stories in the tent, too.
18. Visit the Library
Go when there’s an event/activity or just to check out books.
19. Family Read-aloud
21. Put on a Talent or Variety Show
22. Dance Party
23. Karaoke Night
24. Play a game of Hide and Seek
25. Have a family “Un-birthday” party
This is one of my favorite family night ideas! After dinner, pull out a birthday cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to get the party started! Have a game or two ready to play with the kids and then let each other know why you’re grateful for each member in your family.
26. Hit up an indoor swimming pool
We LOVE our YMCA membership for this reason! It’s a great way for the whole family to stay active when it’s too cold to play outside.
27. Bake Cookies for your Neighbors
28. Make a Card or Write a Letter
29. Visit a nursing home
Bring the cards and cookies you made to the nursing home. Or come in your Halloween costume/Bring Valentines/ Come and sing Christmas songs …Depending on what season it is. The elderly love seeing children!
30. Do yard work for a neighbor
Rake leaves, mow grass, weed garden, or shovel snow. There’s so much to be done. Doing service as a family is a great way to strengthen your family as well as teach your children to look outside of themselves.
31. Service Scavenger Hunt
Here’s how to play…Divide into teams and head out into your community to find ways you can help. It could be as simple as returning all the carts at a grocery store or finding someone to compliment. Meet back at home at a designated time and share with each other ways you were able to serve others in your community.
Fun Ideas for One-on-One Time
Quality one-on-one time is so important for your relationship with your child. Making one-on-one time a priority not only is emotionally and socially healthy for your child, but in my experience it adds peace in your home. If each child knows they’ll receive special time and attention with mom and/or dad, then they’ll be less likely to act out.
32. Go out for Ice Cream
33. Play at the playground
34. Play catch or kick a ball around
35. Hula hoop or Jump rope contest
I dare you not to laugh when your child whips your butt at either of these! It’s good to step away from “adult mode” all the time and just laugh and play with your child! You could also make this a family activity and turn it into a full-blown tournament!
36. Join them for something they love to do!
Do you have an artist? Draw or paint a picture together! Have an animal lover? Visit the local animal shelter or pet store! Maybe even let them teach you how to do something. It’s a great way to encourage their unique talent.
37. Scavenger hunt
38. Visit a museum
Katie, over at Embracing a Simpler Life, has literally hundreds more ideas for some one-on-one time with your kids! My husband and I have started implementing some of her ideas. I love the set schedule they have for date night with each child and how they alternate dates with Mom and Dad. If you can make it happen, a biweekly date is an amazing idea! One-on-one time is the best way to really talk to my child and to get to know them on a much deeper level. I feel like it makes me a better parent to know what’s going on in their lives and their perspective of life. Ultimately, it helps me to better see my child as the Savior sees my child.
39. Plan a family vacation together
40. Make a list of holiday traditions
Here are some examples of my family’s Christmas traditions.
- Act out the first Christmas from Luke 2
- Attend a Christmas tree lighting and/or live nativity
- Christmas song dance party
- Make gingerbread houses or village
- Read different versions of “The Gingerbread Man” and play a game of Gingerbread Man tag. Even better if you’ve got a ginger bread man costume! Ha! “Run, Run as fast as you can!”
- Sing Christmas carols together on Christmas Eve with some Hot Cocoa
Come up with your own traditions for different holidays and occasions! Traditions are the essence of family memories! Years down the road your children will remember your fun traditions and likely continue them with their own children!
41. Family birthday party for wedding anniversary
This goes along with #40! It’s a tradition! (And #25! Ha! Guess I like birthday parties!) My husband and my wedding anniversary is also known as our family’s birthday! So we celebrate in true birthday fashion with our kids!
42. Family dinner
This is a no-brainer, but needs to be said! Life gets so busy that sometimes we forget the basics. After all, it’s the simple things in life that often have the most impact. Family dinner is essential. So be intentional about dinner time and make this an opportunity to connect with each other.
What is missing from this List?!
I want to know how you’re making memories with your family!
Please tell me in the comments either something you’re currently doing with your family or something from childhood that really stood out! You can’t make enough memories with your family. And time is your most valuable resource… So please share!