Eight Memorable Family Outings that Won’t Break the Bank

girl eating ice creamHaving fun does not have to be expensive. When it comes to cheap family activities, you always have the option of going to a museum, library or neighborhood park. However, if you are looking for something new, here are a few ideas.

Visit the Local Firehouse

Visiting your neighborhood firehouse is not only a unique treat for your children, but may turn into a memorable adventure for you. Call the firehouse beforehand and ask about their special programs. During a scheduled trip to the firehouse, your children can see the fire trucks, talk to the firefighters, touch their uniforms, learn about their gear and even meet their canine helpers. Learning about the dangers of playing with fire and how to avoid them is an excellent benefit of such a visit. Do not forget to teach your kids a lesson in gratitude by asking them to thank the firefighters for their service and sacrifice.

Take a Photography Trip

You can always take your family for a walk around the neighborhood, at the local park or, if you are lucky, on the beach. However, do not overlook the educational potential of these outings. Take them a step further and turn these walks into fun photography trips. Hand your young kids cameras or some old phones, and ask them to take pictures of their favorite things. When you get home, print out the pictures and work together on creating an album. Ask your kids to write their own captions. You will end up with a great reminder of your time together and may even help your children discover a new passion for photography.

Attend a Free Community Class

Fun and education often go hand in hand. Find businesses in your community that offer free classes. For example, hardware or arts and crafts stores often host such events. Make it a family business and work together on a project, whether it is a beautifully decorated cake or a wooden birdhouse.

Have a Picnic in the Middle of Nature

Children love to be in the middle of nature. Take them out for a picnic and spend a day in the sun. Make it a serious affair and bring out your whole picnic arsenal, from your checkered tablecloth to the woven-wood picnic basket. Fly a kite, lie out in the sun, play cards, look for bugs, listen to the birds singing or take a splash in a nearby lake.

Library Story Time

Libraries are often considered silent and boring places, but they are very family friendly. Many libraries will have weekly or even daily story time that will include a story and games or crafts related to that story for the whole family. This is an especially good activity for families with young children. It is fun, free, and encourages literacy and education.

Go to the Park

A park brings countless opportunities for free family fun. Try going to a park your family has never been to. This will provide discovery and adventure for everyone in the family. Bring games the whole family can bring. Bring bread to feed ducks in a pond.

Go Hiking

This is a great way to explore the nature in your local area as well as get some exercise. Look for a trail that will be doable given the age and ability of the people in your family. You and your family will enjoy the time together walking through nature.

Have a Quick Treat

If your family has a sweet tooth it can be a very inexpensive outing to get some ice cream or frozen yogurt. Sit down and enjoy it or take a walk while savoring it. Even better, choose a location where you can do some sightseeing. For example, if you are going out for frozen yogurt in the Chicago area, mix in a view of the Pier, a walk on the beach or even a stop at one of the free outdoor events that you can find by consulting your community calendar.

The opportunities for having some family fun on the cheap are endless. Make it your mission to find new ones every week, enjoy them without opening your wallet too often, and save your money for the necessities of life.