The sun comes out, the money spending tends to get loose, and plans go a flyin’! But since our family is planning for a big trip to Hawaii for Spring Break next year it is vital that we take part in frugal entertainment for the family. So, I thought I’d share some the great ideas we partake in to help curb our spending. Here are some frugal entertainment ideas for the whole family.
- Board Games
Board games are a great investment. We have tons of them! If well taken care of, they can easily last a generation. You can often find them at garage sales for a dollar or two, even the new board games. We have cards, dominos, Scrabble, Uno, Mouse Trap, Othello, Boggle, Checkers… You name it!
- Movie Night
Check out a movie from the library or hit up a RedBox, pop some popcorn and entertain the whole family for a couple hours. Take turns picking out what movie to watch. The price for checking out movies from the library: FREE! RedBox: $1.00 per night! WooHoo for cheap fun! Plus we always throw out all the blankets and pillows on the living room floor and make it a party!
- Minor League Sports
If your area has a minor league sports team they can be a lot of fun to watch and much cheaper than their major league counterparts. And there are plenty of times when the stars of the major leagues play at some the minor league games. You might also consider college and high school sports teams, too! They are so much fun (or maybe I’m trying to relive my youth)! LOL.
- Playgrounds, State Parks and Local Parks
Most parks are free, especially if you are not camping. Pack a picnic lunch or bring some barbecue. Try out different parks in your area until you find your favorites. Bring a frisbee and a dog!
- Support the Arts
High school plays, talent shows and community theatre are generally inexpesive and a lot of fun. Or try the local University or city galleries. You will be surprised at how much talent there is in your community. One of the historic landmarks in my area just opened up the Catacombs for touring. I am definitely going to hit up this tour!
- Watch for Free Days and Free Events
Many museums, zoos and aquariums have free days. This is often one day per month such as the first Tuesday or last Friday. There are a lot of museums that are fun and have areas tailored towards kids. In art museums the ancient cultures exhibits are often fun for kids. The place to stay informed is your local newspaper. You’ll be surprised what information you’ll come across for frugal entertainment.
- Farmers’ Market and Swap Meets
You don’t have to spend much money to have a good time at your local Farmer’s Market. Most communities have them on Saturday or Sunday every week during the Spring, Summer and early Fall. Don’t think your kids will like this tip? Oh, they will if you pick up fresh ingredients to take home to help you make something wonderful like an apple betty.
- Library and Bookstore Events
Next time you go to the bookstore or library pick up an events calendar. They often have live music or book readings that might interest your family.
Update(06/2009): National Park Service in the U.S. is sponsering fee-free weekends! Check it out! It’s a great opportunity to experience America’s natural wonders.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Keep your eyes and ears open and you will find many more opportunities to have fun with your family without spending a lot of money.
What are some of your frugal entertainment ideas? Feel free to post them below.