One of our favorite things to do as a family is go for a walk. On the beach, on a trail, wherever. It gets everyone exercising, soaking up that good vitamin D, and best of all, only cost involved is gas to the place you’re walking (if it’s not nearby). Another great family activity is time at a park or playground. A lot of times we’ll bring a picnic and make a couple hours out of it.
If you want something a little more exciting, get a membership to an aquarium, zoo, or children’s museum near you. When we realized that two visits during the year would completely pay for a family membership to the children’s museum, we skipped the admission and signed up for the membership. There’s usually plenty to keep them busy for hours, and essentially, the rest of the year after those two visits is free! Which is especially great for times like this for us, when every penny saved is needed.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s TV. We actually do not have cable, or even a digital antenna. We watch Netflix on our iPads, stream other recently aired TV shows when they become available online, or rent/borrow movies. It does take a little more patience, but I much prefer spending $8/mo for Netflix or $1/night for Redbox or similar services to the exorbitant cable charges. Netflix has tons of kids’ shows, too. And who doesn’t love watching reruns of old favorites when there are no new shows available online?
When we want to hang out with friends, we have everyone over for game night. We’re kind of board game geeks, and love sets like Carcassonne, Dominion, and 7 Wonders—but we also do some party games like Apples to Apples, and trivia games are another favorite.