Fun and Frugal Family Adventures + $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

Fun and Frugal Family Adventures

The time we spend with our families is priceless. But most popular family activities are quite expensive. Even a simple night at the movies can put a serious dent in the budget by the time you buy tickets, popcorn and drinks for everyone.

Fortunately, there are cheaper alternatives to expensive family adventures. They provide the opportunity to have just as much fun at a fraction of the cost. Some are even free.

Movies and Music

Kids are often itching to see the newest releases at the movie theater. Doing so even once a month, however, can get pricey. One alternative in some areas is the drive-in. Admission is usually much cheaper than it is at a regular theater, and some let you bring your own drinks and snacks. Drive-ins usually show fairly new releases, so the kids can say they saw something that’s not out on video yet.

Some theaters offer reduced-price matinees during the day. Some even have free kid-oriented movies on weekend days. These options offer the theater experience without the outrageous cost.

Kids often want to go to concerts, but tickets to see the most famous bands are far from cheap. Check your local paper for free concerts in the park. Many areas have them during the warm months. Young children can enjoy the music without the huge crowds and deafening sound systems, and older children might gain an appreciation for less well-known bands.

Fun and Frugal Family Adventures

The Great Outdoors

Nature offers a wealth of possibilities for family adventures. Camping is a wonderful activity for families, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as pitching a tent in the back yard, or you can spring for a camper and rent space at a campground. Bring the grill and some hamburgers or hot dogs, or catch some fish to fry.

Parks are great for day trips. Those with playground equipment can keep youngsters entertained for hours on end. Hiking trails offer opportunities for exercise and exploration. Most parks have picnic facilities, so you can pack a lunch instead of eating out.

Other Ideas

Here are some more inexpensive family activities to consider:

  • Play miniature golf. Admission is usually quite reasonable, and it provides the opportunity for relaxed yet engaging family competition.
  • Visit a petting zoo. These small zoos do not have the exotic animals you see at larger ones, but kids can feed and pet the animals.
  • Go to a museum. Some offer cheap or free admission, while others cost more. But the larger and more expensive ones often sell season passes, so if you live close by, you can visit numerous times for one low price.
  • Go boating. If you’re fortunate enough to live near a body of water, boating is fun and relaxing. Canoe and paddleboat rentals are inexpensive, and when you’re done boating there are usually other cheap or free activities in the area.
  • Attend events at a nearby college. These may include plays, concerts, dance recitals and movie showings. Prices are low, and student discounts usually apply to kids, too.

Having fun as a family doesn’t require a six-figure income. If you look hard enough, you can find lots of free or cheap activities that parents and kids can enjoy just about anywhere.

One lucky winner will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card.

Giveaway ends September 30th at 11:59pm CST, open worldwide, ages 18+. (International winners can opt for Paypal payment instead of gift card) To enter please use the form below. Good luck.

$100 Visa Gift Certificate Giveaway

About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.

318 Comments

  1. There’s a 20 acre park nearby that you can let your dog run leash free…..my dog is my best mate and I love spending time with him at that park

  2. Every state has guidebooks that list low cost/free activities, places of interest that are great resources for inexpensive family activities. They are great ways to learn about things you may have never known about..

  3. This weekend we will be going to get some pumpkins and the kids think that this is a fun frugal family activity.

  4. Our favorite family outing on the cheap is our local national park. Several times a year they have free days where we can go in and go hiking or have a picnic without spending a dime.

  5. What is your favorite fun and frugal family adventure spot or activity?

    The pool we build as a family ,and as such saved a bunch of cash!

    THX

  6. There is a village of stores near us that has a scarecrow festival. It’s free to walk around and look at all the scarecrows. They also do a gingerbread contest at Christmas time !

  7. I like spending time with grandkids we go swimming to the park . It’s just nicer being outside in fresh air and swing everything.

  8. We have put a sheet up and played a movie for our kids once this summer and that was a big hit.

  9. In our city we have a free zoo that’s open year round. They also have a massive playground for the kids, splashpad, and a huge picnic area on the water. It’s the perfect place for a fun day out with the fam that doesn’t cost anything. They also have a cute train that goes through the zoo grounds and over the water which is fun for the little ones. They charge a few bucks for the train tickets which is affordable and is a nice break when everyone is tired from walking.

  10. We enjoy going to the mountains and exploring historic places, ruins of old towns, etc. Last summer we went to The Banff Springs Hotel and walked all through the hotel. It was so neat that we were able to do so.

  11. We went camping this weekend which is something that we all enjoy doing. I think this will be our last outdoor camping for the season.

  12. just hanging out by the fire at night with family and friends is another fun frugal activity that we enjoy.

  13. A fun frugal activity that we have been doing for months now is a treasure hunt that has been taking us all over Maine. We have seen places in Maine that I never knew existed.

  14. Going to the park and kicking around a soccer ball, or flying a kite is great fun with the grandkids.

  15. Once the snow gets here we all like to go cross country skiing. There are a lot of trails to choose from.

  16. We just finished taking the dogs for a walk and believe me this can be quite the activity especially if one or both of the dogs happens to see a chipmunk.

  17. Another fun frugal activity is when we clean up the sides of our roads. People adopt a section of the road and clean all the junk that accumulates during the year.

  18. It is almost time for our family to go in the corn maze and for mew to get us all lost, which is something i manage to do every year.

  19. We love playing yard games as a family during the summer months like horse shoes it is fun and frugal.

  20. A favorite frugal family activity for us is coming up soon with fall. We love to drive around and look at all of the different foliage.

  21. Another fun frugal activity that we enjoy is going in the woods and finding our Christmas tree. Now that the kids are older they cut it own and drag it out to the car.

  22. I have gone gold panning with my kids a few times and we always had a good time. We never struck gold but we had fun.

  23. Going shopping when there are sales at the grocery store or mall and making use of online sales.

  24. Picking blueberries is a fun activity my kids and I enjoy. There are many places where we pick wild blueberries. the trick is to bring home more than we eat.

  25. In the winter we liked to go ice skating at the town common. When I fall now it hurts a lot more than it did when I was a kid.

  26. My favorite activity around this time of year is apple picking. It’s very spiritual and has tangible rewards.

  27. We love to go to the local farmer’s market each week as a family. There is always so much to look at and great artisans and the best food! The best part is it is free to attend.

  28. My favorite fun and frugal family adventure activity is enjoying the beautiful landscapes in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

  29. We love to go on family hikes. We live by the blue ridge parkway and are always finding new spots to explore. It’s so relaxing being in the forest

  30. This weekend is wingzilla. People compete in a contest to see who can make the best chicken wings. The best part getting to try all of the different flavors and vote on the best.

  31. We like to take our grandchildren to the park and playground. We bring a picnic lunch and snacks, and let loose!

  32. Road Trips! I love to pick a road and just drive out with the family to see what we can find and discover.

  33. My favorite fun and frugal family adventure spot or activity is going to our local park. Thanks for the giveaway!

    (9/9 comment)

  34. My town and the surrounding towns do Old Home Day throughout the summer and that is always a fun event.

  35. My favorite fun and frugal family adventure spot or activity is going to our local park. Thanks for the giveaway!

    (9/8 comment)

  36. We like to spend time cooking in the kitchen and talking about many different things. It is a great way to save money.

  37. We like to play tennis at the park it’s free but you have to get there pretty early especially during the summer months.

  38. We often go art hunting Downtown; we are looking for murals or art graffiti. Its like a treasure hunt, but also opens up the kids to art and culture.

  39. We love having friends over for cornhole and a fire. It doesn’t cost much and we always have a great time. Sometimes we have potlucks as well.

  40. My favourite is going for walks. Good opportunity for learning, teaching the grandkids, and getting excercise.

  41. My family does long road trips and taking breaks at the popular places or suggested locations along them.

  42. We like to collect leaves, pinecones, and other bits of nature and make different projects.

  43. our favorite spot is our local waterfall! we love the hike and the kids like the water! win-win! and a quick and FUN day trip!

  44. Another great frugal activity for us is to go amethyst hunting. There are a few good places to dig for it around here.

  45. There is such joy in just taking the kiddos to a community park to allow them to play and meet new people/kids. My BFF and I do a some research online about the best or most innovative playgrounds around the city and we pick one place to go once a month. We sit on the benches sipping our coffees and just let the kids go buck wild.

  46. Going fishing is is something that my family likes to do. We also go ice fishing in the winter.

  47. We love playing board games that we bought from the thrift store or borrowed from the library!

  48. Asa family we like to go snow shoeing during the winter. It is a great family activity and the dogs love to go with us.

  49. We live in a county in NY that is over 30% state land. We like to make use of the trails and the state park in our town.

  50. The local parkis really nice. They have flower gardens and a Nature Center. Fishing and boating too.

  51. I love the idea of going to Drive-ins too! Such a fun adventure for the whole family to enjoy.

  52. My favorite fun and frugal family adventure spot or activity is going to our local park. Thanks for the giveaway!

  53. My favourite fun family adventure is a trip to the beach. It never disappoints and is quick and cheap.

  54. Game night was always a huge hit in our house. We played Clue, Monopoly, Guess Who and had wonderful evenings.

  55. One of the most inexpensive activities a family can do together is go fishing. There are a couple of weekends a year where it is free or other times you just need a license and of course tackle.

  56. My son and I love going to museums and looking in our area for day trips to places we haven’t been.

  57. We love going to our local provincial park. There are nature trails, beaches, and perfect picnic spots.

  58. My favorite frugal spot is a local farm where we can pick pumpkins in the fall and strawberries in the spring.

  59. Is is blueberry picking time around here. There are so many places where you can find blueberries even driving down the road you will see bushes.

  60. I feel that my favorite times going to the zoo and feeding the animals, baby goats. The wild and fantastic environment remade for them is always amazing and how happy and well cared for is what I love to see as well. It’s always fun to take photos and being able to share them as a scrapbook of our family trip to the zoo throughout the years.

  61. We love to go to our local zoo, which is free, and has picnic benches so we usually bring lunch!

  62. My family is so lucky that we live in northern New Hampshire because there are so many fun and frugal activities to do around here. During the summer our town puts on a free concert in the park every Tuesday night. You’ll see my family there every Tuesday. We also enjoy hiking and my kids would say the best fun frugal activity is tubing down the river. We have spent many a lazy hot day doing this.

  63. My favorite frugal family adventure spot is in a little town by my house. Very hilly, one of the oldest towns in the state, and it’s full of history. You can walk along the grounds of some of the homes, which have pathways, and there are ponds and ducks. Lots of trees, so it’s shaded.

  64. My favorite would be the great outdoors, I love to go camping and swimming. It is peaceful.

  65. There’s an awesome hike to a cute “house” made from a giant stump next to the ocean called Guillemot Cove. It’s a super fun hike down and awful on the way up but it’s worth it every time! You can have lunch on the beach and the stump house is a great photo opp! Definitely my favorite family adventure spot!

  66. Our local library has a lot of fun and free programs for the kids and they also do wonderful classes for adults too.

  67. Thank you for the opportunity, would love to win. Been forever since I’ve gotten out anywhere

  68. Our kids love to walk in every park and open trail around us! Each area has something to explore. Free museums, picnic areas, hiking, swimming, and even bicycle paths. All that fresh air!

  69. Our family likes to go to a local farm in the fall to pick pumpkins. We get to see their animals, take pictures, and make a day of it.

  70. i know it doesnt sound frugal but we like great wolf. with 5 kids it’s actually a really good deal!

  71. We love Pigeon Forge, TN. It is such a blasy, everyone is so friendly, and the scenery and quality of air are amazing. There is so much to do without having to go super far from Dollyworld, to the dinners, to a 4 mile ride to Gaitlenberg with everything the mountain has to offer.

  72. We love going to a state park that is only 10 minutes from our house… There’s so much for our family to do there! We go hiking, swimming and fishing many times throughout the year.

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