Family Fun Activities That Don’t Break the Bank!

by Dayna Gleason


Summer is approaching!  Time to take massive family vacations to Disney World, Hawaii, or maybe even Europe.  Time to pay for the kids’ summer soccer league, swimming lessons, and dance classes.

All of these are great and beneficial to our families, but what about when your wallet is light and you just can’t afford another expensive experience like these?

That’s when the, “I’m bored!” comments start rolling in from the kids. We either get annoyed that they are ungrateful for what they do have, or we feel bad that we can’t give them more because we can’t afford it.

This summer can be different!  There are so many ways to have fun as a family without spending much money if any at all.

Try out some of these ideas:

Get some sidewalk chalk and a 4-square ball and have a family 4 square tournament or maybe 2-square if you have a smaller family.

Check out what free performance is taking place at Miller Outdoor Theater.  (They offer free performances of all kinds from March through October)

Make cookies together or some other treat and deliver them to your neighbors. (Bonus:  you get to teach your children about serving others with this one too.)


Go explore some of the best museums in Houston for free!  You can find when certain museums offer free admission here:

Attend a free “Bat Chat” at the Waugh Bridge on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month.  Listen to professionals educate you on the lifestyles of bats as you watch them emerge from beneath the bridge and fly around.  As an extra treat, May through August is when you can see the most baby bats!  Learn more here:

Get a free 90 minute boat tour of the Port of Houston.  Make reservations and find out more information here:

Play a game of family charades where one person writes an assortment of topics on strips of paper, puts them into a bowl or hat, and one by one, everyone else grabs a paper and acts out what is on the paper without making a sound.  The first person to guess the correct topic wins!

Play “Hide and Seek” in the dark.  In the evening, our family likes to turn off all the lights in the house except for the occasional nightlight.  We have one person count while everyone else hides in the home.  Once the counting is done, the seeker finds all the hiders.  The darkness really takes the game to a whole new level of fun!

Set up a tent in your backyard and camp out for the night.  Make it the whole experience by cooking dinner over a fire, only using lanterns and flashlights the whole night and sleeping in sleeping bags!

Make your own movie or play.  Let your imagination run wild as you and your children gather props, write a script and act out an entire play or movie about anything that interests them.  Be sure to record it so you can watch it over and over again!

Create your own “Family Olympics!” Make up your own events like who can jump the farthest off a swing, or who can get from a starting point to an ending point in the most unique way.  Make it even more fun by adding opening and closing ceremonies complete with medals!

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The possibilities are endless!  There are so many ways to have fun as a family without breaking the bank.  Use your own imagination and let your children use theirs too.  Also, check out: to read about more.

Possibly the most amazing benefit I have seen is that kids often times remember and value the free or frugal adventures they have with family even more than the ones that cost a lot of money.  They really just want to be with you and feel your love.

Please share in the comments section below how you have found family fun without breaking the bank!

This article was written by Dayna Gleason, a blogger and mother of 4 active little boys, who has discovered how having fun with your children will help them succeed in life and that purposeful parenting is critical in the development and success of every individual.

Another Way to have fun without breaking the bank:  Check out fun affordable activities or camps for you kids in the Houston area







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