20 Free (or Cheap) Family Boredom Busters

Heading into the weekend I thought I would share a list of some of our favorite free, or super cheap, family activities. Contrary to popular belief, fun doesn’t need to cost a lot! With these suggestions , he most you’ll be spending is a bit of gas money or pubic transit fare, depending on your location, situation, ect. I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes it feels nice to get back to the basics and who doesn’t want to feel like a kid again? Here are 20 frugal family activities to get the most out of your summer while being kind to your wallet.

1. Go to the Beach


Swimming, tanning, lounging, there’s something for everyone!

2. Have a Picnic


Never underestimate the bonding power of packing up some sandwiches and hanging out with your family in the beauty of nature.

3. Scour your community/town to find the finest playground!


We do this often, and are always on the hunt for the coolest park in town. Personally, my kids rate their playground awesomeness by the climbing structures but you could find the biggest slide, best tire swing, or biggest soccer field depending on what your kids are into. We get to explore as a family and all it costs is the gas in the car!

4. Pitch a tent in the back yard and have a camp out


5. Have a family game night


6. Visit the Library


Movies, books, and magazines for all ages, all in one place, for free! We do this at least 3 times a month and we all leave happy. The also provide story time for children, and sometimes movie nights so make sure to check with your local branch!

7. Karaoke


You can find the karaoke version of just about any song you wish on YouTube and play it on your TV or computer! Grab a makeshift microphone and get party rocking.

8. Record your Karaoke performances and make your own family music videos


You can even upload them to your own YouTube channel!

9.Have everyone draw a family picture then share them with each other


10. Cook/Bake together


For some reason this is such a hit with the kids, they feel like a huge help and it does wonders for their self esteem.

11. Build a fort


Inside with blankets or outside with whatever you have laying around, this is a classic and I promise you’ll have just as much your littles!

12. Do a puzzle together


13. Throw a potluck and invite over some other families


14. Play dress up


Have a photo shoot after for added laughs!

15. Hike or nature walk


Bring your camera!

16. Arts and Crafts


Another classic, the possibilities are endless.

17. Ride your bikes, play a game of scrimmage, or toss around a ball


Who knows, you may have an all-star on your hands and not even know it!

18. Make your family tree


Ancestry.com can be helpful to fill in the gaps.

19. Find a free city event


These can be found by accessing your Community Calendar most likely found on your city’s website or at city hall locations. There are usually a number of free activities or festivals being put on in your city, that you have no idea about!

20. Have a yardsale


Clean out your clutter and make some extra money! Sounds like a win-win to this Mommy. Give each of your kids their own table then let them decide what to do with their earnings. It will give them a sense of independence and responsibility, both important when learning to manage their money.


Do you have any suggestions you would like to add to the list? If so, let us know in the comments section!

Pin Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash



Brittany Wright is a mother of 2, crazy dog lady, and proud Northern Ontario resident. She created CDN Mom Blog as a place to share stories and experiences aimed at helping other Canadian based moms. She likes coffee, pick-up trucks, travel, and doesn’t mind living where the air hurts her face.

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