4 fun ways to keep the whole family entertained on a dime

November 6, 2014

The kids are grumbling there's nothing to do, but your budget can't handle a pricey trip to the local theme park. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives. Why not consider one of these four fun and affordable family activities?

4 fun ways to keep the whole family entertained on a dime

1. Explore your city

Grab the gang and play the tourist in your own city or province by visiting all of those places you thought were just for visitors.

  • Historical sites, in particular, often offer very reasonable admission prices.
  • Many museums offer student rates or lower rates on particular days or at off-peak times.
  • If your kids are fascinated by buses and trains, you'll score points with them if you use public transportation to reach your destination. For kids, public transport is an adventure! In addition to seeing a little more of your city, you'll also save money on gas and parking.

2. Play games

Just because bowling, laser tag, go karts and miniature golf are old standbys, it doesn't mean they are any less appealing to children.

  • Look for promotions and coupons to make these outings even more affordable. If they offer group rates, see if you can get other families to join the activity with you.
  • A visit to the park with a frisbee or soccer ball, followed by a picnic, is the ultimate fun and affordable activity, especially if you pack the kids' favourite foods.

3. Enjoy the outdoors

Plenty of options for family fun are available if your gang likes spending time outdoors.

  • A bike ride or hike at a local park will probably cost you nothing at all. If you have a bike rack on your car, consider strapping the bikes on and going to ride in an area you've never explored before. There are many bike paths to discover in your city with a quick online search.
  • You could even learn a new hobby, such as canoeing or kayaking. Although you'll pay a nominal fee for the boat and life jacket rental, you might fall in love with an activity that you can enjoy for years to come.
  • If biking or canoeing don't satisfy, take a look at the free recreational opportunities your city offers. Many towns and cities provide top-notch facilities at no cost or for a reduced fee. In many municipalities, kids' playgrounds now feature water parks for the little ones.

4. Visit a flea market or festival

Flea markets offer all sorts of interesting items to look at or for sale at low prices.

  • Give each of your children $5 to spend on anything they want. You just might be surprised at the things that catch their fancy.
  • Don't skip local festivals and fairs if you're looking for affordable family activities. These events usually offer something of interest for every age group and activities are often free or available at a minimal cost.
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