Free Family Activities: Beat the Weekend and Winter Vacation Doldrums
Weekends and vacations are often packed with tons of activities and family obligations. But sometimes when there are no plans, families get lost in what to do next. While there are probably many fun activities you can think of – going to a movie, bowling, visiting an indoor playground to name a few – they can be quite pricey when you take the entire family. That’s why we’ve come up with free family activities you can check out over the weekend or winter vacation to keep everyone happy and occupied.
Go to a new park or nature center that is not close to your house. There is no better time to explore new areas than the weekend. Venture away from the parks you visit weekly and find a new and exciting play space, even if it takes a little time to get there.
Visit a fire station. Fire stations are open every day of the year and most welcome visitors of all ages. Learn about the exciting role of firefighters and important fire safety tips all at the same time. If you can, bring along homemade goodies to share as a thank you to local heroes.
Play with animals at a shelter or pet store. If you don’t have your own pet, adopt one for half an hour at a pet store or local shelter. These animals love affection and it’s a wonderful family activity for kids of all ages.
Make art out of nature. Collect leaves, acorns, sticks and other items in nature and use them to make fun art projects. Nature offers many creative supplies and is often the best canvas.
Put on a family play. Let your kids be the directors and follow their lead as you perform a tale that they spin themselves. Who cares if it doesn’t make sense to anyone but them. It will be a fun experience and chance to get their thespian juices flowing.
Invite neighbors over for a game of baseball. Your neighbors may be feeling a bit bored and lost too. Find out who’s around and invite them over for a friendly game of baseball or any other sport you all enjoy.
Play board games. Board games often collect dust on your playroom shelves when you’re busy with other activities. Pull them out for a family game night. Teach your little ones how to play new games they’ve never seen before by letting them be on someone else’s team.
Watch workers at a construction site. What could be more entertaining than construction workers digging, drilling, dumping and banging at a construction site? This thrilling experience offers plenty of opportunity to identify trucks, tools and building methods for the construction buff in everyone.
Play dress up. Pull out some old clothes, shoes and accessories and let your kids feast on dressing up. Do take lots of pictures because there are sure to be some hilarious moments.
Camp out indoors. Build a fort or put up a tent and have an indoor camp out for the entire family. Be sure to bring your flash lights and ghost stories. If you have the supplies, s’mores make an excellent finishing touch.
Learn a few magic tricks. Using your savvy internet research skills, pull a few magic tricks out of your computer. Your kids will be amazed and you can teach them how to perform the tricks for their friends.
Go to the library. Reading is free, educational and fun! Let your kids pick out the books they want to read and spend some time at the library reading together. Some libraries offer free story times or children’s classes, but they are not always available on weekends or during vacations.
Volunteer. Spend time as a family doing something meaningful for your community and those around you. Volunteer to plant a garden, clean up a riverbank or serve food at a shelter. These moments help everyone appreciate the gifts in their lives even more.
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