Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.
A family that plays together, stays together...
Fun, free, family activities!
Who doesn't like to have fun? Once again, the kids are complaining that they are bored. They look to you with their adorable smiles and cherub cheeks, pleading with you to entertain them. The parents or grandparents want to oblige, but funds are tight. What do you do?
You ponder some ideas, but they all require cash on the spot. If only there were free activities that would give you all peace of mind. I searched high and low and in between for some ways to entertain the wee ones.
Breaking News: I've uncovered 20 activities and the best part is they are all...FREE!
Please keep in mind that our ideas of "fun" could differ. I believe one could have fun doing just about anything. But, on the flip side the activities should keep everyone out of the emergency room, which is always a bonus!
I strongly believe it's all about being able to spend quality time together with someone you care about. And of course, FREEBIES are a good thing too!
The activities I selected might require some labor, but in the long run you could have fun and make memorable memories.
Free Family Activities....
1. Go for a bike ride on a nature trail. Bring a bag and pick up pine cones along the way for a rainy day craft.
2. Plan a picnic at a park. Push each other on the swings. Slide down the slides. Teeter on a totter. Bring a frisbee! Play catch. A nearby park offers endless possibilities for a good time.
3. Browse the aisles of a Walmart and seek out the customers. By doing so you could teach the kids how not to dress. You, as a responsible parent could also show them how not to behave in public. Kids could also learn why brushing their teeth and bathing is beneficial. And as a bonus, that how using vulgar words can make them seem uneducated. Disclaimer: I shop at Walmart too! This does not apply to all customers. Just a select few. OK, more than a select few.
4. Bake cookies from scratch and have a cookie-eating contest. Winner gets to clean up the mess (have to burn those calories off).
5. Clean the house with the music blaring and everyone dancing. The faster the beat, the more fun it will be. Word of caution: Place collectibles in a safe area.
6. Everybody selects their favorite book and reads together. Or, one person reads a story to all.
7. Dust off all the board games you have accumulated. The winner of the first game gets to choose the next game. Etc, etc. Make a day out of it. Play them indoors or outdoors. In different rooms of the house.
8. Throw on some worn out clothing and panhandle in front of a restaurant. Who knows you might make enough money to treat yourselves to a nice meal. Be sure and bring along your regular clothing in case you decide to dine at the establishment.
9. Have a film day. Make some popcorn, lemonade (adults can spike theirs) and have a movie marathon. Place the movie titles on a piece of paper in a bowl. Youngest gets to select the first movie to watch.
10. Take a drive to the beach. Build a sandcastle, seek for seashells or feed the seagulls. Walk along the seashore and have the waves tickles your toes.
Smiling faces await the fun adventures...
More family fun ideas...
11. Go to the mall and people watch. As someone walks by make up a fictional story about them. Disclaimer: I don't do this! OK, yes I do. Doesn't everyone?
12. Using newspapers build a paper boat and see if it could float. Chances are it will.
13. Cut out photos from magazines and create a collage of a wacky family and then be thankful for the one you have.
14. Go Green: Take a walk through the neighborhood and retrieve the litter.
15. Have a chalk drawing contest on your sidewalks or driveway. Have a tic-tac-toe competition.
16. Raid the freezer and pantry and make ice cream sundaes! Pickles or relish with a dash of ketchup on vanilla ice cream just might be tasty. Disclaimer: I've never tried this but I've heard weirder concoctions from pregnant women!
17. Have a mani/pedi party! Yes, boys/men are included also...I just recommend sticking with clear polish or just a buff.
18. Play a sport together! Basketball, soccer, tennis or even a game of tag.
19. Visit a pet store...the lonely animals will appreciate the attention!
20. Have a scavenger hunt using items found around the house!
*** Have fun and enjoy making memories! Be sure and have a digital camera available so that you could take many photos and upload them for FREE to your computer! ***
Let's Move with Michelle Obama and Beyonce
© 2012 Linda Bilyeu
What are some free family activities that you do?
Lisa Bean from Virginia on December 19, 2018:
Lots of great ideas here! Sometimes it's a great reminder that we can build fun family memories that don't have to cost a lot! We've done quite a few on your lists above but I may add a few more to our summer break when the kids are home from school and looking for things to do.
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on February 02, 2015:
A paper boat race is a fun idea! :)
Dianna Mendez on September 22, 2014:
I don't know how I missed this article. I have some new ideas for family fun night! I love the paper boat race, that would be fun to see.
georgescifo from India on March 05, 2014:
If you are together with your family, you are sure to get a variety of new and unique fun activities.
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 05, 2014:
Came back to read again, your hubs are refreshing, new with great ideas. Enjoy reading your hubs. This hub has great ideas. Voted up.
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on September 29, 2013:
Thank you SAA :)
Martie Coetser from South Africa on September 29, 2013:
A very useful list!
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 06, 2013:
Your comments are appreciated! :)
Simo on July 29, 2013:
Sad but true. I've always eyenojd making things with my hands, some things useful, some not, but I'm always inspired by others' creativity as well. Currently I enjoy knitting...a lot. I knit every day, even after a long day of work. It's relaxing and energizing, and keeps me from killing people (kidding), and I love being able to knit beautiful socks and sweaters and hats for my family and myself. I occasionally knit in public when I am waiting in line or for appointments, and also with friends that knit. I cannot ell you the times that people pass us and say things like "oh I thought that was dead and gone" and my favorite..."I don't have time for that kind of foolishness; will you knit me a sweater?" wow.
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 29, 2013:
Great ideas, I love going to the beach, the mall and reading books. Great write. There are so many more ideas to try out from your list!
Dana Strang from Ohio on January 04, 2013:
I LOVE THIS HUB for so many reasons! All of those things are totally fun, practically free, require very little effort or planning, AND they encourage family time!! I remember going hiking and playing board games and all that stuff - some of my best childhood memories! And I used to go to the mall and people watch with my friends when we were broke and too young to drive.... THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! I will be passing it on to a few folks.
Mary Roark from Boise area, Idaho on January 04, 2013:
There are some very unique and creative ideas here, but they all do sound like fun!
Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on January 04, 2013:
I know what to refer to now, when those grandkids finally appear in my life! Maybe I'll go borrow a few or something! Great ideas - thanks!
Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on January 04, 2013:
You have the most incredible mind! You really are the List Diva.
Dilip Chandra from India on January 04, 2013:
Nice Article, i enjoyed reading it. Good share. Thank you :)
Suzie from Carson City on January 04, 2013:
Well....where the heck has this one been hiding?? I sure could have used this fab list last summer when I had my grandsons nearly every day!
Anyway....I choose number 10! Except, instead of a sandcastle, we'll have to build a snowman...and QUICKLY, before we become frozen solid!......When the boys misbehave, I can threaten to take them to the beach again!....Great ideas, Sunshine!!....Up and FUNNY
Michelle Liew from Singapore on January 04, 2013:
Panhandling it in front of a restaurant is interesting....thinking of buskers and how they used to be frowned upon here in Singapore, but more and more of them are on the streets now. Thanks for sharing, Linda. Passing on.
Nell Rose from England on January 04, 2013:
I always dust and dance! lol! so I will dust and dance, then go out busking on the streets with my gee taaar! HeeYaw! lol!
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on August 18, 2012:
Vinaya, Maria. Ayah! Thank you for your comments! :)
ayah soliman78 from Canada on August 06, 2012:
Great Article!!! I can't wait to try some or all of these with my own family!!!!
Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on June 25, 2012:
Happy Birthday, sweet Linda!
So grateful that Vinaya has shared this with us as I missed it the first time around...
I love the value that you place on quality time and making memorable experiences with each of your fabulous suggestions!
Voted UP & across the board! Hugs, Maria
Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on June 24, 2012:
These are great ideas. I'm sure everyone will find your tips handy. Thanks for sharing!
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on May 09, 2012:
I'm glad you found some good ideas within this hub smzclark!:)
smzclark from cheshire on May 03, 2012:
I really like this hub. It's so simple and that's what makes it great! You've come up with some nice ideas that I will be taking home with me :-)
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on March 24, 2012:
Sunnie, One day I hope to be able to panhandle with you!:)
Tarajeyaram, You could still make paper boats and go fly a kite! Add it to your to-do list!:)
tarajeyaram from Wonderland on March 24, 2012:
What a wonderful hub again Linda. Great ideas for family fun activities. When I was young...we used to make paper boats and we used to make kites and fly them. Voting up and across.
Sunnie Day on March 24, 2012:
Wonderul ideas..I liked that panhandle one best! haha
Congrats on the 30 hubs in 30 days...Great job!
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on March 24, 2012:
Hi Made, I hope you create a hub about your collage!:)
Hi Stephanie! You truly know how to have a good time!! Be sure and share photos in a hub for all of us to enjoy!!:)
Stephanie Henkel from USA on March 24, 2012:
Here it is the weekend, and I came across your hub at just the right time! First for the musical dusting party, then off to the mall to people watch and maybe some games...Flying kits at the beach is also a free, fun thing to do along with the sandcastle building. As always, you've presented some great ideas in a fun way! Voted up and shared.
Madeleine Salin from Finland on March 24, 2012:
You have so many good ideas. I like #13. It could suit our family to stay inside today, because it's snowing outside.
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on March 23, 2012:
Thank you kindly Nare!:)
MM, how fun! I hope your paper boats and picnic bring you and Nick many smiles and laughter!:)
Movie Master from United Kingdom on March 23, 2012:
I love all 20 ideas, but the one Nick & I have picked out for tomorrow is number 12 - we're taking our paper boats down to the pond in the meadow with a picnic!
'Free' is great:-)
Enjoy your weekend!
Nare Gevorgyan on March 23, 2012:
Aw! This is just so cool!
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on March 11, 2012:
Gryphin, Lilypoo and Poetic Fool ... I'm glad you found these free family fun ideas useful! Be sure and stop by to share which ones you used!:)
Poetic Fool on February 20, 2012:
Linda, this is great. A lot of great ideas but I had to laugh out loud at number 3. I'm sure Walmart rues the invention of the internet and the camera phone! Good stuff!
lilypoo from San Tan Valley, AZ on January 19, 2012:
Love the ideas--I need to implement these as I'm striving for a no-spend year! :D
gryphin423 from Florida on January 17, 2012:
Great ideas, Sunshine! You are very creative, I love it! Voted up!
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on January 16, 2012:
@Kelley, Scavenger hunts are always a fun adventure and they are FREE!
@tills, #3 and #8 were a bit extreme but can be entertaining!:)
@alocsin, FREE is always a good thing!
@billy, I'm glad I was able to crack you up. I'm due for a field trip to Wally World.
@alissa, I'm also in the south but my friends up north say the same thing! My GF is NY was texting me today telling me stories about her trip to WM today! lol
@drbj, I'm glad you like some of the ideas! Always a pleasure!
Thank you all for your comments!:)
drbj and sherry from south Florida on January 16, 2012:
I like the 'browsing Walmart' and people-watching at the mall ideas the best, Sunshine. And scavenger hunts for adults provide the bestest, mostest fun ever.
Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on January 16, 2012:
These ideas are fantastic and hilarious! When all else fails, wandering around WalMart is always a good time or at least in the South it is lol ;) I will have to try out some of these other ideas. Great hub - voted up!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 16, 2012:
You crack me up; number three is a classic and yet another reason why I won't shop at WalMart....thank you for the entertainment.
Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on January 16, 2012:
Put "free" in front of an activity and I'm all over it. Great suggestions here. Voting this Up and Useful.
Mary Craig from New York on January 16, 2012:
This was a great hub. You're really good ideas were put across with wit and humor! Number three and number eight had me laughing but even in them there is wisdom. Voted up, funny and useful.
kelleyward on January 16, 2012:
Hi Sunshine I really enjoyed reading this! We love doing scavenger hunts around the house and find them great fun even in the winter! Thanks again for the free info!!
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on January 15, 2012:
Hi Sue, Ain't that the truth! It shouldn't matter what you do as long as you are having fun doing it!
Hi Posh, I'm on my way very soon to catch up with your hubs! Good luck with your 30/30!
Hi Cogerson, Allergic to chalk! How sad! I understand how that benefited you in school!:)
Hi girltalk! Thank you for the vote and the bookmark!
Hi Suzie, Thanks for stoppping by:)
Hi Random, was this a random visit for a smile?! :))
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 15, 2012:
Sometimes the best family activities are the free ones! Your list made me smile. :)
Suzie ONeill from Lost in La La Land on January 15, 2012:
Fun ideas! ;)
girltalksshop on January 15, 2012:
Voted up! Need to bookmark it too! : )
UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on January 15, 2012:
Nice list...I can do and have done many of the items on the list...I sadly can not do number 15 as I am allergic to chalk.....which helped when I was in school...I never had to write on the blackboard....but not much help as an adult. Keep up the good work.
Steve Mitchell from Cambridgeshire on January 15, 2012:
sunshine625. I find it is sometimes the simplest of things which give the most enjoyment. Bravo for getting back to basics. Good luck with the hub challenge. Ardie,BelaM and I are not too far behind you.
Sueswan on January 15, 2012:
Great ideas. I agree with you that being and do things as a family is more important than the actual activity.
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on January 15, 2012:
You could also have an adult only scavenger hunt and find items throughout a town or shopping center, that's always fun and competitive!
Keep on havin' fun!! :)
anjperez on January 14, 2012:
#5, we are doing it every weekend. #9 when we were kids, we have this!
Alicia Washington on January 14, 2012:
Some interesting suggestions. I like the idea of having a scavenger hunt. Cool hub!
Jrandol62 on January 14, 2012:
LMAO to the last post....Good hub and great ideas!!
Tammy from North Carolina on January 14, 2012:
Very good information. I love number three. When my boys were little they would fight and whine in Walmart. To return the embarrassment and to keep them busy, I would hand them each a pack of Depends and an enema kit to carry all around the store. They could never figure out why people were laughing at them. About the time they could start reading the packages, my middle child asked, "What is this stuff anyway?" He read the instructions for the enema kit, which includes a photo demonstration on applying the enema... either sitting down or getting on all fours. He said, "I have been carrying THIS for years??" From that point on.. we would always hit the personal care isles before our shopping. Whoever snuck the most enema kits, condoms, and laxitives into other people's grocery carts without being caught won. There is so much fun to be had! Thanks for the chuckles!
Kristine Manley from Atlanta, GA on January 14, 2012:
I love #10 - a day at the beach sounds good to me. Nice Hub. Voted up!
Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on January 14, 2012:
Hi MT, we also have Go Green days...they are beneficial for the environment and it's good exercise :)
Shasta Matova from USA on January 14, 2012:
These are great ideas. We had a neighborhood clean up day, and the kids had a lot of fun doing it, and felt good about themselves afterwards.