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How To Entertain The Kids For Less

I am here to give you some ideas on how to entertain the kids for less because lets be honest- it can get costly! In this article you can find some inventive ways to keep your kiddos entertained both at home and a planned adventure out, budget friendly!

A day out can add up quickly when you are trying to satisfy the kids curious minds and hungry bellies. Admission fees to places for them to adventure can be costly – especially for larger families. Some simple tips can help take the edge off of your wallet but still allow you to give the little ones a day full of big fun and long lasting memories. 


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Ideas For A Budget Friendly Day Out With Kids

  1.  Local park or splash pad: Look up local parks and make a park hopping day map! Spend an hour at each park! This will tire them out but keep them curious enough to make a day of it. 
  2. Hiking trail and picnic: Depending on age, seek out an age appropriate hiking trail and pack a picnic to enjoy once you reach your goal!
  3. Scavenger hunt: Look for some fun and interactive scavenger hunts online. You can find cards to print out and challenges for all age groups. You could also incorporate a craft or art project into the items you find. 
  4. Get “lost”: This is one of my family’s favorites. We will go to an area within driving distance that we haven’t explored yet. We take turns in the car decided where to stop along the way or what direction to go next. You can pack a bag with lots of road snacks and drinks which will stop you from spending unnecessary money while on the road. You can eat during travel or when you find a cool place to stop! There are so many quirky fun attractions around every corner! 
  5. Local event: Check out your town’s webpage or with the library. Local events are most likely happening nearby almost every day and you’d be surprised at what you find. There might be a reading guest coming in or an activity available on the town green. 
  6. Kids Eat Free: So many restaurants offer dine out incentives for families that you might not even know about. Sometimes kids eat free on certain days or they offer discounted meals for students! Make sure to check around and choose a kid friendly dine out option.
  7. A day on the water: Check out local lakes! There are some wonderful lake beaches that typically cost less than a day at the ocean in terms of parking or admissions. You can sometimes rent kayaks or paddle boats for reasonable rates to heighten the experience, too!


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Ideas For A Budget Friendly Day At Home With Kids

  1. STEM Activities: They are incredible for growing minds and always very interesting! The options are endless and can be found around the web. Most can be done with simple items from around the home or cost friendly items from the store. 
  2. Water balloons and squirt gun fun: Stock up with cheap water balloons and squirt guns and a large roll of paper or canvases. Fill with paint and water and let the kids go wild making beautiful and FUN art!
  3. Learning outdoor skills: A day spent outside teaching simple but beneficial outdoor skills like identifying birds/plants, or safe fire building, and even things like shelter building can be challenging and a unique experience for the young ones. 
  4. Bake: Spend a day baking away! Cookies, breads and things! A great skill to learn and in the end you get to taste all of your hard work.
  5. Upcycle crafting: Hold on to some of your recyclables and use them for a day of unique crafting. Canned goods turned into wind chimes or toilet paper rolls turned into binoculars!
  6. Movie night: Vote on a movie and load up with snacks! You could purchase a cheap shower caddy that can be transformed into a snack tray with options like popcorn and penny candy! You don’t have to go to the theater to give the kiddos the same movie theater experience! Making homemade movie tickets makes it that much more special. 
  7. Themed dinner: Pick a particular type of cuisine! You could focus on a particular culture or country and build a themed evening around it. Decorate your table to incorporate the theme and then find a couple of courses to try out! You could even dress accordingly to make it that much more fun overall.


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Places like kids museums, aquariums and other day trip admission parks are perfect ways to keep the kids entertained with little effort but can be most costly on the wallet. This doesn’t mean these experiences are out of reach. Here is a couple tips to help out making these experiences more budget friendly:

  • Make sure to check out websites that offer coupons to see if there might be one available.
  • Call the establishment to find out any discounts they might offer for groups, students or on particular days.
  • Consider a membership. If it is a place you might visit more than once it may be worth a membership that could bring the cost down!
  • See if you are able to back a backpack with snacks or food. Snacks bars and restaurants are usually available at places such as these but the cost can sometimes be higher and packing our own would be cheaper!

Be creative and use your imagination to keep the day filled with cost effective fun!

Remember, some of the best memories are made for free!

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