Money·2 min read

9 Budget-Friendly Kids’ Activities Everyone in the Family Will Enjoy

accessibility, a woman and a child doing a jigsaw puzzle together
Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStock
April 7, 2022

I’m. Bored. Most parents have heard these two words from their kids. More than once. The good news: splurging on pricey theme parks isn’t your only option to beat boredom. Free kids’ activities can be just as much fun. And educational. (The bad news: they'll be bored again soon. Probably.)

Which free kids activities should we try?

Free is the new splurge. Stop by one of the tons of museums that offer free entry in general or just on specific days. Or go out for dinner on kids-eat-free nights, offered at many restaurants nationwide (hi, Moe’s). Even national parks offer free entrance days.

What about activities for kids at home?

Staying in can be fun, too. Even without the video games. Think: rainy (or quarantine) days. A couple of ideas: Bring the museum home and host an exhibit of your kids’ artwork. Or get hands-on with Science Snacks, easy, teacher-approved activities that explore science.

Sounds messy. Any other ideas?

Break out a deck of cards for clean fun. Try a game of Go Fish for toddlers. Or more challenging games like Spit or Gin Rummy for teens. Or debate about the new Uno champ in the house. Psst… need more ideas? Here are 17 games, puzzles, and cards to stay inside with.  

I need to leave my house. How about outdoor activities?

If you have (access to) a pool, try pool volleyball. All you need is an inflatable net to get started. And an inflatable ball. Otherwise, a local (or backyard) splash pad is a good alternative. 

If you'd rather stay dry, bring gameday outside with a giant Jenga set. Or maybe an obstacle course set for more intense competition. Because bragging rights never get old. Until the next game. PS: Here are 11 more outdoor activities for a re-up on the bragging rights.


Kids get bored fast. But there are so many activities that keep the fun going nonstop. And within budget.

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