Top Tips for a Budget Friendly Family Day Out

budget friendly family day out ideas for kids usa australia canada things to do
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Top Tips for a Budget-Friendly Family Day Out Written by guest correspondent Dolores Santos.

Nothing gives you cabin fever like being stuck indoors with a house full of kids. If you need to get out but don't have a lot to spend, don't fear. There's a ton you can do to burn off energy, make memories, and enjoy time as a family without spending loads of money doing it.


When it's a beautiful day and your schedule is open, nothing beats a family picnic in the park. All you need to host a memorable family picnic is a picnic blanket, travel plates and utensils, and plenty of food and drinks to go around. If you plan to linger for a few hours, pack some lawn games for the kids to play! If these aren't things you already own, swing by Target so you can grab snacks and gear in one place. Before you go, shop their weekly ad and look online for extra savings so you know where to find the best price.


Public libraries offer so much more than free books to borrow and a quiet place to read. Libraries have activities and workshops for kids and adults, board game and video game rentals, movie nights, talks, and more — all 100 percent free.


We all could use a little more physical activity in our lives. You can get active as a family and model healthy choices when you plan a family sports day. Choose a local public park or sports field with plenty of space to run and bring Frisbees, hula hoops, kickballs, jump ropes, and other active outdoor games. Don't let a lack of gear keep you from planning this outing! Borrow from a neighbor, visit a second-hand sporting equipment store, or stop by Dick's Sporting Goods to shop their clearance rack (but first, check for a deal online).


From geocaching to birdwatching to rock collecting, there are lots of absolutely free activities your family can learn to do together. A quick online search for any of these topics will reveal a variety of resources — including free apps you can use on the go — to help you get started. As an added bonus, these educational hobbies will allow you to bond with your kids as they learn valuable life skills.


You don't need a professional photographer to capture great family photos. Get the gang all cleaned up and head out to a local green space to snap a mix of candid and posed shots. You can even capture group shots with the self-timer. Borrowing a friend's DSLR will get you the highest-quality images, but even a good smartphone camera will do the trick.

Who doesn't love coordinated outfits for family photos? If you need to spruce up your wardrobe for the photo shoot, check out Old Navy for weekly promotions. If you pair a sale with online coupons and cashback deals, you can pick up some great outfits for super cheap.


Is there anything better than floating down a cool river on a hot summer day? Find a lazy stretch of river and hit the water with inner tubes, drinking water, sunscreen, and life jackets. You should also familiarize yourself with the Appalachian Mountain Club's tips for river tubing so you can stay safe on the water. If you buy your own tubes and life jackets, check Cabela's for sales and promo codes. Otherwise, you can spend less by renting gear from a local river company.

Routine is nice, but sometimes you need to mix family life up with something fun and different. These six ideas are great days out for a family on a budget, but it's far from an exhaustive list. If you need something fun to do and these ideas aren’t lighting your spark, check local event calendars and activity guides for free and low-cost activities happening near you.

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