15 Cheap and Free Things to Do with Kids – To save your money and sanity!

Are you looking for cheap and free things to do with kids? Even if you’re not struggling with money, any of us, in charge of entertaining children, enjoy keeping down the cost. Sure, there are always countless ways to spend a LOT of money on these small creatures, but as most parents or even occasional carers of kids will know, the little gems are often pleased with simple and/or low-cost activities — as long as the activity’s fun, they’re happy!

In this post are 15 things for you to consider. I’m sure they’ll be something for everyone. Enjoy!

Cheap and Free Things to Do with Kids

15 cheap and free things to do with kids 2

Go for a picnic

Go for a picnic in a local park, nature spot, or field. Take a ball, frisbee, etc, and let the kids run off that energy us adults envy.

Photo by Lucie Capkova on Unsplash

Have a film night

Film nights — or days — are great if the weather is awful. Grab homemade snacks, to keep costs low (favourite sandwiches and a simple cake will do), snuggle up, and enjoy.

Photo by Jeshoots.com

Head to the beach

If you’re lucky enough to live near the sea, pack up a bag with a simple picnic, something for the kids to dig with, a ball, towel, cream, hats, sunglasses, etc, and head to the beach!

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

Play indoor games

Spend a few hours playing board and/or card games. If you have none, maybe somebody can lend you some or have search the charity shops — just make sure that there aren’t pieces missing from the box!

Photo by Michal Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Hire a kayak

Many places offer kayaks, for a few hours, at affordable rates. You can often hire the wetsuits and life jackets for a reasonable cost, too.

Photo by David Hellmann on Unsplash

Go camping

If you have all the camping gear (or can borrow some), then camping is a low-cost activity. Don’t want to go far or pay a single penny? Set up a tent in the back garden, build a small campfire, and toast marshmallows.

Photo by Leon Contreras on Unsplash


The entrance fee for local authority swimming pools is reasonable for most. For only a little money, you can have hours of fun together — or until you look like prunes!

Photo by Terry Jaskiw on Unsplash


Explore a part of your town or city you’re unfamiliar with. My town has an art trail — for a talented, local ‘graffiti’ artist’s work — for free. See if where you live offers any trail or try your hand at geocaching.

Photo by Kyle Nieber on Unsplash

Cook and bake

Kids love to learn how to make tasty treats they can scoff down, later. There are tons of simple recipes online. Keep things simple and worry about the mess afterwards. Cooking teaches them an important life skill after all!

Photo by Vita Marija-Murenaite on Unsplash

Go for a hike

Have a long walk in the woods. It’s great for getting the kids — and you! — to let off steam and you can use it as a great nature-learning experience too. Let the kids gather sticks, stones, etc, and make nature art back home.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Wet and wild

Have you got a local splash pad/water park? These are often free or low-cost. Take a homemade packed lunch and plenty of reusable drinks bottles and only ‘splash’ out on ice-cream if you can afford it.

Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash


These aren’t the boring, stuffy places the used to be. So many sections of museums cater to children and many hold cheap and free things to do with kids. Check out the website for your local museum.

Photo by John Jackson on Unsplash


Explore what your library has on offer. Libraries are another place that often offers cheap and free things to do with kids. Our library offers ‘sing and play’ sessions for pre-schoolers for a small donation. In the Summer it holds reading challenges. Apart from all that, there are obviously great books to read for free, as well as DVDs to rent out, and much more!

Photo by Johnny McClung Unsplash

Video games

Kept to a reasonable time limit, screen time isn’t a problem for children. Join in and have a few games with them. You don’t have to let them win every time, either!

Photo by Corey Motta on Unsplash


Look out for free festivals. They’ll be a ton of concession stands and other things tempting your children, but even without spending out on that — if you can bear having to say ‘no’ — there’s often a lot of fun to be had, whether at a local music or food festival.

Photo by David Lariviere on Unsplash

So, to hand things over to you, what frugal tips can you share? I don’t know everything and am always keen to learn more, so don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, or send me a private message.

If you want to earn karma points, please share the post!

Until next time.

Bunchy x




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