- FIND THE FREE ACTIVITIES! You’d be shocked at how many free activities are thrown by your town, city, or local churches. There’s ALWAYS something free going on each weekend, even if it’s a local store. You’d be shocked at what you can find if you used local newspapers, magazines, or social media outlets. I live in Canton, GA. They have these “First Friday” events which happen in quite a few towns across the U.S. I lived in Germany for a few years and they had festivals in each small town. You can find FREE activities to do which will actually broaden your child’s knowledge of the world.
- FIND THE CHEAP ACTIVITIES! Some cheap activities include tubing down a river (some places are $5 per tube or do group rates), hiking a waterfall (many of these parks charge by vehicle so $5 per vehicle is not a bad deal for a day of hiking and a picnic), Drive-In Movies (another pay by the carload!), and many donation only events like Pancake Breakfasts at churches or with veteran centers. You’d be amazed at what you can find to do for a family of five under $30.
- FIND THE LOCAL PARKS! Many local parks have picnic areas you can use, wonderful walking or biking paths, wonderful playgrounds (and some now have APPs you can download for your extra phone-addicted kids), lakefront beaches, etc. A big grassy field can easily turn into a baseball diamond, a volleyball court, a soccer field, etc. You’d be amazed at what you can do…FOR FREE!
- GO YARD/GARAGE SALE SHOPPING! You may feel this is a pain to do with multiple kids in tow, but my children make an allowance and letting them spend their own money on toys at these sales will help them learn the art of bartering or making deals. This teaches your children to communicate with adults. My children work out the sales themselves and unless the person holding the yard sale is busy with another customer I allow my children to handle their transaction all on their own as I watch from a distance.
- PLAN A FAMILY GET-TOGETHER! I’ll admit, moving around so much I lost contact with many of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and even brothers for a while. We just didn’t work on our relationships together while we focused on growing our own families. Well, weekends are the perfect time to reach out and tell your family you’ll be having a get-together for a BBQ or picnic! When you move around so much for the Army your friends become family. Plan a get-together with that “Family”!! It’s amazing what these potlucks will do for your relationships and well-being.
- WATCH SPORTS TOGETHER! Not everyone is a football fan. Not everyone is a baseball fan. Not everyone is a hockey fan. But, it’s so much fun to plan these get-togethers for various sports! Give each sport a chance…remember how everyone thought curling was dumb? Now it’s the coolest thing ever & there’s curling halls!! I remember when the Olympics were on and kids in the neighborhood didn’t care much about the Olympics. I set up Pinterest snacks for the kids and we had our own Olympic party for the opening ceremony! The next two weeks I had kids over watching whatever events were on the TV and planning their future as Olympians.
- VOLUNTEER TOGETHER! I learned this from my parents. They would have us volunteer at the homeless shelter, at our church, and within our community. I would look forward to volunteering around to help. Whenever possible I make sure I find some volunteer activities within my community that I can have my children help with, even if it’s just handing all of the kids in the neighborhood trash bags and having them each fill one with trash from our neighborhood for a popsicle!
- GET A MEMBERSHIP SOMEWHERE! I’ve discovered that many times purchasing a membership for a Museum, Zoo, Amusement Park, etc pays for itself in less than three visits with every family member. It makes sense to me to have a membership to SOMEWHERE for the year, that way even if my budget gets tight I know I can still take the kids somewhere fun! I don’t do multiple memberships in a year, as we only average 1-3 visits to wherever our membership is for each month. Check out the local membership ideas in your area!
I’m sure there are other ideas out there! What are some of your favorite weekend activities?!