Last updated on January 26th, 2020 at 01:57 pm
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1. Visit a State Park
I don’t know about the rest of the country but here in Indiana it costs $5 per vehicle to enter a state park. Pack your own snacks, drinks and lunch and make a day of it. You can explore the trails, visit the information center and even swim at the beach if there is one.
My daughter at our church’s annual Trunk or Treat a few years ago. We love local free family church events since they are generally 100% free.
2. Attend Local Free Events
The trick to attending most local free events for under $5 is avoiding the vendor and food booths. If you can avoid these money traps you family can enjoy the free entertainment offered such as live concerts, classic car shows, bronco riding and more and not spend a dime.
A good place to find out about free events going on in your area is in your local paper which should have a free community listing area. This listing might be available on line for free at your paper’s website. You could also try your local visitor center for a pamphlet that lists annual festivals in your area.
3. Explore Your Library
This tip is not just for bookworms. Libraries contain way more than books these days. For instance at our local library you can borrow DVD’s for family movie night. You can also enjoy music CD’s Computer games, and even pieces of art.
You can do so much more than just borrow items at a library. Our library offers art classes for kids where parents act as helping hands and family story times. Our library hosts family movie showings using the libraries movie projection system; best part they pass out free popcorn for the show.
For the adults there is a beginners and advance knitting group as well as basket weaving classes. The teens also have their own knitting night, as well as a monthly craft night and book club.
In the summer the whole family can take part in our libraries various summer reading clubs and earn prizes that include free coupons for food at various restaurants in our area.
The Indy Children Museum is about 1hr & 30 minutes from us. It is free the first Thursday after 4pm and when the children were little we would go during this time a few times a year. They even offered their rock climbing wall free at that time. Yes it cost me gas but I would often recoup some of that gas cost by stocking up on items in the city that were less money then those I could find near us.
4. Find Free
Free bowling and movies in the summer. Free entrance to the cities Children Museum on the first Thursday evening of the month. Free admission to the states museum on Presidents day. These are all great family events that either my family has done or heard of others doing.
A few ways to find out about these free offers is to search through the website of museums and around you for free admission times (usually found in special event areas) Or follow a deal blogger in your area.
Another place to get board games for less than $5 is at yard sales. Courtney bought In A Pickle shown here for just .50 cents at a yard sale. Word of caution when buying a yard sale board game take the time to count the pieces.
5. Stay home and pass the popcorn
Points 1 to 4 are all under $5 but you do have to consider the price of gas to get to and from the events. Here are a few ideas that can do with out packing up the kiddo’s and starting up the gas guzzler.
Use your Swagbuck points to purchase a $5 Amazon card and purchase a Amazon Instant Video. Even if you can only stream it to your laptop, I am betting it would be a fun snugly evening. If you are lucky enough to live within walking distance to a Redbox, you could cash in 100 Bing Reward points for a Redbox code and watch a movie on your TV (and still snuggle).
A family game night can be a fun and memorable tradition. Coupons are often available for the most popular board games that when combined with coupons can make them under $5 each. I find out about board game deals for my family through following Money Saving Mom. Pick them up as the deals become available and soon you will have a nice stash available in your home.
A great snack for family movie night or family game night is my Carmel Crunch.
Got an inexpensive family outing idea? I would love to hear about it!
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.