Looking for something to do this spring with the family? Check out this list of 59 fun, family-friendly activities that are very affordable.
59 Spring Activities For Families On A Tight Budget
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1. Go Outside And Play In An April Rain Shower
Grab some rain boots and raincoats or if you don’t have those, grab the kids’ oldest shoes and outfits that you don’t mind getting muddy, and then get outside while the April showers are falling. Splash in the puddles. Catch raindrops on your tongues. Look way up and watch the drops as they fall. Close your eyes and listen to the sound the rain makes as it hits the ground.
When you are all done, go inside the house, get dried off, and warm up with homemade hot cocoa. Finish the family time by gathering on the couch and reading books about rain and spring aloud.
Here are 3 Children’s books about rain:
2. Plant Flowers
The saying “April showers bring May flowers” highlights the perfect time to plant flowers. Visit your local plant nursery to find what grows best in your area. Or take a chance and sprinkle a packet of wildflower mix in an area of your yard and see if any pop up.
3. Plant A Vegetable Garden
It is said that picky eaters are more willing to try new vegetables if they take part in growing them and spring is the perfect time for testing out that theory. Again, your local plant nursery is a great place to visit in the springtime to find out what grows best in your area and when to plant it.
If you don’t have a big yard, you can still try your hand at growing a few veggies. Many vegetables grow well in pots, including tomatoes and lettuce.
4. Fly A Kite
Most towns have at least one park that has a large enough area free of overhead obstacles for kite flying. Spring is the perfect time to head there and let your kids try flying a kite in the spring breeze.
You can invest in a good sturdy kite that should last you several seasons and have everyone take turns flying it, or head to your local dollar store and pick up a couple of cheapos that should last a time or two.
5. Take A Nature Hike
Spring is a great time to get out there and hit the local trails. Just make sure to watch for ticks if they are prominent in your area. You can buy a tick spray and apply it before your hike, but you still need to give everyone in your family a once-over check for ticks and have someone do the same for you once you are done with your hike.
6. Go Hunting For Earthworms
I grew up on Vancouver Island where it often rains in spring and one of my childhood memories is going out after a rainstorm to look at all the earthworms that were now out on the ground. They were out because their burrows would fill with water, and thus they couldn’t get the oxygen they needed to breathe. Adults might think earthworms are creepy, but kids generally love them.
So moms and dads, get past your “icky” feelings about earthworms if you have them and let your young explorers get out there after a rainstorm and watch the earthworms. Compare sizes and colors as you watch them inch along. Then go inside and google earthworm information together and find out more about earthworms and all they do for our planet.
7. Go On A Nature Photoshoot
There are some fantastic photographers with Instagram accounts. Without the kids around, search for hashtags like #puddlegram #springblossom, etc., to make sure they don’t have anything inappropriate, and then share them with your kids and go out and see if you can add to the feed with pictures taken by your budding photographers.
Not a fan of Instagram, but still want to expose your children to great photography? Go to the library and check out photography books with spring themes to them.
8. Go On A Family Bike Ride
If you don’t already have bikes, this could be an expensive spring activity, but perhaps you can borrow some from friends. Looking for inexpensive bikes? Try yard sales, Facebook marketplace, or even Craigslist. Read up on what makes a quality bike first if you are buying one you plan to keep for years. There is quite a difference in comfort between cheap and quality bikes. That said, young children outgrow bikes fast, so quality doesn’t matter as much for kids’ bikes.
9. Playground Hop
Use the Google Maps app to find all the public playgrounds in your area. Make a list of them and hang it on the fridge. Every day that it is springtime beautiful, pick a park and go. Better yet–invite friends along.
10. Perform A Few Spring Science Experiments
Here is a list of spring science experiments you could try with your kids.
11. Take Part In Free Events
There is a world of free to be found out there in your community. General free events can be found at local churches, libraries, and community centers. There could be a free Easter play at the local church, a free Easter egg hunt held by your local community center, and a free spring craft class held at your local library.
12. Read Up On How Birds Build Their Nests And Then Leave Out Nest Building Supplies
There is a wealth of information on the internet about what you can leave out for birds to make nests out of, as well as pictures of nests made by birds from things left out for them.
13. Search For Egg Shells
Even though I am over 40 years old, I still look for wild bird eggshells on my Spring day walks. I love snapping pictures of them and then doing internet searches to find out what type of birds laid them. I am guessing kids would find this fun too!
14. Decorate Easter Eggs
A dozen eggs and some food dye can make for a pretty inexpensive family fun afternoon. Search Pinterest for ideas.
15. Paint And Hide Rocks
Last year painted rocks started appearing all over the places where I run and ride my bike. It is a pretty cool trend. I did a bit of research, and for the best-looking rocks, it is recommended you take the time first to wash and dry the rocks. Then apply a sealer to them (here is a spray-on type sealer). Let the sealer dry and draw on them with either acrylic paint or paint markers. After your art dries, coat it with another layer of sealer.
Don’t have these materials? Make do with what you have. They are just rocks!
16. Make And Blow Bubbles
Bubbles are so fun to play with and simple to make. Of course, if you don’t want to mess with making your own, the pre-made bubble solution is pretty inexpensive. When I ran a family daycare, I invested in no-spill bubble containers with wands like these and was very happy with them. They were not 100% spill-proof, but they did cut down on spills and made bubble-blowing much less messy.
17. Go On A Hunt For Spring Flowers
Can you find a daffodil, a pansy, or a tulip blooming in your neighborhood? Go for a walk together and see if you can!
18. Go Camping
Camping as a family can be as simple as setting up a tent in your backyard. Use the supplies you have or borrow and stay within your budget; the value is found in the memories made–not the money spent.
19. Build A Bird House
Create an environment for bird watching right in your backyard by building a birdhouse together as a family and hanging it up in a quiet area of your backyard. You can either buy a birdhouse kit or make your own using scrap wood from other DIY projects.
20. Cloud Gaze
Grab a blanket and lay it out on the grass on a day when the sky is a mix of cloud and sun. Invite everyone to lie down on the blanket and watch the clouds roll by. Ask the kids what they see in the clouds. What does the shape of each one remind them of?
21. Have A Paper Plane Contest
Gentle spring breezes make the perfect flying conditions for paper airplanes. Have a contest to see who can fly theirs the furthest. Get ideas for new designs from books or online articles.
22. Go To A U-Pick Strawberry Farm
Strawberries are cheapest when bought in season and sometimes even cheaper when you pick your own, so why not make a family event out of visiting a local u-pick strawberry farm?
23. Join A Community Clean-Up Day
Does your community throw a family clean-up day? If it does, see if your family can volunteer together to rake parks, replant community flower beds, or whatever help they need.
24. Make Dirt Cake Or Dirt Cake Bark Together
There isn’t another dessert out there that says spring quite like dirt cake does. Here is my recipe for it. Or try a new twist on the classic recipe and make up a batch of dirt cake bark instead.
25. Color Spring Coloring Sheets
Google free Spring-themed coloring sheets; there are plenty of free coloring sheets to choose from. Print them out and gather the coloring supplies and the kids. Sit down at the table and color together. While you color, use the time to discuss what you want to do off this list during the spring season.
26. Discover The Fun Of Frisbee Golf
Local city parks and state parks often have frisbee golf courses that families can play for free (there may be an entrance fee for your state park).
You don’t need a fancy set of golf discs to play. When our family plays, we bring one mid-range disc each.
27. Complete A Spring Themed Puzzle
My family recently discovered that the PuzzleBug Deluxe brand of puzzles available at Dollar Tree is pretty decent in quality for the low price. Make sure that the box says “deluxe” and “thicker pieces.” They make for a great few hours of cheap family entertainment.
If you would prefer a higher-quality brand, Ravensburger is awesome.
28. Celebrate Earth Day
April 22nd is Earth Day. Check to see if your community does something free to celebrate.
29. Feed The Birds
A small bag of bird seed is pretty inexpensive. Spread it outside a window in your home so you can all watch the birds that it attracts. You don’t need a fancy bird feeder for the seed; you can toss it on the ground.
30. Visit Your Local Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s Markets can be expensive or a treasure trove of inexpensive fresh fruit and veggies–it really depends on the market. Tell your kids you are going to look only; that way, if the prices are decent, you can surprise them with a treat and if items are beyond your budget, the kids won’t be disappointed.
31. Watch A Sunrise Or Sunset
You don’t have to go on vacation to take time to enjoy the sunrise or sunset. Do a bit of research on where to enjoy it in your hometown, and then grab a blanket and the family and go and enjoy it.
32. Celebrate Easter
Look for free community Easter egg hunts. Bake bunny-shaped cookies. Borrow and read Easter stories from the library. Take in a free play of the resurrection of Jesus at a church.
33. Sketch The Wildflowers
Dollar Tree sells pencils and sketchbooks that are good enough for budding artists to get out there and try their hand at sketching flowers. Mom and dad, you try it too!
34. Have a Hula Hoop contest
I am sending you to the dollar store again for these. You really only need one and a timer on your smartphone to hold a contest.
35. Go Geochaching
Download the free Geocaching app and create a free account. See if there are any near you that you can go out and find as a family.
36. Hold A Spring-Themed Movie Night
Even if you don’t pay for a single steaming service, my guess is you can find a family-friendly spring movie on a free streaming site such as Tubi, Peakcock, or Freevee.
Fill a bowl full of freshly popped popcorn with plenty of butter and salt, and treat the kids to a bottle of their favorite soda, and you will still be spending much less than you would for a movie night at the local cinema.
37. Feed The Ducks
A steady diet of bread is not good for Ducks. Healthier alternatives are thawed frozen sweet corn or peas. You can also feed them lettuce leaves or rolled oats.
38. Bake Some Easter-Themed Cookies
Find a recipe for sugar cookies and a flower, egg, or bunny-shaped cookie cutter. Here is a recipe for icing that is super simple to make.
39. Read Spring-Themed Books Outside
Go to your local library, pick up a stack of spring-themed books, and head outside to read them.
40. Feed The Chipmunks And Squirrels
Pick up a small bag of peanuts in the shell and put them near a window of your house so you can watch the local squirrels and chipmunks discover and munch on them.
41. Roll Down A Hill
Remind your kids of the simple pleasure of rolling down a hill of lush green grass. Here is a way to get out grass stains that might result from this idea.
42. Participate In A Local 5K Or Fun Run
Although there is usually a sign-up fee for racing in runs, there are still reasonably priced 5Ks out there to enter and enjoy.
43. Host A Spring Tea Party
Imaginary tea parties are a favorite activity for many preschoolers. Why not surprise them with a real tea party? Use what you have to create a fancy spread of snacks and tea.
44. See Who Can Swing The Highest
Moms, shock your kids by jumping on the swing beside them on the playground and challenging them to a swinging contest.
45. Have a Backyard Hotdogs and Marshmallows Roast
This is a super simple and inexpensive party to host.
46. Pack A Picnic Lunch and Get Out For A Day Trip
Looking for low-cost spring break ideas? Instead of paying for a week’s worth of accommodation, plan several day trips to attractions near where you live.
Not only will this save you hotel fees, but you can save even more by eating breakfast at home before you leave, packing a picnic lunch, and being home by dinner time.
Here is my list of tips for creating a successful staycation.
47. Have Some Pillow Fun Inside On A Rainy Day
Gather all the blankets and pillows in the house and create the world’s biggest pillow fort in the living room. Or use the pillows to create an obstacle course stretching from one end of the house to another.
48. Visit A National Park For Free On This Day
On the first day of National Park Week in April there are no admission fees for visiting a National Park. See if there is one near you that your family could explore together.
49. Celebrate April Fool’s Days With A Few Harmless Pranks
Try this sponge brownie prank found over at Instructables (but have a pan of real ones hidden to present after they try the fake one).
50. Create A Sidewalk Chalk Masterpiece
A box of sidewalk chalk is an inexpensive way to spend a beautiful spring afternoon outdoors.
51. Teach The Kids Hopscotch
Use the sidewalk chalk to create a hopscotch grid and teach the kids how to play.
52. Hold A Spa Day For Your Feet
Grab a bag of Epsom salts and some bubbles. Use dishpans or have everyone sit on the side of the bathtub and soak their feet. Follow up with foot lotion and a bottle of dollar store nail polish.
53. Have a Jump Rope Contest
Cotton jump ropes with wooden handles will last much longer than their plastic counterparts, and mom and dad, you need to join in the fun too!
54. Create A Spring Scavenger Hunt For The Kiddos
Free printables for this springtime adventure activity can be found all over the internet.
55. Enjoy Cinco De Mayo Freebies
May 5th is Cinco De Mayo and many different restaurants offer freebies and discounts on that day.
56. Attend A Nearby Tulip or Cherry Blossom Festival
These are fun spring activities that can include free parades and other no-cost events.
57. Seek Out Water
Unless you live in a really warm climate, bodies of water probably are not warm enough for swimming in spring, but they are still fun to visit and walk along.
58. Hold A Do-Nothing Day Once A Month
In this “go go go” culture we live in, scheduling a regular go-nowhere and doing nothing day as a family is essential for mental health. Plus, it leads to great family bonding moments.
59. Use This List To Create A Family Spring Bucket List Of Your Own
Doing all 59 items on this list in one spring will run you and your family ragged. Instead, gather the family and read the list out loud. Afterward, have each family member pick one or two items off the list to do this spring.
Write those items on a piece of paper and get your family calendar out and start penciling those events in.
I hope this list helps your family create family memories this spring, no matter how tight your budget might be.
3 More Posts For Families On A Tight Budget:
- 10 Ways To Create Some Serious Wiggle Room In A Tight Budget
- 25 Free Or Low-Cost Ways To Keep Kids Busy This Summer
- 20 Thrifty Ways To Spend Quality Time With Your Child
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