Having a family can be a lot of work. Between soccer practice, dance recitals, and homework help sessions, it’s no wonder parents sometimes feel like they don’t have the time or energy to just get out and enjoy life.
A day without the outdoors is like a day without sunshine. So why not incorporate family outdoor activities into your Sunday or weekday schedule? While it may be difficult, times are tough and you should look for ways to save money this summer.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of fifteen affordable family-friendly activities that are sure to provide stress relief and some much needed “me time.” Ilventofailsuogiro has some more affordable activities for families with kids to look forward to.
Ready to fill your weekend with fun? Check it out below.
1. Visit a nature center
Leaving the city behind and heading out to the country is a classic family activity. For those who wish to stay close to home, nature centers are perfect places for kids and parents alike to enjoy a lovely day outside. The full range of nature centers provides a place for kids to learn about nature, pick up a butterfly or learn how different plants grow. There’s even the possibility of getting up close with animals like dogs, dogsleds, goats, ponies, and birds of prey. These activities will help children develop their appreciation of animals and learning about our natural world.
2. Sign up for a local museum field trip
While kids may not feel like leaving the house at all, chances are the family will be tripping over themselves to get out of the house and visit something fun. If you’re looking for something different than the normal museum, consider signing your children up for a local field trip. With so many great museums in town, it’s easy to find one that will provide an afternoon of fun and learning. From art museums like the Boston Museum of Fine Arts or Newburyport Art Museum to history museums like the Coast Guard Station Ship USFF-1911 Museum or Salem Museums, there’s plenty to do with your kids this summer.
3. Play board games
Even if you don’t think of yourself as a game player, board games are a great way to spend time together laughing and having fun. Most game shops like Toymaster or FuncoLand offer wide ranges of games, all the way from classic family favorites like Monopoly to modern newcomers like Ticket to Ride. If you go during the week, chances are there won’t be many other people there, so you won’t even have to worry about putting up with an annoying uncle who loves telling jokes all night. Some favorite choices include Settlers of Catan , Bohnanza , and Ticket to Ride .
4. Take a cooking class
If you’re looking for activities that your whole family will enjoy, take a cooking class. By learning the fundamentals of how different ingredients work together, adults and kids alike will learn to be more creative in their kitchen. Food Network has free classes on their website, while the Cooking Channel offers $15 classes all over the country. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can always get your kids involved by making simple snacks like cookies or muffins. You can either let your kids help you or do some pre-planning by bringing the ingredients to class with you.
5. Go on an outdoor adventure
If you’re looking for things your kids will love, take them hiking. Not only will it give them a chance to spend some quality time in the great outdoors with their family, it will also be good exercise for them to burn off their energy running around. There are so many ways to go on an outdoor adventure that they are sure to have fun no matter what kind of opportunity you choose. You can go on a hiking trip or simply head out into the park near your house with swings and slides for the kids. Whatever you do, just make sure to take a big bag of water and a lot of snacks for everyone.
6. Make a fun craft
If you have kids, chances are they have plenty of toys and clothes to their names. While all those clothes can be put to good use, they can also start looking a little faded and boring if your kid never gets out the scissors for their clothes. By making crafts from everything from cards to paper plates, you’ll have kids thinking about how to use the things around them in new ways. Plus, they’ll get to share their creativity and show off what they’ve learned.
7. Go to a place with a water play area
When the weather is nice, families head out to the beach or pool, but sometimes staying indoors can be just as fun. You can find water-filled playgrounds at many community centers and public parks which provide hours of fun for kids while allowing parents some peace and quiet. Get your family some swimming gear and some good old-fashioned sunscreen and head out on an afternoon of splashing around with your kids.
8. Get some exercise
Between school projects, summer reading lists, and sports practice, kids are spending more time on their feet than ever before. Luckily for parents with little ones, there are plenty of activities that will get the blood pumping without having to spend a fortune. You can take your kids to a park or community center near you for affordable or free programs with everything from gymnastics classes to ballet recitals. Alternatively, you can just bring them along on your own workout activities with things like jogging or swimming. Getting some fresh air and exercise is always good for everyone involved.
9. Go bowling with your family
Gone are the days when bowling was a popular activity with your grandparents. Today, you can still find plenty of fun bowling alleys with modern decor and all the latest features. If you’re looking for something that will provide an afternoon of entertainment for everyone, think about heading out to one of these establishments. Bowling is a great way to get your kids active while enjoying yourself together in a place that has everything you need to have fun. Of course, there’s always the possibility that they might get bored after an hour or so, so this is definitely something best suited for younger kids rather than primary schoolers who will want to go out on adventures or be around their friends.
10. Take your kids to the beach
It can be tempting to leave kids under the supervision of their parents while you go out boogie boarding or for a nice afternoon at the lake. If you’re looking for activities that are fun for everyone, though, take them on an afternoon at the beach. You can go surfing, go splashing around in the water, or just sit out on your porch with a few drinks and watch your children play in the waves all day long. There are plenty of great spots around Boston that will allow you to enjoy an afternoon or two by yourself or with friends while letting your family enjoy themselves as well.
11. Learn how to play a musical instrument
If there’s one thing that kids will love more than riding in the car, it’s playing music. If you’re looking for an activity that will keep your kids busy without stressing out everyone around you, consider learning how to play an instrument with them. You can find lessons at places like Boston Music Hall or go online for free lessons on sites like YouTube. As long as your kids are comfortable with the instrument you choose, it doesn’t matter if they already know how to play the piano or guitar. All they need is your guidance so they can learn something new and have fun doing it with their friends.
12. Visit a museum
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. Find a local museum and take your kids to what will likely be one of their favorite places. In the summer, museums have special activities for kids so they can enjoy summer camp without leaving the house. You can even sign up to volunteer at the museum so you can help out with their programs, or treat your family to museum passes which allow you free entry any time of year.
13. Get some ice cream on a hot day
No matter what age your kid is, everyone loves ice cream. There’s something about the sticky cold treat that can make even the most cranky kids smile and laugh. It’s definitely a treat that everyone in your family will enjoy. You can head out to a local ice cream shop like the Edgartown Creamery if you’re in Provincetown, or go to a smaller place in town where you can get an enormous batch of ice cream for everyone to share.
14. Read together outdoors
If it’s warm enough, head outdoors and read a book while basking in the sun or stars overhead. There’s no better time to snuggle up with a good book than at the beach, along a canal, or under a tree. Call it a reading date if you have kids who are too young for that type of thing. No matter what you call it, just have fun hanging out together and doing something quiet and relaxing that everyone can enjoy.
15. Go to a free movie showing
One of the advantages of living in a big city is its ability to offer free entertainment for families on a budget. Boston is incredibly lucky in this regard. During the summer, you can head out to any number of venues around town to watch a movie completely free of charge. Try something like the Revere Beach Casino or the Castle Island Cinema for a night of pure entertainment.