10 Budget-Friendly Family Activities to Get You Through the Week

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 11/14/2013 | 02:45 PM EST

Being strapped for cash doesn't mean you can't have lots of family fun

When you have a mountaintop worth of bills including a mortgage, car note and groceries, many families are left with little cash flow to spare for activities. It seems like the larger your family grows, the less there is to go around.

But being low on cash doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun with your family. There are plenty of family-fun activities you can do on a budget. From museums to creative home-based activities, there’s never a dull moment when you’re being fun and frugal. Here are 10 budget-friendly family activities that will keep your family close and your pockets intact.

- It appears that in the technology-driven world we live in today, many people take for the granted the benefits of their local library. Some provide free story time or reading programs. In addition, you and the family can spend a lot time picking out books. Instead of checking them out, however, try grabbing a table and reading a book together as a family.

Museum, Aquarium or Zoo - Most local museums, zoos and aquariums have great family discounts. It keeps the family active and engaged.

Volunteer - You can also have fun making other people happy. Consider volunteering your services as a family at a local food bank or soup kitchen on the weekend. You’ll be able to spread a little joy to someone less fortunate, all the while still spending quality time with the family.

Imaginary Restaurant - Instead of spending unnecessarily at a restaurant, you can save money by cooking dinner and putting on an imaginary restaurant at home. Create a special menu with the evening’s appetizer, main course and dessert, and have the kids act as waiters, or vice versa. Who said adults couldn’t use their imagination, too?

Theater - Just because you’re low on cash doesn’t mean your kids can’t still be cultured. Take the family out to a theater to see a live performance. Websites like Goldstar.com and Groupon.com, or even the local newspaper, allow you to learn more information about discounted activities in your area.

Game Night - Who needs to go out when you can enjoy a game of Connect Four or Checkers at home? Form teams and have a night of friendly competition. You can also take that time to introduce your children to some of your favorite games while growing up, and re-live your childhood. You don’t always have to leave the comfort of your home to have a good time.

Free Workshops - Hardware stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s and Michael’s have great kids workshops that will allow your children to learn some handy skills and express their creativity.

YouTube Night - Another great way to enjoy time with your family indoors is through the Internet. Take turns picking out your favorite videos on YouTube and watch it as a family. It’s a great alternative to watching TV and everyone gets to have an input.

Talent Show - Put on a talent show and invite friends and family over to be entertained.

Potluck - Another way to spend time with family is to invite extended family and friends over for a potluck dinner. Instead of spending all that money on more food to cook, have others bring their own dishes and have the feast of your life!

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