Father teaches son how to throw frisbee

13 Aug

Tight Budget? Fun & Frugal Family Date Ideas

During the school year, you probably have a little less time and a lot less money. But, that’s no excuse to neglect quality family time. When was the last time you did something as a family that didn’t involve going to the movies or just staying home to watch TV? 

There are other things you can do that everyone will enjoy without spending too much money, if anything at all. When a free Friday night rolls around or a lazy Sunday afternoon pops up, here are some fun and frugal family date ideas to pick from.  


  • Have a scavenger hunt at your local library. It’s a game your kids will love while learning how to use their local library. You can make up your own, or print this one. You could do it as a team, or if your kids are old enough you could time them to see who’s the winner. But note, there’s a penalty if they’re loud or running through the library! 


  • Backyard Camping. Get the tent out of the garage, a few sleeping bags and you’re set! If you really want to make it fun, have a bonfire to roast hotdogs and s’mores. Or, try to make different shadow puppets on the side of the tent while telling a story. If you have a telescope, get it out and examine the moon and stars before everyone heads to bed. It’s a free camping weekend your kids are sure to love. 

Camping in the backyard

  • Look for free concerts or movies offered throughout the community. Local schools, churches, parks departments and more offer many different events throughout the year, often for free. 


  • Grab some chalk and write kind messages on the sidewalk around your local park or neighborhood. Your kids can practice their writing skills while brightening other people’s days. 


  • Make a new recipe. Make sure everyone has a job! Pinterest and Allrecipes.com are both great places to find kid-friendly recipes. You could work together to make a whole meal or just work on a dessert. Extra points if you make a recipe and then take it to an elderly neighbor or family member! 


  • It’s never too late or too early to learn a new sport. Even if you’ve never done it before, learn a new sport together. Head to the park to play catch, throw a frisbee, play volleyball, or have a jump rope contest. For prep, you might watch some YouTube videos together to see how other people play the sport, then your child will have a better idea what it is you’re trying to teach them. 

Father teaches son how to throw frisbee

  • Have a driving date. At each turn someone gets to decide left or right. Decide on the number of turns before you leave and see where you end up! To make it extra fun, the person who gets to decide right or left also gets to decide on a question for the whole family to answer. This will keep conversation going as you all wonder what your final destination will be.


  • Look for kids’ discount nights at local restaurants. Places like Chick-fil-A even have special kids night events that are usually free to attend.


  • Have family or friends that live far away? Make an event of sending them a care package. Make handmade cards and let everyone pick 1 thing to put in the box. 

  • Plan a surprise picnic. Don’t tell them where you’re going but give them clues to help them figure it out. 


  • Get everyone’s imagination involved. Together, dream up a crazy vacation. Where would you go? What would you do? Use Google maps to teach your kids about geography and also see pictures of their destination. 


  • Grab a hairbrush and have a karaoke night. You’d be amazed at the number of karaoke songs you can find on Youtube. Or, if you’re not into singing, play 5-10 seconds of the song and see if anyone can guess what it is. 


During family date night encourage everyone to put the phones away. It can be a challenge for all of you, but, it can also lead to some really fun quality time together. 

Share your family date night story with us on Facebook! If you’re looking for more frugal ideas check out these posts.