Group of friends on a picnic in a park with the dog having fun

20+ Fun Things to Do For Free

As we work at paying off our massive consumer debt, having fun things to do is a priority. Finding fun things to do for free is also a priority.

Our family of six has set a strict entertainment budget of $60 a month until our debt is paid off. It’s also forced us to get creative in finding fun things to do that fit our small budget.

Fun Things To Do For Free

To help you save more money to accomplish your financial goals, here is a list of fun things to do for free.

1. Have a Movie Night

Usually, our movie nights have a theme: Super Hero Night, Classic Movie Night (where we show oldies but goodies such as The Quiet Man with John Wayne), Funny Movie Night, or Sci-Fi Movie Night.

We ramp up the fun by making old-fashioned air-popped popcorn with real butter, curling up with blankets, turning on the stereo surround sound, and dimming the lights.

There are even several websites where you can watch movies for free.

2. Go Hiking

This is not only a fun thing to do for free, but you can get fit simultaneously.

Most states have a generous number of parks, complete with hiking trails. Check out your state’s tourist website and get a list of hiking areas.

Then carve out a few hours and the weekend, get some fresh air and exercise, and enjoy the new scenery as you take in the beauty of nature.

3. Have a Potluck Dinner

Call a few close family members or friends and invite them for a potluck dinner.

You can even assign a theme, such as Italian Night, Irish Night, or Take Me Out to the Ballpark Night.

4. Pick Your Own Fruit

Many small and large farms have pick your own fruit fields where you can pick apples, strawberries, and other fresh fruits.

The farms generally charge less or the same as you would pay for grocery store fruit, so you have no extra monetary cost.

5. Host a Game Night

Board games such as Monopoly or Pictionary, card games such as spoons, or whatever your favorites are make no difference.

There’s something about getting together with loved ones for a game night that invokes lots of laughter and fun.

And if you’re a foodie family like us, have everyone bring something fun to eat.

6. Go Biking

Biking trails are everywhere in this day and age when fitness is becoming popular again. Google bike trails in (your state) and take the bikes out for a day of cycling fun.

You can also check out for trails near you. Feeling adventurous? Create a duathlon or triathlon of any length for your group.

7. Host a BBQ

There’s nothing like a BBQ party with loved ones to get summer (spring, fall, or winter) rolling.

Cook up some burgers, hot dogs, or chicken breasts, have friends bring side dishes or chips, and enjoy a nice meal outdoors with loved ones.

8. Play at a Park

You’re never too old to swing or ride down a slide. Grab the family or some friends and head to a local park for some good old-fashioned playtime.

9. Have a Nostalgia Night

Get out the old photo albums, or put on some old videos and enjoy the memories of yesteryear with your loved ones.

The laughter will abound as you remember the fun of days gone by.

10. Go on a Picnic

Make some sub sandwiches or turkey roll-ups, grab some fresh fruit, and find a sunny, outdoor place to enjoy the company of loved ones and a great meal.

The good, old-fashioned picnic never wears out its welcome.

11. Go to the Library

Check out to find a library near you. Set aside a couple of hours to browse through your local library bookshelves and sit back and read.

Most libraries these days have an abundance of chairs and loveseats so that you can read at the library without even checking out a book.

Bonus: the quiet environment is perfect for losing yourself in a book.

12. Visit a Farmer’s Market

Even if you don’t end up buying anything, farmers’ markets are fun to explore.

Most markets have various items for sale, including fresh fruits and veggies, homemade canned goods, homemade baked goods, and specialized treats.

Check out the local farmers markets in your area and spend a few hours seeing what fun you can find.

13. Create a Scavenger Hunt

Gather some loved ones together, divide them into groups, and hand each group a list of things to find on a scavenger hunt.

The hunt can be as big or as little as you want it to be: it can consist of things found in the yard or the local park or things found in a neighborhood or small town.

Some ideas for scavenger hunt items:

  • A takeout menu from a local restaurant
  • A particular type of tree leaf
  • Things of a specific color or shape
  • Pictures of houses with specified features
  • Specified items from nature

The list goes on and on. Scavenger hunts, in their many different themes, can be fun for all ages.

14. Host a Bonfire

This can be fun to do for free as long as you have a free source of firewood. Gathering around a warm bonfire at night is a sure way to enjoy a cheap evening.

Guests can tell stories, roast smores, or cook hot dogs while talking and laughing the evening away.

15. Make a Romantic Dinner at Home

A romantic dinner with your spouse doesn’t have to mean a trip downtown or a huge chunk out of your budget.

Look online for great recipes and create a romantic dinner at home, complete with your best china, candles, soft music, and dimmed lights.

16. Go to the Zoo

Most local zoos provide a day of fun for free or for relatively cheap. Enjoy viewing the animals and enjoying the day with the people around you by spending an afternoon at the zoo.

17. Do Charitable Work

Pack food for those living in far-away countries, serve a meal to a group of homeless men and women at a local homeless shelter, hand out groceries at a nearby food shelf or visit people at a nursing home.

There are many ideas for spending the day making a difference in the lives of others that cost little or nothing.

18. Clean up the Local Park

Gather family and/or friends together to clean up a local park.

Stay together as a large group or divide into smaller groups, put on some rubber gloves, and see how much garbage you can gather to make your neighborhood park a more beautiful place to be.

19. Have a Meal Making Day

This activity has the double bonus of creating family time together and making the days more streamlined as well.

Make a list of three or four meals that your family loves, and work together to make a large batch of the meals to divide up into dinner-sized portions and freeze for later.

Soups, casseroles, and dishes like lasagna or homemade chili are great for this activity. You can also make desserts such as cookies and freeze them for later as well.

20. Rearrange the Furniture

There’s something fun about changing the look of the rooms in your house. Rearranging furniture together is a great way to have fun and bring something new into your life without spending a dime.

You may even be able to sell furniture you don’t use or part ways with unwanted antiques. Have fun and make money; you can’t get any better than that!

21. Go to the Beach

Find a warm sunny day to go and hang out at the beach together.

Don’t forget snacks, sunscreen, and lots of water to keep you hydrated as you play in the warm sun.

22. Go Sledding or Ice Skating

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to be stuck indoors. If you live in a northern state adorned with snow, take a day and go sledding or ice skating.

Even southern states often have indoor ice skating rinks and skates available for rent.

23. Put together a Puzzle

Many people underestimate the fun to be had by putting together a large jigsaw puzzle. Working together with loved ones to complete a project puzzle is fun and educational all at the same time.


Having fun doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. Free or inexpensive activities are everywhere.

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  1. I like going for walks, either with the family or with our dog. It’s a good way to unwind or listen to a podcast and get some exercise in too. We enjoy the beach and library trips often.

    1. We love walks too and go on them often. It really is a great way to unwind, and it costs nothing but some time! Thanks, Brian!

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