Whether you’re on a no-spend weekend or simply interested in saving a buck, there are plenty of fun things you can do without spending a dime.
Whether you’re interested in planning a solo activity or spending time with a group, we’ve put together a great list of ideas to keep you busy without hurting your bank account.
Table of Contents
- Ways to Have Fun For Free
- 1. Have a Picnic in a Park
- 2. Go for a Hike
- 3. Attend a Free Outdoor Concert
- 4. Take Advantage of Free Admission Days
- 5. Have a Garage Sale
- 6. Visit a State or National Park
- 7. Rearrange a Room
- 8. Clean Up a Park
- 9. Declutter a Room
- 10. Visit a New Town
- 11. Create a Goals Plan
- 12. Spend Time With Family or Friends
- 13. Go Through Old Pictures or Videos
- 14. Visit the Library
- 15. Try a New Gym
- 16. Sing Karaoke
- 17. Plan a Binge TV or Movie Night
- 18. Play Games
- 19. Visit the Farmers Market
- 20. Go For a Bike Ride
- 21. Camp in the Backyard
- 22. Plan a Star-Gazing Night
- 23. Listen to Music
- 24. Plan a Potluck Party
- 25. Attend a Worship Service
- 26. Plan a Photo Shoot
- 27. Try a New Recipe
- 28. Volunteer
- 29. Plan a DIY Spa Night
- 30. Host a Block Party
- Final Thoughts
Ways to Have Fun For Free
Fun and free activities are everywhere if you know where to look. Check out our list below and choose some fun activities to keep you busy for weeks on end.
1. Have a Picnic in a Park
Visit a local park or nature reserve to enjoy a peaceful picnic lunch for free. You may even want to schedule a picnic every week and change your menu up each time.
Choose from sandwiches, wraps, sushi, salads and more. Bring fun snacks, fruits, veggies, and your favorite beverages.
2. Go for a Hike
Hiking is a great way to get exercise without having to pay for a gym membership. You can research nearby parks to find hiking trails that vary in difficulty.
Plan your hike based on your skill level or physical ability, changing things up as you see fit.
3. Attend a Free Outdoor Concert
Many cities and towns offer free outdoor concerts for residents and visitors. Attending a free concert is a wonderful way to connect with others while enjoying some great music.
Visit city or town websites, or check out local community pages on sites like Facebook and the Neighborhood app to find scheduled events.
4. Take Advantage of Free Admission Days
Nearly all museums, zoos, and aquariums have free admission days. They may occur yearly or monthly, depending on the venue.
Get information by visiting the venue website or your state’s tourism site.
5. Have a Garage Sale
A garage sale is a great way to declutter your house and connect with others as they take unwanted items off of your hands.
Bonus: Not only is it free to hold a garage sale, you’ll have a chance to make money in the process.
6. Visit a State or National Park
Most state and national parks offer free admission days and weekends at least a couple of times per year.
Visit the state or national park you want to visit and search the website to find the free admission days the park offers.
7. Rearrange a Room
It might seem silly at first glance, but rearranging a room can really bring some extra joy to your home.
Choose a room or two and find a way to rearrange it that will make good use of the space and yet give the room a different feel.
8. Clean Up a Park
Is there a local park in your area that could use a good cleanup? City workers are tasked with this job, but it often becomes a bigger job than city workers have time for with all of the other tasks on their plates. Grab some friends and family members and beautify a park near you.
9. Declutter a Room
Clutter is stressful, yet getting rid of it always seems to be put on the back burner.
10. Visit a New Town
Are there towns near where you live that you have yet to explore? If so, plan an afternoon or day trip and visit a nearby town.
Check out your state’s tourism page to learn more about neighboring towns and to help decide which one you should visit next.
11. Create a Goals Plan
Goals. Everyone knows they should have them. However, most people don’t put much effort into setting or achieving their goals.
Take an afternoon, by yourself or with your partner, and figure out what your goals are. Then, make a plan to reach those goals.
12. Spend Time With Family or Friends
Many of us have so much going on that spending time with extended family and friends may seem unattainable.
Set aside some time and get together with family members and friends you haven’t seen in a while. The gathering doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
13. Go Through Old Pictures or Videos
There’s nothing like going through old pictures or videos to warm the heart. Take a few hours one day to reminisce with old photo albums or boxes of pictures.
Or head for the TV and watch some old home videos. Both activities are sure to bring a smile to your face.
14. Visit the Library
Your local library is filled with ways to learn or enjoy the written word. Grab a book or two and learn about any subject that interests you.
You can also borrow fiction titles to help exercise your imagination. Read the books at the library for a change of scenery, or bring them home and curl up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of coffee.
15. Try a New Gym
Local gyms often give out free trials for those considering membership. It’s a great way to get a free workout in for a few days.
It’s also an opportunity to decide whether a gym membership or a specific gym is right for you.
16. Sing Karaoke
Did you know? Singing has a long list of health benefits. If you want to destress, and improve your speaking abilities or lung function, start singing!
Join karaoke night at a local pub, or get a karaoke machine for home. If all else fails, you can always sing in the shower!
17. Plan a Binge TV or Movie Night
How about planning a binge TV or movie night? Gather a list of your favorite DVD movies or choose from your streaming service.
Or, choose a new streaming series you’ve been wanting to watch or an old favorite you want to revisit. Don’t forget the popcorn!
18. Play Games
You can’t go wrong with a game night. Invite friends or family members over, or play with the people in your house!
Charades, Trivial Pursuit, Catan, Cards Against Humanity; the choices are endless! Depending on what you’ve got in your cupboard, of course.
19. Visit the Farmers Market
If the season is right, why not spend the afternoon visiting local farmer’s markets? You don’t have to buy; browse for items you might like to purchase when you’re ready.
Or get great ideas for items you can make at home; canned jellies, fruits and veggies, homemade breads, and more.
20. Go For a Bike Ride
Do you have a bike? If so, when was the last time you used it? Now might be the perfect time to dust it off and go for a nice, long bike ride.
If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can pack your bags and head out for a longer trip around your city or state.
21. Camp in the Backyard
How about setting up a tent in the backyard? Cook food over the fire, tell stories over the fire, and enjoy the outdoor sounds as you sleep under the stars.
Invite some friends or family members to join you and make it a group outing.
22. Plan a Star-Gazing Night
There’s nothing quite so peaceful as gazing up at the heavens. Choose a clear night, grab some lawn chairs and relax as you take in the expansive beauty of the Milky Way.
For extra fun, work to find the 88 constellations that are most visible from Earth.
23. Listen to Music
There’s nothing like music to grab a hold of your heart. Play happy songs, and you’ll cheer up almost immediately.
Sad, melancholy songs will remind your heart of lost days, loves, and more. Either way, spend a few hours listening to music to capture your soul. Turn it into a dance party, a reminiscent journey, or a heart-cleansing cry.
24. Plan a Potluck Party
You have to eat dinner anyway. Why not make enough for friends or family members, invite them to share a dish, and join you?
You can plan your potluck party around a theme, an event, or a type of cuisine. For instance, you could plan an Italian dinner or an Independence Day BBQ. The choices are endless.
25. Attend a Worship Service
The right worship service can bring joy to your soul. No matter what your religious affiliation, you may enjoy spending a few hours at a worship service.
There are worship services for nearly every type of belief and lifestyle! Check local groups near you for more information.
26. Plan a Photo Shoot
A photoshoot is a great way to capture memories and preserve them for years to come. Grab your pet, your loved ones, or yourself, head out to your favorite place, and start snapping pics.
If you’re a talented photographer, you may want to consider using your skills to make money with your phone.
27. Try a New Recipe
You could try a new recipe every day for a year and not run out of new ways to expand your kitchen’s repertoire.
Find a new meal, dessert, appetizer, bread, or other recipe, and see if you can find some new favorite foods.
Try a dish you’ve never tried before. Search for recipes for your favorite restaurant meals. There’s no shortage of fun ideas here!
If one thing will get you out of a funk, it’s spending some time as a volunteer. Volunteering your time will make your heart and your level of gratitude grow and glow. Sign up to volunteer at places near you, such as:
- Homeless shelters
- Domestic violence shelters
- Food shelves
- Community centers
- Youth Ministries
Make it a regular thing if you find that you enjoy helping others.
29. Plan a DIY Spa Night
Trips to the spa are expensive. However, you can plan a spa night at home using items you have around the house. For instance, you could:
- Give yourself a manicure or pedicure
- Do a mayonnaise or coconut oil hair treatment
- Exfoliate with sugar and coconut oil
- Take an Epsom salt bath to detox your body
- Make an oatmeal mask for your face
Invite friends or family members to add to your fun. Search for homemade spa recipes online to find the right ones for your skin type.
30. Host a Block Party
Block parties are great for getting to know or reconnecting with your neighbors. Host one at your house and plan all kinds of free fun.
Have everyone bring a dish, bring lawn chairs and bring any outdoor games they might have. Make it casual and sit around the fire, enjoying each other’s company.
Or, fill your block party with games and activities to keep both kids and adults alike brimming with laughter.
Invite the people on your block, or include the entire neighborhood – the choice is yours!
As the cost of living rises, life can feel pretty expensive, regardless of your income. The good news is you can easily replace expensive activities with free ones and still have fun.
Whether you want to find free things to do because you’re on a tight budget, you’re working on reaching a financial goal, or for any other reason, there’s no shortage of ideas.
To get started, pick a few ideas from our list, and feel good about saving money!
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About Laurie Blank
Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.
She’s a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.
She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.