14 Awesome & Affordable Spring Activities for Families

A list of inexpensive Spring recreation and fun ideas

Our priority at MoneySmartFamily is to help readers improve their finances and we partner with companies that could help you. Some links on this page are from our partners. Read how we earn money here.

Family Spring Activities – if you’re looking for fun, it’s a time full of awesome and affordable recreational events. Spring is the time for plants and trees to come back to life. And in many parts of the country families can be outside to enjoy the more temperate weather and outdoor activities.

If we just look ahead at the upcoming calendar & holidays there are plenty of opportunities for fun on the affordable side.


Are there special Spring events in your area that tourists usually attend? Well, maybe you would enjoy them too? How about visiting an open house at a state wildlife rehabilitation center. We were amazed to learn about numerous creatures that we hadn’t realized lived in our area.

Are there auto or boat races, air shows, horse shows, dog shows, art shows, craft fairs or music festivals nearby? These can be fun events and inexpensive to attend. If they do charge admission there are usually ways to get discount tickets. Just search a little, or consider volunteering to help with the events.

School Concerts

A myriad of college and high school spring concerts and recitals in April and May. Each year many college senior music majors are required to put on a final recital. These can be a lot of fun as website subscribers Beth and Curtis from Spokane, WA, experienced. “Most universities publish dates and times of their recitals in the local newspaper or online. One of our most enjoyable evenings was spent in a university recital hall listening to a solo tuba recital. It was memorable and quite entertaining — and, best of all, it was absolutely free.”

Salute the music: U.S. Military Bands

If you ever get the opportunity to hear one of our military bands perform, don’t miss it. They are phenomenal and free as well. Below are links to each U.S. Military Band’s concert and/or touring schedule.

Family Game Night Fun

Doreen Hallman from Phoenix, AZ encourages family game nights. “For years we did a monthly game night with friends and their kids. It usually consisted of a host couple and two other families, preferably with kids the same ages. Little kids can be put down to sleep and you don’t need a babysitter. Everyone brings “substantial hors d’oeuvres” which become dinner for the night.”

You could expand on Doreen’s idea a little and take the games outside for a park night. Try Capture the Flag, an afternoon of kickball, Whiffle ball or any other family-friendly outdoor game.

Related Article: 35 of the Best Family Game Night Games


In springtime, outdoor dates or family activities could include visiting an arboretum, strawberry picking, or bird watching. Your family outing could also include hiking through fields of wildflowers, walking through a forest, trekking through a desert or wandering some mountain trails. Therefore exposing you to some wonderful outdoor experiences.

We especially enjoy this spring season as our citrus trees are in full bloom. Nothing compares to taking a walk through our orchard, while the smell of fresh citrus blossoms wafts through the air. And hundreds of butterflies dart about.

Spring is a great time to make use of city parks by playing Frisbee golf or volleyball. You could also access a jogging trail at a city park or use exercise equipment that many parks now have along the trails. Or take a leisurely bike ride down some quiet streets or through a nature preserve. In Scottsdale, we have a flood control Green Belt with a paved path where hundreds of people walk, rollerblade, and jog. Many people also ride bikes for dozens of miles, as the green belt is a beautiful area and a great place to go in the spring weather months.

Plant a Garden

With food prices going through the roof, planting a garden is a great way to save money, and a great outdoor activity. Start simple by buying some good-quality soil from Home Depot and filling a few containers. Container gardening can be done almost anywhere. Our daughter Becky planted this garden on the balcony of her 3rd-floor apartment.

Apartment balcony with an organic garden and worm farm
A container garden on an apartment patio.

National Parks Pass

If you’re going to be traveling in the spring and summer consider buying a National Parks Pass—officially known as America the Beautiful: National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. It costs about $80 annually (only $10 if you’re age 62 or older). If you’re active military the pass is free.

You can get an entire carload of people (up to 4 adults) with this admission, to more than 2000 parks and recreational areas. If you have a large family and are going to go to several parks in the next 12 months, the savings can be substantial (you may need to purchase 2 passes for larger families).

See a list of all U.S. National Parks here

Relive History through Enactments

Are there any historical reenactments in your area? We have an annual Civil War reenactment near Picacho Peak in Arizona. Yes, there was one small skirmish in Arizona during the Civil War.  A reenactment of this type is a huge event for Civil War buffs.

Get Smarter – Tour a college campus

It could be a fun and educational experience and help your pre-teen and teenage kids develop a vision for their future. The colleges we’ve toured didn’t charge for the tours, but they did take reservations, so call ahead to guarantee your spot.

Check with your local Chamber of Commerce or AAA tour book for other touristy events in your area.

Fly a Kite

A young girl holding a colorful kite with her family.

Kites are inexpensive and can be a lot of fun. Just go to your nearest park and give it a try. Amazon has a wide variety of durable kites available at great prices (between $8 and $30).

Family Bike Ride

One of Annette’s fondest childhood memories is her dad leading a group of neighborhood kids on a bike ride. Steve led our Boy Scout troop on a 17-mile bike ride through a green belt in Scottsdale. Many cities have bike-friendly trails and paths where taking a family bike ride should be safe.

Bikes can be purchased inexpensively at garage sales, estate sales, and on Craigslist, Offerup, and Facebook Marketplace.

Go Play Ground Hopping

Just Google “Playgrounds near me” and you’ll be provided with a Google Maps list of great places to let your kids play. Each of the listings in our area included pictures so we could see what types of activities our kids could do.

Be sure to bring along toy buckets, shovels, rolling toys, and sunscreen.



Holiday Spring activities include some churches hosting musicals that celebrate Easter. It’s also a great time to color Easter Eggs that have been hard-boiled. In the past, we have had an Easter egg hunt (we used plastic eggs and fill them with candy and coins). We have a ton of great and creative Easter crafts on our Pinterest page.

Mother’s Day

On Mother’s Day, first of all, consider a special breakfast, and perhaps cards from the kids. And finally, a favorite dinner, cooked by someone other than mom, to finish off a perfect day. Maybe a picnic in the park with some baked chicken, coleslaw, and French bread that you picked up at the grocery store.

And if you don’t have a mother, maybe you could adopt one for the day. If it’s someone who has had a profound influence in your life, and they’re available, we’re sure they would love to celebrate with you!

Memorial Day – the Family Car Race

The three-day weekend of Memorial Day provides an ideal opportunity to host a barbecue, cheer for our troops at a parade, visit a veterans’ cemetery and place flags on the graves, attend a church picnic or one of many other commemorative events.

For many years Annette’s extended family (over 35 of us) all got together and raced little Pinewood Derby cars — the kind that the Cub Scouts race. This was done in honor of the Indy 500 race that occurs this weekend. It was a hoot! We even had news cameras from a local TV station show up one year to watch this crazy family fun and it aired on the local evening news that night.

After a 10 year break, the family has started doing this tradition again with some of the grandkids (now in their 30s) taking the lead.

Father’s Day

Celebrate Father’s Day in June with the dads in your life or visit a man of character who has influenced your life.

One year Annette and the kids sent Steve on a treasure hunt . . . looking for the rest of the family. It started with a note left at home directing him to go to our favorite Chinese buffet to pick up egg rolls (his favorite appetizer). John was waiting there and gave him the next clue. John and Steve drove to a restaurant (where kids ate free with an adult meal) to meet the rest of the family.

After dinner, Steve was blindfolded and taken to his favorite ice cream shop for dessert. Overall, the day was a smashing success, especially for the kids. They loved fooling good old dad.

It’s spring and it’s time for us to come alive with spring activities that are frugal and fun for the whole family. Enjoy your family, enjoy the out of doors and enjoy discovering new fun activities that cost little and create big memories!

A list of inexpensive Spring recreation and fun ideas

Get More Money-Saving Ideas

If you’d like more info about the Spring holidays, click here.

If you’d like more info about inexpensive hobbies, click here.

And finally, if you’d like to see all our Money-Saving Tips in our Entertainment/ Recreation section, click here.

Leave a Reply