21 Inexpensive Recreation Ideas

21 Inexpensive Recreation Ideas for Families and Individuals!

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Inexpensive Recreation is Easier to Find than you think!

Recreation doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun! How much are you willing to pay for fun and entertainment? Where we live there seems to be an endless list of things we do, and most of them cost quite a bit.  There often seems to be an attitude that if you’re going to have fun, you’ve got to spend money, and the more money you spend, the more fun you’ll have. We want to challenge that notion. You can have fun, lots of fun with inexpensive recreation. And lots of laughter and lots of great memories and still keep most of your money in the bank.

Knowing Where to Look for Inexpensive Recreation Ideas

We are convinced that meaningful memories can be created with little or no cost if you just know where to look. Whether it’s a date night, family get-together or outing, we’ve found oodles of ways to have an enjoyable time without dropping a lot of cash. Check your resources like CraigsList, Local Newspapers, High School, Community College and University websites, Churches and community centers – and the list goes on and on. There are links to a few resources at the bottom of the page.

Here’s a list of some amazing year round ideas that you and your family can do for little or no cost.

Try some of these inexpensive recreation ideas in your area:

Free Winter Events

  • Ice Skating
  • Sledding
  • Cross Country Skiing

Annual Recreational Events and Shows

  • Horse Show
  • Livestock show
  • Parades
  • Rodeos
  • Art Fairs

High school / College Sponsored Events

  • Concerts
  • Drama productions
  • Sporting events

Nature / Outdoor Events and Activities

Field Trips

  • Factory tours—candy, bread and milk
  • Farms—dairy, egg, and horses
  • Tours—newspaper, post office, airport and radio / TV station


  • Many museums offer free admission days
  • Check out a City Pass from your local library
  • Local Historical Societies

Political / Patriotic / Historical Activities

  • State Capitol Tour
  • Presidential Museums
  • Historical Reenactments

Holiday Celebrations

  • Easter—Church Musicals
  • Parades – Memorial Day, St. Patrick’s Day, MLK Day, Christmas
  • Fourth of July—Fireworks/Picnics
  • Christmas-Church pageants, Driving around to look at Houses decorated in Christmas Lights

At Home Fun

  • Board Game Nights (see our favorite board games and strategy games here)
  • Charades
  • Volleyball / Basketball
  • Flag Football
  • Camping in your backyard
  • Roasting Marshmallows
  • Reading books aloud (we’ve got lists of our favorite books here)

Tools to use to find inexpensive recreation ideas

  • CraigsList
  • VetTixFree Tickets to Sporting, Music and Entertainment Events for Veterans
  • AAA Tour Books
  • America the Beautiful Pass formerly the National Parks Pass
  • Local Newspaper
  • Convention and Visitors Bureau

For a more detailed list and explanation, read Chapter 10 of America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on The Money

Here are more ideas from interviews and newsletter articles that we’ve written. Watch the interview below where we share lots of inexpensive recreation ideas—3 minute

BTW: The board game we’re  playing in the video is Settlers of Catan — try it, you’ll like it!

Check out this radio interview with Bobbie Conner from The Parent’s Journal discussing inexpensive fun family times – this interview is on our podcast page.

Image courtesy of PhotoStock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net   ParkFamilyID-10034769FreeDigitalPhotos.net_PhotoStock.jpg 01.27.14

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