Hey, we love our kids, we do. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t all go absolutely bonkers spending too much time together. Especially inside. Over the past few years, we’ve been trying a bunch of fun and easy ways to change up our routines, the culmination of which is this: our favorite 25 free kids activities that everyone in the family will enjoy. It’s been a social experiment of sorts, and it’s finally ready to be shared and enjoyed by more than just our families!
Surprisingly, it can be hard to think of free things to do with kids off the top of your head, particularly if you’re worn out. Trust us, we get it! Bookmark this list and come back to it whenever you need a new idea. In other words, we’ve done all the thinking for you, so you don’t have to.
Oh, and if you need a reminder from time to time, we’ll be sharing little snippets of our time doing free and fun things with our kids on @the_bargainsisters, so be sure to follow us there to see what we’re up to. Bargains aren’t always about deals on things. Above all, they’re about getting more value out of your time and enjoying more experiences, and we’re in the business of giving you all of the above.
Now, back to our list of 25 free kids’ activities.
free things for kids to do today*
*Note: These activities are a mix of indoor and outdoor fun. We’ve broken them out for you, starting with indoor activities. While we live in places that tend to be warm more often than not (Texas and Mississippi), we are from Utah, so we know how long the winters can be for many of you.
Most importantly, all of these kids’ activities are tested and trusted by us—and by our kids!
fun Indoor activities for kids
We begin our list inside since that’s usually the hardest place to continue to entertain children. Cabin fever is REAL, isn’t it?
1. While it’s not exactly in your house (praise), enrolling your kids in a “first class free” (music, martial arts, etc.) is always a great choice because they get to try something new and you all get a change of scenery.
2. Further, check your local community calendars for free days at area museums—this is what we like to call “infotainment!”
3. Visit your local library for reading or storytime. Many libraries have sessions for different age groups or certain subjects.
4. Also, Barnes & Noble has free storytime, free printables, and a free kids’ club that the whole family can get behind.
5. Without fail, building a fort always offers hours of entertainment and giggles!
6. Relatedly, our kids love to create obstacle courses at home with chairs and sports equipment. Their imaginations run wild with them!
7. After that, sign kids up for free Apple Camp. If you have an Apple store near you, these are where the camps take place. Typically, the areas where there are Apple stores are fun for parents, too. In two hours, kids will learn the art of moviemaking and create short videos from start to finish. Kids will get a certificate and a Camp t-shirt to take home. Finally, devices are provided. Big win all around.
8. We’re not sure about you, but at our house, Cosmic Kids Yoga saves us when we have run out of options.
9. Kids not yogis, however? No problem. Enter: DANCE PARTY. Who are your favorite singers to dance to? Our kids range in age from babies to teens and they ALL love Dolly Parton (who doesn’t?).
10. Finally, another great way to get to know your community and stay somewhat inside while also changing your scenery is to get a group of friends together and schedule a tour of the local fire department. Seeing local heroes at work is always a thrill for kiddos, and we’ve learned a ton from these outings, too!
fun Outdoor activities for kids
As weather permits (and, as you’ll see, even when it doesn’t), there are lots of fun things to do for free outside. Consequently, we continue our list with fun kids’ activities that can be experienced outside—hurrah!
11. We love the process of packing a picnic, and we love to involve our kids in that, too. Whether you’re throwing things in a rolling cooler or an insulated basket, packing is part of the fun! Enjoying on a blanket and debating what animal shapes the clouds are is always a good time, too.
12. Another fun option is to visit a popular landmark in your area. Depending on where you are, these can be visited up close (like the Space Needle or Pike Place Market in Seattle) or even simply driven past if you want to take yourself on a historical tour of your area.
13. Our families love to go on scavenger hunts in our neighborhoods. There are lots of fun, free printables for those, or you can write your own list and hand it to your kiddos as they run out the door! We found a great search and find game too.
14. We’re also big animal lovers in our homes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we want more pets, so visiting a wildlife refuge usually helps our kids scratch their “new puppy or kitten” itches.
15. If you live near the beach, go to the beach! Cassie lives by the beach in Mississippi and keeps a bag of beach toys in her garage ready to grab and go. But, you don’t need toys to have fun at the beach—it’s a playground on its own!
16. Free State and National Park days all around the country can be easy to forget, but are so worthwhile!
17. It’s tried and true for a reason: lemonade stands are a great way to entertain kiddos right outside your front door, AND they offer them extra value in learning about money.
18. We love to see so many more community splash pads at parks around town. They are always a hit with kids!
19. As far as fun, free kids’ activities go, kid-friendly hikes are always going to be one of our go-to’s. Nature + exercise = beautiful deep breaths.
20. Lots of communities have city music nights, which are so much fun! Our kids can’t get enough of dancing under the stars.
21. Similarly, we know of towns that have free movies in the park on summer nights. They’re usually throwback movies like The Goonies, so we bring a blanket and snacks and have a lot of fun ourselves.
22. You know what else is fun for the whole family? Fishing!
23. Moreover, if you’re near a beach or lake to go fishing, you can also create a treasure hunt while you’re out. Shell-spotting, collecting sea glass or rocks, and scanning for wildlife are always welcome games.
24. In addition, geocaching is free with its app, and, boy, does it keep our kids entertained!
25. Finally, visiting your area’s botanical gardens, if they have them, is always a pleasure for the senses. Admittedly, that is one of our very favorite activities of them all.
How’d you like this list of kids’ activities?
We had a lot of fun putting together this list of 25 free kids’activities, and we hope it gives you LOTS of ideas of things to do together that help you all build memories. We can’t wait to see where your adventures take you! Tag #thebargainsisters to your posts on social media so we can join in on the fun.
Oh, and be sure to comment below to tell us what you’re planning to do first. In short, HAVE FUN, build memories, and we’ll be right there with you, cheering you on.