Having fun on a budget and staying warm

What to do when the weather is still not outdoor friendly and you have to stay within your budget?. This is something I have to get creative with because my kids are bigger now; here are a few ideas that are budget friendly or free and for all age ranges. I encourage you to get out and explore your town, you never know what you may stumble upon.

Library (Free)


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How can you pass up free learning at your fingertips right?!

  • Your local library may offer weekly story times for younger kids, or book clubs, chess clubs, etc.. for older kids.
  • See if your older children could volunteer for various jobs such as: Reading during story time, or organizing returned books or helping with a local food drive for fines that some libraries host.
  • * It’s not the local library but if you live close to a Barnes and Noble store, you can spend hours looking for new books, reading, even a play area for little kids. if your budget allows then maybe getting a book from the discounted section as a treat!
Movies (Budget)
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  • Most movie theatres have one day a week that they offer half price days or stimulus days. ours are called tight wad Tuesdays, lol… movies are $6.00 and a medium popcorn $2.50 (which is plenty to share). It’s not free but if your budget allows this will not break the bank and it’s a lot of fun on a cold day when you need out of the house.
  • Redbox movies are even more budget friendly; if you frequent Redbox you will get some great bogo deals or even free deals from time to time. Also, check out what is on Netflix or Amazon Prime if you have those, they are free if you pay for the subscription anyways, add a few snacks and some popcorn and snuggle in by the fire.
  • Local Theatres (technically not a movie) but check around your town for local plays that are going on, several are free or cost only for adults and students are free.

Local business tours (Free)

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  • Call some local businesses such as bakeries, dental offices, fire stations, jewelry stores, etc… find interest of your children and call around. Sometimes you will find businesses that would love to give tours and talks to kids of all ages. If you can’t find a bakery that will give you a tour you could at least find a warm cup of cocoa and a treat for the day.
  • Visit some local museums such as history, science and art. (remember most are closed on Mondays) several are free and give tours and have someone to educate your children on the subject; gives mom a break and lets you enjoy the trip as well.
Check for discount days on the following in your area:
  • Bowling Centers
  • Skating or Ice skating rinks
  • Indoor jump centers (very popular and fun for all ages, excellent exercise too)
Additional Ideas without leaving your home:
  • Indoor Camping day– put up your tent indoors, have flashlights, build a fire in the fireplace, make some s’mores, cook dinner in foil packages, get your stories ready to tell.
  • Board games- Always fun and great for rainy and cold days, mix with a at home movie and you have a full day of fun!
  • Scavenger hunts– this link has some for indoors and different age groups.
  • Yarn play ground (like a spy)- set up a room with yarn that kids have to maneuver through to get to the next activity.
  • Indoor Science Projects and experiments–  this link  These are for kids of all ages and can be incorporated into your lesson plans or have one day a month set aside to do just a science day!

*Remember with any science experiments use adult supervision and common sense. I will say the Fantastic Foam aka… Elephant toothpaste is so much fun as well as the making slime; you would be surprised at how many older kids love these too. You can also find edible science projects that will help to incorporate some home economics into your fun.

I hope you stay warm and enjoy some great budget friendly activities 🙂



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