House & Home, Saving Money

20 Ways to Spend a Money-Free Weekend

This money saving challenge will allow you to have a fun money-free weekend without spending a dime on entertainment!

20 Ways to Spend a Money-Free Weekend

Figuring out how to dodge boredom and have fun without spending money is a huge challenge for some people. Most people really believe money buys happiness. That isn’t always the case. You can actually have a great weekend without spending a dime. I’m going to give you 20 ways to spend a money-free weekend!

Note: Not everyone has the same interests, but hopefully you will discover some new ideas here that interest you.

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How to have a money-free weekend

1. Play Board Games

Recently I cleaned out the many boxes that were collecting dust in our basement. Inside one box was a ton of board games my mom had saved from my childhood. I brought those upstairs and put them in the closet with our newer board games. We decided to make a day playing board games and had the best time! We played Don’t Wake Daddy, The Game of Life, Sorry, Shoots and Ladders, and some others. Just find a board game you haven’t played in years and have fun!

2. Try Geocaching

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt game. In this game, you have to navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and try to find the geocache, or container, that has been hidden. You will need a GPS device for this, but if your phone is GPS enabled then you can use that. You can learn more at geocaching.com.

Geocaching - Money-free Weekend Idea

3. Paper Airplane Competition

Design and build a bunch of different types of paper airplanes and hold a backyard competition. See which airplane flies the best. Who’s goes the farthest? Who got to the finish line first? Try experimenting with designs and see if your airplane can do stunts. The winner gets to choose which ice cream everyone eats for dessert!

4. Build a Fort

Grab all of your blankets and build a giant fort in the living room. Pile some pillows inside and spend a day reading and playing games. Open your fort doors at night and find a funny movie on Netflix.

Or, build two forts and have a war! Toss beanbags or pillows as ammunition back and forth.

5. Run Through the Sprinkler

Attach a sprinkler to the end of your garden hose, turn it on, and have fun running through the water. Running through cold water on a hot day is refreshing and fun!

6. Make Your Own Bubbles

To make your own bubbles, mix ¼ cup dish soap with 3 cups of water and pour into a bowl. Or make more (one part dish soap with 15 parts water) and pour into a small pool. Bend a wire coat hanger into a small loop and dip in the bubble mix. Have fun bending the coat hanger into different shapes!

7. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

My daughter loves to volunteer in the kitten room at our local animal shelter. We help clean their litter boxes and feed them and give them fresh water. We also sweep and clean up their room. After the cleaning, we sit and hold and play with the adorable little kittens. It’s so rewarding for both her and the kittens.

Spend time at an animal shelter walking dogs or playing with the cats and kittens. The benefits of petting an animal are reducing stress and lowering your blood pressure. Plus, every animal needs attention and interaction with a little bit of exercise.

Volunteer at an Animal Shelter - Money-Free Weekend Idea

8. Go to the Park

Go to the local park and play. Yes, I said play! Go down the slide, swing, climb across the monkey bars. Fly a kite.

Our local park has a path for walking, running, or bike riding. There’s also a river for fishing, a waterfall and small swimming hole, a playground, picnic areas, and a lot of hiking trails. There’s so much to do that you could spend every weekend over the summer at the park and never get bored!

9. Movie Night

Don’t rush out and buy pizza and popcorn. Grab whatever snacks you have on hand, throw a blanket and pillows on the floor, and watch a movie on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Better yet, pull out some old home movies or your favorite classics.

10. Attend a Free Class

Home Depot offers free how-to clinics, crafts, and projects for kids aged 5-12. They also have Do-It-Herself workshops that teach women how to make certain projects as well as Do-It-Yourself classes for everyone.

11. Play Video Games

Pull out the old video game console you have stuffed away in your closet and play a few games. Years ago my mom and I took turns playing Mario Brothers on Nintendo until we beat the entire game with no cheats. We had the best time doing that!

Play Video Games

12. Have a Summer Snowball Fight

Crumble up a bunch of white sheets of printer paper into “snowballs” and set up forts in the living room. Have fun throwing snowballs at each other! You won’t freeze and your clothes will stay dry, but you’ll still have a great time! Don’t forget the hot cocoa afterward.

13. Visit the Library

Our local library has summer book clubs for both kids and adults that offer some great prizes. There’s also story time for younger kids. Sometimes they have author readings and craft fairs, speakers, and free classes. Recently members of the zoo came and brought rare animals for the kids to learn about. There are so many things found at the library for great money-free weekend ideas!

14. Bake

Spend the day trying out and testing new recipes for cookies, cakes, and breads. Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh food baking in the oven? Plus you get to test all the goodies you make. Make extras and take them to neighbors.

(Find the recipe for the delicious cookies below here.)

Money-free weekend idea - Bake

15. Learn a New Craft

Find something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do and take the time to sit down to do it. Learn to knit or crochet if you have some yarn laying around. There are a ton of YouTube videos out there teaching many different things. You can even learn to paint or make jewelry.

16. Have a “Cupboard Potluck” Dinner

Invite friends or family to go through their cabinets and find some items to put together. Get together for a potluck dinner using only these ingredients. No cheating and rushing out for paper plates and plasticware. Bring whatever you have! You’ll get a free meal and have a great time just being together.

17. Summer Movies

Check to see if your community is offering free movie showings. Our Parks and Rec Department offers “Movies on the Move”, which is a moving movie theater. One weekend a movie will be at the community beach at the lake with swimming before the movie. The next weekend a different movie will play at the Farmer’s Market, and so on.

18. Join a Reading Program

As I mentioned before, our local library offers summer reading programs for kids. They get a book log to keep track of the books they read. After reading a certain amount of books (or hours for older kids) they get a t-shirt with a list of sponsors on the back. There’s a party for the kids with lots of prizes and games, plus they can visit the sponsors on the back of their shirt for a percentage off their total at their stores.

Barnes and Noble also offers a reading program similar to this for kids, except they get a free book instead.

Join a Reading Program

19. Have a Yard Sale

Gather all of that clutter that you cleaned out over the spring and have a yard sale. Get the kids involved and let them make a lemonade stand and sell some of those baked goods you perfected in #14. Not only are you saving money here, but you’re making money, too!

20. Check Local Churches

Most churches offer vacation Bible school, which is a lot of fun. Kids get to participate in crafts and fun activities while hanging out with other kids and learning about Jesus. Our church has a BBQ and Bluegrass event every summer. There’s a BBQ outside with lots of fun activities for the kids. A local Bluegrass band plays inside where tables are set up so you can eat and enjoy the music.

These are only a few of the many ways you can have a fun and money-free weekend. What would you add to my list? What’s your favorite way to have a money-free weekend?

Don’t miss these other money-saving tips:

Meal Planning on a Budget
20 Unique Ways to Save Money
How to Make Money Cleaning Your Home
Get Paid to Shop with Cash Back Apps
7 Things You Shouldn’t Buy When You Are Broke
12 Ways to Get Books Free or Cheap

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44 thoughts on “20 Ways to Spend a Money-Free Weekend”

  1. Great ideas Michelle, my kids are all grown up but great ideas for me to do with my granddaughter. Reading, library, go to the park, love these especially.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Great tips as always dear Michelle 🙂
    by the way, I don’t know why when I want to open your site, Google warns me that it is untrusted site! I just think you might insure your site not to be attacked 😉 take care dear friend <3

  3. So smart, these are perfect things to do for the summer months. Love board games, new crafts, library visits and my kids loved vacation bible school. When my daughter aged out of it she became a volunteer and helped with the little kids. Fun times. Great post, thanks for sharing.

    1. That’s so sweet that she volunteered to help the little kids at VBS. 🙂 Some of my best memories growing up involved no money at all. Thank you!

  4. Wonderful ideas Michelle, I like the one with building forts and volunteering at the Human society or pet place. We just took kids to picnic today and made our own food to take it with us. There are so affordable or completely money free ways to enjoy weekend. I absolutely agree with you.

  5. I love baking and experimenting with new recipes. Some of my favorite recipes use very simple ingredients that I often have already. Going to the park is another one that the family enjoys doing, as well as window shopping!

  6. Honestly, people forget how amazing board games are, we have so many and have spent hours as a family playing.

    Also the yard sale idea, even just a clear-out. Pick a shelf, or the hallway press and just be ruthless you will feel so much better.

  7. These are great ideas Michelle! I love the sound of a boards game night with friends and family, such a lovely way to have fun together! Also, those kittens are super cute! Thanks for sharing and hope you have a fab week! <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  8. Some really good ideas here! I am not sure why i haven’t thought of my little ones volunteering before- that is genius and such an importantly beneficial tuning to do!
    Thank you,
    Spence 😁

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