This money saving challenge will allow you to have a fun money-free weekend without spending a dime on entertainment!
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.
How to have a money-free weekend
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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.
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.
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 a 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!
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 storytime 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!
Spend the day trying out and testing new recipes for cookies, cakes, and bread. 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.)
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.
Recently our local library started an adult reading program, too. This reading program is a little different than the kids’ program in that adults have to write a summary of the book they read. Sort of like the book reports I had to write in high school. Their name is entered into a drawing for great prizes, such as cookware or free food at local restaurants.
Barnes and Noble also offers a reading program similar to this for kids, except they get a free book instead.
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:
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7 Things You Shouldn’t Buy When You Are Broke
12 Ways to Get Books Free or Cheap