Having a good time doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are plenty of fun and interesting things to do that don’t cost any money at all.
While it may take a little more research and imagination, it’s possible to find new and entertaining activities to do on your own or with your family and friends without busting your budget.
If you’re looking for some fun ways to save money, read on. We’ve got 27 ideas.
Fun Free Things To Do
If you find that you often spend your free time binge-watching shows or scrolling through social media on your phone, it may be time to work some new activities into your repertoire. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to mean breaking out your wallet.
Consider trying one (or a few) of these fun, free activities.
1. Going on a Hike
If the weather is nice outside, then it could be time to hit the great outdoors and take a hike. You can search for nearby hikes at AllTrails.com . You’ll also be able to check out the length and difficulty of the trail, as well how long it takes to hike.
2. Volunteering with a Local Organization
Volunteering can be a great cost-free activity because it allows you to give back, potentially meet some new people, and feel good about how you spent your day. To find local volunteering opportunities, you can check out VolunteerMatch.org , which matches people with local organizations that need help.
3. Playing Board Games
When looking for fun things to do with the family, consider busting out a game of Monopoly or Life and competing against one another. You might reward the winner with a few days or a week off from their everyday chores.
💡 Quick Tip: Banish bank fees. Open a new bank account with SoFi and you’ll pay no overdraft, minimum balance, or any monthly fees.
4. Decluttering the House
While this might not be the first thing that comes to mind when looking for a fun way to spend your free time, cleaning and being productive can actually be very satisfying, and also help relieve stress. You can declutter alone or get the kids involved. Consider donating your discards to a local charity or thrift store.
Recommended: Is Hiring a Maid or Cleaning Service Worth It?
5. Going to a Free Museum Day
Many museums will offer free admission once a week or once a month. You can spend an afternoon browsing through the beautiful works of art without spending a dime.
6. Having a Picnic in the Park
Dining al fresco doesn’t have to be pricey if you head for a local park. A picnic can be a great way to spend a liesurely afternoon with family and friends. All you need is a blanket, lunch, a ball or Frisbee, and a shady spot.
Recommended: 13 Cheap Ways to Live
7. Streaming an Exercise Video
Gym memberships, personal trainers, and exercise classes can be expensive. However, exercise videos on YouTube and Instagram are totally free. Consider breaking out the sweats and burning some calories for free.
Ready for a Better Banking Experience?
Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account and start earning 4.20% APY on your cash!
8. FaceTiming With Friends and Family
Whether you prefer an old-fashioned phone call or a video call, reconnecting with an old friend or a family member you haven’t spoken with in a while can be an enjoyable, no-cost way to spend some free time.
9. Trying Meditation
Meditating can be a relaxing solo activity that helps to clear your mind and reduce stress. You can find free meditations on YouTube, or you might want to check out Headspace, which has guided meditation for beginners and offers a free trial.
💡 Quick Tip: An emergency fund or rainy day fund is an important financial safety net. Aim to have at least three to six months’ worth of basic living expenses saved in case you get a major unexpected bill or lose income.
10. Playing Free Games Online
Playing games online can be a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon with the kids. You can find free educational games for kids on sites like Funbrain .
11. Going to the Beach Off Hours
Hitting the beach in the late afternoon or early morning is often free. At these times you’re also likely to find fewer crowds, as well as beautiful light.
Recommended: 10 Ways to Avoid Paying Full Price for Anything
12. Starting a Journal
Journaling can be a great way to get things off your mind, collect your thoughts, and even come up with solutions to nagging problems. All you need is a pen and an old notebook to get started.
13. Visiting Your Local Library
You can not only find great books to read at your local library, but also pick up DVDs, CDs, and audio books, and possibly also attend a lecture, film screening, or other free community event.
14. Cooking Something New
Consider shopping your cupboard, fridge, and freezer, and then looking for something you can make with what you have on hand. You can find plenty of free recipes at sites like Allrecipes and Food Network.
15. Checking Out a Fire Station
Kids typically love fire trucks. Consider reaching out to your local fire station to see if they offer tours. This is not only a fun, free family activity, but allows kids to learn all about how the fire department works while meeting their local heroes.
💡 Quick Tip: When you feel the urge to buy something that isn’t in your budget, try the 30-day rule. Make a note of the item in your calendar for 30 days into the future. When the date rolls around, there’s a good chance the “gotta have it” feeling will have subsided.
16. Making a Movie
Whether you have a video camera or just a smartphone, you have what you need to make a short film. You can have everyone in the family pitch in to create a storyline, sets, costumes, and props. You can then edit the film and share it online.
17. Learning a New Skill
Whether you want to get better at applying makeup or have always wanted to learn how to juggle or knit a scarf, you can likely find a great tutorial on YouTube.
Recommended: Ways to Control Excessive Spending Habits
18. Going to Local Historical Site
There are likely a number of places around town where you and your family can soak up some local history. Many towns also offer free walking tours.
19. Attending a Free Concert
During the summer, many towns will put on free concerts for everyone to enjoy. You might even bring a blanket and dinner for a nice evening out.
20. Doing a Puzzle
Putting together a large puzzle can be a fun and challenging activity to do alone or with friends and family. If you are tired of the ones you own, consider trading puzzles with a friend or neighbor so you have something new to tackle.
Recommended: How to Stop Spending Money
21. Camping in the Backyard
In warmer weather, camping in the backyard offers an opportunity for fun, free adventure with the kids. If you don’t have a tent, consider borrowing one for the night. You can make a fire (or light up the grill) to roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories before bed.
22. Starting a Book Club
While this can take a little planning, book clubs are relatively easy to set up. You can create a private book club on Facebook or another social media platform. Or, you can recruit a group of book-loving friends to meet once a month at each other’s homes.
23. Washing the Car
You can have fun and accomplish something at the same time by getting your kids involved in washing the car. You could even host a neighborhood car wash so the kiddos can earn some pocket money.
Recommended: How to Be Better With Money
24. Heading to the Dog Park
This can obviously be a great idea if you have a dog, but can also be entertaining if you don’t. You can grab a bench and have fun watching cute dogs run around and play. Dog parks can also be fun for people watching.
Recommended: 19 Tips to Save Money on Pet Care
25. Trying a New Playground
Your kids probably know all the local playgrounds pretty well. For a change of pace, consider checking out a playground you’ve never been to in a town nearby. Pack a lunch to make it feel like a mini-vacation.
26. Writing a Letter
Writing letters may seem old-fashioned, but it can be a nice way to communicate with your loved ones. The letter can be handwritten and sent via snail mail, or you might just want to send an email updating a friend or family member about what’s going on in your life.
27. Building a Fort
Kids typically love building forts. On a cold or rainy day, you can have an indoor adventure by breaking out some chairs and blankets and letting the kids create their own little hideaway filled with their favorite books and toys. They may even wind up sleeping in the fort for the night.
It can take thinking a little outside the box and a bit of planning, but it’s possible to entertain yourself and your family with fun new activities without busting your budget.
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.50% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a deposit to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.
SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.50% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.
SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.50% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.
SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.
Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.
Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 8/9/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet..
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.