What do you do when you want to have some fun family time, but you’re strapped for cash and need to stay close to home?

Sometimes just seeing things written down in list form can give me ideas, so I hope this little list is helpful to you in spending more quality time with your family.

This is an “unplugged” list, meaning, no electronic devices. The only things you should use are a phone to keep in contact with each other if separated, a camera to take shots, and in some instances, a vehicle to get to where you are going. 🙂

1) Go to a local park

to play on the playground for a while, go for a walk and look at the flowers, run up and down a hill.

2) Go to a local library

to look at books together, or check out special events going on, like LEGO building days.

3) Ride bikes

down the street, around the block, to the park; wherever looks good.

4) Go on a nature walk or hiking up a trail

in your town. Nature walks can be as simple as looking at nature and as detailed as looking for specific things (a certain leaf, a pinecone, a feather, etc).

5) Go camping

– either in the woods, or in your backyard. It’s so fun to set up a tent together and sleep outdoors.

6) Use a sprinkler or slip-n-slide on a hot day

. Both are a hit with kids and adults alike!

7) Go on a scavenger hunt

(inside or outside). I have made up two different simple scavenger hunt lists for you to use (find them at the end of the page!). Also, you can check out my Family Fun Pinterest board for other scavenger hunt ideas.

8) Go to a mall play-place or a restaurant play-place

. Many malls have a stopping area for parents to rest and for kids to get their energy out. Many Burger Kings, McDonald’s and Chick-fil-as have indoor play areas as well.

9) Go to a free splash park/splash pad or swim in a friend’s pool

. Many cities are offering free splash parks or splash pads these days. They are a fun way to cool down on a hot day. If you have a friend with a pool, mention that you’d love coming by. Most friends would love to have you over. Just make sure they know you aren’t expecting anything other than a swim.

10) Play games

(some of these may require a small one-time purchase)! Games are a great way to get together, learn more about each other, teach good character lessons, and just plain have fun!
– Hide & Seek
– Sardines (The opposite of Hide & Seek, one person hides and when a person finds him, that person stays and hides too. It’s called Sardines because so many people squished inside on place can get pretty cramped…and pretty funny!)
– What’s Wacky (One to two family members misplace things in the room in silly positions while the other family members wait in another room. The other family members return to discover all of the wacky things.)
– Riddly Riddly Ree (One person thinks of something in the room, then says, “Riddly Riddly Ree, I see something you don’t see, and the color is…” and everyone guesses what the item is.
– I Spy (Similar to Riddly above; “I spy with my little eye, something that is…” only don’t use colors, use other descriptions, like “big, small, round,” etc.)
– Charades
– Tickle Monster (Someone is the Tickle Monster and tickles everyone like crazy.)
– A version of Tag
– Regular Tag
– Freeze Tag (When a person is tagged by “It,” the person must freeze in whatever position he’s in, until someone else unfreezes him.)
– Tickle Tag (Instead of tagging with your hands, you tag by tickling!)
– Flashlight Tag (for night time)
– Water balloon wars
– Water gun wars
– Board games (If you don’t have any, you can make your own! My nearly 9 year old made a board game out of paper, tape and drawings. For game pieces, he used the end caps from his insulin syringes and drew on them with a permanent marker!)
– Sports games like baseball, football, soccer. (Easy, family style – no rough competition…Unless you’re that kind of family.)
– Paper games like paper airplanes, origami, drawing each other, or other made up games. (My oldest has come up with Sketch. Each person has a piece of paper and a writing utensil. You go around in a circle with crazy ideas. Each person draws their own version of the idea. The first person done gets to pick the next idea. Example: I say, “Upside down monkey hanging from a building” and everyone draws how they see it. It’s so fun to see how everyone thinks!)

I hope this gave you a few ideas you hadn’t thought of to have some free (or nearly free) fun times with your family. Tune in next time for “10 Cheap Things to do on an Unplugged Staycation.”

God bless,
PS Here are the freebies I promised you:
FREEBIE – Indoor Scavenger Hunt List
[ddownload id=”5039″]

FREEBIE – Outdoor Scavenger Hunt List
[ddownload id=”5040″]


JennAbout Jenn: I’m a Christian wife to an amazing man (since 1998) and a stay-at-home-teaching mom to four special & incredible boys (born in 2004, 2005, 2007, & 2009). I’m messy and cluttered, but working on that (really, I am!). I’m a discouraged perfectionist and a classic procrastinator who probably has both ADD & Autism, so I tend to jump from topic to topic (and activity to activity) without notice. My Love Languages are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. I’m an INFP who enjoys friends but loves to be alone. I love getting and giving hugs, and encouragement is a Spiritual gift of mine that can too-easily be turned into the weapon of discouragement, if I’m not careful. I enjoy writing, singing, words, drawing, photography, digital creations, and reading. Oh, and pizza, tacos, and steak. Now I’m hungry. That reminds me; I eat gluten free and try to eat organic and avoid white sugar and GMOs as much as possible.  Find me on Facebook (Writer/Editor page) (Fan page), Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

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