You don’t have to plan a trip to Disneyland or spend all the money in the world to give your family the best experiences possible. You certainly shouldn’t have to spend quality time with your family worrying about the cost of every activity you want to do together.
Looking back on childhood memories, the best ones involving family are the most wholesome ones: the moments spent playing in the sand at the beach or building pillow forts in the living room.
There are many things to do this weekend with your family that don’t require spending any money. You can be confident that your bank account will remain untouched while experiencing quality time together, free of bickering about spending. Stress won’t linger into your awareness because you have perfectly planned out fun activities that don’t cost a dime.
Things to Do This Weekend or Any Weekend
The following list of things to do will create busy and fun activities within your family’s weekend schedule. The beauty is they can be done once or added into your weekly routine if you receive positive feedback from family members.
1. Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore on the list of never-ending and recurring expenses for each week. Shopping for groceries can be made fun of by taking the whole family along. Let each member pick out a cuisine they want to try and let them guide the grocery-buying decisions based on this.
Find new snacks that you can all go home and taste test together. Try going to a grocery store you’ve never been to before, changing up the monotonous routine of shopping for groceries by seeing products you’ve never seen before. Local Mexican or Asian markets are also great for trying new herbs, spices, and other products.
For tips on how to spend less money on groceries, click here.
2. Check Out the Local Library
Local libraries have evolved from hubs of books to hubs of books, movies, games, classes, clubs, and activities. Check out your local library’s website for a list of courses. There are classes you probably never thought would be at a library, like baby and mommy yoga classes.
3. Visit a Local or National Park
Many neighborhoods have parks and playgrounds that are free to attend. Pack a lunch and accompany your children to a park you’ve never been to before.
Many national parks in Canada are free for youths under the age of 17. A day trip to a national park is perfect for photo-ops, connecting with nature, and exploring your inner child by being out in the elements. For questions regarding admissions, explore here.
If you’re wanting an experience that is a little more breathtaking than just visiting your neighborhood park but with not as much commitment as planning a day trip to a national park, a hike on a trail is the perfect activity. Hiking is another way to ensure a day of fun by getting fresh air, exercising, and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Here’s a list of trails in different parts of Canada that are free and have astonishing views. You can always look up “hiking trails near me” to find closer options as well.
5. Get Involved in Community Sports
There are a plethora of resources available to get involved in community sports. Here’s a list of organizations with different goals, but all primarily aim to provide communal sports experiences to children and adults in various areas of Canada.
Getting involved in the community this way is excellent for maintaining your family’s physical health, meeting new friends and other families, and having activities and practices to go to each week or month.
6. Game Night
Having a game night is one of the more wholesome ways to spend time together as a family. Usually, playing games brings out the best in people. You and your family members get to come alive in friendly competition with each other.
There are probably many board games and card decks left untouched in a closet somewhere, so add this to your list of things to do this weekend to make use of old games and have playful competition.
7. Movie Night
A movie night is another great way to spend time with one another. Put your Netflix or other subscription accounts to use and find movies that would be fun to watch together.
You can take turns picking a movie or agreeing on a genre where each family member picks a movie from the genre for everybody to watch back-to-back. You could even get out the snacks from grocery shopping earlier
and cuddle up, enjoying and analyzing each film.
8. Farmers’ Market
Farmers’ markets are pretty much guaranteed to be going on every weekend. Visiting your local one is a great way to learn more about your community and support local farmers and businesses. Most farmers’ markets have extended what they offer from food and plants to displaying artwork and including a kids’ corner for learning crafts.
9. Free Museums
Museums are such a fantastic place for kids to learn in an interactive and imaginative way. Plus, museums aren’t curated just for kids, so the whole family can have a good time.
Before scheduling a tour of a museum, do some internet research to see if there are certain times or days where admission is free. For example, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto, the first floor is always free, while those under 18 are always admitted for free.
10. Tour a Working Farm
Working farms are usually eager to offer tours. Search some of your favorite local products’ websites to see if they offer any tours. Additionally, you could search “farm tours near me” to get an idea of what your community has to offer.
Another option is to immerse yourself by participating in something like the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. This is a certified place where farmers request help on the farm and garden in exchange for free food, education, and room and board. This is the perfect opportunity to explore areas of Canada you may have never been while learning about agriculture and sustainability for free!
11. Go Fishing
Canada promotes lots of family fishing weekend events all over and even license-free fishing opportunities. Explore this option if it’s something that interests your family. A weekend full of relaxing while fishing on the lake is perfect for family adventures.
12. Bike Ride
There is something so freeing about bike riding. You can also make this one as involved as you want it to be. In other words, you can go for a leisure bike ride around the neighborhood or go for more advanced rides on nearby trails.
Take advantage of Canada’s foraging laws, where it’s legal to forage in most public places and national parks. Foraging can be so exciting and maybe even tricky if you’re newly acquainted with the activity.
Foraging is a great skill for kids to learn. It involves learning about the earth and the land in a very intimate way. Foraging can even be a nice (budget-friendly) way to pick herbs for medicinal teas.
14. Read a Book Together
For a cozy, intimate weekend night together, try picking out a book series and reading a chapter before bed. Reading together is a time you can quickly bond and cherish intimate moments with one another. You can take turns reading paragraphs or try picking out characters to voice aloud whenever your character has a line.
15. Backyard Picnic
Prepare a backyard picnic. Everyone can help prepare the side and main dishes and gather the blankets and materials for eating outdoors. Once everything is ready, enjoying a homemade meal that had love poured into it outdoors will boost everybody’s mood and make it feel like you are doing something special.
Never Be Discouraged
This list isn’t even scratching the surface of all the things to do this weekend. Your bank account should be the least of your worries when it comes to entertaining the whole family. If you’re really struggling financially, this blog is a great resource for more tips and tricks on saving money, maintaining a budget, and pointing out money-saving hacks for life’s many costs.
The takeaway is, entertainment for the family doesn’t have to be stressful or costly. There are always ways to get creative when it comes to planning weekend activities. If the financial burden of paying bills and taking care of a family is too much, consider requesting an online loan and release the weight of money stresses today.