Frugal Entertainment for the Whole Family

By: Fisher Swanson

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Frugal Entertainment for the Whole Family
By Fisher Swanson

Here are some frugal entertainment ideas for the whole family.

Board Games

Board games are a great investment. If well taken care of, they
can easily last a generation. You can often find them at garage
sales for a dollar or two, even the new board games. Every family
should have some basics like cards, dominoes, chess, and

Movie Night

Rent a movie, pop some popcorn and entertain the whole family for
a couple hours. Take turns picking out what movie to watch. You
can order DVDs or videos from the library for free. Sometimes
there is a wait but many libraries allow you to place holds
online and receive notifications when your items are available.

Discount Movie Theatres

Most areas have at least one movie theatre that runs older movies
for cheap prices. All you have to do is wait until the movie has
been out a for a few months and it will eventually show up at one
of these theatres.

Ticket prices can be even less than a matinee
and are sometimes double features. Drive-in movie theatres can
also be great bargains.

Minor League Sports

If your area has a minor league team they can be a lot of fun to
watch and much cheaper than their major league counterparts. The
minor league stars of today are often the major league stars of

Playgrounds, State Parks and Local Parks

Most parks are free, especially if you are not camping. Pack a
picnic lunch or bring some barbecue. Try out different parks in
your area until you find your favorites. Bring a frisbee and a

Support the Arts

High school plays, talent shows and community theatre are
generally inexpesive and a lot of fun. You will be surprised at
how much talent there is in your community. Churches also have
plays and programs that are open to the community even if you
don't attend that church.

Watch for Free Days and Free Events

Many museums, zoos and aquariums have free days. This is often
one day per month such as the first Tuesday or last Friday. There
are a lot of museums that are fun and have areas tailored towards
kids. In art museums the ancient cultures exhibits are often fun
for kids.

Open Houses, Openings and Festivals

Sports teams often have a free open house before the season
starts. Also make note of free festivals and events in your
communities. Check your local paper and chamber of commerce for
upcoming events.

Zoo Membership

If you have kids who love to go to the zoo you should consider a
family membership. It can be a great value if you plan on going
often and have a zoo nearby. Similar memberships are available at
museums and aquariums as well.

Farmers' Market and Swap Meets

You don't have to spend much money to have a good time at your
local Farmer's Market. Most communities have them on Saturday or
Sunday every week during the SpringScience Articles, Summer and early Fall. You
can buy some great vegetables for less than you pay at the
grocery market and usually there is something fun for the kids to

Library and Bookstore Events

Next time you go to the bookstore or library pick up an
events calendar. They often have live music or book readings that
might interest your family.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Keep your eyes and ears open
and you will find many more opportunities to have fun with your
family without spending a lot of money.

Fisher Swanson is a regular contributer to the Daily Thrifty Tips
newsletter at ThriftyFun publishes information
about thrifty living. Send an email to to subscribe to The Daily Thrifty
Tips newsletter.

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