Spending time with your family is so important, no matter what you do together. Traditional group activities can get expensive though … unless you know a way around them. I'm always on the lookout for a good deal, with anything. Although the Better Half and I don't yet have children, we do spend a lot of together time with one another's families. It's time well spent for a number of reasons, not in the least because it's allowed me to come up with these 8 inexpensive ideas for family together time!
1 Have a Picnic
This one is simple, sweet, and always a winter – although it will have to wait until we get a reprieve on the snow. A picnic is a great idea no matter how large or small your family is – it's even a great idea for couples. It doesn't cost a lot, you get to be outside having fun, and you can all be together in nature. Aside from eating delicious food, you can play tons of games outside, from frisbee to tag to hide and seek.
2 Old School Game Night
When I was a kid, my parents and I used to have blast playing games. We graduated from Old Maid up to Hungry Hungry Hippos and Dizzy Dizzy Dinosaur, then onto things like Mouse Trap, Operation, and Monopoly – and finally onto poker, but that's another story. Playing some old school games with the family can be tons of fun. We still all like to get together and play Scattergories, which was another huge favorite.
3 Zany Zoo Antics
The zoo is always a great place to go to spend some time with your family, and it's generally inexpensive. I know some of you aren't up on zoo visits, though, so the aquarium is another option. Those are calming as well as interesting, so you get to learn a lot in an incredibly surreal setting. Aquariums are particularly awesome on hot summer days.
4 Museums & Galleries & Planetariums, Oh My
Going to a museum is also a sure bet. Again, it's both educational and entertaining. The same goes for art galleries, which can be extremely stimulating as well. Another great idea involves taking your family to a planetarium. The planetarium is still one of my favorite places to go. It's more than simply educational and entertaining, it's incredibly awe inspiring.
5 A Night of Stars
Movie night is always a fun idea, but you can give it a really neat twist. Make it a night of classic movies, those standard favorites that stay awesome no matter how many 3D and CGI films there are now. Flicks like The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, Ol' Yeller, The Maltese Falcon, and even early Disney films are amazing, and sharing them with your family is as well.
6 Extreme Cooking
You can all get together and cook as well. You can give the kids their own responsibilities or let them experiment. You can all plan the menu together, and then work as a team to make the perfect family meal. This inspires family togetherness and teaches the kids to cook – double win!
7 Scavenger Hunt
My father-in-law to-be has always wanted to create a scavenger hunt that sends the family around the city, and I think that is the most stellar idea ever. With younger children, you can make sure that it stays within the bounds of the neighborhood; it will still be a blast. A homemade treasure hunt is also a great idea.
8 Home Movies
Last but certainly not least, you can make home movies together. Or you can make a real movie, a silly little short to keep for yourself or to send to other family members who don't live nearby. This will encourage everyone's creativity, and you'll have a record of your memories together.
Along with eating dinner together, going on walks and drives and things, these are some great ways to spend some close time with your family. There are hundreds of more ways to create amazing memories together, though. What do you like to do with your family?
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