Next month (August) is Family Fun Month! Oh, you had no idea? Me either! A whole month of family-focused fun?! Wait, isn’t that every day of your life for 18+ years as a parent? It sure seems like it! So I did what I always do when I hear something I didn’t know about – I Googled it. Turns out it’s a time of intentional focus on family time, quality getting to know each other, putting away the electronics, and having some fun. I can totally get on board with this!
Except when I first started brainstorming family fun ideas, all I could think about was the cost of things.
I don’t know about you, but finances are tight right now. The rising cost of gas and food and, well, literally everything, has gone up. And the month of August is a really expensive month with all the back-to-school stuff needed. So I decided to plan ahead by creating a list of fun but frugal family-focused ideas for us to pull from this summer. Here are a few ideas that I hope may inspire some fun with your family, too!
We love games in this house! But also we are busy and a lot of times, games don’t get the time and attention they deserve. We often have to plan on doing them or we just don’t. This summer we will plan a few game nights. A few classics are Uno, Candyland, Go Fish, Yahtzee, and Monopoly. If you really want to get crazy, try Uno Attack or the card game called Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza. Our girls LOVE Exploding Kittens. Any Target fans out there? If so, you HAVE to try the Target Monopoly game. It is SO FUN and it has a way to wrap up the game fairly quickly. Most games last 20-30 minutes so you aren’t stuck playing for hours.
There are so many parks and nature reserves in our area. Our kids LOVE going to a creek and just playing. Make sure you all wear old clothes and shoes. Pack snacks or a lunch. Bring a net if you have one. And just enjoy a few hours with the family in a good old-fashioned way! If you’re like me and not a huge fan of playing in the creek, go anyways – just hanging out on the edge, cooling your feet off in the water actually does feel nice. Bring your phone with the purpose of snapping a few pictures and you’ll have fun capturing the beautiful natural scenery and the dozen or so “Mom, watch this!” action shots!
Popsicles on the Porch
I’m sure by August, our kids will have eaten their weight in popsicles. But when did you last all go out on the front steps, all of you eat a popsicle and just BE together? We did it once a few weeks ago and it was so nice! Everyone just talked and enjoyed the time. The best part, by the time the popsicles were done, the lightning bugs were coming out and our girls started chasing them. It’s just the classic, feel-good perfect ending to a summer day that we all love.
This is an activity we’ve done before and I can’t wait to do it again, but this time, I want to make it a family affair. Get long sheets of paper, washable paints and some paintbrushes. Roll the paper out on the porch or driveway or sidewalk and just get creative! Another idea is to have everyone write a couple words on papers and put them in a cup. Then, each person takes turns picking out a word and everyone in the family draws their version of that word.
Air Force Museum
Living in or around Dayton is awesome because we have access to the Air Force Museum and it’s FREE! It is a lot of walking so if your kids are younger, be sure to bring the stroller (even if you’re on the fence, trust me, you’ll be glad you did).
While going to the movie is quite an expensive treat, there are a few frugal options. Of course, the obvious one is a movie night at home. You can make it fun though by spreading a blanket out on the floor, popping popcorn or having sundaes, and generally just breaking all the rules for food that night! Another option is the drive-in. There is a cost involved, but typically you’ll spend less than a movie theater. Plus, you can bring your own snacks if you want to be extra frugal! Another option is to join a movie club at a theater. We currently pay $10 a month for one movie pass. But they roll over month to month if unused. At least twice a year, we go watch a movie as a family and our tickets are all already paid for so we aren’t dropping $60-70 at once just to see a movie BEFORE snacks. We also are sure to eat a meal before we go so we don’t need as much popcorn. Bring some reusable snack bags from home and share a large popcorn amongst all the kids!
Our kids love a good dance party. They LOVE it when mom and dad start dancing, too. So crank up some tunes and just dance together!
There are so many trails in all of our amazing parks! You can ride bikes on some of them. You can do some serious hiking on others. Or even just go and take a leisurely walk in the woods. Most parks have their trails marked so you decide what’s the best route for your family. When our kids were little, we definitely always looked for the shorter/easier ones. Don’t forget the insect repellant! One of our favorite trails is at John Bryan State Park because when we are done, we treat ourselves to nearby Young’s Ice Cream. Sometimes you’ve got to splurge a little!
I hope you all have a time of family-focused fun this August and every day! What are some of your favorite frugal family activities?