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How to Make Costly Weekend Activities More Affordable

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It’s the weekend again and if you didn’t read my last post on low or no cost weekend activities, read it here. All of us work hard during the week. The majority of us reach Friday and feel like we deserve a fun, relaxing few days to unwind but we live in an economy where our paychecks are too small and the cost of having fun is too high. We simply can’t afford to take the family out to the traditional dinner and a movie any more.

Luckily, there are plenty of activities that are free, low cost or there are ways to make a high priced activity much more affordable. Today I thought I would look at some of the more traditional activities and how you might be able to cut the price down to reasonable levels.


I live in Florida where it seems like every city, large or small, have a baseball stadium used for Spring training by the professional teams. Once spring training is over, those stadiums are home to minor league baseball. I find those games even more fun than professional games because there isn’t a bad seat anywhere.

What’s even better is that seats aren’t expensive and you can often find tickets on Craigslist for less than $20 per ticket. If you don’t live in Florida or another spring training town, there is likely a minor league team close by.

Sure, this isn’t a no cost activity but remember, you can always check out community baseball games for free or find an empty diamond, call some friends, and have a game of your own.


Check out this interesting article about places kids should see before they become adults. Hardly a trip for budget conscious families but one thing sticks out in this article: Museums. Even if you have to pay to get in to a museum, the admission price is often reasonable but forget about that. Your local library may have fee passes to a children’s museum and where I live, I’m constantly seeing coupons for free admission for the family if one person pays.


Of course you could stay home and rent a movie but the kids are only going to find the fun in that so many times. My favorite way to make a great night out at the movies is to go to the park. In the summer, many parks set up a big screen and show children’s movies for free. Bring a blanket, some snacks, and maybe a chair or two. Some outdoor malls do this as well.

The Zoo

You’re probably not far away from a city zoo and there’s no doubt that making the day of it is fun for all ages. The problem is that the zoo can be expensive. Like museums, you can usually find coupons to slash the price but that still might not bring the price down enough. Do you have a nature preserve or arboretum? These are often free. If you live near a body of water that is fit for swimming, buy a few cheap snorkels and check out the marine life. The great thing about nature is that you can always find it for free.


Don’t count out the traditional activities because they’re too expensive. Often times they don’t qualify as low cost activities but with a little creativity and a watchful eye for coupons, you might be able to bring them down to something that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty on Monday.

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “How to Make Costly Weekend Activities More Affordable”

  1. Martha says:

    You can get free (or very cheap) movie rentals from the library!

  2. Those are some really good ideas, thanks for the list. I never really thought about coupons for some of these.

  3. Sarah in Alaska says:

    Find out about local specials if you live in a tourist area. We just took a whale watching trip for 1/3 of the tourist rates.

    Many museums also have a free night. Some places it’s a Thursday evening. Here it’s the first Friday of the month.

  4. Matt says:

    In DC all of the Smithsonian museums are free or almost free and there are tons of things you can do without spending any money anywhere.

  5. lostAnnfound says:

    For less expensive movies consider a drive-in theater. Usually pay per car load, which works out (in some cases) to less than the price of regular movie ticket and most drive-ins have double features, sometimes triple. Also you can bring your own snacks and drinks from home.

  6. Joan J. says:

    There are many street fairs around Atlanta and I try to do them all.
    I also browse scores of antique shops in and around the city, the Botanical Garden, local parks, self-guided tours to neighboring (historic) towns, and architecture watching (I am intrigued with the design of all types of buildings).
    I first research all of the above online, then I pack water and snacks and off I go as if it’s a mini vacation and it’s lots of fun.

  7. Great article on new ways to make fun activities easier on the budget! I’ve included it in ReadyForZero’s Monday Shout Outs for this week: Your article was perfect given this week’s topic – how to save and earn extra money this summer. Here at ReadyForZero, we’re doing everything we can to help people pay off debt and our blog features news and updates on anything that can help people improve their financial picture. Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think! I think you’re doing a great job on your blog and I’d love to keep in touch!

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