Personal Finance 

Ten Low or No Cost Weekend Activities

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Want to have a great weekend in Disney World? Even for us Florida residents, we shell out $76.50 per day per park. The price goes up for each day and each park you add and that doesn’t include food. A weekend trip to Disney World is going to come in at more than $400—hardly a value.

Your weekend plans may not include Mickey but even a night at the movies for a family of four could come in at more than $100 and a nice dinner for you and your spouse may approach $50 or more. Finding an economical way to spend a weekend is tough but over the next couple of weeks we’re going to give you some ideas that hopefully will lead to other ideas specific to your area. Here are the first 10.

Go on a Walk

Sure, that’s not very creative but walking is the cheapest form of exercise and the together time you get with your family is priceless. When was the last time you found a new path, trail, or community to walk through? Don’t walk around your neighborhood. Go somewhere else.


Here’s how you do it 21st century style. Find a park that has a clear view of the sky in an area where there aren’t a lot of lights. Take some bug spray, a blanket, and your phone or tablet with you. There are some really cool stargazing apps that allow you aim your phone or tablet to the sky and identify constellations and other features. 21st Century stargazing at its best.


Most larger communities have summer concert series that take place outside. They’re almost always free and happen a couple of times per month. This is your chance to listen to music that you’ve not explored in the past. Don’t know much about orchestral or jazz music? Go anyway. You might just like it.


What kinds of problems do you have in your life? There’s something therapeutic about helping others and for some reason, it makes your problems feel a little more manageable. We’re wired as giving people and using that will send you away feeling refreshed. It does for me.

Dress Rehearsal

Want to see a play, musical, or concert but don’t want to pay for it? Go to a dress rehearsal the night before. Call first but many companies allow you to view dress rehearsals for little or no money.


You might remember these strange places called libraries. Before entire libraries could be viewed through the internet, libraries were much more popular than they are now. Publishers of books and magazines still have to make money so you’re not going to get all of the content for free. Head to your library and read the magazines, check out a book, or take home a recording.

Community Classes

Speaking of libraries, check out their offerings of community events. Classes about money management, insurance, writing, and just about anything else may be offered at your library or community center for free. If you have expertise in a certain area, consider giving back and teaching a class.

Garage Sales

You don’t have to buy anything to make a day of garage sales. Not only will you meet some interesting people, you’ll find that some people’s junk has value to you. You probably have expertise in some area where you’ll find a valuable item for cheap. A treasure hunt is always fun!

Find a New Blog

The internet is full of interesting blogs and other websites but we often stick to our comfort zone and don’t explore new sites. Another fun activity may be to start a family blog of your own. There are plenty of sites online that allow you to set up a blog for free.


It doesn’t matter how old you are, there’s always something fun to do at a playground. Don’t be the person who takes your children to the playground and sits on the bench while they play. Get some exercise and some quality family time by playing with your child.


The key to finding low cost and fun weekend activities is to go outside of your comfort zone and try something new. We’re creatures of habit and if you’re habit is to shell out big money each weekend, try something new this weekend.

{ 11 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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11 Responses to “Ten Low or No Cost Weekend Activities”

  1. What about farmer’s markets?? Always some great samples and free entertainment.

  2. Tim,
    Bike rides are great, too. You have to have bikes already, but a trail ride is a great way to bond with significant others and family.

    I’m also a big fan of picnics and/or kite flying at a park.

    -Christian L.

  3. timparker says:

    My wife and I splurged a few years back on some really nice road bikes that have made their money back a few times over.

    There’s a guy that sits on the corner of a major intersection near us that sells used bikes from $10-$50 a piece. I don’t know where he gets them and I’m not sure that I would buy one from him but the point is that purchasing a used bike is cheap if you don’t mind used. Garage sales, Craiglslist, etc.

  4. Diane says:

    Work jigsaw puzzles. Draw on your sidewalk with chalk. Fly a kite. Turn on a weekend program on NPR and bake something while you listen to it. Walk a friend’s dog. Get some field guides at the library and try to identify the plants and animals you see on your walk. Put up a bird feeder and identify the birds.

  5. The playground, library, and museum are our favorite places to go on weekends when we were on a tight budget. It taught the kids to appreciate the small stuff around us,even the flowers and the bees. There was also a time we volunteered for a beach cleanup. It was fun! At the same time, the children realized how and why we should take care of our environment.

  6. timparker says:

    Beach Cleanup…now there’s a great idea. Rather than taking on the weekend, how about giving, right? Thanks for sharing!

  7. marycat says:

    Why not add geocaching to your hiking idea? Or set a hiking goal… mine is to hike the length of the Patapsco River- some of it is in trails, but most is not. (All of it is State owned land).

  8. Anonymous says:

    My husband and I always go for walks on the beach and collect sea glass! It’s cheap, fun and always keeps us busy when we feel like spending time together but not necessarily gabbing. We’ve currently collected two pounds of sea-glass in various shades and are now in the process of making a glass mosaic! So I’m all for tip #1 🙂

  9. Alysa says:

    Hi Tim! My husband and I LOVE going for walks! It’s a great way to spend time together even when we don’t feel like gabbing. We’ve currently collected over two pounds of sea-glass on our beach walks and are now in the process of making a glass-mosaic so we’ll have it to remind us of this season of life later on. Frugal living can make for the most creative adventures! And as a deal-hunting fiend I LOVE me a good garage sale or estate sale – as long as I keep myself to the cash in my wallet garage-sailing for this frugal-junkie can be dangerous 🙂

  10. Long says:

    Great ideas. I’m looking forward to getting bikes for my wife and I so we can go on some rides soon. It’ll be great exercise for us and the dogs. Plus, we’ll be able to explore the area where we live.

  11. If you’re in New York City and it’s a nice day, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry is lovely, and it’s free!

    Also, a lot of museums have Pay What You Can nights, usually on Fridays – a fantastic way to feed your culture jones on the cheap.

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