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Keeping Them Busy Without Breaking the Bank - 8 Free Activities for Kids

Updated on October 7, 2011

Keeping kids entertained can be a challenge especially during school breaks. Use these tips to get out of the house and keep your wallet closed!

Contact Your Local Library

We all know that libraries are free but did you know that most libraries offer free story times for kids. Many libraries also offer free craft projects around special holidays such as Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Check with your local library for a list of activities.

Go to a Park

This one is obvious and anyone that has kids probably does it all the time. But when was the last time you tried a new park? Contact your local parks and recreation department and find a new park. Maybe there is a great one on the other side of town that would be worth the drive.

Rent a Movie

I know what you are thinking, "Last time a checked, renting a movie costs money." Well, it doesn't have to. Sign up for the RedBox Text Club and receive a promo code for a free movie every month.

Visit Your Local Animal Shelter

This can be lots of fun and a great learning experience for your kids. Make it clear to your kids that you are not going to adopt an animal so there is no disappointment. Animal shelters are often in need of donations such as old sheets, blankets, and towels. Clean out your linen closet before you go and teach your kids a lesson in charity.

Take a Factory Tour

Many factories around the country, such as Jelly Belly in Fairfield, California, offer complimentary tours. Go to to see what's available in your area.

Visit Your Local Home Improvement Warehouse

Both Lowe's and Home Depot offer free classes for kids where they can learn to use tools, wear an apron and build something that they can take home with them. Contact your local store for more information.

Feed the Ducks

Find a local pond and feed the ducks. Save up bread heals and stale bread in a bag in the freezer until you have enough to make your trip worth while. You can also feed ducks with stale crackers and leftover cooked rice.

Go on a Treasure Hunt

Do you have a Smartphone or a GPS device? Take your kids geocaching. Geocaching is a real life treasure hunting game where players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a GPS-enabled device. Go to for more information.


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    • Sharon McConnell profile image

      Sharon McConnell 6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      I'm glad I could help! I hope you try out geocaching, it has been a lot of fun for me and my kids!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Great ideas. I never heard of geocaching and didn't realize Home Depot and Lowes had free classes for children. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • Sharon McConnell profile image

      Sharon McConnell 6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Yes, I hope you find some good tours in your area. We have done the Stuffington Bear Factory and Cerreta's Chocolate Factory here in Phoenix.

    • thebookmom profile image

      thebookmom 6 years ago from Nebraska

      Great Hub! We'll use the factory tour info a lot with our play and learn group thanks so much for sharing. Welcome and good luck!