21 Free Things to do With Your Kids That Will Keep Them Entertained for Hours

Fun doesn't have to cost a thing.

free-things-to-do-with-kids
Steven Puetzer

Having kids is joyous, fun, and oh-so rewarding, but let’s face it, it’s also expensive. Between school trips, sports teams, and just buying all the necessities, things can really start to add up. So, once in a while, it’s nice to give your wallet a break and opt for a couple of free kid-friendly activities.

And while the idea of getting to do anything for free may seem a bit far fetched, if you look hard enough, there’s a seemingly endless amount of extremely fun and engaging activities for you and your child to partake in both in and out of the house. Luckily, we’ve done the looking for you and have rounded up 21 amazingly fun free things to do with your child. Whether you live in the countryside of a small town or in a big, bustling city, you’ll be sure to find something on here that your whole family can take advantage of.

free-things-to-do-with-kids-spa-day
kate_sept2004
Have a Spa Day

Bust out the nail polish, face masks, and hair styling tools for an at-home pamper session with your kids. Your little one will love getting to do these luxurious activities with you, and if you're feeling really adventurous, you can even let them paint your nails.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-arts-and-crafts
wundervisuals
Do Arts and Crafts

As parents, you likely already have some arts and crafts supplies on hand, so why not pull them out for a creative afternoon. You can make some holiday decorations, or even put together a time capsule that they can open a year to see how much they've changed.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-library
FatCamera
Visit the Library

The library is a haven of free entertainment, from books, to videos, to public story time, there's almost always something going on that you and your child will enjoy.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-science-experiment
Jamie Grill
Try a Science Experiment

You can make learning fun by putting together an easy science experiment for you and your child. The classic baking soda and vinegar volcano is always a hit.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-cooking
Hoxton/Sam Edwards
Get Cooking

Let your little one join you in the kitchen for some time cooking together. You can make dinner together or whip up some yummy treats.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-animal-sanctuary
FatCamera
Visit an Animal Sanctuary

Most kids love animals, and so do sanctuaries! Thankfully, many of them offer free tours of their properties and they're usually way less crowded and hectic than a zoo. Plus, they're usually more spacious for the animals, so your kids will get to see them in a bit of a more natural setting.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-beach
Uwe Krejci
Go to the Beach

If the sun is shining and the weather is warm, then it's a perfect day to go to the beach. Load up some water toys and a few snacks and you'll be set to play for hours.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-backyard-camping
Steven Puetzer
Camp in the Backyard

Who says you need to venture into the wilderness to go camping? You can set up shop right in your own backyard. Your kids will love getting to do something adventurous near home. And if your backyard happens to have a fire pit, you can roast some marshmallows and make some s'mores for a full camping experience.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-geocaching
ljubaphoto
Go Geocaching

For those unfamiliar with geocaching, the world-wide activity uses GPS to located small, hidden waterproof caches. The caches usually contain toys or trinkets that finders are free to take, so long as they replace it with a similar item. You can download a free app for your phone that will show you the locations of caches near you.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-movie-in-the-park
Hero Images
See a Movie in the Park

Seeing a movie in theaters can be so expensive between the ticket and snacks. Thankfully, most cities and towns offer free movies in the park during the warmer months, so you can enjoy a film under the stars at no cost.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-museum
Jane Barlow - PA Images
Visit a Museum

Museums are a great way to make learning interactive, and most museums either have free admission or offer one day of the week or month where admission is pay what you wish. Check out your local museums to see what deals they offer.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-photoshoot
monzenmachi
Have a Photoshoot

If you kiddo loves to dress up and pose for the camera, why not let them do a photoshoot? They'll love getting to put on their favorite outfits and have you snap dozens of photos of them.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-neighborhood-cleanup
yulkapopkova
Do a Neighborhood Cleanup

A great way to keep your kid entertained and teach them about the importance of protecting the environment is to take them on a neighborhood cleanup. They'll feel great knowing that they're making the area better for their neighbors, and the potential of finding some discarded treasures is sure to intrigue them.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-picnic
Oleh SHKURLEI
Have a Picnic in the Park

It's no secret that kids love the park, and getting to bring a picnic to the park is even better. Pack some pb&js, a few snacks, and some juice boxes and you'll be all set. You can even let your kids bring a few stuffed animals and turn it into a teddy bear picnic.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-yard-sale
David Sacks
Organize a Yard Sale

Another great learning opportunity that's both useful and fun is organizing a yard sale with your child. They'll get to practice some business skills and it's a great way for them to earn some pocket change.

Don't have a driveway or a yard? You can hold an online virtual yard sale.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-write-play
shapecharge
Write a Play

Children's minds are so creative, and it's great to help them unleash that artistic side. Sitting down with your kids to help them write a play will be fun for everyone, and they can even perform it for you after you're done.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-tea-party
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc
Have a Tea Party

Your child will feel like true royalty with a planned out tea party. Set out some cookies to snack on and use apple juice for the tea. You can even invite over a friend or two to make it a real party.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-slip-n-slide
Jay Reilly
Make a Slip 'n Slide

If you're looking for a fun way to cool off, then making your own slip 'n slide is both easy and fun. Just grab either a long plastic sheet or a few garbage bags taped together and load them up with liquid soap and water.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-scavenger-hunt
Imgorthand
Organize a Scavenger Hunt

Plan a scavenger hunt for your kids around your house, yard, or neighborhood. You can hide clues in different locations that lead to a fun prize at the end. This activity not only gets them moving, but will challenge their thinking skills.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-obstacle-course
FatCamera
Set up an Obstacle Course

Kids seem to have endless energy to burn, and one way to use some of it up is by letting them compete in an obstacle course. You can use items you already have around the house like pylons, hula hoops, jump ropes, and tunnels to make a fun course. To make an event out of it, invite some other children over to compete as well.

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free-things-to-do-with-kids-volunteer
SDI Productions
Volunteer as a Family

It's great to show your kids early on how to give back to those in need, so why not take some time to volunteer? If they're interested in animals, you can go walk dogs for a shelter. Or if they're always in the kitchen, you can go help out with a food bank.

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