5 Free Fun Activities For Families During The Holidays

This post is by Cat Alford.

As many of you know, I’ve been living away from my family for many years.

In fact, I actually went to boarding school at age 15, then went to an out of state college, then moved to Grenada – and well, you know the rest.

So because of all that moving around, I don’t really spend a lot of time with my family.

I find that when you only see your family in small spurts, it’s easier to spend a lot more money and “do it big” like going to restaurants you wouldn’t normally go to or paying for bigger vacations.

So, in an effort to keep the budget in check this holiday season, I’ve made a list of five ways to enjoy time with family all for free.

Hope it benefits you too!

1. Play a Board Game

My mother-in-law is a ridiculously good Scrabble player. She beats everyone almost every time. She’s so good that there’s actually a scorecard on the fridge from the one time my sister-in-law actually beat her just to prove it really happened.

Playing Scrabble and other board games with my in-laws is really fun and competitive, and it’s completely 100% free.

2. Work Out

It’s nice to go on a jog with your dad or play a game of touch football in the backyard. Maybe you can work on a project in the garage or help out in the garden. Either way, getting a good workout by going outside and doing things with your family is a great way to tackle a to do list and spend time with the ones you love.

3. Watch a Movie at Home

I can’t think of any movie that I want to pay $20 to go see at the theater. Plus, at the theater, you can’t press pause and get up to make a snack.

I love the freedom of watching a movie in my own space. Get the family together and pick a classic that everyone will love. It’s free, it’s easy, and it makes for some really good memories.

4. Bake Cookies

I guess baking cookies isn’t 100% free because you have to go out and purchase all the ingredients. Still, the process of making them and enjoying time with your family is all 100% free entertainment.

This is one of the activities that I like to do with my mom. She loves adding M&Ms and Hershey’s Kisses to her cookies, and they always come out so good. It’s funny how I can never make them quite like her unless she’s there with me.

5. Have a Snowball Fight

It would be hard to have a snowball fight here in south Louisiana, but for all my friends up north who are getting some cold weather, bundle up the kids, have a snowball fight, and maybe even make a snowman too!

I know there are many more 100% free ways to spend time with your family so leave me some more ideas in the comment section below! Are there any you’ll be taking part in this season?

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About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a personal finance freelance writer who received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. She enjoys sharing her adventures on her blog, www.BudgetBlonde.com.


  1. We’re big movie lovers in our house so that is usually something we do this time of year. We also like to go look at Christmas lights as the kids love doing that. We love board games too, but it’s usually Candyland for us these days. 🙂

  2. Working out is one of my favorite group activities. I work out by myself ALL the time, having company is such a treat.

  3. I love board games! We used to play them with our children.

  4. We are big board game players in my family, and catchphrase is an all time favorite. You don’t have to spend money in order to have a good time, getting bored just allows your creativity to go to work, coming up with new things to do.

  5. This is a fun list of free things to do. You definitely need the cold weather for the snowballs, though. Something that unfortunately doesn’t happen too often in many places.

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