Fun and Frugal Family Outings


The time we spend with our families is priceless.

But, most popular family activities are quite expensive. Even a simple night at the movies can put a serious dent in the budget by the time you buy tickets, popcorn and drinks for everyone.

Fortunately, there are cheaper alternatives to expensive family outings. They provide the opportunity to have just as much fun at a fraction of the cost. Some are even free!

Movies and Music

Kids are often itching to see the newest releases at the movie theater. Doing so even once a month, however, can get pricey. Try the library – the EPL and SAPL often have free movie screenings. Another great alternative is Movies on the Square – an outdoor movie experience at Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton!

Kids often want to go to concerts, but tickets to see the most famous bands are far from cheap. Try the Arden Theatre – they have really reasonable rates for kids’ shows!

For a fun movie date with baby, why don’t you try Stars and Strollers? With reduced volume, daytime hours, and a baby-friendly atmosphere, this is a great way for moms to catch up on the latest movies without worrying about disturbing the other audience members!

The Great Outdoors

Nature offers a wealth of possibilities for family outings. Camping is a wonderful activity for families, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as pitching a tent in the back yard, or you can spring for a camper and rent space at a campground. Bring the grill and some hamburgers or hot dogs, or catch some fish to fry.

Parks are great for day trips. Those with playground equipment can keep youngsters entertained for hours on end. Hiking trails offer opportunities for exercise and exploration. Most parks have picnic facilities, so you can pack a lunch instead of eating out.

Other Ideas

Here are some more inexpensive family activities to consider:

  • Play miniature golf. Admission is usually quite reasonable, and it provides the opportunity for relaxed yet engaging family competition. Try Professor WEM’s Adventure Golf.
  • Visit a petting zoo. These small zoos do not have the exotic animals you see at larger ones, but kids can feed and pet the animals. Try the Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm.
  • Go to a museum. Some offer cheap or free admission, while others cost more. But the larger and more expensive ones often sell season passes, so if you live close by, you can visit numerous times for one low price. The Musée Héritage Museum, located in St. Albert Place offers admission by donation!
  • Attend events at a nearby college. These may include plays, concerts, dance recitals and movie showings. Prices are low, and student discounts usually apply to kids, too.

Having fun as a family doesn’t require a six-figure income. If you look hard enough, you can find lots of free or cheap activities that parents and kids can enjoy just about anywhere.

What’s a fun, frugal activity that your family enjoys? Share in the comments below, or write me at timmie {at}


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