The Giant List of Fun Things to Do with Friends and Family

By Jackie Beck   Updated 07/15/2020 at 4:11 pm

Pin now for later: The giant list of more than 100 free things to do for fun.It’s true: the best things in life are free. Sometimes though, it can be hard to think of free things to actually DO.

To help with that, here’s a giant list of free things to do to keep you occupied and perk you up while you’re paying off debt. (Because we can all use some fun in our lives.)

Pick a few and enjoy! (And if you might like to refer back to it later,save it to Pinterest real quick.)

  1. Walk around the city or countryside and enjoy the sights.
  2. Listen to podcasts.
  3. Play a musical instrument.
  4. Make a cake from scratch (it’s surprisingly easy)
  5. Have friends over and just chat.
  6. Watch TED talks, Google talks, or YouTube lectures online.
  7. Hike or walk through your closest parks with your family, friends, or dog. As Grayson from Debt Roundup says, it doesn’t cost anything, and you can get exercise plus see the great outdoors.
  8. Listen to music. (You can also usually check out music from the library.)
  9. Throw a frisbee around or play catch.
  10. Google “Free things to do [your area]” and pick something at random from the results that you’ve never tried
  11. Draw.
  12. Read a book or magazine.
  13. Ride your bike or skateboard.
  14. Tour a local microbrewery that includes free tastings. Some places charge something really low like a quarter due to that state’s liquor laws. (Submitted by
  15. Write.
  16. Dance in your living room.
  17. Enjoy a little quiet time.
  18. Go to free outdoor concerts or movies. (Jessica from Every Single Dollar says, “We have free movies in our town at the outdoor amphitheater each week.” Check your local area for info.)
  19. Borrow movies, music, books, or games from the library.
  20. Attend free admission day at the local museum or nature center.
  21. Arrange a song swap with a friend or neighbor where you play guitars and sing like Teresa from Living on the Cheap does.
  22. Go to an interesting local meetup.
  23. Go jogging.
  24. Go to student events such as basketball games or art shows. (These are often free with a student ID.)
  25. Watch birds and see how many you can identify.
  26. Go to the park as a family and play catch.
  27. Download a free e-book and read it.
  28. Mediate.
  29. Do yoga.
  30. Do some coloring with these free collections of coloring pages.
  31. Play frisbee golf.
  32. Learn a foreign language. (You can use or to learn for free. Consider practicing with a local club too, or starting your own.)
  33. Walk around a local arts & crafts festival, hobbyist show, or car show. Admissions are usually free and you can enjoy the sights.
  34. Start a free blog at or write in your existing one.
  35. Write an “I am from” poem using this template (or interview someone else by asking them the questions from the template to put together a poem for them)
  36. Attend a craft show or local art fair.
  37. Watch a parade.
  38. Participate in roller derby through a free league. (Submitted by Hey Freelancer.)
  39. Meet your neighbors.
  40. Garden and preserve the foods. (Submitted by Donna of Surviving and Thriving.)
  41. Have a pretend tea party with the kids (or a real one with the grownups.)
  42. Do a jigsaw puzzle.
  43. If you happen to be in the St. Louis area, Thomas from ClearPoint has some great location-specific suggestions. He says, “The attractions inside Forest Park are free year-round, including the STL Zoo, Art Museum, History Museum and Science Center. The Muny theater has a large section of free seats during its summer run and the Missouri Botanical Garden has certain free days. Other park events like Shakespeare in the Park, the Balloon Glow and the Art Hill film series are also free. Summer events like Fair St. Louis at the Arch grounds, GroveFest and St. Louis PrideFest also have great entertainment and are free.”
  44. Make dinner with friends or family.
  45. Make peanut brittle or cookies.
  46. Do a crossword puzzle. (On paper, or online versions are at
  47. Explores this list of free things in all 50 states
  48. Play sudoku (on paper or at
  49. Have a pillow fight.
  50. Attend a religious service. (Rebecca says, “One of the most fulfilling things I do in life is free, although I choose to make an annual donation: Attend church. It’s one hour of ‘me’ time when I get to think about the big picture.”)
  51. Check out a local pass from your library or community center to do something that’s not usually free (such as a visit to the zoo or other local attraction.)
  52. Walk around and look at Christmas lights.
  53. Play “I spy”.
  54. Go sledding. (Mrs. 1500 spent $5 sled on a sled for each kid and they only came inside when frostbite threatened.)
  55. Volunteer for an organization that means something to you. (Some links to virtual volunteering opportunities are here and here, and there are surely more out there.)
  56. Randomly do something nice for someone else. Random acts of kindness can be very uplifting, and don’t have to cost a thing. (Suggested by Money Matters for Globe Trotters.)
  57. Visit a local landmark.
  58. Join to read and review books before they’re published like Doug at does.
  59. Visit someone in a nursing home and chat about old times.
  60. Tour a factory.
  61. Write an “I remember” poem using this template.
  62. Go to the beach if you live nearby.
  63. Camp out in your living room or backyard.
  64. Learn about the constellations and see if you can point them out.
  65. Have a photo scavenger hunt.
  66. Go stargazing. Gary from Super Saving Tips suggests using an app to find a star map or a site like StarDate to plan a meteor shower viewing.
  67. Visit a well-known building or the home of a well-known resident.
  68. Walk a shelter dog or pet a shelter cat. (If you can resist the temptation to adopt!)
  69. Blow bubbles.
  70. Have a candlelight dinner at home for date night. (Especially good for Valentine’s Day or anniversaries. More frugal Valentine’s ideas here.
  71. Run through the sprinklers.
  72. Have a water fight.
  73. Watch the sun set (or rise.)
  74. Play cards. (Here are the rules for many card games.)
  75. Volunteer as a usher at local events and get to see them for free. Or if you’re a writer and have the opportunity, review theater and restaurants. You’ll get entertained/fed for free, possibly get to take someone with you, and actually get paid to do it like Donna does.
  76. Play tourist in your own town by taking photos of interesting things with your phone.
  77. Work out in your living room.
  78. Treat your dog to a game of fetch.
  79. Sort through old photos.
  80. Make a scrapbook.
  81. Hold a video game competition with each other.
  82. Rearrange the furniture.
  83. Go fishing with the kids. (Kids don’t usually require a license to fish, but check your area.)
  84. Write a physical letter to someone you know.
  85. Have a picnic.
  86. Enjoy game nights with family and/or friends. (Rosemarie of The Busy Budgeter says, “Game nights at our best friends house! We put the kids to bed and hang out like we’re 20 until 4am playing board games and drinking copious amounts of hard cider. The next morning isn’t nearly as fun…FYI.”)
  87. Go hiking
  88. Wander the house and find 2 items from each room that you could sell or donate.
  89. Do a sodoku puzzle
  90. Hold a three-legged race.
  91. Empty your closet and rediscover something you’d forgotten about.
  92. Read a classic book or a childhood favorite. (Free from the library; many are also free ebook downloads.)
  93. Play the last letter word game.
  94. Ask someone you know to tell you something they remember from their childhood.
  95. Bake some bread. (Or learn how to do so!)
  96. Whittle a piece of scrap wood.
  97. Watch a popular show with friends & family.
  98. Make an origami animal.
  99. Learn to code. ( is one resource.)
  100. Get outside and play ball! (Flag football, soccer, basketball, softball, kickball, etc.)
  101. Geocache in your local area.
  102. If you already have a smart phone with plenty of data, play Ingress or Pokemon Go in your local area.
  103. Rake up pile of leaves and jump in them.
  104. Play backgammon or chess online.
  105. Go somewhere you’ve never been in your own town, even if it’s just to see a neighborhood you’ve never been to.
  106. Do tai chi in the park or your living room.
  107. Fly a kite.
  108. Learn a magic trick.
  109. Juggle. (Or learn to juggle.)
  110. Go people watching.
  111. Do genealogy and learn about your family history.
  112. Play with your kids.
  113. Go swimming.
  114. Write a list of the things you’ll be able to do when you’re debt free!
  115. Binge-watch the latest season of a series on Netflix.
  116. Take a free course.

Want more ideas? Here are a few things to do when you’re bored at home.

2 thoughts on “The Giant List of Fun Things to Do with Friends and Family

  1. Thanks for the shout-out, ma’am.

    With regard to making peanut brittle or other candy, I discovered a *fiendishly* simple recipe for peanut butter fudge:

    Butter an 8-by-8-inch pan.

    Put two cups of sugar and half a cup of milk into a saucepan. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat.

    Add one and one-third cups of peanut butter and stir until completely mixed.

    Add one seven-ounce jar of marshmallow fluff/creme and stir until mixed. Pour into buttered pan and cool for a while, then refrigerate.

    I’d never eaten marshmallow fluff before; it seemed kind of gross-looking to me. But my oh my does it make exquisitely good peanut butter fudge, and this is something a kid could do with a little supervision.

    A 91-year-old friend whose appetite is for the birds ate a surprisingly large amount of the stuff during a chat. Apparently it just melted in her mouth and she thought, “Hmmm, that was good, how about another?”

    Besides, peanut butter has protein so this could be good for you. (Right? Right????)

  2. That was an interesting list of ideas, one can have a lot of fun with family & friends. Some of them are really funny & for sure kids will enjoy them too! Thanks for sharing these ideas with us.

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