Raising kids is expensive, and keeping them entertained can feel like a full-time job—especially when summer break hits. A day at the amusement park can cost hundreds of dollars, and even a casual dinner out is pricey for a family of four! So, how do you have fun as a family without blowing your budget month after month? The Interior Savings team has some ideas—we hope they inspire you to plan some awesome family activities without the big price tag (or the regret that comes when your wallet feels suspiciously light at the end of the day).


If you’d like help developing a family budget that reflects your needs and goals, please contact us. We’d also be glad to answer your questions about investing in an RESP, saving for a new home or vehicle, opening bank accounts for your children or saving for your retirement. Now, onto the fun!

Plan a family night in

A night at the movies has gotten pretty expensive for families, but a night of theatre-style fun at home can be just as much fun for a fraction of the cost. Pick a movie that’s available on Netflix (or whatever streaming services you currently subscribe to) and let your kids choose a few special treats from the store—popcorn, chips or candy, or maybe a frozen pizza for dinner. Some local pizza shops offer pick-up specials that are nearly as inexpensive as a frozen pizza from the grocery store, so check out those options as well. Set up some comfy pillows and blankets in the living room, turn off the lights and enjoy the show! If your family isn’t into watching movies, consider a board game night, playing backyard games in the early evening, a family arts and craft activity, an at-home escape room game or similar alternative. Anything goes!

Explore your community

Your local library is a great resource for free family activities—story time for young kids, playtime or free workshops for older children, family concerts and other great activities. Most libraries also let you rent movies, games or family passes to local conservation areas, and many have ‘makerspaces’ that allow you to create awesome projects without buying expensive equipment. You can also check out your local newspaper for information on free or inexpensive community events at local parks, community centres, rotary clubs or churches. These events are particularly common in the summer months, so keep an eye on the newspaper (or their website, more realistically!) so you don’t miss out on family-friendly activities that won’t break the bank. There may be a free outdoor concert, family yoga session or parade to check out!


It’s also worth visiting the website of local museums and attractions to look for unexpected deals—some offer free admission for children, many have affordable family passes and others will send discount codes and other promotions to email subscribers. You may be surprised how many great deals are available once you look for them!

Take advantage of local green spaces

If your community has a beautiful park, public beach or conservation area, plan to spend more time there. You can go hiking, have a friendly soccer game (kids vs adults is always a hit), enjoy a picnic lunch, go on a scavenger hunt or simply hang out as a family. If you have small, portable games like cornhole or frisbee, bring those along! Your kids might end up making some new friends along the way, too.


More great outdoor spaces to take advantage of include community bike trails, splash pads and playgrounds. If your kids are getting bored with your local playground, consider driving to an unfamiliar one in a nearby community. Sometimes a change of scenery can be exciting, and a different park is all it takes to create some fun!

Schedule activities before or after meal times

Here’s one last tip—and it’s an important one! The cost of a day out can increase dramatically if you end up buying lunch, dinner or snacks throughout the day. To keep your expenses down, consider planning activities before or after meal times. For example, have lunch at home, spend the afternoon at a local park or conservation area, then get home in time for dinner. Bringing food along on your family adventures is a good idea, too—you can pack a small cooler bag or insulated backpack with string cheese, granola bars, pretzels, trail mix, bananas and/or apples. Don’t forget your water bottles! Not only will this simple ‘plan ahead’ strategy save you money, it will mean you always have something on hand when the little ones start asking for snacks in the middle of the afternoon (an inevitable part of any outing with children, we know).


Thanks for reading—we hope this inspires you to get out and have fun on any budget! If you’d like to discuss your financial plan with an Interior Savings advisor, please contact us. We’d be glad to answer your questions, discuss your needs and offer personalized advice.