30 August 2007

Free activites

Keeping the kids active and occupied doesn't have to cost a lot. There are plenty of activities and hobbies they can do at home that are low cost, fun and don't involve a screen. Taking the kids on an outing can also be a lot of fun, and doesn't have to cost much at all. Put on your frugal hat when it comes to entertainment for yourself and the children. Spending a lot on movies, eating out and travelling around will slowly drain your savings. There isn't much value in a day's outing that you have to work a full day to pay for. There are other ways around it.

Discover your local library, museum, science centre and the long coastline of beaches that Australia is understandably famous for. Look for local free concerts or events in the park. Sometimes local councils sponsor these events and will advertise them in the local paper. Some enlightened councils are now offering free gardening and backyard sustainability courses. Although not available all through the year, these wonderful things can be enjoyed and will not cost you anything except the cost of getting there. If you can't find information on free local activities in your newspaper, go online and google "free local activities [your town]", or phone your local council and ask what's available.

The local paper, magazines and books are available free at any library. They often have DVDs, CD, puzzles and audio cassettes. All you have to do to access this vast free resource is to become a member.

If you live in a city, take advantage of all those taxpayer-funded facilities like the museum, art gallery, science centre and botanical gardens. They will provide hours of enlightening entertainment for yourself and your family. Take a picnic to the closest beach, find some shade and enjoy a day with the family. If you’re in the country and close to a river, you can enjoy a riverside picnic and swimming with the family. You might go for a bush walk and a bike ride. If you’re close to a national park or a naturally beautiful area, there will often be walking trails to follow.

Wherever you are, if you look
around your community you should find ways to entertain yourself without it costing too much. Be creative, team up with other people you know and go for it. Remember, not everything of value has an entry fee.

Here are some links to free activities:


United States
US cities and towns



  1. This is so true. It's so much easier to pack a hamper of food and drive somewhere beautiful. The other day I took my 2 children to the Dandenongs (Vic) with a picnic basket and my own tea, and as a treat we stopped on the way home for icecreams (which weren't really necessary, but the driver had to have a treat before battling peak hour traffic!)

  2. I think the kids have more fun when the activity is outdoors and free. Walks in the woods, picnics, beaches. (My kids love the water.) And the stress level is way down as the kids aren't expected to "behave" the way they would at say a movie theatre. They're free to be happy, loud, and have fun.

  3. I have been learning so much from your blog. I've made my own environmentally cleaning supplies and they work great.
    We are coming to Australia next year on vacation. Staying a week near Coomba, NSW; a week in Sydney and a week in Murimba. (We've rented a condo so my mother in law, who lives in Brisbane, can join us). We plan on doing some walking and picniking in the Glass House Mountains. What would your suggestions be for us to see that are "free" and not too commercialized.

    Thanks, Paula

  4. lazy cow, the ice cream on the way home is essential. ; )

    farm mom, I think they have more fun outdoors too. They can use their imagination to create games, run around and generally have wild fun.

    hello paula, thank you. : ) The Glasshouse Mountains and the Blackall Range are both very beautiful areas. Hiking and picnicing through the Glasshouse Mountains is popular and you'll probably see kangaroos, lizards and lots of birds. Be aware, that although a lot of people climb the mountains there, the local indigenous people, the Gubbi Gubbi, do not approve of anyone climbing the Glasshouse Mountains. It's fine to look and walk around, but not to climb them.
    Further along, just passed Glasshouse, is the Blackall Range. You turn off at Landborough, which is a quaint little town, the first in the area. There is a small museum there with a Cobb and Co coach (similar to Wells Fargo). Drive up the mountain to Maleny, Montville and Mapleton. It's beautiful up there, with dairy cows, a little cheese maker - where you can taste local cheese, lots of places to sit and have coffee or lunch and many places to appreciate the view from the mountains over the south Pacific Ocean. I hope you enjoy your visit to this beautiful country. : )

  5. Thanks so much Rhonda Jean. I have copied/pasted this and will get together maps etc. We can't wait to come back if only for a few weeks this time.
    We will definitely go to the Glass House Mountains and also to the Blackall Range.
    Again thanks for all of your advice.



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