Simply stay at home, but spend those weekend days together as a family doing activities everyone will enjoy.
The key is to do it together, because in the end, that’s how family bonding and memories happen.
What kinds of things can you do on a staycation? Go on a family hike. Watch movies together.
Spend all Saturday afternoon and evening playing an epic game. Make a meal or two together. Work on a big art project. Repaint one of the children’s bedrooms.
A camping trip is an inexpensive way to spend a weekend together, and it gives your family chance to get some fresh air.
All you need is food from your pantry, a tent and a few sleeping bags for gear.
How can you spend a camping weekend? Go on a hike. Go geocaching. Build a big campfire, and make campfire meals and s’mores. relax in a folding chair, and read a book. Find some interesting rocks to take home.
Visit relatives or friends.
Many people have friends and relatives who live far away that it’s not convenient to see them for an evening, but it can make for a great road trip to visit them.
Drive there on Friday evening, spend a full Saturday with your loved ones and then return home later on Sunday after having spent a full weekend together.
If you’re not sure what to do, just ask the person you’re visiting to show you some of the interesting spots around town. A local person always knows about things that might not appear on a tourist guide.
Plan and host a cookout together.
Invite a few of your close friends and the families of some of your children’s close friends for a big backyard cookout.
Sounds intimidating? Make it easier by having everyone in your family get involved in the preparation for the event.
Plan the food, beverages, logistics and seating together. Want to keep this idea cheap?
Ask guests to bring their own beverages, for starters, or ask everyone to bring a side dish. The main course doesn’t have to be expensive, either, as hamburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers will please almost every crowd.
You can also try some simple summer dinner recipes.
Spend the weekend working on a volunteer project. Volunteering not only allows a family to do something together, it also can teach a lot of valuable skills (carpentry, food preparation and so on) as well as remind your family to appreciate all the bounty in your lives.
What kind of volunteer opportunities are available? Habitat for Humanity often builds houses in or near many cities.
There are soup kitchens and food pantries everywhere that could use a helping hand from a willing family for a couple of days.
Even your community’s parks and recreation service would be thrilled to have your volunteer help.
Make YouTube videos.
Create comedy skits with your family, and film them digitally. Edit them, then upload them to YouTube.
Share the videos with friends and family and maybe promote them a bit further. Not only will you have fun making the videos, but if others find them entertaining, you may just find a new family hobby that earns you some money along the way.
Not sure what to do? Lip sync and dance badly to a song. Dress up as superheroes, and take on ‘crime’ such as long supermarket lines or soggy breakfast cereal.
Have family members loudly recite Shakespearean scenes from the roof or recreate movie scenes in the front yard, then film the reactions of passersby.
Carry out a ‘Candid Camera’ scene with a camera hidden in the bushes while you and the other family members do something unexpected. Just have fun with it!
The key to an inexpensive family weekend is to simply have fun together. As long as you keep the idea of togetherness central in whatever you do, you’ll enjoy the weekend.
And with the plethora of inexpensive possibilities for spending your time together, it won’t have to damage your checkbook, either.