47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend

By Jason Topp on 3 August 2011 (Updated 9 July 2014) 58 comments

Ever have a conversation that goes like this...?

"What do you want to do this weekend?"

*Shoulder shrug*

"I dunno, whatta you wanna do?"

*Shoulder shrug and sigh*

"I dunno; there's nothing to ever do around here."

I've had conversations like that many times in the past, but not anymore. I'm learning to appreciate the little things in life and enjoy living in the moment more. Too often when we think about "fun" things, we think of the expensive options like taking in a ballgame, going on vacation, or going to a concert. (See also: Best Travel Reward Cards)

Here's a list to help free you from boredom without emptying your wallet this weekend.

1. Go to the Park

You can take your family or go with a friend. Swing on the swings like when you were a kid.

2. Watch the Sunset

Find a great spot in your community to catch the sunset. We have a lake by our house that offers some great views!

3. Pack a Picnic Lunch

Throw a picnic lunch together and find a shady spot to enjoy the day with your loved ones.

4. Play Board Games

Bring out the old favorites like Monopoly or Scrabble, or find new board games to play. (See also: Board Games That Make You Think)

5. Play Card Games

Invite a few friends over and have a card night.

6. Do a Road Rally With Friends

Get some friends together and go on a mobile scavenger hunt. The first one back with all things on the list wins! Losers have to buy dessert.

7. Go on a Digital Scavenger Hunt

Make it a digital scavenger hunt. Think of some creative, hilarious pictures you could take with people in the community, or check out this list for scavenger hunt ideas.

8. Throw a B.Y.O.E. Party

This stands of Bring Your Own Everything. Guests are encouraged to bring food and drinks to share. Or, check this post out for more frugal party ideas.

9. Have a Bonfire or Campfire in Your Backyard

Make s'mores and play campfire games.

10. Get Ice Cream

Hit up your local ice cream shop and indulge in your favorite dish! Our local Dairy Queen is located right on the lake, which ties in perfect with #2!

(Wise Bread Pick: Lello Gelato Junior Ice Cream Maker at Amazon)

11. Make a Romantic Dinner

Plan a romantic, candlelight dinner for your spouse or loved one. Romance need not be expensive! (See also: Romance on a Dime)

12. Grill Something New

Try a new grilling recipe. Recently I tried chicken breast stuffed with cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, basil, and tomatoes! Mmmm!

13. Go to the Museum or Zoo

Many times a local museum will have free or discount days. Zoos are fairly inexpensive if you pack your own lunch and avoid the unnecessary extras.

14. Scan Your Old Photographs

Take the weekend to go through your old photos and scan them into a digital file. You can even create digital scrapbooks! (See also: Save Memories With Cloud Computing)

15. Pretend You're a Tourist in Your Community

Most folks rarely visit their own city's tourist attractions. Take a weekend be a tourist in your own town.

16. Organize a Neighborhood Cleanup

Get friends and neighbors together to go and clean up a city block. Here are six steps to organizing your own neighborhood cleanup.

17. Go to the Farmers Market

Communities will usually have farmers markets on the weekends where you can get locally grown produce. The food is fresh and delicious! Here's a savvy guide to farmers markets.

18. Pick Strawberries or Other Fruit

Find a "U-Pick" spot to gather some fresh strawberries, blueberries, or other fruit and then...

19. Bake a Pie

Use the freshly picked fruit to bake a homemade pie! (Need help with the pie crust?)

20. Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen or Homeless Shelter

Organizations like these are always looking for volunteers. This will be one of the most rewarding things you could do this weekend and can possibly make a difference on your resume! (See also: Translating Volunteer Experiences to Workplace Credentials)

21. Invite Your Neighbors Over

With today's busy pace, it seems harder to get to know our neighbors. Invite them over for dinner or dessert and make an effort to know more about them.

22. Go Fishing

Grab the poles, find a pond, and cast those lines!

23. Go to the Beach

Hit the sandy shores for a little rest and relaxation. Just don't forget to protect your skin! (See also: Ways to Protect Your Skin in the Summer)

24. Go to the Library

There are many benefits your local library has to offer besides just books. You can rent movies, page through magazines, or surf the net.

25. Host a Classic Movie Marathon

Invite friends over for a movie marathon featuring all the classics you remember from when you were growing up. Or, host a money movie marathon!

26. Rearrange the Furniture in Your House

My wife and I did this last weekend. I love the new look and feel of our living room now! Rearranging furniture doesn't cost anything and adds a new flair to your place.

27. Write Out Your Bucket List and Pick One to Do

Brainstorm ideas for all the things you want to do in life, and pick one to do this weekend.

28. Put Together a Jigsaw Puzzle

When is the last time you put together a puzzle? Find one you like and get to it.

29. Volunteer to Babysit for Someone Who "Needs a Break"

I know many parents who would love for someone to offer a chance to take a break from the busyness of life. Many single parents hardly ever get a chance to get out and unwind.

30. Clean Out Your Closet and Donate to a Thrift Store

Go through your closets and declutter. Find items you can donate to your local Goodwill or another thrift shop.

31. Watch for Shooting Stars

Go on a star-gazing adventure. Grab a blanket and head to a park to lay and watch the stars. Here's a meteor shower calendar to help.

32. Go on a Bike Ride

Bike to a location you've never been to before. Or, bring your bike to a town or city you're unfamiliar with and create your own bike tour. Just be safe on your bike! (See also: Bicycle Safety in the City)

33. Take a Free Online Class

There are plenty of free online classes you could take to improve your skills in a certain area. Try your hand at investment classes if that interests you!

34. Write Out Your Life Plan

This one will take some thought but will be well worth it. Here's a great resource from Michael Hyatt for helping you think through your life plan.

35. Set Three New Goals for Yourself

Related to the life plan is setting three new goals you'd like to accomplish in the new six to twelve months...and write them down!

36. Find a Community Play to Attend

Many local communities offer inexpensive theater productions.

37. Help Someone in Need

Lend a helping hand to a neighbor, co-worker, or friend.

38. Buy Food for the Homeless and Listen to Their Stories

It's not always wise to give money to a homeless person, but you can buy food. Listen to their stories, and if possible, direct them to an organization that can help.

39. Go Bowling

Get some friends together and have a blast at the lanes!

40. Visit Garage Sales and Look for Deals

Take a friend or two, grab breakfast, and then hit the local garage sales to scan for deals.

41. Tour the Local Fire or Police Station and Thank Them for Their Service

A simple gesture can really mean a lot to the men and women who serve us on a daily basis!

42. Visit a Local Nursing Home and Engage With the Residents

Many elderly folks have great tales to tell. Listen to their stories and see what you can learn from them.

43. Plant a Garden

You can make a garden box or even an herb garden if you don't have much room. (See also: Small Space Garden Ideas)

44. Go Dancing

Grab a few friends, put those dancing shoes on, and hit the local club.

45. Walk Through the Craft Store and Start an Art Project

Take your spouse or loved one to a craft store and each purchase a few crafts for a creative project. Or start a pine cone project!

46. Host a "Minute to Win It" Party

Invite a few friends over and challenge each other with some creative games based on the hit TV show.

47. Write a Letter to a Family Member You Haven't Talked to in a While

When is the last time you sat down and wrote a letter? There's something magical and nostalgic about the written word on paper. Send a letter to someone you haven't talked to in a while and tell them how much you love them.

Hopefully these ideas are enough to get you started on a fun, cheap, and rewarding weekend!

What cheap, fun things are you planning to do this weekend?

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58 discussions

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Meg Favreau's picture

I love the scavenger hunt ideas, especially the one where all you have to do is take photos. And I was already planning to bake a pie this weekend!

Julie Rains's picture

I love the scavenger hunt idea also, and did that a few weeks ago. My church has a new youth director and she organized the hunt as a team-building activity for the kids and adult volunteers (like me). The best part was the look on the adult's faces (including mine I'm sure) when the director told us about taking photos of...sitting with an unknown family at a restaurant, hugging a stranger, filling a stranger's gas tank -- we knew about the hunt but not these specifics. The photos were very funny btw.

Jason Topp's picture

How'd the pie turn out? :)

Meg Favreau's picture

I ended up postponing the pie and making homemade Twinkies instead...and they turned out great!

Guest's picture

Yes! I am bored at home all the times so I'm going to actually do something fun like this next week!!!!

Guest's picture

Our cheapish romantic thing to do is take a really nice bottle of champangne to the beach and order a pizza and watch the sun set.

Jason Topp's picture

Pizza and champagne...I like your style! :)

Guest's picture

I actually like the beach and ice cream idea. Put that together with a chair to sit on the beach and that sounds like a good weekend.

Jason Topp's picture

Derek, that sounds really good. Add a good book, and I'd be set!! :)

Guest's picture

these are great ideas, but not for everyone i was hoping it would be stuff more for teens :( maybe you could make 10 thing for teens to do:)

Guest's picture

i know would like it to be teen stuff bc all that is sorta boring...:/

Guest's picture

Yes defiantly!(:

Guest's picture

I am like always bored and it is getting cold out. Can you put up things to do at home when it is cold? Thanks!

Guest's picture

These things may seem "boring" now, but in a couple of years you will look back and think 'that was pretty amazing'. I'm 22 and used to do these "boring" things in my teens. I look back now and wish I could go back to the days of laying in my car, stargazing with my friends eating ice cream! Cherish your time now.

Guest's picture

It's good how this list includes lots of indoor ideas. And you touch on creative projects which is great - but I bet you could come up with a whole blog post of these!

Guest's picture
Vanessa Mattingly

Same! Yeah because here where I live it's almost always cloudy so yeah it's great.

Guest's picture

you could also go to like a close theme park like around where i live theres silverwood!(:

Guest's picture

this is not fun stuff...jsay its all like things to pass the time or waste gas. with gas at almost 4 dollars a gallon going on scavengerhunts not gonna happen. and i thought this was going to be more of like places to go that are cheap and have fun things to do not a todo around ur community list. sorry

Guest's picture

wow. they were just tring to help. no need to be mean

Guest's picture
Guest #2

guest #2 agrees with guest #1, this is just suggestions and a good way to slow down the pace of life these are not things you HAVE to do so try to be open-minded and nice about things

Guest's picture

You began this post the perfect way, this interaction happens to me almost every weekend! I love your idea of finding a place to pick some fresh berries, and then baking with them. When I was younger my sister and I would go out with our grandmother to pick fresh blueberries, and then we'd spend the day making muffins and pies. You can get a heaping basketful of delicious berries for cheap!

Guest's picture

mini-Olympics with friends whether its a sport, series of parlor games, or quiz games. fun frugal bbq to cap off the "event".

Guest's picture

Yes! I love Olympics! Buy little plastic medals or trophies and do fun crazy stuff! You could even add dogs to the mix! Make your own agility course and have a neighborhood competition at the end of the summer!

Guest's picture

Wanna do all of this but not enough time to do it all

Guest's picture

So helpful! Thanks! My daughter will luv it!

Guest's picture

Thank you for all of these awesome ideas! I grilled something for the first time at our new house yesterday (we previously lived in an apartment complex) and it was a fun experience.

Guest's picture

Awsome ideas no mom won't have to say find something to do :)

Guest's picture

Why would you hit those poor seals?!? You monster

Amy Lu's picture
Amy Lu

Oh dear, that was an unfortunate typo! Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Guest!

Guest's picture

BUCKET LIST!!!! EEEKH! (thank you)

Guest's picture

Have you ever been teenager?

Guest's picture

yah, i am one.....

Guest's picture

Try going for a bike ride or baking cupcakes for tonight's dinner

Guest's picture

you could read a book!!!!

Guest's picture

Those were good things to do!!!!!!

Guest's picture

bowling's best!

Guest's picture


Guest's picture

play soccer with friends or family

Guest's picture

Wow! this is such a help for my weekend I'm planning to bring an old friend of mine to get together again and then we will get ready to have a blasting weekend of joy!!!

Guest's picture
Burrito Swag

I like Poonjab

Guest's picture

Thanks, just what I was looking for. These are not for everyone but when "There's nothing to do." Seems like more would appreciate a few decent suggestions rather than complain. Just my opinion on a silly matter, However I know that I will be putting a couple of these ideas to good use in the near future.

Guest's picture

I like the scavenger hunt idea.

Guest's picture

SLIP AND SLIDES!! If you really want to have fun and you have the lawn space. Build a Slip-n-slide. I found an e-book on amazon.com called "Slip and Slide Bible". The book didn't cost me a thing and it gave very clear instructions and multiple options. I built a nice slide for $20 and it only took me an hour to build it. I used it with my family all weekend. I couldn't get the kids to take a break!

Guest's picture

You could play with clay and try to make an exact statue of the things around you.
You can also take some clayey soil, make something you like and then paint it. I once
tried to make a bird and it was really fun!

Guest's picture

I like playing badmitten! 10$ at like a walmart/dollar store! So fun and funny to watch lol plus it's healthy and easy!

Guest's picture

I am gonna have a bonfire tonite!!!

Guest's picture

my milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard

Guest's picture

How about do a lemonade stand???? ;)

Guest's picture

Awesome ideas!!!!!!!!!

Guest's picture

I went bike riding

Guest's picture
Keara Carter

You could go to Put-In-Bay (kelleys island)

Guest's picture

if you ever get bored facetime a freind , and if not since it's summer invite some of your friends over for a party or water balloon fight or slip and slide.

Guest's picture


Guest's picture

we tried everything and it was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! >_<

Guest's picture

We are so trying the road rally at Christmas when we are going to Bruny island

Guest's picture
Vanessa Mattingly

Honestly I love the dancing idea, I think I might invite my friends over today and just dance around my house with all the T.V's on lol I also like the scavenger hunt idea, especially the one where you take the pictures I'm a photographer so that's like right up my alley I'm glad that i came on this website ok I better shut up now bye.

Guest's picture

Blanket fort or indoor camping with a tent Grooming the family pets, read a book, write in a journal, stack things, build something, make lists (to do, best to worst, top ten) make guacamole, make 7 layer dip, make southern style banana pudding (the best dessert ever imho), think about your childhood/past (preferably good things) and write down what you've learned, write to God, count your blessings, whittle (don't cut yourself like I did), sing pretty folk songs with a good melody and message, clean out a cabinet in your house, sort tupperware, mend clothes, practice math, polish something, i don't know, just go outside and get some sunshine or feel the wind

Guest's picture

Visit Local animal shelter, adopt a pet or simply make their life a little happier with treats, toys, excercise, and most importantly LOVE. show them someone cares.

Idea: Create a park/shelter where local people can bring their self/pets/kids to hangout with companion-less animals. The individuals involved and especially the animals would greatly enjoy the experience and could result in more adoptions, funding, and less stressful lifestyle!