We all want to make sure that our weekends are well spent. But we all also want to make sure that we’re not blowing our budgets. Luckily, there are a ton of free things to do this weekend that are not only fun, but can absolutely help you to save money – whether you want to spend your weekend at home or out and about!
You may have heard this referred to as a no-spend weekend.
What’s that? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a free weekend where you don’t spend a cent.
Of course, this can be a challenge! So much of our social lives revolves around spending money that it can seem impossible to have a life while sticking to a budget.
Fortunately, there are a ton of ways for you to have a good time for free.
Whether it’s with friends, family or just by yourself, these 50 ideas for free things to do this weekend will make sure that having a budget doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on having fun.
50 Free Things To Do This Weekend
Outside the home
1. Go for a picnic in a local park. If that’s not possible for some reason, you could even just do it in your backyard!
2. Go for a bike ride. If you don’t have a bike, borrow one from a friend or check to see if your city’s bike scheme has a free initial period. For example, some cities allow you to use a bike for free for 20 minutes, which is reset each time you return it to a hub. (And, if this is you, consider buying a bike – it’s a great investment for both seeing new things and saving money if you live within riding distance of school or work.)
3. Go for a walk in a part of your city that you don’t know well for some urban exploration.
4. Go for a hike in a nearby national park. You could even combine this with number 1 so you can have lunch out in the wild.
5. Visit open houses and get ideas for your dream home. Bonus points if you’ll never, ever be able to afford the house in a million years, as it’s still so much fun to see how the other half lives!
6. Visit a museum or art gallery. If they don’t have free entry, check whether any loyalty cards that you have give you that as part of your membership. And don’t forget that some libraries provide free entry passes to local museums and other cultural attractions, so go and see if that’s an option for you.
7. Find a free class in your area. For example, hardware stores sometimes offer free DIY classes and restaurants provide free cooking classes.
8. Spend a day at the beach or at the local pool.
9. Find a free concert and go and discover what may be the next big thing in music!
10. Go star gazing – and maybe even combine it with a picnic dinner.
11. Workout. To make sure that it fits into your “no-spend weekend”, check out this article: 5 WAYS TO SMASH YOUR FITNESS GOALS – FOR FREE!
12. Go to the library and be prepared to be amazed at all of the free stuff on offer – books (including audiobooks), magazines, movies, music and…electricity home monitoring kits? Take a look at this post to see just what your local library may have on offer.
13. Go camping. While it’s fun to do this away from the home, you could even set up a tent in the backyard. And if the weather’s bad? Stringing up some sheets in the lounge room, turning off the lights and turning on the torches for some snacks and scary stoes can be just as fun.
14. Find a local “come and try” day to try a new sport. Sure, you may be terrible, but so is everyone else and it’s still fun. For example, see if your local bowls club offers free games to guests – although get ready to be shown who’s boss by the neighborhood nanna/
15. Wander around a local market to see what’s on offer and also to people watch – although maybe leave your wallet at home to avoid buying anything!
16. Volunteer. For example, see if your local soup kitchen needs some help serving a meal or if an animal shelter needs some assistance. You could also give blood or platelets.
17. Create a scavenger hunt for you and your friends. It could involve finding certain things in the area, finding certain people (e.g. “Record a three second video of a stranger speaking their native language that isn’t English”) or taking photos on your phone of a list of weird and wonderful things (e.g. “Take a photo of a house painted three or more colors”). Some super detailed ideas can be seen here.
18. Let’s go fly a kite! And luckily building one isn’t difficult at all. See this article for easy-to-follow instructions.
Free things to do this weekend at home
19. Have a movie night. You could watch one of those movies that you picked up for free at the library in the previous section. Or did you know that you can watch a ton of movies for free on Amazon?
20. Host a board games night.
21. Catch up on some reading – we’ve all got books we’ve been trying to start for a while, right?
22. Start that blog you’ve been meaning to launch for years now.
MORE INFORMATION: HOW TO START A BLOG IN LESS THAN 15 MINUTES
23. Bake a new recipe that you’ve found on Pinterest using only ingredients that you have in your cupboard already.
24. Do crafts. For example, did you know that Dollar Tree has all sorts of things that can become beautiful home decor with a bit of creativity? Check out these 100 ideas for some inspiration.
25. Have a home spa day. You can invite your friends over or just have some alone time (or kids love joining in too!). Paint your nails, do a face and hair mask, create a body scrub using ingredients in your cupboard – and get pampered without the salon price tag. (This list of the best budget skincare products that actually work may help too)
26. Clean out your cupboards of anything not being used that’s taking up space. You could even sell your unused clutter to make some cash.
RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO MAKE SERIOUS CASH CLEANING OUT YOUR OLD STUFF
27. Start writing your book. And when you finish it, did you know that you can self-publish on Amazon?
28. Tidy up the garage – and finally plan that garage sale you’ve been meaning to hold for several
29. Host a dinner party. Make it a potluck to save some money and try some new food!
30. Call a friend or family member who you haven’t spoken to in a while. And if you have several people living far apart or who haven’t caught up in a while, schedule a group Skype date and have a coffee or glass of wine together to really make it feel like a big catch up.
31. Learn a new skill. YouTube is a gold mine for this, with millions of new things that you can try for free. For example, you could learn how to knit, how to paint landscapes, how to count to 10 in a new language or how to do a new yoga pose. You could even gather your friends and family to try this together.
32. Sort through old photos. Not only is it fun to reminisce, but it can also be a great chance to get them organized and select some for printing.
33. Get around to that DIY or repair job you’ve been putting off.
34. Check for free stuff on Craigslist.
35. Finally get around to washing the car.
36. See if there’s a better way to position the furniture in the house. It may sound like a strange way to have a good time, but even simply moving a couch around to open up a space more or shifting a bed to the other side of the room can seem like you’ve totally redecorated. And it feels surprisingly relieving to get it done!
Free things to do this weekend that will improve your finances
At first glance, you may not think that these are as fun as the earlier options – but trust me, the benefits of spending a bit of time on these by putting them on your list of free things to do this weekend can literally be worth tens of thousands of dollars!
37. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for retirement properly. You could even take the time to get an expert check on your 401(k) – and it’s totally free! In fact, in less than five minutes, you can find out not only how yours is going but how it could be performing better.
MORE INFORMATION: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR 401(K) BY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS
38. Do surveys to make money (you could even do this while watching a movie from the section above!)
39. Start a bullet journal.
40. Spend some time looking into how you can cut your grocery bill (spoiler alert: I saved $300 in a month with just a few small changes).
41. Create a meal plan for the coming week.
42. Schedule a financial date night to discuss those potentially tricky but important financial questions with your partner that you may have been putting off (wine helps).
43. Go through your finances step-by-step to see where they can be improved (it only takes an hour!)
44. Start working down the list of ways to make $100 extra every day.
45. Do a free course to start a new side hustle (especially one that can pay you a full time income!)
46. Call your bank (if they’re open on weekends – if not, make a plan to do it on Monday) to get your fees waived. You could even spend your time planning what you’re going to say – although you don’t have to, that article already has a script for you to follow!
47. If you have them, take a few minutes to see if you can refinance your student loans. That article explains how refinancing can save an average of $18,668 per person – as well as how you get a $200 bonus for doing so!
48. Sit down and make a plan to pay off your debt once and for all.
49. Take a good look at your cell phone usage over the last few months and see if you should change your cell phone plan to save almost $1,000 per year.
50. Check out these 27 ways to trick yourself to save more money and see which ones will work for you. (My favorite is using my PIN as a secret ninja motivator to not buy things!)
Which of the free things to do this weekend on this list do you plan to try?
These are awesome ideas! There are so many free/cheap ways to have fun, and I think they sometimes get overlooked/forgotten about. I have a museum pass that gives us free or cheap entry to most children’s and science museums, zoos, and aquariums – it works for us because we travel a lot – but I always forget about checking the local library for passes!
My wife and I started to focus more on free activities with our kids. We go to the beach and the park on the weekends.
Love it! And as an added bonus, they’re both great ways to make sure the kids sleep well that night 🙂