$10 Challenge: Cheap Activities for Families (Plus a Giveaway!)

Cheap Activities for families
Photo Credit: krossbow

Cheap Activities for Families: Spend $10

Alright, I’m challenging all of you.

You have $10 to spend to do something outside of the house with your family that will create wonderful, lasting memories.

Nowadays, it can be tough to find cheap activities for families, but we all know it can be done!

Here are the rules:

  • You HAVE to spend the entire $10.
  • The $10 has to be spent on THIS activity on this day.

Tell me, what do you do? Comment below this post. 

The Cheap Activities for Families that cost $10 Giveaway

I’ll choose an answer to win a $10 PayPal cash (must have a PayPal account)!

Be creative. It’s not necessarily going to be who stretches their $10 dollars the furthest or does the most amazing thing with it.

Your answer might make it’s way into a future post!

I will choose the gift card winner on Friday 2/24/12.

Tell us what you think:

  1. Terri Lewis says

    With $10 I would go to Aldi and pick up some items to make a picnic lunch and spend the day at the park. Those times are very memorable for the family!

  2. Marie Wignall says

    There’s a new frozen yogurt bar near us we’d like to try. You serve yourself the yogurt and toppings of your choice, and at the register they weigh your creation and you pay by the ounce. Sounds like fun!

  3. Jessica Rhoda says

    For $10 I can take mynfamily of four bowling. Wednesdays are dollar days. We can rent four pairs of shoes, and play one game of bowling. I would have two dollars left, and would get two hotdogs for my kids, since they offer dollar food deals on Wednesdays also.

  4. amy linderman says

    the 4 of us would randomly draw names. then we would go to the Dollar Tree with $2.50 each. each of us would have to buy a $1 treat we know that person would enjoy, and find something that reminds us of that person. then we would go to the park (free) for a view of the lake and share our treats.

  5. says

    I would go let them pick out drinks and get sandwich stuff at the store. Then I’d take the family to the dairy farm here and let them feed the donkeys, camels, etc and have a picnic. And I would save a dollar of it to let them get a treat with the change from the quarter machine at the dairy farm. And if we could keep the food and drinks to seven dollars, I would get a redbox movie on the way home and cuddle up before bed with them. We have four kids, three boys and a girl five and under. They LOVE animals!

  6. Emily says

    Our family of 7 would take the $10, add it to our coupon for target portraits, and get our first family picture done!

  7. tracy says

    10$ huh? well that’s alot of times our for real budget,to go do something,we usually get a bag of sunflower seeds,bag of chips,few drinks,oh and the worms and go fishing all day,all 5 of the kids,mom and dad,and just and hang out.

  8. Angela says

    We did the following once and I think you could do it for $10 if you leave off drinks:

    We wanted to play “foodnetwork”. We decided to go to 3 different donut shops and sample the same donuts in each shop and give them grades (taste, appearance, size etc). We also graded on service and cleanliness. When we decided who the winning shop was we made a big deal of telling them. They were thrilled! We had such a blast that morning with our kids and it’s a memory we’ll never forget. The fact that we all felt sick afterwards doesn’t diminish the memory. I highly recommend this to any family.

    • Missy says

      This is cute! hubby and I were talking and think we want to to something similar with different types of food and with some close friends of ours this summer that have kids and my son. This sounds like it would be a blast!!

  9. Sadie says

    We would head to the zoo. We have a family membership and need to use it more often. Then the kids would ride the train and the carousel. They would also feed the Lories.

  10. says

    We would go to Cherry Berry! It is our favorite frozen yogurt stop. My daughter lost a tooth this week and we could go celebrate the occasion. We love spending time as a family and taking pictures of all our ice cream mixtures! Thanks for the chance!

  11. says

    I’d go to the dollar store and purchase flashlights for the whole family (there are 7 of us), one thing of popcorn, a 2 liter of soda and some glow in the dark bracelets. (10$) Then at night time we’d go outside and play flashlight tag in the backyard, have a fire and our snacks.

    It would be so much fun!

    • Anna says

      that’s the best idea I’ve heard so far. what are your family’s rules for flashlight tag? I’d like to try that. We usually get together on Memorial Day at the lake with some friends of ours, this would be a fun game to watch and/or play with our combined (all the families’) 10 kids!

  12. Stephanie says

    My family is big on outdoor activities. We would go to Lost River Cave or Mammoth Cave and enjoy all the wonderful free walking/nature trails. We would plan the trip on one of their Free Cave tour days as well so we could enjoy the caves at no charge! I would spend the $10.00 buying our picnic lunch ….. We always buy hotdogs (kids favs and a special treat) a bag of pretzels or chips and the kids get a bug juice (another special treat)

  13. says

    There is actually quite a bit we could do with ten dollars. Our family has actually challenged ourselves with set amount quite a few times. A few of the ideas we have done:

    We bought a gallon of store brand ice cream and then purchased a few treats at our local Dollar Tree to use as toppings and we threw ourselves a Sunday Sundae Party :)

    We have always enjoyed getting the fixings for a family picnic and we normally set a ten dollar budget and have fun stretching it.

    If we were to be picked, we would use the money to go to our local dollar tree to pick up the materials to make a family board game. It is something we have been wanting to do and everyone has such wonderful ideas. We could easily buy all of the materials needed (such as poster board, stickers, toy soldiers for figures, markers, etc) at our local Dollar Tree and make some wonderful family memories.

  14. Desiree Erb says

    I have a house full of very active boys. I would go to Dollar Tree and buy 10 packs of water balloons and have the biggest water balloon fight we have ever had. They would remember being able to purposely pelt each other and mom and dad with 1000-2000 water balloons for a very long time!

  15. Tena says

    I would buy my son a disposable camera. Take him to the park and ask him to take picture’s of all the things he like’s. I think I would gain alot of insight into my 14yr old son with Autism mind. We could then make a scrap book date it and hopefully make it a yearly event so we can all see just how much we all change year by year. Thanks so much

    • Nancy B says

      Tena- just want to tell you that you can get some small digital cameras for about $10–not a lot of memory but then you can download the pics and use it over and over! I got one for my young son because he loves pictures but we could just not afford all the developing fees. I love your idea. Great for any kid but especially one that is challenged communicating.

  16. Susan says

    I would buy some vegetable seeds and my family and I would plant a garden. That’s my plan for this year. We’re all going to work it and reap the benefits from it. Sunshine, exercise, and good food for our tummies.

  17. Bridget Heiple Reich says

    I would take my kids to the St. Louis Zoo. I have a 5 year old little girl that LOVES the Zoo and a 6 month old little boy who hasn’t been there yet. He’s just starting to babble and watch everything around him, so I think he would enjoy it. The Zoo is free, I would use the $10 for a snack to enjoy while we are there!

  18. Tisha Mondy says

    I would take my son to a local place called KaZoing and we would get on the inflatables and have a blast. He loves inflatables, as do I. He enjoys them much more when mommy is allowed on them.

  19. Pearlana Padgett says

    On a hot day I would buy at walmart for my family of 3 1- $1 mini box side.walk chalk, 1-$2.97 bag of mini water balloons assorted color with nozzle included, 2-$2 ($1 each) mini bottles of bubbles add food coloring later and to a large bowl so we can share, and for a snack-3-$3 armour crackers/meat and cheese, 3 – sodas for .25 cents out of Walmart coke machine and 1 – .25 gumball out of gumball machine and the other .03 we donate to Childrens muscular dystrophy at the register where you put the coins in.

  20. Lori Kalman says

    $10- easy, grab the kids, the gps, their bikes, and ride down the canyon across from our house. I’d have packed a picnic using $7 of the $10, then we’d ride out of the canyon and by the neighborhood rite aid for a $1.69 ice cream cone (each). We’d ride back up the canyon and check out a couple of geo-caches on the way (there are 2 in the canyon). They love these outings!

  21. says

    Knowing me I would make PB&J sanwhiches at home and bring homemade snacks on our trip so all the money can be spent on our fun! There is a farm by us that has a petting zoo and a bunch of activities. My little kids love to feed the animals and run around outside. Then we can use whatever is left and pick some of our own vegetables that I will later have to bribe them to eat ;) I like the idea of giving the kids a camera to take pictures too (we have a spare for just such an occasion).

  22. Nancy B says

    the whole $10 would go in the gas tank so we could drive downtown and go the the holocaust museum (always free) and then use the later hours of the day at one of the free museums–children’s, medical, etc. My sons have been studying WW1 and WW2 and want to see the museum but it takes a lot of gas to get there… but don’t pick me–pick the gal who wants the camera for her autistic son.

  23. raili says

    I’d stop at petsmart (or some other store like that) and pick up dog treats, then spend the day at the local animal shelter volunteering – walking the dogs, etc. I think it’s important for kids to learn compassion and volunteering at an early age.

  24. Patty says

    I would buy my son the dragon kite he wants (on sale right now for 10 bucks!) and we’d spend the day at the local park doing our best to keep it in flight!

  25. April K. says

    We recently found out about Safe Haven Rescue Zoo/Animal Sanctuary located less than an hour away from us. (Since we live in the boonies, that’s not bad!) The have tigers, lions, cougars, coyotes, and more exotic animals that you can see up close! They do tours, so we’d take our young son out to see it, seeing all the animals. They don’t charge anything, but ask for donations to help run their non-profit organization. We’d donate the $10!

  26. says

    I’d drop my 2yo son off at his grandma’s or a friend’s house whose company he enjoys. And then I’d take my husband out for a date. It has been waayyy too long since Mommy and Daddy have had a date. It would be memorable for my son getting to go to a new environment and play with new friends (he loves to meet new people, strange, I know. ;) ) And he would enjoy getting to see a better connected mommy and daddy when we got back.

    Meanwhile, my husband and I would go get some ice cream at Coldstone using a coupon of course and a couple of cups of water. Then we’d walk down to the St. Pete Pier, enjoy the stars and talk about our dreams and hopes for the future. We’d hopefully have enough left since we used a coupon for ice cream to stop at Aldi on the way home and pick up a bottle of Cabernet Sauvigon (sp??) to enjoy together while watching a netflix movie. (After we gave our son lots of cuddles and put him to bed. Thanks for the giveaway FFF!

  27. Vanest says

    $10 would go straight to packets of vegetable seeds that we don’t yet have this year. The kids each have their own vegetable beds and a couple pots each. My husband and I also each have one bed and a couple pots (5 beds, 10 pots). We’d use the seeds to get our indoor starter-pots going (the work is done outside), then go out and prepare the beds. It may not sound like a lot of fun to some, but to kids 8, 5, & 4 gardening is better than playdates. And, to adults in the Northeast gardening on a sunny day in February is a welcome relief to the dry, stuffy indoors. We don’t have many years left to do this as a family where everyone enjoys themselves so much. Soon, they will be teenagers.

  28. Jackie says

    I’d take my family to the beach. The beach we like costs $10 to park and get on the beach. We could bring our own picnic and drinks using what we have in the hosue. It’s a great family day out in the sun and doesnt break the bank.

  29. Jaimaka Dawes says

    Where we live, we have a 3 dollar movie theater. So I can take my two kids to a movie, and then share a hot fuge sunday at McDonald while playing on the play land all for just 10 dollars :)

  30. Tiffany says

    We took our $10 and went to the fabric store to got new fabric for each kid (there are 2) and stuffing. Then we came home and they helped me make new pillows for them. The fabric store has already cut fabric that people changed their mind on or that was an odd measurement for $1.50 or less and stuffing cost $4.99, then they get to pick out a ribbon scrap or clearance decal for $1. We spent 12.35 with tax. My kids love it because they get their own special treat and I love that they are learning a new skill.

  31. says

    I would go to Dollar Tree and buy puppy toys,bubbles and snacks and take our 3 Boston Terriers outside for some play time.They love to play with bubbles.I blow them and they chase them.

  32. Jen Hill says

    I would take my two kids to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale AZ. The $10 can be used to purchase tickets to see the museum inside a train and to ride the train. They also have a free playground and areas to have a picnic. Great outdoor place to be on a beautiful day!

  33. Courtney G. says

    I would pack up peanut butter sandwiches, fruit and some water.I would stop by the dollar store pick up some sand toys. Then head over to the beach for the day with the family. Its always fun riding waves and building sand castles!

  34. Kasie Anderson says

    Here we have a play center called bounce-n-beans and it cost $4.15 for my daughter(who is 15 months old) to get in Adults are free. Since My daughter is not big enough to climb up the slides yet her daddy and I are able to assist her or we can let her play in the jump house. The adults have a choice, they can play with their children or relax and have coffee or other drinks of their choice. The $4.15 is for an all day admission from 10 am to 8 pm. We could go across the street to Wendys for lunch and order from the dollar menu (this would take up the rest of the $10). After lunch we could choose to go back to bounce-n-beans or to the park which is FREE! We have actually spent many days this way and my little girl loves it and is so tired by the end of the day that her daddy and I have quiet time before bed. :)

  35. Jinna J says

    I’ve read through ALL the ideas and I agree with everyone! Love all the ideas….keep ‘em coming!!! In Houston….Discovery Green, zoo (free 1st Tuesday every month after 2pm) Houston Children’s Museum (free 1st Sunday every month) flea market shopping ??? (I’ve never done it before but hmmmmm…..) and money from the $10 spend towards a simple snack or keepsake so the kids will always treasure the time spent together. In life we all forget how the simple things make the memories. Thanks Heather for reminding us :)

  36. Joshlin says

    With $10 my family could get some food for the grill and a bottle of bubbles. Our yard would be our place to play and eat together!

  37. danielle says

    I would head to the zoo where we have a pass for the day and let my daughter pick some snacks through out the day for the family to share (they normally run 2.50 each)

    We normally pack a lunch, and our own snacks so she would be SO excited about this!

  38. Amanda Green says

    My kiddos don’t get an allowance so what I’d do is give them each $1 to buy a treat at dollar tree. We’d take the treat home and start playing sorry! Everyone who wins gets $2! We could play 4 times! Nothing like eating candy and playing games for $$$! lol

  39. Amanda Red says

    If my family were to win the ten dollars, I would take my two year old to the dollar tree. At the Dollar Tree we would pick out ten dollars worth of craft supplies. I would add those supples to a pretty basket from home. Then my son and I would hand deliver the supplies to the NICU. My son was in the NICU for 3 weeks when he was born and I would use this as an opportunity to show him how thankful we are for him and all of the NICU nurses and doctors that helped to save his life. Why craft supplies? The NICU nurses often make name plates and different milestone badges for the babies. These supplies either come from donations or from the nurses pockets- an easy way to have fun and Pay it Forward!

  40. Niki Zucca says

    We have an older model big screen tv in our garage (it’s the bulky type on wheels- it was given to us for free and my husband uses it to do work out DVDs). We would go to the store and spend the $10 on movie theater type snacks. Then we would come home and roll the tv to the garage door and have a drive in movie night. (I even have some large old cardboard boxes that could be decorated to look like cars and then sat in with comfy pillows!) this idea would work inside as well if we ran into inclement weather. Kids love cardboard boxes and pretending!

  41. Michelle says

    My favorite $10 activity is going to The national Corvette Muesum in Bowling Green, KY. Military is free! Then we like to either eat at the cafe or the Wendy’s acoss the street. It is decorated with all kinds of Corvette stuff. We typicaly order off the value menu…. and don’t forget your free frosty with your frosty key tag!

    When it is just the Hubby and myself we skip Wendy’s and visit the Corvette Assebly plant and take tour. I belive Military is $5 per person. For us it is a great date day or family day. When it is a date day we typically pack a lunch from home if we are on a budget.

  42. Nicole Reichert says

    There is a kids place in our local mall that is $6 to get in for the day. So We’d go there to play (lil bro is free as are the adults so YAY) and get something to eat… like a grilled cheese or pizza lol.

  43. Linda Irvine says

    Pack a lunch and snacks for in the van, grab my phone for the gps, and go geocaching. It is fun, free, educational, good exercise, and my kids LOVE trading stuff when there are things in the cache. Then we’d stop and get frozen yogurt at Groovy Spoon on the way home.

  44. Heather says

    I would use it get some healthy packable snacks, and pack water from home and head up to one of the local state parks for some fishing, and a walk by the lake and just some quality family fun time.

  45. David Murawski says

    Load up on sidewalk chalk. Hit a parking lot, driveway, or sidewalk and make a family mural. make sure to take a lot of pictures.

  46. Rachel says

    I’d take the kids to one of our free lake-side parks for a walk. It’s a great place to spot dogs out walking with their owners and my oldest gets very excited about the other babies in strollers. We’d feed the ducks bread crumbs (all free-my kids hate the heels of the loaves of bread, so we save them for the ducks), look for seaglass to make art out of later, and play on the playground. The $10 would be used on the way home, for a quick stop at Cold Stone. It’s a splurge e don’t do often but something that would make the kids EXTRA happy.

  47. Donna Jones says

    With my $10, I would go to the convenience store and use $5 to buy bottles of water for the five of us. Then I would drive us to a nearby state forest with walking trails and use the other $5 to pay for parking as we went on a long hike. The area around us is just beautiful, and there is so much about nature to explore and learn! Of course, I would bring along lunch or snacks, but those are “free” from us already having them available at home. :-)

  48. Antonio Betancourt says

    We live in the San Diego area and I would take our family down to Seaport Village, enjoy a picnic overlooking the bay, watch the artists that perform along the walk, head down to the boats and tour the ones that have free entry, then we would finish it off by bargaining with a Pedicab to give us all a bike ride back to our vehicle for $10.

  49. Kitty says

    for $10 on Cape Cod they have many museums I could go to… I don’y have children but even if I did most have under a certain age free. I’m actually a family of 2 here for now ;)

    For Example :

    Sandwich Glass Museum, daily 9:30am-5pm Apr-Dec; Wed-Sun 9:30am-4pm Feb & Mar. Over 5,000 glass creations. Exhibits, demonstrations. $5 adults; $1.25 kids 6-14; free 6 & under. 129 Main St., Sandwich.

    I’ve been wanting to climb a lighthouse in the summer again too. I did as a kid with my parents it was so fun :)

  50. carri w says

    I would use the $10 to buy gas and then we would drive to a state park and have a picnic, play on the playground equipment, take a hike and look at all the beauty nature has to offer.

  51. Antonio Betancourt says

    We live in the San Diego area. I would take the family to Seaport Village, enjoy a nice picnic overlooking the bay, watch the artists perform along the walk, head over to the boats and tour the ones with free entry, and finish it off by bargaining with a Pedicab for a bike ride back to our vehicle for $10.

  52. Alison F says

    We go to Johnny Rocket’s in the mall with our free burger with any entree coupon. My husband gets a burger and then my almost 4 year old and I share a burger. We color and watch the staff sing and dance while waiting for our yummy burgers and fries. She loves it, then we go to the free playground at the mall.

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