Some activities take more planning, money and stress than they're worth. Fortunately, there are plenty of activities you can do with your family that are not only inexpensive, but fun.

Go to a garage sale

How many times have you bought your child a nice toy only to have them glance at the toy and then spend the next two weeks playing with the box instead? Instead of buying gifts for your kids at the mall, take your kids to a local garage or yard sale and let them pick out a few items. You never know what you'll find there.

Go on a bike ride

Pull out a map and chart your course before you leave. Maps have a way of making normal activities seem more like an adventure.

Bake something new

It's amazing how many things you can make with just a few cheap ingredients. Do a Google search on "5 ingredient recipes" and try out whatever looks interesting.

Go to the park

Pack some lunches and have a picnic at the park. After lunch you can either set the kids loose to play on the playground or play a family game of catch or Frisbee. If your park has ducks, be sure to bring a little something to share.

Visit a museum

There is a museum for virtually every interest known to man - from dinosaurs to sports to music. Scope out your local museums online and see what you can find. Many museums offer discounts on certain days and host events that your family might enjoy.

Go to the dollar movies

Let's face it, a lot of the movies you see aren't worth the full ticket price. However, $1 is money well spent to see a wholesome movie on the big screen. To make the trip to the movies even more exciting, dress according to the theme of the movie or plan an activity afterward that's related to the movie.

Check out a free concert or movie in the park

These events are hosted for free all the time, so make sure you know when they're going on. Arrive a little early to secure a good spot. Just don't forget to bring card games and a snack to keep you entertained while you're waiting for the movie or concert to start.

Play night games

Depending on where you live, this may be difficult to pull off. However, if you live in a safe area with access to a big lawn, there's nothing more fun than playing Ghost in the Graveyard or Capture the Flag in the dark with your kids.

Go stargazing

Nothing beats stargazing. When the weather is good it's well worth the effort to drive away from the smog of the city and bask under the stars for a while. Or, if you're not a night owl, go cloud gazing instead. It's fascinating to hear what shapes others see in the clouds, so make sure you get everyone involved.

Build a fort

You're never too old to build forts, and your kids will be delighted if you get in on the game.

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