While days spent at the Please Touch Museum of Philadelphia or the Philadelphia Zoo are amazing, the average family won’t be able to make those trips very often. Instead, most families spend their downtime at home. Sometimes this means completing projects, running errands, or just resting. But other times, you want to have meaningful, intentional family time without a big price tag. Here are five ideas for making family memories on a tight budget. The best news? These memories are just as valuable!


Really, anytime you create something as a family, a memory is stored. Whether you decide to include your child in a project you already have planned or the two of you dream up something together, the process will be meaningful to everyone involved. Not sure what to create? It can be as simple as a bird feeder or a new shelf. Or you can go big and decide to paint a room in your home or create your own art project. Regardless of the task, be sure to slow down and enjoy the time together.

Game Night

Depending on the age of your children, game night could mean anything from Hungry Hungry Hippos to Hi Ho Cherry O. Whatever game is on the table, you can make a memory by adding in special details. Pop some popcorn, make some warm drinks, and get into comfortable clothes. Put on some favorite music in the background and turn off any distractions like television or phones. Then you’re ready to jump in and have a blast! For younger children or children who struggle with competition, try to choose games that focus on fun rather than winning and losing.

Photo Shoot

We love to take photos of our children, but when do they get to be behind the lens? Tell your child that they are going to be in charge of a photo shoot. Give them the opportunity to dictate everyone’s clothes, the background, and the poses. Then give the camera all you’ve got! After a few costume changes, look back over the photos together and enjoy the laughs that come. Not only is this a great way to spend time together, but your family memories are in the form of photos to enjoy for years to come.

Put on a Play

Much like the photo shoot, this activity allows your child to be in charge. Make your child the official writer, director, and producer of a family play. Help your child write a script (or general storyline) and then help him or her find costumes and props. Once everyone has been assigned their roles, perform the play under your director’s watchful eye. It’s your choice whether you decide to film it for posterity! Regardless, it’s sure to be full of laughs and great fun.

Get Outside

Really any time you spend outdoors, away from the distraction of household chores and television, brings your family closer together. To take the outdoor fun a step further, look into outdoor activities like hikes, bike rides, camping, or community sports leagues. Meet friends or family for picnics at local parks. But remember that even a simple, slow walk down your street is meaningful to your child. The best family memories are often born in everyday moments.

Large vacations and outings are thrilling. At the same time, they can be exhausting and expensive. In the same way we invest in those large experiences, we should also invest our time and energy into connecting with our families in the quiet and available moments on weekends and in the evenings. If you are looking for Childcare Center that will support your family as your children grow, consider Rising Stride Child Care Centers. We strive to help every child and family reach their full potential.