free fun things to do volunteer as family planting trees

11 Brilliant Free Fun Things to Do Where You Live

Got more time than money? No problem. There are lots of free fun things to do where you live—things you and your family can do next weekend or any time of the year. Consider these ideas to help get some plans in motion.

free fun things to do volunteer as family planting trees

1. Visit a museum

Museums offer a great chance to soak in history and culture. After all, you can’t experience the fun of seeing dinosaur bones or the wonder of Van Gogh’s artwork just anywhere! While accessing these treasures might seem expensive, there are ways to do it without breaking the bank.

Many museums throughout the U.S. offer free admission on special days or weekends. One example is the California Science Center in Los Angeles, home to Space Shuttle Endeavor. Admission to the Science Center’s permanent exhibition galleries is free (excluding IMAX and Special Exhibits). Before you go, you may need reservations for the Special Exhibits.

Most museums in the Chicago area offer Free Admission Days. Check this website for specific details, or if you’re not in Chicago, check out the museums in your area to learn about their free admission days.

Or do this: Open your favorite search engine (Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, etc.) and type in “free museums near me.” Like magic, you’ll discover free hours at museums near you!

2. Take in a local event

Next on our list of free fun things to do where you live are free summer concerts, picnics, and festivals. Check around. Most communities large and small have all kinds of things going on during the summer months. Visit the websites of local colleges, churches, and your local chamber of commerce. Google the name of your city plus “free tourist,” i.e., ‘Denver free tourist’ and prepare to be surprised by events and attractions you’d either forgotten about or didn’t know existed. Support your community and have a ball at the same time.

3. Head to the library

Public libraries are jam-packed with things you can borrow for free, like books, music, videos, games, and events. Plus, you can find options for physical items as well as digital versions. Some libraries even offer 7-day free music streaming. And there’s more:

Looking to explore the art and culture in your community? In cities like Seattle and Boston, the public library system offers free passes to local museums, art, and culture. To set this up, you usually need a valid library card and a quick phone call or visit to the library’s website.

Akron-Summit County Public Library has a vast collection of character cake pans, kitchen tools, and artwork to lend to its patrons.

For years, Bolivar County Library in Mississippi has lent Santa suits to its patrons. The library also lends hoes, rakes, clippers, and other garden tools, as well as shop tools.

Both the Yale Lillian Goldman Law Library and the Readfield Community Library in Maine offer snowshoes, snow shovels, and sleds on loan.

Feeling the library love? Take an afternoon to explore everything your local public library has to offer—on loan for free!

4. Go geocaching

Not exactly a sporting event, geocaching (pronounced GEE-ō-cashing) is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which participants of all ages use a handheld GPS or a GPS-enabled cell phone to hide and seek containers (caches). A typical cache is a small waterproof container concealing a logbook or “treasure,” usually toys or trinkets of little value. Geocaching is a marvelous activity for kids to get them outdoors, exploring, and strategizing.

More than 750,000 geocaches are registered on various websites devoted to this wholesome pastime. If you have a handheld GPS or a GPS-enabled cell phone or can borrow one, you’re ready to go.

Go to and read Geocaching 101. You’ll need to register to download the Geocaching app, and it’s free. Once you’re ready, input your zip code and start exploring!

Geocaching is one of the best free fun things to do where you live or happen to be visiting.

5. Free attractions

Every city, large and small across the nation, offers free attractions. Search “free attractions” plus your city name to see what’s waiting for where you live. Checking the Seattle area, you’ll find that Discovery Park offers breathtaking views of both the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges, plus hiking trails and picnic areas. As a public park, there is no entrance fee to enjoy its natural beauty and recreational activities. However, some activities or facilities within the park may have associated fees, such as renting picnic shelters or participating in organized programs. It’s always a good idea to check the park’s official website or contact their visitor center for specific information on any fees or permits.

Do you live in the Denver area? updates daily with all kinds of free and cheap things to do. It is an excellent website. Even if you don’t live in the area, check it out, as many of the offerings are for nationwide stores, fast food, and so forth.

6. Take a factory tour

It’s fun to see how things are made—especially when the tour concludes with free samples. Go to to peruse 564 different tours, many of them free. You’re bound to find a tour of interest where you live or will be visiting.

In the Denver area, Hammonds Candies is one of the best free factory tours in the world, according to a couple of boys I know and love who would go there every Fun Friday if they could.

7. Continue your education

Attend free lectures at local colleges or your alma mater. Check websites for details. Or search for video lectures online to learn in the comfort of your own home. MIT Open Courseware is an excellent place to start, where you can take college courses for free, albeit for no credit, without registering or taking exams.

If you are not a CMU undergraduate student who needs academic credit, you can access the Carnegie Mellon University educational materials via the Open & Free course. This non-credit option is available to all campus affiliates and users worldwide.

8. Catch up with friends

Do you have a webcam on your computer? You can video chat with anyone using the same program on their device. One option is Skype. There’s also Facetime. Not sure how to use it? Call in the services of your favorite 8-year-old.

9. Attend a home-improvement clinic

Home Depot offers workshops for teens and adults and free Workshops for Kids. Learn how to tile a floor, hang drywall, and paint. Watch the little ones build a birdhouse or other crafty things. Go to and input your zip code to discover what’s happening in the HD store near you.

Not to be outdone, Lowe’s Workshops are back and better than ever—now featuring in-store events, live streams, and on-demand content, all free for you.

10. Play games online

At, you’ll find thousands of games—action, sports, puzzles, boards, and more. Test your dexterity with Sketch a Match, do a jigsaw puzzle with Daily Jigsaw, or relive your old Tetris days with a similar version called Phit. Find more at

You can even find a free MMO (massively multiplayer online) game at that enables players to cooperate and compete over an Internet connection. If you’re unfamiliar with MMOs, your kids will know about them.

11. Volunteer

You could spend a day at the library organizing periodicals or doing other tasks continually left undone for lack of personnel. Want to visit one of America’s beautiful national parks but can’t quite come up with more than just the gasoline to get there? Volunteer your time; in many locations, you’ll be rewarded with free room and board. All the details are right here.

Other ideas that may pique your interest: Visit a women’s shelter or hospital (find out if the pediatric ward could use a storyteller). Call your church to discover projects just waiting for someone to help out. Once you catch the vision, the possibilities are endless.




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    • Mary Hunt says:

      For readers who have no idea what Cally is referring to, you would know if you are getting EC Daily Email and read to the end 🙂 Sign up HERE.


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