When money is tight, it can be tough to have a fun time with no money in the bank.
What fun things can you do with no money? We’ve got a long list of activities to choose from, all free!
So what are you waiting for? Find something fun to do and feel relieved you didn’t have to spend a dime to do it.
1. Create a bucket list
Think of things you’d like to accomplish and give yourself a time frame for each! It can be fun to cross these activities off your list.
2. Local events calendar
Check your city’s local events calendar to see if there are any movies in the park, shows/performances, or activities that you could attend. Many, if not all of these, are free!
The library offers so much more than books. They have free classes, movie rentals and family movie nights, even fun activities for the kids. Our local branch even had a birthday party for a favorite kid book author, with free cake.
What doesn’t sound fun about “join the world’s largest treasure hunt”? Download the app, bring a pen, and go hunting. And it’s completely free!
5. Head outdoors
The world is your oyster here. It can be as simple as going in your backyard to have some fun, or checking out a local park.
6. Scavenger hunt
There are tons of free printables on the web to get started on your own hunt. You could do family-friendly hunts, just for the kids, or even adult hunts.
Puzzles are fun because everyone can be involved, plus it’s fun quality time together.
8. Local festivals or events
Check out your city’s website to find local events that are often free to the public.
9. Pinterest party
Get some friends or family together and make a few of those pins you’ve saved and never gone back to!
10. Movie marathon
Make it a themed marathon by watching a series, or even watching a few movies with your favorite actor. Bonus if you can make movie-style snacks for the show.
11. Learn a new skill
There are so many different tutorials online, from learning how to knit to new dance routines.
12. Figure out your net worth
Check out the Personal Capital app to see and track your net worth over time. It’s free to sign up, and fun to see how things change.
13. Go for a walk or run
Free, and so good for you! Don’t worry if you’re not a runner. Strap on your walking shoes and head on out. 30 minutes a day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your bones, reduce body fat, and boost your muscle.
14. Go for a hike
Same goes for hiking, plus you get to see some really beautiful nature when you get out for a good hike.
15. Swap things
This is a fun way to get free stuff, but also declutter at the same time! Have a swap with some friends; it can be anything from clothes to decor to board games.
If you have Amazon Prime, check out their ebook library. There are many books that you can check out for free!
17. Head to a gym
Don’t have a membership? That’s okay! A lot of gyms, especially the big ones, offer a free trial pass. It’s a great way to try it out for free.
18. Photo shoot of the family/friends
You don’t have to have a nice camera to have a photo shoot. Many of the cameras on phones these days are just as good, plus have some sort of photo-editing software on them.
19. Be a tourist
What are the chances that you’ve seen your entire city? Go check out spots you haven’t visited before, or check out the next town over.
Decluttering is great not only to get rid of unwanted clutter around the house, but you could also make some money! Check out sites like Decluttr, OfferUp, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace to make some extra cash with your clutter.
21. Make a budget
I may be partial to this one, but it’s definitely worthwhile. If you don’t have one already, get started with yours today! And if you already have one, see how you can fine-tune yours.
22. Take surveys for money
The three big ones are Survey Junkie, InboxDollars, and Swagbucks. For a complete list, check out this article.
23. Rearrange a room
Maybe I’m a little strange, but I love doing this! It’s fun to move things around and make each room look different. It’ll freshen things up around the house, and if you have kids, I can guarantee they’ll love helping you move furniture!
24. Splash pad
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy a good splash pad. Find your local park with a splash pad in it and go have some fun!
25. Visit a nursing home
It might be tough in the time with a pandemic. But once things start to open again, visiting a nursing home is a free and feel-good activity. It’d even be great to bring the kids!
26. Meal plan
Meal planning is great because you can find tons of free recipes online, plus it actually ends up saving you money when you go grocery shopping.
27. Life plans
What do you want your life to look like in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? Sit down and make some plans and goals for your life in increments. It gives you fun and tangible goals to reach for.
28. Time capsule
Take fun trinkets that symbolize what your life looks like right now (and maybe a letter!) and stuff it into a box. Write when you want to open it, preferably at least a year from now.
29. Build a fort
Grab as many pillows and blankets as you can and build a fun fort! You could watch movies in it, have delicious snacks, even camp out.
30. Dress rehearsals
If they’re allowing a small audience, a dress rehearsal is a great way to catch a show for free. Doing a quick Google search for “dress rehearsal near me” should pull up a few options.
31. Sound checks
Same as above, but for concerts!
32. Get on a realtor’s email list
Oftentimes, realtors will post free things going on around the community in their newsletters.
33. Grand openings
If you can find a store having a grand opening, it’s very likely they’ll be giving away free food/drink/products to people stopping in. See if you can score something free!
Don’t have exercise equipment? No problem! Get creative and use things from around the house. Need 5lb weights? Use a bag of flour. Need a bench? Use the coffee table.
35. Make a quilt from old t-shirts
Do you have a stack of old college t-shirts that you don’t wear anymore? Or free shirts you got when volunteering? Stitch them together into a fun quilt! YouTube has a ton of different tutorials to walk you through it.
36. Free classes at stores
Lots of stores offer free classes on relevant products they sell. For example: Joann’s offers sewing and crafting classes!
37. Master recipe list
This is next on my list. Create a master recipe list so you never have go hunting for recipes for the week. Just pull from your master list before you head out to go grocery shopping.
38. Research your genealogy
It’s always a good conversation piece to talk about where your family came from. Websites like Family Search have free options to look up your family tree.
39. Free trials
So many subscription services offer a free trial of some sort. Just be sure to cancel before they charge you! I often write a reminder on my phone so I don’t forget.
40. Volunteer your time
Free, and great for society. You could volunteer at a soup kitchen, nursing home, or even just helping your neighbor out with their yard work.
41. Trim your bills
Speaking of free trials, you can use a service called Trim to dwindle down your monthly bills! See how much you can save with your free trial.
42. Play board games
Make a few snacks from what you have in the pantry and sit around the table for a night of board games.
43. Potluck party
But don’t go buying ingredients! Look through what you have at the house and meet up to exchange dishes and company.
44. Meet your neighbors
Either whip up a small treat to say hi, or even sit outside with your lawn chairs and mingle! In our old neighborhood, we’d oftentimes see neighbors have extra lawn chairs just so people could stop by and chat.
45. Call/write/text an old friend
Chances are, you have a friend you haven’t been in contact with lately, but want to keep the relationship alive. You could make it really fun and write them an old-fashioned letter (everyone loves mail!).
46. Sell old media
Look through all of your media, so DVDs, VHS tapes, CDs, records, even books to see what you can sell. If you have certain VHS tapes, you could end up making a pretty penny!
47. Take free online courses
There are so many ways to learn online, and not just on YouTube. MIT open courseware, Coursera, and TedX talks are a few examples. Plus, if you can gather the money down the line, you can even pay to get a certificate for your resume.
48. Make a yearly maintenance calendar for your house
If you’re anything like us, you also forget simple maintenance tasks for your house. Check out this in-depth list and create your own version for your home.
49. Paint your own cards
No need to go extravagant here, just use anything you have on hand. It could even just be printer paper and Sharpies!
YouTube has some great (and free) yoga channels out there. You could join someone doing yoga in their home, on a beach, even next to snowy mountains!
51. Play with pets
Do you love animals? You could do some good and go play with animals over at your local animal shelter! Or, if you want to play with animals while getting paid, sign up for Rover.
52. Play in the sprinklers
Remember summer days as a kid, running through the sprinklers? Who says it’s just for kids?
53. Grab a free newspaper
Oftentimes, they have free activities going on in the community to check out.
54. Watch a documentary
55. Plan a trip
You won’t be buying anything for it, but think about a milestone or something to celebrate in the near future. Figure out what you’d like to do for it, then see how much it’d cost.
56. Have a garage/yard sale
Another great way to declutter AND make some money! And, if you don’t want to organize an actual yard or garage sale, think about posting your items on VarageSale.
57. Start a compost
You don’t need much to start a compost, and you’ll be able to add to it over time.
58. Mend clothes that need it
Break out your sewing machine or a needle and thread, and get to mending those broken off buttons and holes in the clothes.
59. Figure out a new hairstyle
Bust out your hair tools and start finding new hairstyles! It could be a fancy updo or a casual Saturday look.
60. Try to write a book
It doesn’t hurt to try! You could try your luck at a short fiction book, a mystery novel, a kid’s book, or even start some research for a good non-fiction. Plus, you can publish your book as an ebook on Amazon for free!
61. Start a gratitude journal or happy book
These are always great because it makes you happy in the moment, and also gives you something to look back on for happiness.
62. Open mic night
Free entertainment, and it’s even good sometimes. Find a local place that does open mic night and enjoy the show.
63. Sell things to a pawn shop
Pawn shops are fast money. So if you have something lying around that could be valuable at a shop, why not make some extra cash?
64. Be anonymously nice
Pull up a neighbor’s trash cans from the street for them. Or leave post-it notes in places that offer encouragement. Being nice doesn’t have to cost anything at all.
65. Start a new workout challenge
There are great workout challenges online, all free! Whether you sign up for someone’s newsletter to get an email a day, or an app for a good challenge. These can be a shorter 7 day challenge, or even a good 30 day challenge.
66. Make a debt payoff plan
Free, AND great for your finances! Grab the debt payoff tracker below to get started.
67. Escape Room at home
If you’re into Escape Room, there are resources online to have your own version at home for free! There are free printables available online, plus audio files for the missions.
68. Set up the Amazing Race
Another fun game that you can find free printables online to help you play.
69. Pokemon Go app
This is a great app to have fun exploring that is free. You can literally play this anywhere, even at home!
70. Free class at local hardware store
Several hardware stores offer classes in DIY fixes. At Home Depot, I’ve seen everything from installing tile backsplash to homeowner 101 to installing ceiling fans.
71. Unsubscribe your email
This is something everyone likely needs to do. I know that I have a ton of email newsletter subscriptions that don’t really work for me anymore. It’s good to go through and unsubscribe the junk.
If you’re looking to make a few extra bucks, KashKick might be a good one to check out. You can answer surveys, watch videos, and surf the web to earn cash.
73. Clean out your fridge
Another one that likely everyone might need to do! Go through and clean out all of the old leftovers and expired food/drink, then give it a good wipe down.
74. Start a garden
Starting a garden is something you can technically do for free, since you can use seeds from whatever produce you’ve eaten from your groceries. Start your seeds inside, then bring them outside to plant.
75. Change your pictures out
Freshen up your framed photos by changing out the pictures with newly updated photos.
76. Start making your Christmas gifts
I’m one for making my Christmas gifts. Since that could take some time as opposed to buying something, it’s always good to get a head start. Start looking up some ideas now to brainstorm what you’ll make this year.
77. Have a campfire
Bonus if you have some marshmallows on hand to roast over the fire.
78. Find your way to an airport
This is a really fun game to play and can be addicting. Head over to Map Crunch, and the idea here is to get “dropped off” at a random spot and you have to find your way to the airport. Turn off location information, click “Options” in the top left, then check “Stealth” near the bottom of the pop-up, then get moving!
79. Go camping
If you have camping gear (or even if you don’t, improvise!), camp out in the backyard.
You could use an adult coloring book, sidewalk chalk, watercolors, or anything you have on hand to have a coloring party.
81. Load up your monthly budget binder
If you’re into using a budget binder, make sure everything is up-to-date and preload your future budgeting months.
82. Make a loaf of bread
Tons of recipes online make it pretty simple to make your own loaf of bread. Look around for recipes until you find one that you have all of the ingredients for, and get to baking.
83. Tie-dye some shirts
If you have any plain shirts lying around, spruce them up with some tie-dye!
84. Try making your own clothes
You’ll have to be pretty handy for this one, but it could be fun to try. If you have any fabric lying around, or even any clothes that don’t quite fit anymore that you can use, try creating a whole new piece with what you’ve got.
85. Go on a picnic
Cook up a few things that you have at the house and go out for a fun picnic in the park.
86. Learn a new language
Duolingo is a great app to help you learn a new language, and it’s free!
87. Learn a magic trick
You can learn a new magic trick with playing cards, or maybe just random things around the house that you can make “disappear”. Look up a few tutorials online and see if you can fool someone.
88. Create a vision board
Print out some pictures you find online, cut out pictures from magazines, or take your own pictures to create a fun vision board for yourself.
89. Get free samples
Most grocery stores have a free sample day. Take advantage of it by heading to the store on those days and trying out some new things! Of course, it isn’t an option during the pandemic, but it’ll pick back up one of these days.
90. Organize your cabinets
It could be in the kitchen (Tupperware cabinet, anyone?), bathroom, bedroom, office, or anywhere in the house really that has cabinets. Go through and throw out expired products and organize the leftover contents.
91. Go check out another neighborhood
I like this one because you can go check out another subdivision, or maybe see what local shops there are in the next neighborhood over.
92. Visit a park
You could check out the local playground park, or maybe even a state park with hiking. Chances are there are tons of parks around you that you haven’t even seen yet!
93. Paper airplane contest
I was never great at building paper airplanes, but it could be a fun contest to have with friends or family. And all you need is a piece of paper.
94. Find free events with Eventbrite
Eventbrite is a good hub to find things going on around you. They even have a category you can filter by called “free”. Doesn’t get much better than that.
95. Search for historical markers around town
Check out your town’s history by hunting for historical markers. You’ll learn fun new things about where you’re living, all while getting out for free.
96. Find groups on meetup.com
Many of the meet-ups are online only right now, but there are tons of fun groups out there. See if any spark your interest!
97. Free movie screenings
See if you can snag free movie tickets using these methods found on Penny Hoarder.
98. Game time at a Microsoft store
There’s always some kind of gaming happening outside of our local Microsoft shop. Head to your local shop to see if you can join in on the fun, without having to purchase the game yourself.
99. Free classes at Apple store
Most of these have been temporarily paused for the pandemic, but check out your local Apple store to take free classes on Apple products.
100. Host a video game competition
Gather as many friends as possible, then have a gaming competition to see who comes out on top!
That’s our list of fun things to do with no money!
What do you think you’ll try today? Would you add anything to our list of fun things to do with no money?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!