35 Things to Do on a No Spend Weekend in Winter the Whole Family will Enjoy

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This time of year many of us are working on saving money and getting on track with our budgets by taking a no spend challenge. Whether you are working on a no spend weekend or a no spend month it can be hard to find free ways to have fun with your family.

No spend weekends are hard, but they are even harder in the winter time when it is too cold to enjoy the outdoors. Between catching up from extra spending at Christmas and saving for summer adventures, winter is the perfect time to have several no spend weekends to help save a little extra money.

With a little planning no spend weekends can be fun raher than a chore. Have a memory making weekend with these 30+ family friendly activities perfect for your next no spend challenge weekend.

Family Friendly Things to Do this Weekend during your No Spend Challenge

Have a Family Challenge

Divide your family into teams and try some of these fun challenges. If your children don’t do well with competition against each other, these challenges can still be fun completed as one big family team.

  • Domino toppling challenge– which team can build the longest domino toppling line? (or the most creative?)
  • Lego or block building challenge – pick a theme and see what each team creates.
  • Clean out the pantry challenge– which team can make the most delicious (or creative) recipe?
  • Play balloon volleyball – set up a net using a sheet or even a string, blow up a balloon, and play volleyball.
  • Paper airplane challenge – which team can make an airplane fly the farthest? Who can make the most creative paper airplane?
  • Play cupcake wars. If your children are young, make one cupcake recipe, and allow each person to creatively decorate his or her cupcakes. Older children (with the help of Mom or Dad) can create unique cupcake recipes and decor!
  • Have family game night. Try teaching your children a card game you enjoyed as a child. Spend the evening playing your favorite board games.

Fun with Food

  • Have a backwards dinner – start with dessert and end with the main course.
  • Host a fancy dinner for your family complete with candles and china. Dress up in fancy clothes or dress up costumes.
  • Use whatever supplies you have on hand to decorate cupcakes or cookies.
  • Drink hot chocolate. Make a hot chocolate fixings bar with sprinkles, candy canes left over from Christmas, syrups, marshmallows, cinnamon, and more.
  • Have a living room picnic. Lay a waterproof picnic blanket in the living room floor to keep mess at bay. You could also place a drop cloth or shower curtain under a blanket if you don’t have a waterproof picnic blanket. Serve drinks in sports bottles or in spill resistant travel cups.

Get Out of the House

  • Go to the library.
  • Use memberships you already have to visit local museums or zoos. Remember to pack a lunch or snacks!
  • Visit residents of a local nursing home.
  • Look for free local events. Museums often have free days in the winter. Check out Lowes and Home Depot for their Saturday morning children’s workshops. The local library may have free events, or a list of free events posted on a community bulletin board.
  • Bundle everyone up and head to the park. You might have the place to yourself!
  • Volunteer at a local pet shelter.


  • Have family movie night. Choose a movie and cuddle up with pillows and blankets to watch.
  • Grab crayons and a stack of coloring books. Turn on classical music while everyone colors quietly.
  • Take a nap! If your children are still napping age, take a nap with them. Otherwise, call for an hour of quiet time and enjoy a much deserved Mommy nap.
  • Read aloud. Begin reading a chapter book with your family. We love Tumtum & Nutmeg.

Indoor Activities

  • Build a blanket fort.
  • Dance it out with a dance party.
  • Make slime.
  • Have a family sleepover, piling into one bedroom or campout together in the living room under blanket forts.
  • Make paper snowflakes. Decorate your house with them.
  • Try origami. Cut paper in squares and use YouTube to learn to fold fun shapes.
  • Write a story together. Each person adds one line to the story. You’ll be laughing in no time!
  • Try new magic tricks. YouTube is a great place to learn new tricks!
  • Have free art time. Fill the kitchen table with random art supplies and let creativity take over.
  • Make something out of a cardboard box. Find the biggest box you have and see what you can create. A rocket? A castle?

Host a Gathering

  • Host a potluck playdate. Have each family bring a dish made only from what they find in their pantry.
  • Have movie night with a few friends.
  • Host family game night for several families. Set up extra folding tables for multiple games!

Make a list of your favorite family friendly no spend weekend activities and get saving for summer adventures!
Got any other great no spend weekend ideas to share? I’d love to hear them!

Feeling cooped up by the cold winter and looking for even more ideas for getting through it? These tips for surviving long days stuck indoors with kids will keep you sane during the long winter months.
When you just need a break while your kids play happily and independently then these independent indoor activities for kids on cold winter days will be a life saver!

Best wishes for a swift winter and early spring!

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