kids outing

20 Inexpensive Kids Outing Ideas

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Does the idea of a kids outing make you feel a little frazzled? It’s always a lot of work to pack everyone up and get out for fun with the kids. We had three kids really close together (hello twins) and I avoided kids outings for a very long time.

Over time however, I realized that avoiding getting out with my kids was actually hurting the whole family. And so, our Adventure Club was born! I knew that my kids loved getting out, but I also knew that I couldn’t do a kids outing several times a week.

kids outing

We set a day every week to do our Adventure Club. My kids knew when we were going to get out, and I had a time set aside for planning fun each week.

The kids outings we do in our Adventure Club help us get out of the house. They are typically pretty inexpensive and don’t require a lot of advanced planning. Oftentimes we invite friends and neighbors, and then sometimes we’ll go alone with just our family. I’ve included a few of my family’s favorite kids outings below.

Parks and playgrounds

We love going to the park! It’s a great place to run around and blow off some energy. And playgrounds are perfect for even the littlest of toddlers and preschoolers. We like to switch things up and go to a different park as often as possible. That keeps the playground new and exciting. We’ve even been known to visit the playgrounds of local elementary schools (when school isn’t in session) just to try something new! Make it even more fun by bringing a picnic lunch.


This is a great outing for kids of all ages. We love to see the animals and learn about them. Some zoos have special times where they do additional learning or feeding the animals. Most zoos will also do a free or discount day, just call and check so you can plan to go on those days.

Kids outings at Museums

There are so many great museums for kids! We love going to the science museum and the children’s museum. Many museums have discounted rates for kids, or will do free days. You can even purchase a family pass during sales and go all year long!


Farms are a great place to learn about where our food comes from. We have a local dairy that has a petting zoo and attached ice cream shop. Our kids LOVE to get ice cream and then see the cows!

kids outing

Pumpkin Patch/Apple Orchard

These are great fall outings! We love to pick apples and pumpkins. In our area, pumpkin patches usually have tons of fun activities for kids during the fall as well! Anything from tractor train rides to straw bale mazes make these type of kids outings fun in the fall. Check around to see what is available in your area!


My husband takes the kids fishing a few times each summer. They love it! It’s a great way to spend some time outdoors together. I’ve also taken the kids to catch crawdads while my husband is working during the day . They love being outside and catching fish or crawdads is pretty inexpensive and fun.


We love going to the aquarium! It’s a great place to learn about fish and other sea creatures. If you have a season pass it can be pretty inexpensive too! If not, ask about student discounts or check with your local aquarium about free and discounted days.


For me, this is the ultimate kids outing! The library is a great place for kids of all ages. We love to go there and check out books, movies, and games. Our libary has story time and fun programs/competitions to keep things interesting for the kids. Not to mention that the afternoon after every weekly trip to the library is filled with reading!

Read: Seven Amazing Benefits of Reading to Your Child


We love going to the beach in the summer! It’s a great place to build sandcastles, play in the waves, and look for shells. You don’t have to live near the coast to enjoy the beach either! We simply pack up our swimsuits and head to the small lake near our home. The kids don’t care that it’s not the ocean, they just want to play in the water!

Craft store

We love going to the craft store! There are so many fun ideas and things to look at the the kids could hang out there for a long time. We don’t usually purchase anything, but occasionally I’ll pick up some stickers or a few small things for the kids to work on. So, it’s the outing that prepares us for more fun to come!


Hiking is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy nature. We love to go hiking in the spring, summer, and even the fall. This is great for kids outings if you have several kid friendly hikes nearby. Just do a different hike each outing to keep things fresh! I’d also recommend hiking with friends occasionally! Our kids seem to enjoy hiking more when they can do it with friends!

If you live in an area with plentiful national or state parks, heading outdoors for a visit to these beautiful wonders can be great for your kids too. This book can give you plenty of ideas.

100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do
  • National Geographic (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
100 Trails, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do
  • National Geographic (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)


Geocaching is a fun, family-friendly activity that gets you outside and exploring. It does take a little bit of prep and patience as you try to find each geocache. But, it is an inexpensive and fun activity. This logbook is a fun way to track of your geocaching adventures!


Go get Ice cream

One of our favorite cheap and easy outings is to go get ice cream. We love to go to our local ice cream shop and try all the different flavors. The kids feel like it’s a huge treat that doesn’t have to cost a lot!

Splash pad

A splash pad is a great place to cool off in the summer. We love going to our local splash pad to play in the water. It gets the whole family out of the house without a lot of extra planning. As a mom of four young kids, I also love the splash pad over the pool because I don’t need to worry about my kids potentially drowning if I look away for a minute.


Sledding is a great activity for winter. We love to go to our local sledding hill and slide down the slopes. Ask around in your neighborhood to see where the best sledding hills are located. Not all of our kids have the endurance to make it for a really long time sledding. When that happens, they usually choose to make snow angels or snowmen.

The Sample Store (aka Sam’s Club or Costco)

My kids love going to “the sample store”. I know this isn’t technically an outing, but big warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco are a fun trip for the kids. They love walking around and getting to try all the different samples. Plus, it’s a great place to stock up on supplies for your next adventure.

Greenhouse or nursery

We love going to the greenhouse or nursery! The kids like to see all the plants and flowers. We pick out a few small plants or just browse the plants.


I know it sounds weird, but we have a really small airport in our city. If you stand off to the side of the main building you can watch the airplanes take off and land. We love going to the airport to pick up dad when he is coming home from a business trip! It’s a great place for kids to see airplanes and learn about air travel.

Book store

Bookstores are so dreamy. Our kids love to see all the possibilities at the book store. There is everything from games to books and magazines. We love going to browse at the book store!

Home Depot classes

Home Depot offers free classes for kids every Saturday. You can call ahead to see what project is happening at your local Home Depot. Our kids enjoy the process of building and painting projects.

Kids outings can help get your family out of the house. They give your kids different kinds of experiences. Planning easy and inexpensive kids outings help get your family enjoying new things.

kids outing

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