The cost of living is going up yet wages are not. Therefore, there is a gap in what we want to do and what we can afford, and that is a real shame. With the market steel reeling from the near economic collapse a few years back it will take a couple more years before everyone starts to prosper. Until then we still have to tighten our purse strings. And although it is not exactly living hand to mouth, we do have to go about our lives in a cautious way. It’s important to find outdoor activities that do not break the bank.

If it was just us, adults, then this wouldn’t be too bad. But it isn’t just us; our children are being brought up in this volatile economic climate. Things that we use to be able to do with our parent, and in some cases our older children are now out of our price range, and that is a real shame. Kids are only young once, so it is imperative we try to give them as much enjoyment as possible. Below are some of the cheapest outdoor activities that you and your kids can partake in.

Horse Racing

For a whole day of fun that costs the same amount as the cinema head to the horse track. Despite horse racing being “The Sport of Kings” it is unbelievably cheap. At a lot of courses adults are allowed in for a very reasonable price, while children under the age of 11 are usually allowed in for free. So for an first start-up cost it is as cheap as peanuts.

As for the racing itself, it is a completely enthralling affair and one that lends itself perfectly to a family outing. Not only can your children get absorbed in the actual horse racing but they can go to the paddockand see the horses up close. There are usually fairground rides as well if you do fancy giving them a whirl.

There is also an educational purpose of going to the races. Although it should be stressed beforehand that gambling is not a thing to recommend your child to partake in, the odds system does help with basic numeracy skills. Stake X Chance = Winnings. When it is a real life situation like this they will be far more willing to take part, so subconsciously you are giving them a mathematics lesson.

When the sun is on your side the races make for a fantastic family excursion.


We have recreationally camped now for the best part of 100 years. The reason: it is great fun. Leaving the urban sprawl behind and escaping to the wilderness is something that we should all partake in at least once a year. Camping allows for spontaneity to rule – just waking up and going with it.

Going camping is a staple of childhood. Nearly every child in the developed Western world has gone camping; it is part of growing up.

Taking kids camping is not only cheap but it is an activity that can be enjoyed on many occasions. Is the monotony of your town making your kids lethargic? Well then, bundle them into the car and get out there in the great outdoors.

Once you are camping there are loads of things for you to do. You can take part in stargazing – you don’t know how lucky you are in America, the stars on view above your head as some of the most vivid and stunning in the world – roast marshmallows, tell ghost stories, go on hikes, go fishing, go swimming and much more. Camping really does open a whole new world of opportunities.

As a whole, camping is the ultimate family trip, and it serves as a great family bonding tool. Everyone is within a close proximity to each other, technology is outlawed and the only way to pass the time is by conversing with one another. Your kids may be reluctant at first but after their first camping trip they will get the bug for it, everyone does.

Get Building

Dens are the spiritual home of all children. That secret getaway that isn’t so secret, but they don’t know that. As youngsters we were constantly building dens in the garden and our kids should be no different. Having that hangout where they can go with their siblings or invited guests, a place where they can get up to some innocent mischief. You forget how much enjoyment to be had out of a den.

If you have a spot in your garden which has heavy foliage and is pretty hollow, point your child in the direction of it. Together you can snap branches, make an entrance, exit, form some make shift furniture etc. and before you know it, you’ll have a fully functioning den.

Progressing on from a den is the treehouse. Again these are by no means expensive to build, all you need is some wood, a hammer and some nails. One particular treehouse was built by a family for just $300 – complete with framing, furniture and lighting! Building makes your child proactive, as they know it is something that is going to help themselves they are out there helping at every opportunity.

phtoto by amalakar

Hey there, I’m Tiffany! I’m a work-at-home mom of two rambunctious children (Jasmine, 9 + Sean II, 5) and recently widowed at just 35 years old. I've remarried and currently live right outside of Baton Rouge in Denham Springs, Louisiana with two adoring cats and a dog. Let's connect on Twitter @fabulousmomblog.

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