7 best things to do with your kids, for free!

When it comes to spending time with my family, I remember that often the most fun was had when an activity was unexpected or didn't take a crazy amount of planning or money. My memories of just having fun days at the beach or fishing with my dad are the most special, because it was about focusing on time together instead of doing some activity that probably cost way too much money anyway. That's why these ideas of fun things to do with your kids FOR FREE are going to be popular with your family, too. You'll have time to just focus on each other instead of worry about the money being spent—and everyone wins then.

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Read more ¿Qué más? Fun ideas for teaching your kids Spanish on car trips.

1. Play with animals at the local pet store. Any kid would be absolutely delighted if you took him or her to the pet store for hours of fun with puppies, kittens, ferrets and any other critters.

2. Take the bikes out for a family ride. Bond with your kids by taking the whole family out for a bike ride around the neighborhood, stopping whenever one of you sees something interesting.

3. Draw pictures outside with chalk. Maybe you have to invest a couple dollars to buy the chalk, but I remember hours of fun drawing with my parents and playing hopscotch for free.

4. Have a "splash day" in the backyard. Turn on the sprinklers, get some balloons or water guns and spend the whole day running around in the water, wearing bathing suits and getting soaked.

5. Go to the library and read together. Libraries around the country often have events for children and you can also go there to rent free movies or spend some time looking through books with the kids.

6. Plan a night-time picnic and star-gazing. You can build your own little camping adventure by taking a blanket and picnic basket full of goodies outside, then spend time just looking at the stars.

7. Try cooking or baking together. My favorite memories of home are learning how to cook with my mom and you can easily something, like make cookies, for some fun for the whole family.

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What is your favorite free activity to do with the kids?

Image via jason.stajich/flickr