8 fun, free things to do with family and friends

A woman works on an art project with her grandson.

Spending time together now feels more important than ever. Here are a few ways you can enjoy quality time (without spending a dime!) with the special people in your life.

Create a friends and family recipe book

Swapping recipes doesn’t have to be reserved for the holidays. Start collecting the recipes now and create a recipe book your family and your “chosen family” can enjoy. Encourage contributors to add a few sentences about what makes the recipe they’re submitting so meaningful.

Teach your favorite card game

You know the classics: Bridge, Euchre and Rummy, but do your family members? Now’s the time to shuffle a deck of cards and show them how to play. Then, turn it into a “Las Vegas Night” and entertain with a few mocktails and Elvis in the background.

Learn their favorite video game

Everybody likes to share their passions, so if you’ve got a youngster in your life who can’t stop playing video games, ask if you can be the second player or watch them play. It teaches you something new and connects you on their level!

Plan a picnic inspired by the farmer’s market

A farmer’s market is ideal for picking up local veggies, fruits, bread, meats and cheeses. Take a look at that recipe book you’ve created and see what works best for a picnic in a park. Yum!

Write down family stories

“Remember that time Aunt Jeanine…?” If a lot of your stories start this way—and you can’t quite remember what Aunt Jeanine did that was so funny—now is the time to write it down. Ask other family members to share their favorite stories and turn this into a little book. Don’t forget to add pictures! 

Explore your town

Keep an eye out for free museums, concerts in the park or library events like children’s story hour or guest lecturers.

Put together a yard sale

As spring approaches, now is a good time to clear out a few cobwebs and maybe say goodbye to some old clothes, kitchenware or that stationary bicycle that’s turned into a drying rack. Get the whole family involved and ask the little ones to do a lemonade stand on the big day.

Volunteer together

Your Top Chef-watching family members might enjoy volunteering at the local food bank. Your pet-friendly friends might feel comfortable spending the day at a local animal shelter. Your beloved bookworms might like reading to children at a local elementary school. Find out what everyone is interested in and see what volunteer opportunities match up.