Take a walk in the park. Trot around the jogging trail, meander along the bayou, hike in the woods, circle the lake.
Take a walk around your neighborhood and challenge each other to notice the most things you’ve never seen before. (Warning: Young eyes usually beat their elders at that game!)
Go to the playground. Adults: don’t just watch, nor just stand by to lend a hand—join your kids on the swings or in the sandbox.
Go wildlife watching. (You may want binoculars for this one. If you plan to stay on a budget and don’t own binoculars already, borrow a pair—many nature centers provide them during organized programs—or try a thrift store. Cheap “binos” tend to be more aggravation than they’re worth.)
Eat a meal—breakfast, lunch, dinner, even coffee-and-cocoa break—on the balcony or in the back yard.
Play Follow the Leader.
Try a wacky relay race (using mixed-age teams or handicaps to keep things equal). Or invent your own version.
Do a crossword puzzle or word search together. (You can find puzzles online or in free periodicals.)
Dig out old board games or jigsaw puzzles from your closet/attic/basement.
Visit a free game room (many churches and community centers have them).
Have a water fight with homemade squirters. Or visit a playground with water features, or find a sprinkler to run under.
Make drawings/collages/mobiles/sculptures (working either side by side or on a group project such as a mural), and set up an art show.
Look for pictures in the clouds.
If it’s a rainy day, look for patterns made by raindrops: on the window, in puddles, on the sidewalk. You can also do this outside, even without umbrellas in warm weather. Rain or shine, the best fun doesn’t require money or electronics—just imagination!