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Keeping your kids entertained can be quite a challenge, especially if you are on a budget. The following article offers tips on keeping your kids entertained without spending a lot of money.

1. Go out to eat. Many restaurants have a declared “kids night” during the week where children eat either for free or for extremely cheap.

2. Go to the matinee showing of a movie. Taking the kids to a matinee showing of a movie can save you money. A matinee showing is usually the first showing of the day of a particular movie, or it can be any showing before sundown.

3. Go to the park. This is a free outing. Parks provide playground equipment for kids to play on and lots of open space for them to run around.

4. Go on a picnic. As long as you are at the park, bring along a picnic lunch and make an afternoon of it.

5. Visit the zoo. A visit to the zoo usually doesn’t cost much and kids under a certain age get in for free. Most zoos also usually have a designated “kids day” where even the older kids get in for no charge.

6. Visit the library. You can check out books, tapes, and CDs for free! Make an afternoon of it.

7. Visit the local Children’s Museum. Most cities have a local Children’s Museum where kids can visit displays and also have some interactive fun. Costs vary but are usually just a few dollars. The displays change periodically so this makes for several return visits throughout the year.

8. Go swimming at your local youth center. Most youth centers have indoor swimming pools that can be utilized all year around. The cost is usually only about $1-2 per child and can make for a fun outing anytime.

9. Go on a bike ride. A bike ride can be a fun inexpensive outing for the whole family. Most parks have bike paths that are paved or cleared just for bicycles.

10.Rent a movie. Renting a movie at the video store is fun and inexpensive. Most video stores offer clubs that you can join to increase your rentals or get some for free. Older movies often are rented out for several days at a time, so, if the family has a favorite movie from years gone by, you can watch it over and over again!

Now that you have some ideas on things you can do with your kids that are relatively inexpensive, don’t stop here! Scan your local paper to see what’s happening locally. Talk to friends about what they do with their kids to get ideas. Good luck!