Back to Basics: Old-school Frugal Activities You Forgot Were Fun

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

It’s easy in these technological times, with so much entertainment at our fingertips, to forget the old-school ways to have fun. Many of these “classic” forms of entertainment have been popular for decades and have provided much enjoyment for generation after generation. In addition to providing “tried and true” entertainment value, these activities are notoriously inexpensive to pursue. Experience some frugal, old-school F-U-N with activities like these:

Bowling – Families, couples, even individuals can rent a lane and knock down some pins without spending a lot, especially when you investigate discount days or times. To make this activity even more attractive, bowling alleys in many states participate in Kids Bowl Free, a program for which you can register your child(ren), entitling them to two free games daily throughout the summer.

Roller skating – Roller rinks are great places to find affordable fun for a variety of ages. Many also offer discount days and times. Look into registering your children at Kids Skate Free, a program offered by some rinks providing free skating times for children, making it an even more affordable activity.

Miniature golf/bumper cars – Many communities have activity centers where a variety of classic sporty games and activities like these can be enjoyed. The cost is low compared to the variety of activities and hours of fun to be had.

Gaming arcades – From pinball to PacMan, gaming arcades are the place to find all the lights and sound effects you remember from back in the day. can help you locate arcades and games when you’re feeling nostalgic.

Local fairs and festivals – Consult the Internet to learn about local events and festivals for free or low-cost fun, food, entertainment, unique shopping and people watching opportunities galore. will help in your search.

Museums – Museums provide so much to see and experience, they’re a bargain even at full admission. Check into free or discounted admission days to enjoy an even greater value.

Public parks and beaches – There’s usually no charge to spend a day at a park or beach. Pack or pick up a meal and head out to enjoy the simple pleasure of being around nature.

Board games – Few people are “bored” when they’re spending some quality time playing board games. New or old, they create an atmosphere of simple fun and togetherness.

Lawn games – Badminton, croquet, horseshoes… are some old-school standards. They’re still entertaining for a wide variety of ages, providing light competition and the opportunity to play in the fresh air.

Hobbies (indoor) – Arts and crafts, needlework, paint-by-number, wood carving, playing music… Much fun has been experienced by multitudes of people throughout the years exercising their creativity through a variety of mediums.

Hobbies (outdoor) – These include such pastimes as fishing, rock collecting, hiking, treasure hunting, gardening… Many people enjoy being outdoors while pursuing fun and adventure. While some basic equipment may be necessary, it’s not costly to take part in these activities once you have what you need.

Scenic drives – Whether it’s the landscape along the way or a day trip to a scenic, historic or interesting location, a simple drive can bring great enjoyment. Check the Internet for new and different places to go within driving distance and hit the road! Among those locations may be a nearby Forest Preserve or Nature Center which are free and offer safe and convenient areas to indulge in other fun and frugal activities like bicycling or rollerblading.

You don’t always need the newest gadget to provide entertainment. Rather than discount old-school activities, embrace them for their simplicity, frugality and genuine fun factor.

What are your favorite old-school activities?

Bonus Tip:

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