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10 Cities for Fun Frugal Activities with Kids

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Planning the perfect getaway for your family can sometimes be a bit of a pain. Not to mention expensive. Between choosing the perfect hotel and trying to find the right place for your entire family, it can feel like more trouble than it’s worth.

Do you remember what a typical day in your childhood looked like? Probably not. But I bet you can remember a family trip that held some special memories for you and your family.

Cities with Activities for Kids

If you want your kids to have those same types of memories, take a family vacation they will remember without breaking the bank!

cities with activities for kids

2021 is most likely the ideal time to road trip too! Depending on where you live each of these spots may not be terribly far from home. Most are also easy to get to by air.

To help get rid of some of that stress, I’ve put together a list of some of the best fun, frugal activities for kids in a bunch of different cities! 

Atlanta, Georgia

If you’re looking for a great place to find culture and museums, Atlanta is a great option! I recommend stopping by the Georgia Aquarium to see the country’s largest aquarium and sampling soda at the World of Coca-Cola.

Atlanta is full of family-friendly activities to keep you and the kids entertained for days.

Asheville, North Carolina

Outdoor enthusiasts and fall lovers will love taking a trip to Asheville, North Carolina! There are plenty of hiking trails to take, or stop by the Biltmore Estate for a tour of the house!

The food in Asheville will have the entire family stuffed!

Washington, D.C.

History lovers will fall in love with Washington, D.C. However, it’s also a great place to visit many free museums, monuments, and affordable food.

I’m a firm believer that everyone should visit Washington, D.C. at least once in their lifetime.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is a fantastic destination for a beach trip, but it’s also the perfect place for mini golf lovers! Take a stroll along the Boardwalk and visit during the summer for free concerts, fireworks, and plenty of free entertainment.

Food is inexpensive in Myrtle Beach and it’s a short drive to Charleston for some history and tours of a beautiful city.

San Diego, California

While living in San Diego is quite expensive, visiting can be a jackpot of free fun! Visit the free beach on Coronado Island, and take in the museums and zoo in Balboa Park.

Make sure to pick up the Balboa Park Explorer pass to get 16 attractions for just $48!

St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis is a great place to visit for frugal fun in the city. Head to the St. Louis Art Museum and take a free tour or head to the famous St. Louis Zoo!

The Magic House engages all children in hands-on learning experiences that spark imagination, pique curiosity, enhance creativity and develop problem-solving skills within a place of beauty, wonder, joy and magic. This is the perfect place for family fun.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

You’ll find Gatlinburg right by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This place is perfect for white water rafting, hiking, and exploring the great outdoors! If you’re not much of an outdoorsy person, head into town to find a ton of adorable shops with handmade treasures.

And don’t forget Dollywood! Although not an inexpensive place to visit, you most likely shouldn’t miss Dollywood if you’re in the Gatlinburg area.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts 

If you’re heading to Cape Cod for a fun beach vacation, don’t forget to pack a bike! While spending all day on the beach can be fun, there are 26 miles of car-free trail for biking!

Kids of all ages love Cape Cod! Families can have a full day of activities on the Cape and Islands, beginning with the beach, bike rides, and mini-golf, and ending with a movie and popcorn at one of the nation’s only remaining drive-in theaters

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago has so much to do that you’ll find it hard to fit it all in one trip! A highlight from this trip should be a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo to visit their free zoo!

I also recommend visiting the Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of the Science and Industry!

Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Shenandoah Valley is over 150 miles of beautiful views, natural landmarks, and history to explore! There are many small towns to visit, and it’s a great place to take the family camping.

Hopefully, this list has inspired you to plan a few fun family vacations for your kids! If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even turn these into a road trip too!

cities with activities for kids
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