Life is short, and no matter where you come from (or how tight your budget is) your family should actively be trying to share as many experiences as possible together. The world has so much to offer, and it’s important to pick out the things we want to experience most, which is why a bucket list is so important to have!

Creating your family bucket list is a great activity and ensures you’ll enjoy your family time doing the things you all most want to do together. Read on for great ideas to find free family-friendly activities in each category!

1. Hobbies or crafts you want to learn

  • Whether you want to learn how to cook Mexican cuisine, sew, paint or create an Internet radio station, About U offers free e-courses you can enroll in (all you need is an email address!).
  • Check with your local libraries, community centers, museums, and even businesses to find free introductory classes for hobbies and crafting.
  • If you’re interested in blogging, why not start a family blog together? You can take turns being the "columnist," or each create an online diary you update daily or weekly. You can access WordPress.com's extensive free help tools to learn everything you need to know.
  • You can literally find almost everything on YouTube—all you need to do is create your free account and search for the topic you want to learn more about!
  • If you have a guitar (or can borrow one) visit FreeGuitarMentor.com to learn to play.
  • Instructables.com is a great place to learn to knit—and learn plenty of other hobbies and crafts for free as well!

2. Sports or athletic activities you want to try

  • Your local YMCA/YWCA and community centers/faith centers may have free sports leagues you can join where no experience is required—check their websites for details.
  • Check out Active.com to find free sports and outdoor activities, including cycling, fun runs for charity, and other great events in your local area.
  • Go running, walking, swimming or cycling as a family—these activities are always free and always fun!

3. Outdoor/nature experiences

  • National parks nationwide offer free admission days each year. Visit the National Park Service to find free admission days at the national parks you want to visit.
  • Great free activities are available from Education.com—these hands-on freebies can help you learn about the natural world before you venture out to visit it!
  • Look on your city website to find local nature activities for families, including park and historical site tours, pet-centric meet-ups at local dog parks, and lectures about sustainable/green living.
  • Your local zoos and natural history and science museums are likely to have free admission days at least once per month and on certain holidays—check their websites for listings.
  • Visit your local library and check out a book on local birds, then watch a movie like "The Big Year" or "Birders—The Central Park Effect" (get them for free with your Amazon Prime membership or Swagbucks rewards!) and go out birding at a local park. See how many species you can identify!

4. Places you want to visit

You can separate this category into "day," "weekend," and "vacation" as applicable.

  • Go to the library as a family and check out one book each on a destination you want to visit together. Agree to read the book and report back with a "verbal book report" in one week.
  • Look for free contests and sweepstakes you can enter as a family to win trips to places you all want to visit.
  • Check out About.com's guide to getting a free vacation. 

5. Dining and "foodie" adventures

  • BBC's food and cooking website can teach you to cook just about anything for free.
  • Visit websites and community boards at your local craft, grocery and cooking stores to find free cooking classes and tasting/pairing classes.
  • Take turns cooking for the whole family with a goal to prepare one dish from each continent (the Food Network has plenty of free recipes and videos to help you out!).

6. Education and self-development goals

  • Khan Academy is an awesome online learning portal for adults and kids. You can learn about everything from art to science, math to language—for FREE (and in 40+ languages).
  • Check out OpenCulture.com's free online courses that teach you about everything from digital photography to cars, film stars and chemistry.
  • Duolingo.com offers free courses in any Romance language—Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Irish…and many more!
  • If your kids are older, Coursera and EdX are great options for free college-level courses!

You also may find even more options for fun freebies in your local community—you can use these ideas to brainstorm even more bucket list adventures for your family!