If you think Easter is primarily a holiday for the little ones, think again! Easter should not be confined to baskets, babies, and bunnies. It's so much more than children, chocolate, and chaos! I love this holiday.
Easter is a beautiful and diverse celebration of life in all its many forms. It is a holiday that everyone – regardless of age or religion or location or finances – can find a way to enjoy without breaking the bank. All it takes is a little planning and a few fresh ideas for fun that don’t bust your budget!
Before we dive into some fun ways to celebrate, ask yourself this question:
What Kind of Easter Family Are You?
It’s fun to stop and really think about Easter and the way your family celebrates. Your beliefs, your personality, and your family type can all play into HOW you choose to celebrate. Which of these are important to you:
- Having a family dinner?
- Attending a church service?
- Making memories with your children?
- Getting involved in your community?
- Spending a quiet day at home?
One of the great things about Easter is being able to make it what you want it to be! Not only that, you can absolutely celebrate in style without spending a lot of money!
Inexpensive Ideas to Celebrate Easter
The Classic Easter Egg Hunt
Many families have Easter Egg Hunts in their own home or yard on Easter morning using filled plastic eggs or ones they have hand-dyed. This is the most obvious and most traditional, low-key way to make it fun for the kids.
However, with minimal extra effort – and possibly LESS money – why not kick it up a notch?
Conspire with your neighbors (or friends, or club, or church group, or family members) to share goodies. If you want to keep everyone on equal ground, you can even limit the spending amount.
Divide up the list of items you need for a large egg hunt, then have everyone bring a couple of things to contribute to the group.
- Fillable plastic eggs that can be bought in bulk or brought from home
- Bagged candy like Smarties, Tootsie Rolls, Jolly Ranchers, Sixlets, individually wrapped Lifesavers, peppermints, etc.
- A large roll of ribbon that can be shared to decorate baskets.
- Rolls of stickers
- $2 worth+ of nickels (40 nickels)
- Small items from the party favor section of the dollar store
These are all great items for sharing! Not only will you spend less (you can EASILY do this for $5 – $8 per family!), but the kids get more variety in their eggs and will have more fun hunting with friends!
Make this more fun by adding a “Mom’s Night” prequel before the egg hunt. Get together to assemble the baskets, hide eggs, and plan activities (like dyeing your own eggs). While you’re at it, have a little wine and cheese with a good movie and some great conversation. Nothing makes a holiday better than sharing it with friends!
Then make the big day a family-friendly event! Start with the big Easter Egg Hunt for the kids. Throw in some games and activities, then finish with a simple cookout – hot dogs, chips, lemonade, and Easter candy. Get-togethers don’t have to be expensive or elaborate to be great fun!
The Not-So-Classic Easter Egg Hunt
This is one of my favorites because it works for families with big kids or no kids!
The idea is to find creative ways to go on an Easter Egg Hunt, like:
- Have a nighttime egg hunt using flashlights.
- Fill eggs with clues and plant them strategically, so each clue leads to the next egg until a prize or event is found at the end.
- Fill eggs with rewards instead of candy – slips of paper with things like “stay up an hour late” or “an extra 30 minutes of game time” or “family movie night” – whatever your bigger kids love (couples can also have some romantic fun with these!)
- Download a free scavenger hunt and get the whole family involved.
- Play Scrambled Eggs. Cut out the letters of a prize or activity and place one letter in one egg until all the letters are used up. Once the kids find all the hidden letter eggs, they have to unscramble the words to decipher the clue.
- And, if you’re traveling for the weekend, make Easter bingo cards to play in the car.
Attend a religious service or other church-related events. Easter is a core holiday for many churches, so why not take part in what they have to offer?
There are Good Friday services, Sunrise services, Easter Egg Hunts, children’s programs, prayer walks, concerts, picnics – you name it, and likely a church in your area is hosting it! And most of the time, these events don’t have a price tag! So, check out your local churches online and see what they have to offer that might interest your family.
Along the same lines as religious services, try your city’s “Upcoming Events” calendar for fun and free things to do!
If you live in or near a larger city, there will be a list of things to do! From Yoga with the Easter Bunny to Eggstravagant Events at museums, zoos, landmarks, and parks. Take advantage of the opportunity to experience something new.
Even if you live in a smaller town or in a rural area, there will almost certainly be a community egg hunt at the park or a dogwood trail hike or a concert at the high school or a crafting event at the local library. Again, almost all of these will be free or a minimal charge. Adding even one of these events to your Easter can make the weekend feel extra special.
Do some holiday baking! We do this at Christmas, so why not at Easter?
Baking together is a great way to spend time bonding and building memories! Brownies with pastel-colored sprinkles, egg-shaped sugar cookies with icing, Rice Krispie treats with candy-coated mini chocolate chips, a loaf of homemade bread – these are all easy and inexpensive ways to mark the holiday with a little something extra.
After you finish baking, spread some joy by sharing your sweet treats with a next-door neighbor or an older friend or grandparent – basically anyone who could use a little pick-me-up! Nothing sparks a smile like delivery of homemade goodies.
Host or take part in a big family dinner! Though, when I say “host” I just mean you provide the location, not all the food! Potlucks are a fantastic and inexpensive way to have a feast without costing a fortune!
You can go traditional with ham and all the great side dishes, or an Easter brunch with breakfast yummies that can be as simple or fancy as you want it to be!
If you spread out all the fixings, then you’re only responsible for one dish, which should be about the same cost as feeding your family! Now you have the benefit of sharing time and tradition with the people you love.
Plant Something to Grow
Celebrate the season of new life by planting seedlings.
Consider putting seeds in some of those plastic Easter eggs or take a trip together to the local nursery. Then allow a little time over the weekend to plant your seeds in eggshell halves, eggs cartons, seedling trays, or small clay pots.
Once they start to sprout and the ground is warm enough, they can be transferred to your garden or flower bed to be enjoyed all summer. Planting seeds and watching them germinate and grow into flowers and vegetables is a wonderful way to celebrate Easter and springtime!
Go for a Movie Easter Egg Hunt
What is this, you may ask? Well, according to Wikipedia, an Easter Egg is “an intentional inside joke, hidden message, image, or secret feature” in a movie. It’s very much like finding “Hidden Mickeys” when you go to Disney.
These are fun ways to enjoy a new movie or add a new dimension to watching an already-favorite movie. For example, did you know that lots of Pixar movies contain references to Stephen King’s “The Shining?” Or that Indiana Jones has hidden Star Wars “eggs”?
You’d be amazed at how many movies have hidden “Easter eggs”! From cartoons to Coppola, you’re certain to find a movie for your specific audience. Simply google “Easter Eggs in Movies” and go on a little “rabbit chase” until you find a list of Easter eggs and movies that pique your interest!
Easter Can be Inexpensive and All-Inclusive
Of course, the little ones love Easter! Why shouldn’t they? Colorful baskets, lots of candy and hunting for Easter eggs – a trifecta of happiness! But as we’ve seen, there are MANY ways to celebrate the holiday, enjoy time together, and take part in budget-friendly activities!