Easter is celebrated by about 80% of Americans, and the average person spends $170 on it for Easter parties, Easter eggs, and other things.
Despite being a fun time to celebrate Easter with family, friends, and little ones, it can be quite expensive. After all, buying new clothes, decorations, gifts, and candy can add up quickly.
However, you can still enjoy your Easter holiday despite these expenses. Even better? There are many ways to minimize costs without sacrificing fun or memories.
Your bank account does not have to be drained by Easter. Here are 25 budget-friendly Easter celebration ideas:
1. Decorate Easter eggs in a creative way.
Family activities such as arts and crafts are always a hit. Plus, they’re not too hard on your wallet. Remember, though, that depending on your kids’ ages, you might want to hard boil any eggs -and empty them, if you like.
Take advantage of the craft supplies or the local discount store for any decorations you might need. You may want to consider:
- Painting supplies, such as paintbrushes or sponges.
- Beads, feathers, glitter, and glue.
- Food coloring if you want more traditionally dyed eggs/
Guess what? You can even do this as an adult-only activity as well. Turn it into a paint-and-sip theme around Easter! You and your friends can enjoy some Easter painting together as you listen to some tunes while enjoying your favorite beverages. If you really want to save some dough, make this BYOB.
2. Plan a cheap Easter egg hunt.
Once again, the egg is unquestionably the most important symbol of Easter. As such, there is nothing better for keeping kids entertained than an Easter egg hunt. Organizing an Easter egg hunt can be costly, especially if you invite a lot of family members or neighbors to join in on the fun with your kids.
If you want to save money on your hunt, try these tips rather than buying expensive eggs:
- Upcycle or reuse gift baskets. You can have the kids design or decorate gift baskets before your Easter egg hunt. A discarded egg tray, cardboard box, paper bag, or even cardboard basket will serve as great containers for this activity.
- Make sure your eggs are decorated. Again, hard-boiled eggs are a cheap way to decorate for Easter egg hunts. To prepare for the hunt, simply hard-boil some eggs from the grocery store. For your kids to find, ask them to decorate them and hide them around the garden.
- Fill your eggs. Another option is to fill your eggs. Target sells a 48-count pack for just $3, so you can reuse it year after year. For a cheap and cheerful surprise for the kids, decide what to put in the eggs from around the house.
3. An Easter Egg Hunt with a creative twist.
Looking for a memorable experience with your family? Organize your Easter egg hunt in a creative way that will keep the kids guessing.
As an alternative to candy, you could stuff the eggs with written “special rewards,” similar to fortune cookies. Besides saving you money, the kids will love finding out what special rewards are inside.
The following rewards are worth considering:
- 1-hour tablet or computer time.
- On a Friday night, stay up 15 minutes late.
- During the next movie night, choose the movie to watch.
- You can choose your own dessert.
- Take a week off from chores.
The importance of the eggs goes beyond what they contain. Sometimes what matters is how the children actually find the eggs. Consider hunting for eggs at night with flashlights or filling the eggs with clues to turn it into a scavenger hunt.
To put it another way, creativity can make your Easter egg hunt memorable, special, and affordable.
4. Egg Toss is a fun game to play on Easter.
Egg toss is a rather straightforward and easy game to learn. To start, you need an even number of players, since they will be paired up. At the beginning of the game, each pair of players receives one egg.
FYI, everyone should wear something they won’t mind getting dirty.
- Each team begins by standing at the same distance from the other. As one teammate tosses the egg to the other, the other teammate follows suit.
- The game continues after the teammate successfully catches the egg.
- Even if the egg is dropped, but not broken, the teammate may pick it up and throw it back, considering them fortunate to still be alive.
- It’s game over for the team if the egg breaks on the ground or in someone’s hand.
- Until one team remains, the game continues.
Instead of raw eggs, I suggest using a water balloon or plastic egg with goodies if children are playing.
5. Have a Bunny Hop Sack Race.
Since there have been sacks, there have been sack races. With bunnies being known to hop, a Bunny Hop Sack Race is a perfect Easter event.
- Establish a starting and finishing point.
- At the start line, the competitors stand inside of their sacks, holding them with both hands.
- It is mandatory for participants to remain inside of their sacks when the race begins.
- A winner is determined by who crosses the finish line first.
Having multiple races, one for each age and skill level, s a good idea if you have a wide range of guests. Younger kids can play shorter courses, while older kids can play longer courses. Each group winner should receive a prize, and the winners of each group can participate in one final race to crown a grand champion.
A burlap sack makes a great choice for your Bunny Hop Sack Race. In addition to being durable, they are large enough for adults to use at your Easter party next year. When it comes to young children, burlap sacks might be too large, so consider using pillowcases instead.
6. Take part in a traditional egg-and-spoon race.
Another popular game you can play on Easter is the classic egg and spoon race.
It involves speed walking or running while balancing an egg on a spoon during a sporting event. During a race, if an egg falls off a spoon, participants must stop and replace it before continuing. Whoever crosses the finish line first with their egg on their spoon wins.
If you don’t want to use eggs, you can use ping pong balls, lemons, or limes.
7. Organize an Easter baking party for your family.
The best way to spend quality time with your family at Easter is to cook or bake together. After all, Easter cookies and cakes are much nicer than store-bought eggs. Whether you roll out a family recipe or look online for a first-time Easter idea, you can’t go wrong.
This is also a great time to experiment with a new cake recipe or a new technique. And, the best part? Your own sweets won’t cost you as much as fancy, expensive chocolates from the store.
8. Organize an Easter brunch.
Dinner isn’t the only holiday meal you can enjoy. Considering Easter is all about eggs, why not host brunch?
Even better? Choosing cheaper breakfast meat will save you from spending a fortune on expensive ham. Make-ahead dishes like baked French toast and breakfast strata aren’t just affordable, but they’re also delicious.
What if you have a larger crowd? Use leftover or frozen fruit to make fruity smoothies, or serve bagels and pancakes with a toppings bar.
9. Host a potluck.
It’s no secret that Easter brunch, lunch, and dinner are big events for many American households. However, feeding a large family can be expensive. With inflation at 40-year highs, this was especially true. Despite persistent inflation, grocery inflation has decelerated for the sixth consecutive month.
Andrea Woroch, a money-saving expert, recommends making Easter a potluck to save on the meal. You can combine traditions and save money by assigning each guest a dish, appetizer, drink, or dessert.
Woroch advises tracking sales at your local grocery store if a potluck isn’t possible. If you spend a certain amount at a supermarket, you often receive a percentage discount on your entire bill. As a result, you can save even more money.
During this holiday, restaurants may not offer as many discounts as usual. You can maximize your savings by using a credit card that rewards food purchases, according to Bodge. “With my American Express I get four times points for food purchases,” says Trae Bodge, a shopping expert at TrueTrae.com. “It’s worth checking which one does the best for food.”
10. Decorate your home on a budget.
Decor and gifts are two of the biggest reasons Easter can break your budget. Thankfully, you can save a lot by shopping at your local thrift store for the holidays. Plus, you could make this an outing with like-minded family or friends.
It is common for thrift shops to have a variety of unique items at low prices, as opposed to retail stores. Goodwill, for example, has everything you need for Easter without spending an arm and a leg.
You can usually find everything you need to throw a fun Easter party at thrift stores, along with great savings on clothing and accessories. For a burst of colorful fun, shop for Easter wreaths, stuffed animals, streamers, and forever flowers.
You can impress your guests with fancy dishes and glasses from thrift shops if you’re hosting an Easter dinner. Easter is a great time to use vibrant spring colors to mix and match homeware, so don’t worry if your table has different colored homeware if you can’t find matching pieces.
11. Make your own decorations.
If thrifting isn’t your thing, your family can create special memories by making their own home decorations, which saves you money.
Easter décor ideas can be found online in abundance:
- 70+ DIY Easter Decorations That Bring All the Spring Cheer
- Hop to It! 60 Easy Crafts to Make This Easter
- 31 Easter Decorating Ideas That Will Impress Your Guests
- Decorating for Easter
Construction paper, paint, and fabrics are mostly used in these decorations, despite looking spectacular.
12. Take Easter photos.
The best way to cherish the memories in the future is to set up a photo shoot this Easter.
It’s not necessary to hire a professional photographer to capture your Easter pictures either. Simply use your iPhone or digital camera to take pictures of what your family does. To add to your home photo collection, you could order a photo book online.
13. Spend the long weekend camping in your backyard.
Camping in your backyard is a great way to enjoy an Easter weekend road trip without the accommodations costs — or being without indoor toilets. Gather up the kids, pitch the tent, and roll out the sleeping bags for an evening of stargazing, card games, and Smores.
You can also do this on a rooftop, courtyard, or balcony if you do not have a backyard. As such, it is also possible for apartment dwellers to participate.
14. Participate in a religious service.
Attending church-related events is an important part of many families’ Easter celebrations. Throughout the week, churches hold special services and events for Easter since it is a core holiday for many religions and denominations. Most events are open to anyone, regardless of membership status.
Here are some services and events to consider:
- Maundy Thursday
- Good Friday
- Prayer vigils
- Sunrise services
- Children’s programs
- Choir programs
- Easter egg hunts
The holiday can be even more special when you wear your “Sunday best.” Remember to take a family photo if you are all dressed up.
15. Take turns reading the scripture.
A budget-friendly Easter activity is to read the scriptures together. Especially if you are a Christian, you know that Easter is a celebration of new life. On this day Christ rose again from the grave to give new life.
With that in mind, this theme is excellent for teaching our children and reminding us as adults. Reading Easter stories with your family and discussing them together is a rewarding experience.
What if you’re not Christian? Having a rich discussion about Easter is still possible. For example, you can discuss starting over and letting the past go. Additionally, you could discuss your personal interpretation of Easter.
16. Attend an Easter parade.
Another budget-friendly Easter tradition is to attend an Easter parade. The only thing you will spend is a little gas money.
New York City’s Fifth Avenue hosts the most popular Easter Parade, but Easter parades are also held in other cities like the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade, the Philadelphia Easter Promenade, and the Union Street Easter Parade and Spring Celebration in San Francisco. Just search for a local or regional Easter parade near you.
17. Visit a local farm.
In the spring and summer, there are a lot of farms that open their doors to the public, and Easter is the perfect time of year to get family or friends outside and enjoy nature together. Farms also provide children with many opportunities to learn about agriculture, animals, and plants. Additionally, learning about farms can help them gain a better understanding of other cultures around the country and around the world.
Take a peek online to see if your local farm will be hosting any Easter-specific activities this year.
18. Watch a movie.
A movie night or day with family or friends is a great way to spend quality time together, and you can do that over the long Easter weekend. While you can watch any film you enjoy as a family this time of year, here are some Easter-related movies to consider:
- Easter Sunday (2022)
- The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
- Hop (2011)
- It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (1974)
- The Prince of Egypt (1998)
- Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade (2016)
- Rise Of the Guardians (2012)
- Irving Berlin’s Easter Parade (1948)
- I Can Only Imagine (2018)
- The Ten Commandments (1956)
19. Plant seeds in your backyard.
Flowers in bloom are a sure sign of Easter. As such, planting seeds with the family is another idea for Easter on a budget.
It’s also a perfect analogy for teaching kids about Easter – new beginnings, the resurrection of the dead.
Also, kids learn the importance of taking care of the things that matter to them through this activity. How? Because after the seeds have been planted, they are taken care of throughout the year until the flowers bloom
20. Go back in time.
Are you hosting loved ones? If so, why not dig out some photo albums? Vintage Easter photos can make for a lot of fun to look at.
This was something my family used to do with my grandparents. I also liked looking back at the vintage pastel clothing, old-fashioned Easter desserts, and even the creepy Easter Bunny costume. But, it was even sweeter to look back at previous family gatherings to share memories and laugh at how much we’ve all changed.
If you have the time, you can also create movies on your smartphone and premiere it during the holiday weekend.
21. Peep posing contest.
It’s impossible to ignore Marshmallow Peeps during the Easter season, even if I’m not a fan. However, instead of snacking on them, you can have teams create dioramas from Peeps. The possibilities include acting out movie scenes or historical events or visiting zoos and amusement parks. You can find examples and inspiration by searching Google.
To get the teams started, give them a shoebox and some Peeps. From there, encourage everyone to stretch their imaginations. Finally, judge or select a panel of judges to select a winner at the end of the activity.
What I like about this competition is that it would be perfect at home, school, or even in the workplace.
22. Throw an Easter costume party.
Costume parties are always a hit. Also, it’s an activity that can be done with family, friends, students, or colleagues.
All participants should wear costumes themed around Easter. Costumes can include bunnies, carrots, peeps, eggs, or whatever else is appropriate for the holiday. In keeping with the Easter theme, you should serve food and drinks that are themed after the holiday. But, since you’re a budget, make this a potluck.
In order to take home a special prize, attendees must vote for the best costume.
23. An egg hunt with a TikTok trend.
Will you be spending Easter with TikTok creators or influencers? Try a TikTok trend hunt if that’s the case.
The eggs can be filled with different TikTok dances and sounds by writing them down on paper and hiding them inside. When the hunt is over, you can start creating content.
24. Have a disco Easter party.
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy Easter. A disco Easter is a perfect way to celebrate the holiday with friends.
Get groovy this Easter by decorating your eggs in disco fashion and making some fun easter themed cocktails! Again, you can save some cash by making this BYOB. Your Easter disco is ready once you put on some disco tunes and hang up a disco ball.
25. Give back.
Since Easter is largely a Christian holiday, isn’t it the perfect time to show some compassion and love? You can, for example, organize a charity drive. You can ask friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers for money, canned food, and clothing donations. It may be possible for you to partner with a local children’s hospital, orphanage, or animal shelter if you’re in an HOA.
Organizing an Easter egg hunt for Make-A-Wish, Big Brothers, and Big Sisters of America, or children with disabilities is also an excellent way to give back.
Frequently Asked Questions About Easter
How is Easter’s date determined?
According to the moon cycle, Easter Sunday falls on a specific day each year. It occurs on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox, which is called the Paschal full moon.
Which country started the tradition of the Easter bunny?
Easter bunnies delivering candy and eggs first originated in Germany during the Middle Ages; a written notice of this tradition dates back to the 16th century. Dutch settlers in Pennsylvania introduced the bunny to the United States in the 1700s.
What popular game is traditionally played at Easter?
Easter egg hunts remain one of the most popular games today. The tradition originated in Germany, where children believed the Easter Hare buried the eggs, the predecessor of the modern Easter Bunny.
What is the most expensive chocolate Easter bunny?
The World’s Most Expensive Chocolate Bunny was hand carved by a European chef in 2015. The luxury rabbit is selling for $49,000 and is made from Tanzanian chocolate.
Why was it so luxurious? A pair of 1.7-carat diamonds adorn its eyes.
How much do people spend on Easter?
The total Easter-related spending in 2022 was $20.8 billion — $170 per person celebrating. $3 billion of that was spent on candy alone.