Summer is here, and the sun is out. It’s time to get out of the house and enjoy the weather. However, with gas prices these days, how are we supposed to have fun this summer without going broke? Here are 8 ways I’m planning on having fun for less this summer.
Photo by Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton
- Find free films, concerts, and events. Check your local paper or search the Web for free film festivals, concerts, and other events in your area. There should be plenty of these going on throughout the summer. With the 4th of July a few days away, keep an eye out for free fireworks shows around your area.
- Spend a day at the beach. As far as I can remember, I haven’t gone through a summer without making at least one trip to the beach. If you don’t live close to a beach, spend a day at the nearest lake or pool. The point is to get outside and enjoy the summer weather. In fact, I spent this past Sunday at the beach with some friends, and it was awesome.
- Throw a backyard barbeque. By backyard, I mean anywhere outdoors — backyard, park, campground, beach, etc. Fire up the grill and enjoy some food. Avoid spending a fortune by having each person bring part of the meal. Of course, you should talk beforehand to make sure you don’t end up with 100 hot dogs, no buns, and a bucket of potato salad.
- Go hiking. Yet another free outdoor activity to enjoy this summer. The best part about hiking is that there’s such a wide range of hiking trails that you can find one suitable for everybody. Find a local park for a more laid back hike, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try taking on a mountain. A couple months ago, I went on a 15 mile hike up and down a mountain, and it was great.
- Browse the local farmers market. Fresh produce, fresh flowers, fresh food. What more could you ask for? How about free samples at some of the stands? Even better.
- Learn a new skill. Have you been meaning to learn how to play guitar? Or maybe you’ve been wanting to learn how to knit? Whatever it is, the summer is a great time to pick up a new hobby.
- Explore your city. It’s amazing how many places there are in our own hometown that we haven’t explored. I always laugh when I visit someone, and they haven’t even been to the major attractions in their city. Oh wait, that would be me. Take some time this summer to explore your city.
- Talk to friends and family. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth. There’s a good chance that you’ll find out that someone has a connection or maybe some extra tickets. It doesn’t get much better than getting to go to something for free or at least a discounted price. I’ve been to plenty of baseball games over the years without having to pay for tickets most of the time.