Go Attend free workshops at your local craft or hardware store. Many retailers regularly conduct free classes on everything from knitting and floral arrangement to gardening and basic home repair. It’s the perfect time to learn something new and ask questions without embarrassment. Some retailers even hold special Saturday clinics for children.
Go on a picnic. Pack some sandwiches, fruit and snacks and head over to your local park with a blanket, books and games for an afternoon of fun and relaxation.
Check out local events. You’re probably not aware of all your town has to offer for free – antique car shows, art fairs, historic re-enactments, band concerts, film festivals in the park, and more. Check your community calendar online for a listing. And don’t forget museums, science centers, zoos, and even bowling alleys. Most have a free or reduced admission one day a week.
Visit a state park. Each state has several, so it’s likely there’s one in your neck of the woods. For a nominal entrance fee – sometimes even free – the park is yours to explore.
Fish in a local pond. Even if you don’t catch anything, fishing lets you enjoy nature, teaches patience, and creates summertime memories.
Go to the library. If you haven’t been to your local library lately, you’ll be surprised to learn it has more to offer than books. Most have extensive audio, video, and newspaper collections along with a weekly story time for children, special interest clubs, genealogy rooms, book discussions, and music lectures.
Do Camp out. Go to a local state campground or pitch a tent in the backyard. Make s’mores and watch the stars.
Set up a neighborhood field day with races for running, jumping, cycling, ball throwing and other competitive games. Reward the winners with gold, silver and bronze-colored ribbons.
Rediscover your neighborhood by taking digital photos of anything you find interesting – flowers, sidewalks cracks, lawn ornaments. Take lots of them using different angles and settings. At home see what you’ve captured. Great images make unique greeting cards and artwork.
Clean up your neighborhood. If you’re tired of seeing empty soda cans and papers on the side of the road, this one’s for you. It’s good exercise and beautifies your street. Others may even join in or become more aware of their own littering habits.
Join a book club. Some are informal affairs held at a coffee-house and some are sponsored by the library. A book club gives you the discipline to consciously read and finish a book.
Start a nature collection and keep a journal on your observations. Put on your hiking books and spend time outdoors studying rocks, leaves, trees, or birds. Jot down notes, dates and observations.
Volunteer your time. There’s no shortage of need. A day spent volunteering makes a positive contribution to your community and rejuvenates your spirit.
Play & Make Sign up for community sports. Many towns have community sports for both adults and children. If you enjoy being around the sport, but aren’t much of an athlete, volunteer instead.
Play board games, cards, dominoes. There’s a reason games like Monopoly, Pictionary and Yahtzee have stood the test of time – they’re fun! Crossword puzzles and card games like bridge, pinochle, hearts and spades are intellectually challenging as well.
Hold a craft day. Get supplies from your local dollar store or use what’s in the house – paper plates, cups, popsicle sticks, empty jars, glitter, wrapping paper to make greeting cards and holiday gifts. Find creative ideas online or make it up as you go.
Bake up some cookies, make lemonade and set up a stand. Good for hours of fresh air and for meeting the neighbors you typically only wave to.
Have the kids put on a talent, skit or magic show for the adults. Create a stage with a cardboard or wooden frame and hang a sheet for a curtain. Encourage friendly competition and vote for the best.
Don’t let a tight budget keep you from enjoying all that summer has to offer. By simply taking the time to come up with new ideas or recycling some favorites from your own childhood, you can create memories that will last for many years. Get out and have some fun!