How to Maximize Your Summer with Free Outdoor Activities
Don’t let your budget keep you cooped up this summer. There are plenty of ways to relish in the sun without emptying your wallet and spending your summer savings.
Warm weather is a great motivator to get out and be active. Switch up your normal time outdoors for some more interesting options.
- Visit the neighborhood pool during adult swim to work on your backstroke while avoiding crowded pool times with families and kids. While you’re there, time your laps and work on your diving technique.
- Instead of just going for a run, take a soccer ball with you. Try keeping the ball a few feet in front of you to maintain your stride. When you feel like sprinting, give the ball a powerful kick and race to catch up.
- If you feel like being more social, ask a friend to toss around a Frisbee with you. Perhaps they have badminton or a bocce set they would like to dig out of winter storage. You never know what fun games people have up their sleeves.
Grow a Green Thumb
It doesn’t take much to start a garden; all you need is some outdoor space, seeds, and sunlight. Email some friends about a seed exchange and delegate what needs to be purchased. Make sure you choose a variety of veggies (lettuce, green beans, tomatoes, peppers and herbs are all easy to grow). If each person purchases one pack of seeds, you’ll have more than enough variation for your garden. Starting a garden from seeds is less expensive than buying plants from a nursery or greenhouse. You can usually buy a pack for about one dollar! Then plan an afternoon to trade and share your seeds. Don’t wait too long before putting them in soil. The quicker you put them in the ground, the more you can enjoy their return all summer.
Coordinate a Social Gathering
Rally your friends together for an afternoon of fun and frolic at the local park or beach. Ask everyone to bring their most popular prepared dish, a picnic blanket, and perhaps their favorite board game. As the host, create a signature beverage to share. Check out these ideas for some refreshing drinks. Pick a semi-shady spot amongst the trees and set up an area for food, drinks, and tunes. It’s a great way to spend some quality bonding time with your nearest and dearest pals while enjoying the summer’s warmth.
Explore Unknown Territory
Have you always wanted to explore that one mysterious neighborhood but just haven’t found the time? Bust out your bicycle and ride down to that spot. Take a tour of the shops or just take a gander from the windows. Walk into the coffee shop for a quick pick-me-up and find a comfy spot in the ‘hood to just relax and take in the scenery.
On a larger scale, ask your more nature inclined friends about a short camping trip. If you collectively put all of your camping gear together, it will probably suffice for a quick weekend trip. Find a nearby (or not so nearby) free campground that has a hiking trail. Have everyone attending empty out their fridge and cabinets for some creative meals. Pack your favorite book, games, and musical instruments. Appreciate the time you have away from your busy life, it’ll all be there when you return.
Enjoy Your Surroundings
Take out your camera and journal with the intention of capturing the beauty that exists around you. Create a list of things to find (the best plant, the strangest cloud, the loneliest tree, the best smile, the prettiest bird, the happiest child) and use your critical eye to find them. Whether you’re using your camera or drawing sketches of your discoveries, make sure you express how you feel in that moment. Share your art with someone you care about, it will make your efforts even more meaningful.
Be a Cultured Citizen
Most cities provide an abundance of free outdoor activities to the public; you just have to know how to access it. Some great sources to search include the local newspaper for current listings, the public library for a catalogue of summer events, or even your city’s official tourist website. Keep an eye out for tons of free events like outdoor concerts, movies in the park, farmers markets, yoga, dance lessons, and museum days. You can even sign up to follow your city’s events through social media sites.
Street festivals provide communities with the platform to showcase their resources while providing you with great entertainment. Most street festivals are either free of cost or ask for a donation. Learn about new neighborhoods, ethnic foods, local music and art at a variety of festivals.