Summer is officially here! My daughter is done school, I’m done school and the great outdoors is calling our names! But there’s a problem: I don’t want to spend much money this summer.
Usually every summer we go camping, we go to the beach, we go to African Lion Safari, the drive-in and more. There are always so many things to do but all of them cost money!
If you’re in the same boat as me, and you want to have fun for free this summer, don’t worry, because even though you won’t be able to do some things, you can still do a lot of other things!
20 Things to do for FREE this Summer:
1. Go to the park
Most parks have a variety of things you can do for free this summer: trails, splash pads, swing sets and more. With or without kids, the park is a great place to spend the day. So pack a picnic and get out there!
I’m a little bit library obsessed. Free books, free music, free events – what’s not to love? Check out your local library to find out what’s going on this summer! Chances are, they will have a ton of free events and if not, just a day browsing their book selection is quite amusing!
3. Outdoor movies
Our city has free outdoor movies every week in August. It’s a great alternative to the drive-in if you don’t want to spend the cash. But if you don’t have outdoor movies provided for you, do it at home! Grab your laptop or whatever, and bring your movie outside! Curl up on a blanket with some home-made popcorn!
4. Go swimming
I love swimming, but I don’t have a pool, or even a backyard. Luckily, there are so options to go swimming for free this summer. For example, there’s a very clean stream in our local park that kids and adults enjoy playing in. Also, Tim Hortons provides free swimming at city pools throughout the summer! It never hurts to see what your city has to offer. Of course, you can always go to a friends house, too, if they have a pool!
5. Backyard BBQ
Skip the expensive restaurant and stay home! Cook up some burgers, or veggie burgers, and eat in your backyard! Or in my case, on the balcony. Even without a BBQ, Nick and I enjoy cooking up some burgers on the stove and eating outside. Sometimes you just have to make the best of what you’ve got!
6. Nature walk scavenger hunt
I love wandering around the forest. Luckily there are a lot of great trails nearby! To make your next nature walk even more exciting, why not create a scavenger hunt? Again, with or without kids, this is a really fun activity!
7. Photo adventure
Grab a camera, or even your smart phone, and explore your neighbourhood! Take pictures of everything that catches your eye.
8. Art Festivals
Chances are, there are a ton of free festivals throughout the summer in your city! I know here we have multiple art festivals, Canada Day celebrations (which were yesterday), music festivals and more! Why not attend a few?
9. Music festivals
Speaking of music festivals, I was really bummed out I couldn’t get to any outdoor music festivals this summer. Luckily, there is a very popular one in my city that happens every August. Although it doesn’t have super popular bands, it’s free and supports local musicians. Sometimes you have to take what you can get!
10. Throw a party!
I love throwing parties! From retro Christmas parties, to art parties to tea parties! Any party, really! Sometimes I don’t even need a theme! It may not be completely free, but hey, throwing a party at home allows you to budget yourself and get creative when trying to save money! (And, if you’re interested, I’d love to share some tips on how to throw awesome parties on a budget, and share some great theme ideas!)
11. Bike ride
Get on your bike and go for a ride! Bring the family, invite your friends or just go solo.
12. Get crafty
Another thing I like to do often is grab my big box of art supplies and get creative! My daughter and I often spend our afternoons creating beeeautiful art projects! From collages, to my no-sew tote bag, the possibilities are endless!
13. Create a zine
Another fun project that costs $0 is to create a perzine about yourself! A perzine is simply a small book you create about a personal issue or whatever. I created one based on the year I was pregnant and it was so much fun to make!
14. Start a book club
Or you know, attend one, but if you’re like me maybe you want to start your own? My friend and I started a book club a few years ago, but after we both dived into schoolwork it became too much. Still, a summer book club would be a lot of fun!
15. Thrift shopping
Again, not always free, but it can be a lot of fun to simply go to the thrift store with some friends and look at all of the unique and awesome things people throw away! No purchases required.
16. Purge your closets
Get a group of friends together and swap old clothes! Make it a party with some wine and dance music! In the end, you spent some hours hanging with the girls and you get some new clothes out of it! Or, you know, you could simply have a yard sale and make some extra coin to pay for those thrift store finds you couldn’t leave behind.
17. Start a business
I’m an entrepreneur at heart! From a young age I was always trying to find ways to make a few extra dollars and that hasn’t changed as I’ve gotten older. The good thing is, starting a business is a lot of fun and can even be free! Why not spend some time starting your own business this summer? Mow lawns, walk dogs, sell artwork or even work on your blog. My daughter is even jumping on the business bandwagon!
Volunteering is a great way to get out of the house and have fun! You can volunteer for music festivals, art exhibits, the food bank and more.
Gardening doesn’t have to cost any money since most plants are perennials and can be split apart. See what kind of plants your friends and family have and ask if you can have some. Also, a lot of people give away plants and seeds for free on sites like Freecycle. No backyard? No worries! I haven’t had a backyard in years and I still enjoy getting my hands dirty by maintaining different houseplants and my little urban balcony potted plants!
20. Bake something!
I know, I know, it’s too hot to have the stove on! But baking is just too much fun and what else are you going to do with all that extra produce from the market? Obviously carrot muffins and banana bread needs to happen! Just make sure to turn up the A/C.
What are some things you enjoy doing for free in the summer?