Right around the corner is summer! It’s time to start thinking about how to spend your time with the warm days and late evenings, especially after being stuck inside for the past year — getting outside for your physical and mental health is important. Unfortunately, for many of us, we are facing financial hardships whether it be from the impacts of COVID-19 or in the increasing price of goods. Some of us just want to save some money. Whatever the reason, I would like to share a few ideas for cheap or free summer activities to get you and your family outside.
Summer Concerts – Cities both large and small host concerts and festivals to promote downtown revitalization efforts. Check your local tourism website or listen to your local radio station for more information.
Local, State, and National Parks – The activities at parks are endless. You can pack a lunch and enjoy the outdoors. There are an endless number of trails to hike. Depending on the park, you may have the opportunity to sit by the pool or even the beach. Many parks offer educational programs and children’s activities. To find out more visit the website of your local park or your travel destination.
Museums – When you think of museums, you often think of large museums like the Smithsonian Museums in Washington D.C. Many people don’t realize that small museums are located throughout towns and counties, and are often tied to historical events in the community.
Libraries – Local libraries offer much more than just books. Libraries coordinate activities for both youth and adults. It is also a meeting place for groups and organizations who provide free activities that are open to the public. Ask your local librarian for a list of summer programming. In addition to books, check out the audio tapes and videos that are also available.
Fishing – I just could not help but add fishing to the list. If you are an adult, you will probably need to get a license. Some areas offer license-free fishing spots or days, but make sure you find out the rules in the location you plan to fish. In the late spring and early summer, you may be able to find a free fishing derby for youth. Some of my best memories as a child are fishing. It’s fun, entertaining and relaxing all at the same time.
I listed just a few activities that you can engage in with little or no cost. The opportunities are almost endless, you just need to spend a few minutes searching on the internet for what is available in your area. To start, visit your local tourism board. This will give you an idea of what the major events are in your area. When it comes to parks, visit the website for your state or county’s park service. You will find there are more parks out there than you realize with many within a short drive.
Whatever you decide to do this summer, stay busy and active. Take a break from your television or computer screen. Remember that getting out improves both your physical and mental health.