8 Cheap Things You Gotta Do This Summer


It’s a cruel season that makes you get ready for bed while it’s light out.  ~Bill Watterson

calvin2

I love summer. Always have. When I was little it was an excuse for me to go out early, have adventures, get eaten alive by insects, and get back in time for dinner. Now that I’m older, it’s more about getting caught up on the two-foot-high stack of books I keep meaning to read.

With the Great Recession still on, everyone’s looking for a few good free or cheap things to do during the summer. And if kids are involved, doubly so. Never fear, good readers…because I have the perfect solutions for you!

#1 Head out to a state or local park. I’m a total park junkie. Whether it’s fishing or camping or hiking, or just a relaxing place to write and hang out, state parks can’t be beat when it comes to value. The majority of parks are free. Find one in your area here.

#2 Catch a local ballgame. No matter what anyone says, baseball is still America’s game. If you have kids, support their Little League or Pee Wee team. If you don’t, head out to a local college or adult pick-up field for some cheap fun. The nice thing about baseball: even if you know nothing about the game, you can still chat and enjoy a beer and hot dog.

#3 Take advantage of your public library. I feel like such a cheerleader here, but libraries are so much more than just books today. Free language lessons, puppet and musical shows, great TV shows and movies on DVD, and digital magazines are just a few of the things we offer. And yes, we do still have the Summer Reading Program for you diehards.

#4 See a summer stock performance. To me, nothing says summer like an amateur production of Gypsy or The Foreigner. Many workshop theatre groups offer free or low-cost shows. And they’re happy to have an audience. A lot of Shakespeare in the Park shows are free also but gladly accept donations

#5 Go for a swim. Again, what’s more perfect for summer than swimming? A lot of public pools are free or cheap for the summer. If you’re not into those, try a local lake or reservoir. Just don’t sneak into hotel pools in the middle of the night. (I speak from experience.)

#6 Visit a local museum. I’d never actually been to our (free) state museum until recently. When I went, I was delighted to see everything from Native American artifacts to a full-size Victoria fire engine on display. Don’t forget to make a small donation if you can.

#7 Have a yard sale. Everyone has stuff in their home that they don’t use. Make it fun, clean up, and earn a few bucks in the process.

#8 Attend an NFL training camp. This is really a cool experience; I went several years running to the one in San Diego. Most of the time you can grab players’ autographs after practice.

Just remember to stay cool, have fun, and never forget sunscreen!

ateamsummer

What kinds of free or cheap things would you recommend for the summer?

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on May 27, 2013.

3 Responses to “8 Cheap Things You Gotta Do This Summer”

  1. My kids had a blast jumping onto a sand bank from the beach at the park yesterday. They were filthy but had a wonderful time.

  2. Great list. I’d personally leave out the sporting stuff, cause I loathe it – but maybe add stuff like a bike ride or a downloaded movie with your kid!

  3. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my
    4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.

    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

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