You don't have to spend a lot of money (or any money) to enjoy summertime activities. If your budget is tight, but you still want to feel like you're on a mini vacation or staycation. Here are 10 fun, fabulous and free ways to enjoy summer.
- The Beach - If you are lucky enough to live within driving distance to a beach (or a lake or a river or even just a pool), take advantage as much as you can this summer. Go early so you can find a good parking spot nearby, for free of course! Pack some essentials - such as food, drinks, reading materials, sunglasses, beach chairs, towels, etc.. and just relax and maybe even work on your tan!
- Street Fairs - Check online for local summer fairs in nearby towns or cities. Admission is usually free and there are always lots to see and taste. We recently came back from the nations largest single day street faire in Carlsbad, CA. We didn't buy anything, but many vendors offer free samples. It's a fun way to spend the day and a great way to walk off the delicious rotisserie chicken lunch that we shared for only $6.00 !!
- Summer Concerts - Many local communities offer free outdoor summer concerts. This is a fabulous way to enjoy your city's music scene and learn about new bands and hear great music. Check your local listings throughout the summer.
- Stroll Old Town - This is one of my favorite things to do, in any season! Most areas have a downtown or old town with quaint local stores (vs. chain stores). Leisurely stroll and stop in at the shops and maybe grab a little bite to eat at one of the cozy cafes. I enjoy checking out little antique shops. This is a great way to discover little gems for one-of-a-kind treasures.
- Farmers Markets - Hit your local farmers market early so you get the freshest produce. Support local growers (vs. big box supermarkets), often times they are cheaper and offer a much better quality. Most vendors offer samples too! You can also shop for healthier organic options. Make a shopping list of items you might need ahead of time, so you won't overspend.
- Scenic Drives - Go a little off the beaten path to areas where you normally wouldn't drive to. Make sure it's not too far so you won't waste money on gas. Map out your destination ahead of time. Make sure to stop when you can to take in the sights.
- Picnics At The Park - Pack a light picnic lunch and drive (or walk) to your favorite park. Pick a quiet, shaded spot and enjoy your meal. Bring some music or reading material if you plan to go by yourself.
- Explore New Neighborhoods - This is a great way to feel like you are exploring a new neighborhood in another state or country! Pick a neighborhood, park your car, then meander around their downtown or residential area. I love walking around quaint residential streets with beautiful homes, I get inspirations on how I can improve my own home's curb appeal.
- Flea Markets - One of my favorite destinations to shop! There are several flea markets or swap meets happening every Sunday. I usually find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts or something for myself for dirt cheap. Don't be afraid to negotiate with the vendor. Most of them would rather sell the item(s) vs. take it back home with them.
- Go To The Museum or Zoo - Most communities offer "free to the public" admission days. Call your local zoo or museum ahead of time and take advantage of these great local attractions.