Being that I live in the boondocks, most of the activities that I am unfortunately forced to participate in near my home luckily tend to be free or dirt cheap. Mostly, this is because I live in a town in which the extent of the businesses is one general store. True story. Anyway, no matter if you live in a small farm town at the edge of the earth or in a fabulous apartment in New York City, here are some activities that are always fun, and, most importantly, always free… or will be until the government figures out how to tax it.
1. Hiking. Here’s a secret people… hiking… is walking. Who knew? And not only that, but it’s also exercise. Usually I forget this until halfway through the hike when I’m already stuck there anyway. It’s a nice way to pass an hour, hang out in some nature and get out of the AC, and a have a chat with someone you’re used to texting instead. My fondest memory of my semester abroad is actually one of the first days in Italy when I visited Cinque Terre and hiked through the five towns connected only by trail and rail. To find all the national parks by state, visit Find a Park on the National Park Service page.
2. Biking. Okay so I know that if you’re biking in a race or you’re really trying to roll biking technically is exercising, but biking i.e. just cruising along is actually one of my favorite things to do on vacation, which is saying a lot because I enjoy being horizontal if I’m anywhere near a beach. Down by the shore, you can literally rent beach cruisers for $5 a pop, which is the most relaxing way to stroll a boardwalk and see the extent of the coast… and pick up some salt water taffy at the end of the go. Visit Rent a Bike Now to find bike rental shops near you.
3. Stroll the farmers market.You would really be surprised how much neat stuff you find… that’s cheap, too. Homegrown food runs wild at these places, which we tend to think of as only for grandparents but they’re really a nice way to spend a boring Sunday afternoon… and to get some free samples of some really awesome olive oil. Visit the United States Department of Agriculture page to search for markets near you.
4. Laying out in the sun. Don’t have a pool? Me neither. However, my mother still insists on parking her beach chair out in our (wooded) backyard basically every single day in her swimsuit with a good book. For some reason, this always feels much more exotic than if you were to just take a nap indoors. Also, you get to go back inside with a tan.
5. Start a garden. Don’t have a green thumb? Kill everything within sight? Samesies. However, thanks to the joy of modern technology, you don’t have to anymore. Who knew! Stop by your local grocery store and many stores have ready-made kits complete with dirt, seeds, plant food, and step-by-step directions. Thank God. Visit this blog and learn more about how to start your own little backyard farm.
Want to have a whole money-free weekend and get some more great ideas for when you have some time to kill but no money to spend? Read 100 Things To Do During a Money Free Weekend.