4 Easy Ways to Enjoy Summer on a Budget
Summer is officially here and it is waiting for you to revel in it! Summer is not bound by any rules or limits...but your wallet might be. Here are four ways you can get outside, explore, and have fun this summer, all on a budget.
1. Farmers Markets & Outdoor Arts Events
Most cities and towns have local farmers markets these days, and the number of them seems to be growing. If you don’t see any flyers at your favorite coffee spot, Local Harvest is a great resource (for those in the United States) to check out. You will find CSAs (Community Shared Agriculture), local farms, and farmers markets. Look out for community festivals and maker markets in your area as well. Once you arrive, take in all the sights and smells. Spark a conversation with a local farmer or artist. Don’t forget to take your reusable tote!
2. Daytime & Nighttime Exploration
Both cities and rural areas have a lot to offer when it comes to getting out and finding new things. Take a look at Atlas Obscura, a website dedicated to connecting explorers with interesting places. Organize a DIY scavenger hunt for yourself or with friends. Scavenger hunts are an awesome way to bring a new perspective to the familiar. Head to a local Pick-Your-Own farm and get your hands dirty before dinner, and when night comes, look up to the sky. If you live in a rural area without a lot of light pollution, the night sky is a wonderful thing to behold. However, city dwellers can see the night sky in all of its splendor by going to a local planetarium. Many planetariums offer stargazing nights open to the community, so use some google-fu and take them up on it!
3. Hiking & Camping
For the day tripper, AllTrails is your new best friend when it comes to finding a new hiking spot. They have a website and an app you can use to find the perfect trail for any day. I enjoy reading the trail reviews by other hikers, seeing their photos and knowing what to expect. Maybe, though, you have been thinking of sleeping under the stars but lack the equipment. Check your local outdoors shop or REI to see if they offer gear rental. You can find low-cost camping spots in any State or National park if you plan to use a tent. This website offers a variety of options for finding free camping spots as well. For those of you who like a nice list, Love the Outdoors has an extensive checklist of things to take on your camping trip. Before you head out, make sure to brush up on your Leave No Trace knowledge. It is our collective duty to keep the land we live on beautiful.
4. Potlucks & Picnics
This one is best served with friends. Slightly annoy everyone you know by sending a group text about the amazing potluck picnic you are organizing at the park this Saturday. They will be fine as soon as the first tasty bite is taken. Picnics are a fun way to spend time outside with your friends and/or family and share a delicious experience. Organize using Facebook, Instagram, your entire Gmail contacts list, or with a small group of pals. Meet up at the park, on a porch, in a backyard, rooftop, or cornfield. Just make sure everyone understands the potluck element, or there won’t be enough bites to go around! But hey, everyone is together breathing fresh air and that’s what really matters.
So, go on! Get outside and enjoy the sun without spending a fortune. Small or otherwise. There are so many things you can do this summer, the list could go on and on, but I hope these four ideas have planted a seed that grows and blooms all season.
Tell us, what are some of your favorite budget-friendly summertime activities? Share with us in the comments below!
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