Great Savings Tip #86 – Free Entertainment

Find something free and fun to do.  Here's 26 ideas.
This post is part of our continuing series, designed to help find ways to spend less and save more. Here is today’s tip you can put to work immediately:


Enrich Your Life


Tip #86) Think free entertainment. Entertainment dollars can take a real bit bite of a monthly budget.  Splurging on a concert, a play, the opera, the ballet, or tickets to see a professional sports team can quickly run up to $100 or more, especially when you’ve got a partner or family you plan to take with you.  Everyone should find a way to attend events like these as a special occasion. Live performances enrich your life experience.  Yet as rewarding as they can be, dropping a hundred here and a hundred there can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.  So how’s a person on a tight budget or one just trying to get ahead supposed to have any fun?  Instead of shelling out money there are many things you can do either as an individual, a couple or a family for free.


Free Activities


Here’s a list of 26 free activities to get started:


(1) Go for a long walk. To get the most out of it avoid traffic and find a pretty park or hiking area near your home.


(2) Spend time at a park. There are parks everywhere.  When was the last time you made up a picnic basket, grabbed a good book and blanket and spent an afternoon relaxing at the park?  For an even better break, leave the cell phone at home.


Find a beautiful spot to go for a walk.

When was the last time you found a beautiful spot to sit and enjoy the sunset?

(3) Go to the beach. Beaches are wonderful.  There’s nothing like the sound of water crashing against the shore to soothe raw nerves.  If you live within range, find a beach and spend some time there.


(4) Go to a museum. Many museums are free as they are supported by charitable foundations (though a donation is usually appreciated).  Discover art, history, aerospace or whatever the museums in your area have to offer.


(5) Go the library.  Libraries are great resources for books, music and movies.  The charge?  Nothing!  Why not check out a few free books and take them home?  Libraries also offer other programs like reading and storytelling with children.  Kids love a good story.  See what your library has to offer.


Museums are amazing.

Check out your local museums. Many offer free admission.

(6) People watch. Go out to a public place, find a busy spot to sit and then watch the people passing by.  These days you never quite know what to expect with so many glued to their cell phones.  If you thought the daytime soaps were good, you may not believe some of the drama going on all around you.


(7) Fly a kite. You can make a kite with materials you find around the house.  Teach your kids how and then go out and fly it together.


(8) Watch local sports. Find a school or park near you and check out the schedule for sports. The competition is bound to be intense. Many schools charge to support their team expenses, but you can always find extra-curricular events like soccer or baseball games for free.


An antique china hutch.

Antique stores are always filled with interesting items. You’ll find great furniture, glassware, collectibles, toys and so much more.

(9) Go antiquing. Antiques are amazing as you consider their history.  Lots of communities have at least one antique store around and if you check out the area you may discover a nearby community with several stores.  It’s fun to see some of the things you remember as a kid or to see the quality that went into products made decades or even hundreds of years ago.


(10)  Go to a flea market. You don’t have to buy to have fun, but if you end up buying at least you’ll end up paying less.  Flea markets are great for crafts, collectibles and all sorts of bric-a-brac.


(11) Try A Community Event. Check local web sites or your local paper for community activities.  Lots of clubs meet regularly and there are many free programs for entertaining kids. Also check into local farmer’s markets. You’ll find fresh flowers, great veggies and get a chance to support local farmers.


(12) Build a campfire. Find a friend with a backyard fire pit and suggest a wiener or marshmallow roast.  Or if you live close to a park, find one that allows open campfires.  Kids love anything different and campfires have a certain magic.


(13) Go sledding. Unlike skiing all sledding requires is something to sit on and a snow covered hill.  An inner tube, a big piece of cardboard or plastic sheeting might work if you don’t have a sled. Do watch out for potential hazards.


Find an open Mike night in your area.

Many musicians get their start playing locally. You won’t believe some of the talent.

(14) Go to an open mike night. Find out who puts on an open mike night in your community and go watch the musicians perform. Check local coffee houses or bars to see who regularly holds one in your area.


(15) Attend a local concert. No kids?  Ask a friend who has kids if you can come along to their next choir or band concert.  Even if the quality of music isn’t first rate, the face time with your friend will be.


(16) Go swimming. Got a lake, stream or free access to a pool?  Go for a swim for a little fun in the sun.


(17) Go bird watching. Birds are amazing.  There are hundreds of varieties in all kinds of colors.  Get a book from the library to help recognize the ones in your area and then find a group that goes bird watching.


(18) Go to the dog park. Even if you don’t have a dog, you may have a blast watching some of the dogs playing and interacting at a dog park.


(19) Gather your friends for a group activity.  Organize a friendly competition like a volleyball or softball game.  If you don’t have a ball, mitt or net, find out who does.


(20) Go for a bike ride. Bikes are great exercise and more and more communities have created special bike trails for cruising around the area.  This is a great way to get out with a friend and get some fresh air.


(21) Do an art project. Art or crafts are creative endeavors that almost everyone enjoys.  Take up painting, knitting, sculpture, woodcarving or whatever appeals to your nature.  The time you spend is a great way to bring a sense of balance back into your life. Check garage sales to find a wealth of supplies that cost pennies on the dollar.


(22) Organize a block party. Create a community event in your neighborhood and a chance for people to mingle or get to know each other.  New and old friends are a great source of entertainment and comfort.


(23) Take a free class. Many stores or businesses offer free classes to support the sales of their products.  For example, business selling stamping supplies or scrap-booking supplies will offer a free class showing you how to do a particular thing.  Some community organizations may also offer free classes from time to time.  Check into it.  You never know what might grab your interest.


(24) Go to a wine tasting. If you go to a winery these days, you will often spend five, ten or even more to taste wine, but many stores that sell wine will often offer free wine tasting.  If you enjoy comparing good wine, make a point to find a local company that offers free tastings. Or find some like minded friends and take turns offering your home or apartment. Have everyone bring a bottle and an appetizer. Though this may cost a little more than visiting a wine store, the experience will more than make up for the difference.


(25) Find free stuff on the web. You can find games, music, books and movies on the web for free.  Sites like Yahoo Games, YouTube or Pandora offer hours of free entertainment.


(26) Start a game club. Do you like playing cards or board games like Scrabble, Monopoly or chess?  Find a group in your area that plays or start one yourself.


Keep In Touch


Thanks for joining us for our Great Savings Tip series. If you missed any of our tips you can find them by clicking on the “Zero-Based Living” drop down menu at the top of this page. You can also register with our site and we’ll send you an automatic notice for all our new posts. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!


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