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Frugal Ways to Have Fun This Summer

cheap summer fun

Watching a few commercials on TV lately might lead you to believe ‘summer fun’ means spending hundreds of dollars or more at an amusement park or exotic resort. However, there are many frugal ways to have fun this summer without breaking the bank. Below are a few ideas for frugal summer fun, whether it’s with a family, friend, or spouse.

With regular-priced tickets around $12, a trip to the movies can be quite expensive. However, many theaters offer specials on certain days (usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays) for discounted or free movies to bring business in during slow times. If you plan ahead of time and check online for deals, you may have a great time at the movies for free many times this summer.

Visit a new town
Instead of paying thousands to visit an exotic location, take a day off to visit a nearby town that you’ve never been to. Do some research beforehand and go to some interesting historical places. You might find some cool shops and sites along the way at only the cost of gas.

If you’re short on vacation time this summer but need to get away, take an afternoon off to have a relaxing picnic outside. It may be old-fashioned, but there’s nothing to ease the stress like a PB&J outside on a warm summer afternoon.

Coupon Hunt
Try using online and printed ads to find coupons for fun new things to do. The hunt itself can be a lot of fun and family bonding time, and you’ll probably find a great deal on more summer fun. Make sure to take advantage of sites such as Groupon and Living Social.

Volunteering is a great way to have fun while giving back to the community. There’s always the traditional soup kitchen, but you can also try active ways to give back such as building homes and running for charity. Bonus: Volunteer activity looks great on your resume.

Zoo and Museums
The zoo and museums have their busiest times during the summer, which means the most new exhibits and activities for you to take advantage of. Many museums are free or under $10 for an entire day’s worth of fun. If there are no history or science museums close to your hometown, try looking for oddball museums such as the Paper Museum at Georgia Tech for a funny, informative time.

Build and Destroy
For some active fun at home, try building a new creation from old wood and other scraps around the house. When you’re finished, let the kids destroy the structure and start all over again. This idea might sound silly, but I had a great day’s worth of fun doing this with my nephew last week.

Go to the Lake
Traditional images of summer might be at the ocean, but lakes offer much of the same fun activities without the cost of a beach trip. The lake is great for swimming, fishing, kayaking, and whatever water activities interest you. Another plus is lakes are often much less crowded than the ocean.

Start a Garden
Summer is a great time to start a garden for growing fresh vegetables and other plants. The experience of watching a small seed turn into a huge plant can amaze children and give adults a sense of pride. You can also save a ton of money by growing vegetables, and they’ll taste better too!

Try a new sport
Professional baseball may dominate this summer on TV, but it’s also a great time to try new sports for a small cost. A bucket of balls on the golf range is usually only 6 or 7 dollars. Disc golf can be played at home for free or on a course for less than $10. Tennis clubs will usually let you try out the courts for free, and might even give you some rackets to use for free. It doesn’t matter if you’re skilled or not, just get out there and try it!

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