25 cheap (or free!) summer activites!

While summer as an adult may not be as carefree and open as it was when we were kids, it’s still a great time to get outside, try new things and just have fun!! But sometimes that can really put a stress on our budget, especially if we have any summer vacations to pay for too. But that doesn’t mean that all the fun has to stop. There are so many options out there that are free or cheap that can make for some great experiences and awesome memories.

Here are just a few that I could think of!


25 Ideas for Summer Fun!

1. Explore local parks
2. Go for a swim
3. Hike! ledges-state-park
4. have a picnic or/and barbecue
5. go to a farmer’s market (free entertainers and cheap food vendors, but must have some self control to keep it cheap!)iowa-summer-farmers-market
6. outdoor yoga – either by yourself, with a friend or find a group!
7. visit your local arboretum
8. go camping (ok, not that cheap to start with, but if you stick with basic supplies and go regularly, it becomes really cheap!)
9. go for a photography walk
10. geocaching
11. outdoor movie nights – lots of cities put these on and they are usually free
12. visit an art gallery or museum – a lot of the smaller cities and towns have ones that are super-cheap!
13. Join a book club
14. Go for a bike ridesummer-fun-activity
15. Start a running practice
16. Volunteer for a local charity or organization – Habitat for Humanity or a animal shelter would be some great ones!
17. find an open area and go stargazing
18. try your hand at foraging – be safe about it though!
19. check out local art installations – most cities have some!
20. fly a kite, play frisbee or disk golf – moderate investment starting off, but as you use it more becomes cheaper
21. slackline – a little more of an initial investment
22. Join an adults sports team
23. go fishing
24. go river tubing – get some tubes, gather up some friends and spend the day floating down the river!
25. have a fire and make smores!

You might be wondering how to find out about some of these events and classes in your own town! It’s amazing how much you can find just by doing a little bit of research. These are the resources I generally use when I’m trying to find something new to do!

Resource Ideas

  • Meetup.com – You can find so many activities in all sorts of price ranges on here! Great way to connect with others with similar interests, or develop a new hobby!
  • Your city website – Check events calendar and their local recreational options. You might be surprised how many places offer cheap exercise classes to residents, adult sports groups, etc. And that is along with any free events that might be happening!
  • Surrounding towns city websites – Don’t just limit your search to your city! In my case, the city I live in doesn’t offer much. But the city I work in offers A TON! Most cities that do offer exercise classes and other things like that to residents have a slightly higher cost for non-residents, but still really cheap! Plus there might be free events that you would be interested in. One that I am looking forward to in the city I work in is “Yoga In The Park”, a free Saturday yoga session taught by professional yoga instructors.
  • Local colleges – Many have events open to the public that are free or cheap…movie nights, weekend activities, crafts, art lessons, dance. The list could go on! And at least at the college I went to, there were a decent percentage of student organizations that were partially open to the public as well! Our local one has so many options!
  • Facebook – This one is kinda hit and miss, but you can check for groups that are centered in your area. I found a Women’s Business group that I attend regularly that way! A lot of cities even have their own pages.

I hope this gives you ideas for some summer fun! What is your favorite free or cheap summer activity? I would love to hear about it, so please leave a comment below!


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