Who says you need to spend money to have fun?
If you’ve adopted a lifestyle of shopping, eating out, going to the movies, and visiting special attractions, it can be easy to forget that sometimes, the best —and most fun — things in life are free.
Next time you’re looking for something fun to do, check out these 10 free activities available in nearly every city!
1. Visit Local Parks and Waterfronts
Most cities are home to beautiful local parks, some of which offer more attractions and special features than others. If you’re lucky enough to be near an ocean, lake, or river, head to the beach or find a park located right on the waterfront.
Pack a picnic basket, take some friends, and enjoy the local scenery — whether you’re right in the heart of the city or surrounded by lush countryside.
2. Download Walking-Tour Apps
Bring your smartphone and download one or more walking-tour apps that take you on fun tours based on your current location. For instance, the Field Trip app displays notifications about nearby spots of interest, while the Stray Boots app makes touring into a game with scavenger hunts and trivia.
3. Go to the Library
Visiting your local library might seem like the most boring thing to do, but not all libraries are home to endless rows of books.
Find libraries that host free events, exhibits, and concerts, or libraries steeped in history that have special archives. Or, spend a few hours losing yourself in local lore and history.
4. Go Window Shopping
Swap your usual shopping spree for a day of window shopping instead. Go to high-end boutiques you normally wouldn’t visit, or explore a new shopping mall that recently opened in your area. You can even make a wish list of items to buy later on when you’ve worked them into your budget.
5. Explore Outdoor Exercise Venues
Break away from your current gym routine and devote the day to exploring new outdoor exercise venues. For example, if you usually run indoors on the treadmill, check out new trails, parks, and jogging routes. You might just discover a new running path that offers a breathtaking view of local wildlife.
6. Check Out Spiritual Establishments
Many churches and cathedrals offer unique beauty and architecture, especially if you’re in an older city with an interesting history. Head downtown or to the oldest part of your city and explore the inside and outside of cathedrals, synagogues, and churches that catch your eye.
7. Explore Local Markets
Flea markets, farmer’s markets, and craft fairs are usually free to attend and offer more than just food and goods. Stick around to watch street performers and listen to live music and don’t forget to try free samples offered by vendors.
8. Visit Museums and Art Galleries
While it’s true that most museums and galleries charge admission fees, call and ask about free admission days or events that don’t require payment. Most museums and galleries do offer free admission during certain hours of the day and on certain days of the month.
9. Watch the Sunset
Every city has at least one famous lookout point that offers a spectacular view of the sunset. Pack a light dinner (or bottle of wine) and watch the sunset with a loved one. If you’re not sure where to go, ask locals about spots that offer the best view of the sunset.
10. Volunteer Your Time
Volunteering for a good cause can be fulfilling and fun, as long as you devote your time to activities you truly enjoy. Do you like reading books? Devote your time to reading out loud to seniors and children. Do you enjoy cooking? Volunteer for a local soup kitchen, and help serve those in need.
Before you purchase tickets to the next movie showing or make plans to eat at a fancy restaurant, plan a fun-filled day packed with the activities above. You never know what you might discover or who you might meet in the process, all for free!