family having fun at the park - free things to do

One key component of my household’s monetary turnaround was the thought of a “money-free weekend.” Once each different weekend or so, my household would deliberately spend the time between getting off of labor on Friday and returning to work on Monday not spending any cash in any respect (outdoors of issues like paying payments or shopping for important groceries).

We’d spend no cash on leisure. We’d spend no cash on going out. We’d spend solely sufficient fuel to get us to a close-by city and again. We’d eat solely meals that we already had available.

Our aim with these weekends was to find and take a look at new issues that we’d have ignored if we merely allowed ourselves to spend cash. Sometimes these issues have been forgettable, however typically we’d uncover one thing new and superb that clicked with us and have become part of our lives thereafter. Over time, our “money-free weekends” confirmed us so many new issues to try this our spending on regular weekends and weekdays declined because of the new, enjoyable issues we’d added to our lives.

Challenge your self to a money-free weekend this weekend. Here are 100 issues to strive. Just be conscious of social-distancing!

100 issues to do throughout a money-free weekend

  1. Check out your neighborhood calendar and Meetup. Visit your neighborhood’s web site and see what free occasions are occurring this weekend. Similarly, verify Meetup.com to search out many extra occasions run by unbiased teams and companies.
  1. Visit your native library. Yes, a library is a spot to borrow books, however that’s simply the beginning. Modern libraries supply films to borrow free of charge, instruments you may borrow and use, neighborhood occasions and actions, and all types of surprises. 
  1. Bake a loaf of home made bread. You most likely have all the things you want available to bake a loaf of scrumptious home made bread. It’s a surprisingly easy mission that produces a beautiful finish product.
  1. Get concerned in neighborhood sports activities. Check out the choices out of your native parks and rec division. They could have actions you may straight take part in, or there could also be alternatives the place you may coach, referee, or just be a part of the viewers, cheering folks on.
  1. Listen to some podcasts. Your smartphone is an ideal podcast participant. Use the built-in podcast app to find some new podcasts and provides them a pay attention. If you will have headphones, a podcast is a superb factor to hearken to on a solo stroll. Just a few picks: Planet Money, Serial, and The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel.
  1. Play board video games. Pull a board recreation out of your closet and play it with your loved ones or buddies. 
  1. Teach your self to juggle. This is a superb celebration trick, plus it’s fairly enjoyable to study by itself. You can do that with any three gentle objects that you may simply grasp; bean baggage, hacky sacks and DIY balloon bean baggage all simply work. Here’s a pleasant tutorial for juggling three balls that begins with absolutely the fundamentals.
Once you understand how to juggle, you may at all times win a smile. Photo: Elvert Barnes
  1. Meet your neighbors. If you don’t know your neighbors effectively, attain out to a few of them. See if any of them are out and about, on their balcony or of their yard, and simply say howdy and introduce your self. Getting to know your neighbors a bit of supplies a gap for friendship and future alternatives for borrowing and sharing.
  1. Clear out your media assortment of books, DVDs and CDs. Go by way of your media collections and discover those that you just’re not more likely to watch once more and do away with them. Along the best way, although, you’ll discover a bunch of “hidden gems” and forgotten issues. 
  1. Hold a “cupboard potluck.” Go by way of your cabinets and work out what recipes you can also make from what you will have available. Invite your folks to do the identical after which have a potluck dinner collectively, the place everybody brings a “cupboard” dish that they created from what they’d available.
  1. Dream massive. Spend a couple of hours and even a complete day fascinated by the long- time period imaginative and prescient to your life. Where do you wish to go from right here? Turn these massive goals into actual objectives. How can you are taking an actual step towards that aim within the subsequent three months? Then how are you going to make a step towards THAT aim this week? Then, how are you going to make a step towards that weekly aim right now?
  1. Start or be part of a fantasy sports activities league. If you’re into sports activities, fantasy sports activities are a fantastic diversion. Check websites like ESPN and Yahoo! and see if there’s a league you may be part of, or arrange a league for you and your folks to take part in.
  1. Organize a self-guided strolling tour. Go to Google Maps and search for attention-grabbing locations which can be close to you, then work out a stroll that takes you to these spots. Parks, companies, memorials — make it a strolling tour!

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  1. Teach your self learn how to knit. Lots of properties have some yarn and a few knitting needles stowed away someplace. And if you happen to don’t have them, you may most likely discover a good friend who will lend them to you. The fundamentals of knitting are simple, and it’s a fantastic pastime to maintain your palms busy whereas watching Netflix. Here’s a fantastic “getting started” tutorial.
knitting - how to give without giving money
  1. Take some cool images. Several gadgets on this listing contain exploring and occurring walks. Take a digital camera with you and seize something and all the things that’s attention-grabbing. Text them to buddies.
  1. Visit a free museum or a zoo (or discover out once you may be capable of get in free of charge). Are there any museums or zoos or artwork galleries in your space? Look on-line and see if they’ve free passes accessible or if they provide free admittance on sure days.
Smithsonian rotunda
The Smithsonian Museum in Washington is free to the general public. Photo: Don DeBold
  1. Learn how to attract. All you want is a few scratch paper, a writing or drawing utensil, and one thing you wish to discover ways to draw. No matter what you consider, there’s most likely a YouTube tutorial for it.
  1. Make origami decorations. For instance, you may make 3D paper snowflakes or 3D hearts. You can merely purpose to study the talent, or make decorations that you should use for future occasions.
  1. Make a “how-to” YouTube video explaining one in all your abilities. If you will have a selected talent that others may take pleasure in, make a YouTube video explaining learn how to get began with that talent with a super-simple mission. Find a spot with good lighting, take into consideration the way you may clarify it to a newcomer, and use your cellphone in inventive methods to shoot the footage.
  1. Play soccer. All you actually need is a ball and a few buddies! Even if you happen to’re not notably adept, it may be enjoyable to simply go to a park and kick a ball round.
  1. Make a “time capsule” or open one up. Assemble a “time capsule” of memorable issues that characterize your life proper now. What are some objects which can be a “slice of life” for the world? Put them collectively in a shoebox and mark the lid with a future date.
  1. Digitize some previous footage and make a memorable display saver. If you will have some previous bodily snapshots sitting round, digitize them. You can do that surprisingly effectively together with your smartphone digital camera, utilizing the cropping instruments to trim the perimeters. Transfer them to your pc and make a memorable screensaver.
  1. Have a movie pageant. Pick out a bunch of flicks you’ve been which means to observe and have a “film festival.” One nice strategy is to decide on a theme, corresponding to watching films on the American Film Institute’s high 100 listing which can be accessible on streaming providers you have already got.
  1. Binge-watch a sequence that’s been in your Netflix queue for some time. Along those self same traces, there are tons and tons of authentic sequence on streaming providers that you just’ve probably not seen, and if you happen to’re something like us, you will have a bunch of them in your “waitlist.” Pick one and binge-watch it this weekend!
  1. Seduce your associate. Few issues seize the spirit of “free fun” like this!
  1. Try yoga. There are many fantastic free newbie yoga movies on Youtube that make it simple to check out yoga at dwelling. This 10 minute yoga for freshmen video is a superb place to begin
  1. Go geocaching. Geocaching is a free worldwide real-world treasure hunt run by volunteers, and it’s probably that there are geocaches throughout your neighborhood. Start at Geocaching.com, obtain the app, and see what yow will discover in your space!
Geocaching is a component outside journey, half treasure hunt. Photo: Rona Proudfoot
  1. Rearrange the furnishings in a room. Thinking about how a room could be organized otherwise after which placing these concepts into follow could be a whole lot of enjoyable. Simply shifting the furnishings round to provide a room a brand new look could make your private home really feel new and extra roomy.
  1. Get some buddies and neighbors collectively for a park cleanup. Got an space in your neighborhood that might use some TLC? Head over there with gloves and a trash bag and clear it up. Even higher, get some neighbors and buddies to affix in. Not solely does this get you out and shifting, you find yourself beautifying part of your neighborhood that everybody enjoys.
  1. Curl up with an unread ebook in your shelf. Got any books in your bookshelf that you just’ve been meaning to learn however simply haven’t taken the time? Pull a blanket over your self and dive deep into the pages.
  1. Call or FaceTime good friend or member of the family you haven’t spoken to shortly. If you will have some kin or buddies that you just haven’t seen in a very long time, give them a name or FaceTime them. It’s a fantastic likelihood to see how kids have grown, what your folks are as much as and reconnect.
  1. Try birdwatching. Birdwatching is a superb passion that may be carried out virtually anyplace. There are tons of nice birdwatching apps free of charge that may enable you with identification, too. Here’s a fantastic information for getting began with birdwatching.
  1. Start a pure assortment or commentary pocket book. The primary thought of birdwatching could be expanded to a a lot wider vary of the pure world. You may begin a group of things you discover in nature, like leaves or dried flowers, or begin taking notes on what you observe. Learn learn how to establish wild bushes and crops and sketch the belongings you discover.
  1. Meditate. Meditation is easy and amazingly calming. Just discover a good spot to sit down, shut your eyes and focus your consideration in your breath for 10 or quarter-hour. It sounds easy, but it surely’s surprisingly exhausting, and it usually has a fantastic calming impact. Here’s a pleasant guided meditation to strive.
  1. Start studying a overseas language. There are many on-line instruments that make it simple to begin studying a overseas language. The free app Duolingo turns studying a overseas language into an ongoing recreation that you may make progress on over time from the comfort of your cellphone.
  1. Plan a yard sale, and begin by sorting by way of your further stuff. The easy means of sorting by way of your stuff will help you discover pleasurable issues to try this you’d forgotten about whereas additionally decluttering your house and setting you up for making a bit of extra cash at a future yard sale.
  1. Do random acts of kindness. This is a superb use for social media. Scroll by way of your feed and see if anybody wants a serving to hand or a sort phrase and provides it to them. If you see somebody who’s down within the dumps, ship them a optimistic message. They’ll really feel good, and also you’ll really feel good.
  1. Do a sudoku or crossword puzzle. There are many locations to search out crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles on-line, just like the fantastic Web Sudoku. Solve a puzzle or, even higher, speed-solve the identical puzzle in competitors with a good friend or a member of the family.
  1. Get concerned in an open supply programming mission. If you’re a pc programmer trying to hone your abilities or simply take pleasure in placing them to good use, search for an open-source mission to contribute to. You’ll discover ways to learn code and learn how to contribute to a deeply significant mission.
  1. Take a web based class. There are many instruments on-line that allow you to take a free class on virtually any topic possible. Check out Coursera, for starters, and if you happen to’re on the lookout for good programs on STEM topic, take a look at MIT OpenCourseWare.
  1. Teach your self a card trick. There are many easy card tips that may be simply pulled off at a celebration with a bit of follow and prep time. For instance, this trick is a superb one that may be discovered from an extraordinary deck of playing cards with some follow.
  1. Attend a spiritual service. Not solely is that this a chance to get again in contact with your individual religion, it’s additionally a chance to study extra in regards to the beliefs of others in your neighborhood. Understanding the varieties of non secular expertise is an effective way to know humanity and unite with others.
  1. Start a exercise routine. There are many nice easy body weight train routines you are able to do at dwelling with no gear. For instance, this seven-minute exercise simply requires a wall and a chair, and repeating it 3 times provides you with an excellent exercise!
  1. Go swimming. If your neighborhood has a public pool otherwise you stay in an space the place a personal pool is on the market to you, swimming is a superb exercise and train. There could also be parks and different leisure services close to you that provide swimming alternatives, too.
  1. Start a journal. A journal is a superb place to write down down your ideas and dig by way of what’s bothering you. Take out that previous pocket book and simply dump out no matter’s in your thoughts. You’ll really feel higher afterwards and sure have a great answer in hand.
  1. Make vacation presents prematurely. Many of us have the intent of creating home made presents for folks, however by no means really comply with by way of as a result of we’re so busy. Just pull out the gadgets you have already got available for that gift-making mission and dive into it. 
  1. Plan a scavenger hunt. A scavenger hunt is a superb celebration or sleepover exercise for teenagers of all ages, but it surely takes planning time. Do it now! Think of issues it’s best to have the contributors discover and put apart these notes for later when it’s really time for the occasion.
  1. Teach your self to resolve a Rubik’s Cube. Many of us have a Rubik’s Cube mendacity round, and the act of fixing one in affordable time makes for a fantastic celebration trick. Solving one takes a whole lot of follow, however when you get it, it’s simple to get fairly fast at it. Here’s a fantastic tutorial.
  1. Pull out a musical instrument and play — or study. If you will have a musical instrument stowed away, get it out, tune it and play a couple of songs. If you’ve had an instrument within the closet that you just’ve at all times wished to study, there’s no higher time than the current! There are tons of YouTube movies that may enable you get began!
  1. Grab your metropolis’s free newspaper and provides it a learn. Most cities have a free newspaper or two that’s accessible close to the entrance door of many shops. You may discover some new issues to do or, on the very least, study extra about your neighborhood.
  1. Write a letter to your future self, or to a future little one or grandchild. Even if you happen to don’t have a toddler or a grandchild but, you may nonetheless write that future particular person a letter, sharing all of the life recommendation you want you’d identified once you have been youthful.
  1. Play with a pet — yours or another person’s. Playing with a pet for some time is a joyful expertise for each of you. Tossing a stick for a canine or just chasing one another round playfully is a superb factor to do.
  1. Make a picnic lunch. Find a wonderful secluded spot and luxuriate in your lunch. Take a good friend or a member of the family, after all.
  1. Exchange massages together with your associate. Spend time massaging one another’s our bodies, gently pushing out the stress that has constructed up.
  1. Look for a volunteer exercise and take a look at it out. Your neighborhood probably has a whole lot of volunteer actions if you happen to search for them. Start together with your metropolis’s web site. Contact native meals pantries or clothes pantries. See if there’s a Habitat for Humanity group in your space.
  1. Play a card recreation. If you will have a deck of enjoying playing cards, there’s an virtually infinite array of video games you may play. Here’s a listing of 20 of our household’s favourite video games to play with a deck of playing cards or different gadgets round the home.
  1. Take a toddler to a playground and truly play. Rather than simply sitting on a bench and flipping by way of your cellphone, play with the kid. Swing with them. Go down the slide with them. Play hide-and-go-seek amongst the playground gear.
  1. Have an leisure swap with a good friend. Box up a bunch of your DVDs, Blu-rays, books and different leisure gadgets, and take them to a good friend’s home. Then, swap them one for one, both for some time or completely. This will refresh a few of your less-loved leisure gadgets and change them with new ones.
  1. Explore a web site you want. Find a web site that’s attention-grabbing to you and dig into the archives, clicking round to see what you discover. For instance, you may begin with The Simple Dollar by trying out my story and the archive of my articles.
  1. Toss a Frisbee round. Got a Frisbee within the closet someplace? Got a good friend or two or three? Take the Frisbee and the chums to a park and toss it round for some time. This is a superb complement to tip #53 or #65 — make a picnic lunch and go on a nature stroll, too.
  1. Attend a costume rehearsal. Many neighborhood theaters have public open costume rehearsals that you may attend free of charge. While this probably received’t be an ideal efficiency, as you’ll see actors nonetheless mastering their traces in locations and a few set and wardrobe points that they’re nonetheless determining, it’s nonetheless nice leisure at a worth that may’t be beat.

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  1. Attend a free workshop. Many shops supply free workshops as a approach of attracting prospects. For instance, The Home Depot gives a fantastic workshop for teenagers, and the Apple Store is continually providing workshops of all types.
  1. Discover new music by enjoying a web based streaming station. Download Spotify or Pandora or the Apple Music app in your cellphone and hearken to one in all their free streaming stations (advert supported). You’ll uncover new music in a style you like combined in with a whole lot of favorites.
  1. Dig an previous online game console out of your closet and play a few of your previous favorites. If you will have a online game console that’s a couple of generations previous, like a Wii or a Playstation 3, gathering mud in your closet, pull it out and take a look at a few of your previous favourite video games once more. It’s an effective way to fill a day.
  1. Go on an extended nature stroll or hike. Visit the web sites of any municipal or state parks in your space and see what trails they’ve accessible, then select one and go on a nature stroll or hike. It’s an effective way to see and benefit from the outdoor.
  1. Take a stab at writing poetry or fiction. Got a narrative or a poem within you? Sit down and see if you happen to can tease it out on paper or onto a pc display. It’ll most likely be tough, however that first step is at all times the toughest, and also you’ll get higher and higher from there.
  1. Write a letter. Who are the 5 individuals who had the most important optimistic affect in your life? Write one in all them a letter, explaining why they’d that impression on you and the way a lot it meant. In truth, why not write all 5 of them letters?
  1. Make a collage postcard for PostSecret. A collage postcard implies that you utilize photos and different discovered supplies to make a collage on one facet of a clean postcard. That postcard reveals a secret about your self that you just conceal. If you need, you may then anonymously mail it to PostSecret, the place it will likely be anonymously shared on-line.
  1. Go on a motorcycle trip. If you will have a motorcycle within the storage or in a closet, pull it out, strap in your helmet, and go for a trip. Enjoy the contemporary air and the mild breeze in your face.
  1. Have a “meal prep Sunday.” A “meal prep Sunday” merely implies that you put aside a day to organize meals prematurely for the freezer. If you clear out your pantry, you may probably discover a whole lot of supplies to make use of, and it’s OK to go to the grocery retailer to purchase primary elements for meals on a “money-free weekend.” Invite some buddies over and make it a social occasion, the place you assist one another prep meals.
  1. Fill your fridge door with nice reminiscences or affirmations. Many folks cowl their fridge door with mementos and affirmations. Spend a while refreshing these gadgets in order that it feels life-affirming for you.
  1. Go stargazing in probably the most vast open space close to you. Are there any vast open areas close to you, ideally away from the brilliant lights of the town? Go on the market after darkish with a blanket, stretch out on the bottom and take a look at the celebs.
  1. Do a jigsaw puzzle. A jigsaw puzzle is a superb factor to arrange on a card desk and work on in matches and begins over per week or two. If you will have one in your closet, get it began and provides it your consideration in little bits as the times go by.
  1. Do a “Wikipedia wander.” Think of a subject you’re all for — an mental matter, a band, a movie director, no matter — and go to their Wikipedia web page. Read it in full, then go to the hyperlink that appears most attention-grabbing. Read that in full, then go to the hyperlink on that web page that appears most attention-grabbing. You’ll probably discover some sudden and attention-grabbing subjects.
  1. Play a free on-line recreation or a pc recreation you will have and by no means performed. Many pc avid gamers have video games of their library that they’ve by no means performed, picked up for a greenback or two at a sale. Dig into one in all them. If you don’t have that, go to a website like Kongregate that has tons of free video games accessible.
  1. Pour your self an extended, scorching bathtub. If you will have a shower bomb within the closet, now’s the time to lastly use it. 
  1. Get deeply knowledgeable on a difficulty. Are there any points on the market you’ve thought of and seen either side however by no means been capable of make up your thoughts? Look on-line for some good arguments for both sides, learn them and provides them some thought. Do this even for points you’re assured in. You may discover that the folks you disagree with have a whole lot of good factors, and that may assist carry folks collectively.
  1. Fix or handle that factor that’s been nagging at you. Handle that factor that bugs you each time you see it.
  1. Make some cookies and share them. Many folks have all the things they should bake cookies already of their pantry. Just bake a dozen or two! Save a couple of for your self, then share the remaining.
  1. Make a sourdough or friendship bread starter. These starters are simple to make, although it may possibly take a while and so they could be smelly in the course of the course of. Once you’ve obtained them going, nonetheless, you can also make infinite loaves of bread and share the additional starter with buddies.
  1. Visit an older relative. If you will have any older buddies or kin within the space, it’s virtually a assure that they’ve some odds and ends round their home that want some care, but it surely’s a bit past their bodily skills. Stop in and assist. 
  1. Visit the free tourist-y and historic websites in your space. Most areas have historic websites of curiosity that you may go to free of charge. You may need been conscious of them, however by no means really visited them your self. 
  1. Do a neighborhood stroll. Stroll round your neighborhood and see what you discover. Are there any ongoing points that you would shortly repair or let the town find out about? Are there any neighbors that might use a serving to hand? What’s new in your space that you just haven’t observed earlier than?
  1. Go to a free program at a close-by school. Many schools and universities have applications open to most of the people, corresponding to speeches and shows from attention-grabbing folks and demonstrations of the latest applied sciences. 
  1. Go to a enterprise grand opening. Business grand openings are sometimes very entertaining and typically supply freebies and giveaways. An effective way to search out out about enterprise openings is to take a look at neighborhood Facebook teams and skim free neighborhood newspapers (see tip #50).
  1. Go to the seashore. The seashore gives sunshine, lovely water, a fantastic place to stroll, a spot to swim, a spot to chill out and stretch out.
  1. Build a sandcastle. This isn’t simply enjoyable to do with children. Grab a couple of modeling instruments (cups, small buckets, a putty knife) and get to work on the seashore. 
  1. Host a online game competitors. This is a superb add-on to tip #64. Find a traditional online game or two that you just’ve cherished for a few years and problem your folks to a contest. Get some buddies collectively and see who can get the farthest in Super Mario Bros. or Goldeneye 007.
  1. Have a karaoke night time at dwelling. There are many YouTube movies that present karaoke variations of common songs so that you can sing together with. 
  1. Go to a youth sporting occasion and cheer loudly. This is especially nice if a toddler of a good friend or a younger relative is competing. Many youth sporting occasions are free to attend and kids can at all times use somebody cheering them on!
  1. Go to an attention-grabbing spot and have a “coin flip” stroll. Start in an attention-grabbing place and wander round till you attain an intersection. Flip a coin and go straight if it’s heads. If it’s tails, flip once more, and go proper if it’s heads or left if it’s tails. Keep going till you discover sufficient new attention-grabbing issues to fill your thoughts and coronary heart.
  1. Check out your metropolis or state’s journey information. Most states and lots of cities have a journey information, informing folks of attention-grabbing issues within the space. 
  1. Host a film night time, digital or in any other case. You can invite some buddies over to observe a film or, in the event that they’re distant, use one in all these providers to host a free digital film night time with your folks.
  1. Go to a poetry slam or ebook studying. Many bookstores and occasional retailers supply free poetry slams and ebook readings now and again, probably outdoor. It’s a fantastic alternative to listen to spoken phrase performances from the creators themselves.
  1. Visit an open air market. Farmers markets and different open-air markets are nice locations to wander round, odor the smells, and see the sights. Often, they’re nice locations for concepts for issues to do your self.
  1. Try Pokemon Go (or one other free social cell recreation). There are a bevy of smartphone video games which can be free and encourage you to get out and go. Pokemon Go, for instance, is an easy free smartphone recreation that encourages you to stroll round your neighborhood to advance within the recreation, and the sport encourages face-to-face group meetups in public locations as effectively.
  1. People-watch. Find a spot close to the place folks wish to go, then sit and watch the folks stroll by. 
  1. Start an in-person or digital ebook membership. Pick a ebook out of your shelf that you just’ve at all times wished to learn, then use that as the idea to begin a ebook membership. You can create a personal group on Facebook or one other social media platform to do it on-line, or you may plan an in-person occasion in your house sooner or later.
  1. Have a campfire. If you will have some spare wooden accessible, have a campfire. You could have a grill or fireplace pit simply accessible to you; if not, see if there are any in parks close to you.
  1. Watch a dawn or sundown, from starting to finish. Nature supplies us with a wonderful present every day. Taking the time to observe it reminds us of how superb the world round us is.

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Too lengthy, didn’t learn?

With an extended listing of suggestions like this one, you ought to be selective, tossing out ones that don’t click on with you and protecting those that really feel promising. If you discover simply 5 out of 100 that give you the results you want, that’s 5 free issues to do that weekend that you just didn’t have earlier than, and that can preserve the prices of this weekend a lot decrease. If you may fill only one weekend with money-free duties, that’s a weekend the place you didn’t spend, and in addition a weekend the place you could have found new issues to do.

We welcome your suggestions on this text. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with feedback or questions.

Trent Hamm based The Simple Dollar in 2006 and nonetheless writes a every day column on private finance. He’s the creator of three books printed by Simon & Schuster and Financial Times Press, has contributed to Business Insider, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, and Lifehacker, and his monetary recommendation has been featured in The New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and elsewhere.