27 Cheap Things to Do in Summer That Won’t Sacrifice Fun (2024)

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Now that summer is here, we can look forward to long, sunny days and lots of fun things to do. That being said, finding activities that are fun but also affordable is hard to do. On the search for cheap things to do in the summer (that you’ll actually want to do)? The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to relax, soak up the sun, or see new places! Follow this list of inexpensive summer activities that will help you have an exciting and creative summer that everyone will remember while also keeping costs low. It’s a win-win, so let’s get to it.

1. Have a Beach Day

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A beach day is among the most obvious and fun inexpensive summer activities, so let’s start our list there. For a day of surf, sand, and sun, pack a picnic, grab your sunscreen, and head to the closest beach in your area. Beach days provide infinite entertainment and leisure without breaking the bank, whether you’re swimming, making sandcastles, or just relaxing with a good book.

Related: The BestBeachDresses for Enjoying Your Summer

2. Do Outdoor Yoga

Outdoor yoga is a great, low-cost way to get active while enjoying the summer weather. You can join others in a tranquil outdoor environment for yoga sessions in many parks, which are either free or donation-based. As an alternative, you can simply place a yoga mat in a park or your garden and follow online courses or make up your own schedule. Doing yoga outside is a revitalizing and invigorating way to keep in shape while also enjoying the nice weather.

3. Go To a Local Farmers Market

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A great and inexpensive thing to do in the summer is to go to a neighborhood farmers market. Enjoy the lively atmosphere as you stroll through the market and find fresh, locally grown food. A lot of markets also have food stands, handmade goods, and live music, which makes them fun for individuals of all ages. Shopping at local stores is also a great way to save money and find unique items and fresh food. Plus, it’s a great chance to get to know people in your neighborhood.

4. Do a Photo Scavenger Hunt

For a fun and interactive summer project, set up a picture scavenger hunt. Make a list of strange or interesting things you want to find in your neighborhood or park and take pictures of them. You can go on this trip by yourself or with family and friends. This is a great way to learn about your surroundings, be creative with your photos, and make memories that will last a lifetime without spending a lot of money.

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5. Do Some Outdoor Gardening

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In the summer, gardening is a great way to spend time outdoors and practice your green thumb without breaking the bank. Vegetables, herbs, and flowers may be grown in any space, from a large garden to a cramped balcony. If you start with seeds or little plants, your garden will flourish all season long. You can also save money at the grocery store and have something to look forward to each day by gardening.

Related: FrenchGardenStyles To Inspire Your Own Backyard Design

6. Explore Your City

Although you live in your city, there can be many hidden gems that you’ve never encountered before. This summer, visit your own city like a tourist and find secret locations, new trails, and fascinating sights to see. A fun and cheap way to spend time is to walk around your city, but you can also rent bikes for a low price. By doing this, you can see your surroundings in a new way and discover interesting places you might have missed before.

7. Visit a Botanical Garden

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Whether it’s the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Chicago Botanic Garden, or the one in your small town, a botanical garden is a peaceful place to spend the day where you can enjoy nature’s beauty and learn about different plants and flowers. Many parks let people in for free or at a low cost, so it’s a cheap way to spend the day. You can walk through a flourishing green space with lots of flowers and peaceful water features. This is a great way to relax, get ideas, and learn something at the same time. You can spend the whole day there with lunch and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and natural beauty.

8. Attend a Community Class

Another cheap thing to do in the summer is to attend a local community class. Check out the community classes in your area that are either free or very cheap. A lot of local libraries, community centers, and other groups offer lessons on a wide range of subjects, such as exercise, gardening, cooking, and arts and crafts. Making friends, learning new things, and getting involved in your community are all great reasons to take these classes; Plus, they’re cheap and fun.

9. Visit an Art Gallery

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Art galleries are a fantastic summer activity that is usually free or low cost. You can enjoy a wide range of art, from old drawings to new pieces. You can get inspired, enjoy different kinds of art, and even learn the history of certain artists that catch your eye by going to an art gallery. The cultural experience will make your summer better and won’t cost you a dime.

10. Watch Street Performances

Another great way to enjoy your city is to watch local street performances. Talented artists such as musicians, magicians, dancers, and others frequently provide free or modestly priced performances in public places. Street performances are a fun way to enjoy a night out and show your support for local artists. Bring your snacks, locate a comfortable position, and relax to the entertainment while you take in the energetic summer atmosphere.

11. Go Thrift Store Shopping

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For a shopping trip that won’t break the bank, local thrift stores are the place to go. At a fraction of the cost, you may find one-of-a-kind items such as apparel, accessories, home decor, books, and several other things. The act of shopping at thrift stores is not only a cost-effective method, but it is also an enjoyable way to find antique treasures and to decrease waste by giving goods a second chance at life.

Related: 10 Tips forThriftStore Shopping to Find Amazing Things

12. Host a Potluck BBQ

Another cheap thing to do in the summer is to host a potluck BBQ. Invite your loved ones and friends to take pleasure in the delicious cuisine and the companionship of others without spending a fortune. Serve hotdogs as the main dish (because they don’t cost much), ask each of your guests to bring a food item that they can share, and then get the grill ready for a gathering that is both fun and comfortable. Trying out new dishes, catching up with loved ones, and taking advantage of the warm weather in your backyard or at a park are all wonderful ways to spend your time.

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13. Start a Summer Book Club

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Next on our list is to start a summer book club. Organize a group of your close friends and launch a book club for the summer. Pick out books that everyone is interested in reading, and decide to get together on a regular basis to talk about them. Meetings can be held in public places like parks, cafes, or even online. By doing this you may share your passion for reading with others, learn about new authors, and take pleasure in fascinating conversations through this engaging and cheap activity.

14. Play Mini Golf

You don’t have to be a pro to play a round of mini golf in your area. Playing mini golf is a fun and inexpensive sport that is appropriate for people of all ages. Participating in this activity is also an excellent way to spend time with friends or family, engage in a friendly rivalry with one another, and take pleasure in the upbeat and fun environment of the course.

15. Visit Historical Sites in Your Area

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There are many historical sites hidden in cities, and this is a fun but also cheap activity to do in the summer. By going to the historical landmarks in your neighborhood, you may learn about the rich history of your area. Many of these locations provide free admission or at a reduced rate. This is also a great way to gain an understanding of the past, take part in guided excursions, and appreciate the historical value of buildings and places along the way.

16. Have a Yard Sale

Though not everyone may think having a yard sale is fun, it is fun for those who like to declutter their homes – and get paid for it! Having a yard or garage sale is the perfect excuse to declutter your living spaces while pocketing some extra change. Dig through your attic, basem*nt, and closets for items you no longer need or use. Not only is this a great way to recycle and repurpose your belongings, but it also provides a golden opportunity to mingle with neighbors and spread joy in the treasures you’re ready to pass on.

17. Road Trip to a National Park

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If you have notable state parks in your area, why not embrace the call of the wild with a road trip to a national park? The journey itself can be just as exciting as the destination, with scenic routes offering breathtaking views and unique photo ops. If you bring a cooler full of snacks and sandwiches, invite some friends, and split the price of gas multiple ways, it becomes a cost-effective way to have an adventure.

18. Have an Outdoor Movie Night

Turn your backyard into a cinema under the stars with an outdoor movie night – it’s the perfect time to relax under the night sky. Setting up is simple: a projector, a white sheet for the screen, and comfy seating are all you need. Or if you really want to keep it low cost, simply load or play a movie on your laptop. Then, pop some popcorn and snuggle under blankets. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the company of loved ones and the beauty of summer evenings without spending a dime on movie tickets.

19. Go Out for Ice Cream

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On those sweltering summer days, there’s nothing quite like the sweet, cooling bliss of ice cream to bring you instant joy. Take a leisurely stroll to your neighborhood ice cream parlor and enjoy. After all, sitting outside in the sun with an ice cream cone is an affordable luxury that makes your summer days all the sweeter. And who knows? It may become a new cherished summer tradition.

20. Play Board Games in the Backyard

Reignite your childhood joy by pulling out those board games and setting up shop in your backyard for an afternoon of fun. This is a wonderfully simple and virtually cost-free activity that can easily turn into a marathon of laughter and friendly rivalry. Arrange a mix of games to suit all ages and interests, ensuring everyone has a chance to shine. Just add some snacks and perhaps a homemade lemonade stand for a truly nostalgic, summer vibe.

21. Visit Your Local Library

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Put your library card to good use this summer. Not just a haven for bookworms, libraries often offer a schedule of free summer activities – think workshops, author readings, kid clubs, and even movie screenings. It’s a great, cost-effective way to enrich your mind, escape the summer heat, and even rent free movies (for your next outdoor movie night)!

22. Check Out Your Town’s Events

Dive into your community’s heart by keeping an eye on the local events calendar. From a night market to outdoor concerts to a free movie showing, many towns offer free events throughout the summer that are either free or very low cost. It’s an unbeatable way to stay connected, meet new friends, and enjoy the vibrant culture of your community without stretching your wallet. Every week can bring a new discovery, from art exhibits to cooking classes, ensuring your summer is filled with diverse and engaging experiences.

23. Have a Picnic in a Local Park

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Though not everyone may live in a big place like New York City and have Bryant Park, Central Park, and the New York Botanical Garden at your doorstep, all it takes is a fresh perspective and willingness to see your own local parks in a new light. Why not visit a new park that you’ve been meaning to get to? While you’re at it, enjoy the day with a picnic. Packing a picnic doesn’t have to be lavish or expensive; simple sandwiches, a selection of fruits, and some refreshing beverages are all you need. This is your chance to get creative with homemade treats or perhaps try those picnic recipes you’ve bookmarked. Don’t forget to pack some outdoor games like a frisbee, sidewalk chalk, water guns, or a soccer ball for some fun in the sun, or bring along a book for a quiet afternoon of reading.

24. Host a Game Night

Wrap up a day of summer fun by hosting a laid-back game night. Break out the board games, cards, or start a lively session of charades in your living room. It’s a low-cost way to keep the entertainment going, encouraging laughter and bonding over competitive yet friendly games. Perfect for any group looking to unwind and make lasting memories.

25. Go on a Bike Ride

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Whether it’s a quiet neighborhood street, a bustling city bike lane, a scenic countryside trail, or a wide open field, biking is a great way to immerse yourself in the warm weather and beautiful scenery. Pack a light picnic to enjoy a spontaneous feast in a picturesque spot. It’s more than just a mode of transportation; it’s an adventure inviting smiles, laughter, and perhaps even a bit of healthy competition.

26. Volunteer Your Time

Volunteering your time during the summer months is not only a cost-effective way to fill your days, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. There are countless organizations and causes that thrive on the support of volunteers. From helping out at local animal shelters to joining beach clean-up efforts or assisting in community gardens, the opportunities to make a difference are endless. Not only does volunteering offer a sense of fulfillment by giving back to your community, but it also allows you to meet new people, learn new skills, and experience the joy of making a positive impact. Plus, dedicating your time to a cause you’re passionate about adds a layer of purpose to your summer adventures.

27. Learn a New Skill

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Summer is the perfect season to dive into learning something new, and the best part? It can be completely free. With a plethora of online resources at your fingertips, picking up a new skill has never been more accessible or affordable. Ever wanted to strum a guitar, whip up gourmet dishes, speak a new language, or master the art of digital photography? Now’s your chance! Websites like YouTube offer endless tutorials across a broad range of interests. Local libraries and community centers often host free workshops, allowing you to connect with experts and fellow enthusiasts. Not only does this foster a sense of community, but it also adds a layer of accountability and motivation to your learning journey. Engaging your brain in something new is not only a fantastic way to spend those long summer days, but it’s also a great conversation starter at your next social gathering.

Some of the best things are free activities and thankfully, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a good time soaking up the great outdoors.

It might be difficult to come up with original and creative things to do on your own, particularly if you’re trying to keep costs down. Now that you have a range of suggestions, from free things to cheap summer activities that offer enjoyable and affordable summertime activities, it’s time to pick!

While you’re making plans for summer fun, we have inexpensive and free summer activities that you can do right in your own backyard: Best Things To Do in theBackyardAll Summer Long (That Won’t Break the Bank)

27 Cheap Things to Do in Summer That Won’t Sacrifice Fun (2024)
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