Whenever summer rolls around, immediately those old tv commercials come to mind of the grandpa sitting on his porch, drinking Country Time lemonade as “Memories” plays in the background. It brings back a lot of memories of all the fun times we had growing up, running free and hardly a care in the world.
Memories by Bill Eaton
For us in the Midwest, summer is an especially cherished time as many of us are coming through a bitter winter, tired of being bundled up and in deep hibernation.
With the season comes activities and (sometimes) more expenses. But, it doesn't have to be so. Along with the help of some friends, I've have come up with 31 fun (and mostly) free things you can do this summer. I'd love it if you could add even more, creative ways you spend the summertime in the comment section.
- Go on a home tour. You’ll get to see a bunch of different homes, get ideas for decorations and be out among the peoples.
- Get a pen pal. PenPal World offers ways to connect with others across the globe (great for the kiddos)
- Grab a movie from the library. Or, like I like to do, get an old audio book or radio recording.
- Participate in Meals On Wheels. This is something my mother does regularly and I think she gets a lot of joy in doing it.
- Look through old photo albums. A free, fun thing to do with your kids or significant other.
- Go garage saling. And, add a twist to it: find the most valuable FREE item (every sale is giving something away).
- Plan a neighborhood scavenger hunt. This is still one of the most fun things I’ve done in a group.
- Visit your grandparents. As we’ve shown before – there is a lot of wisdom to be gained from our elders.
- Write someone who’s influenced your life. Better yet – write it out by hand and snail mail it.
- Look through your parent’s old school homework (or photos). I’ve enjoyed looking through some of my late father’s old school work reports and yearbooks.
- Learn a trick. I still wish I could get the hang of juggling.
- Go on a long hike through the woods.
- Try and find out what existed where your present home sits. Your area historical society might be able to assist.
- Borrow a friend’s paddle board and try it out. Still haven’t done this but hoping to this summer.
- Start blogging. Or journaling – if you like that term better.
- Draw with a child. If you need help sparking some creativity, this will certainly help.
- Try a new recipe.
- Look through old photos. You could even print it out and hang it up using an unused frame.
- Visit a small, unique city/town nearby and take in the sights.
- Make homemade ice cream. Never tried this one before – but hear others have.
- Host an outdoor movie night.
- Make homemade Popsicles. I loved doing this.
- Check out your community's events. We have an orchestra playing in the park off and on and other fun/free events the city puts on for residents.
- Bonfire. You might need a permit though.
- Make a summertime mixed tape. Er, CD. Or MP3.
- Have a lemonade stand with a kid. Speaking of lemonade.
- Go camping in the backyard.
- Go putt and chip on the local golf course practice green. This is one of my favorite summer activities.
- Start a painting. Finish it by summers end.
- Go on a farm tour. My wife and I went on an organic farm tour last year and really enjoyed getting to see different farming methods and met interesting folks.
- Draw a hopscotch board on the driveway or sidewalk. Then play.
Please, keep the list going!
Living in Jersey, some cities offer summer movie nights. You get to watch a movie under the stars. My favorite is the one held every Wednesday in the summer in Hoboken. You’re staring at the big screen with the NYC skyline as your background.
This is a great list! We have been going on a lot of bike rides lately. They’re a lot of fun!
Speaking of bikes – the mrs and I are looking to purchase. Any recommendations?
Here’s another dozen:
Take a bike ride to the nearest park for a picnic.
Go on a garden tour – many proud gardeners love to show off their hard work.
Do a little landscaping and trade plants with neighbours.
Choose a drawer/closet/room to declutter and marvel at the “long lost” stuff you find.
Then, go to your closest charity to drop off what you don’t need anymore and make someone else’s day.
Set up the sprinkler and enjoy running through the water works.
Go play in the puddles while it rains – it’s awesome at any age, especially if you get to do it with kids!
Visit a local pound and volunteer a few hours of your time to do some dog walking.
Grab your chalk and make a mural out of your driveway/front street for the neighbourhood to enjoy (it’s especially fun if you draw street games on it for the kids to play on).
Take a walk in one of the pretty neighbourhoods you don’t often take the time to explore.
Go wild berry picking when they’re in season. Make sure you know your berries! (You could always go to a “U-pick” place. It’s technically free because the only price of admission is food you would buy anyway…we have to eat!
Yeah home tours!! Tons of open houses going around this time of year too making it even easier :)
Summer is going to end in our country and now the school opening is coming. Last weekend, we had a family outing, we went swimming together with my relatives and friends.
Cool list. So often people think they have to spend money for entertainment. I’m guessing though some of those things on this list would probably create memories that will last long after more expensive entertainment is long forgotten. Many of my best memories from my childhood, didn’t cost much money if anything.
Thanks Bob. Some of my best memories all involve free entertainment! :)