16 1/2 More Fun & Frugal Ways to Enjoy Your Summer Days

August is almost here and that means summer is nearing its end, so I thought it would be the perfect time to remind you of some other wonderful, fun, and frugal options you have to enjoy the remainder of your summer days.  These are free or inexpensive ideas to have fun and enjoy yourself before fall arrives.  If you missed the first post, check out 16 1/2 Free, Cheap, or Frugal Way to Enjoy Your Summer Days.

A few of these are activities we've discussed in previous posts, but they are so fun, they're worth repeating.

1. Watch an outdoor play.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but a fantastic plan!  Some outdoor productions are free or inexpensive, look around to see what is in your area.  If you keep track of the local theater and their schedule, you may have a better idea of their offerings.  Some cities offer plays all summer long--like Buffalo, NY's annual "Shakespeare in Delaware Park" performances.

above images taken at an outdoor production of Romeo & Juliet
at Maymont in Richmond, VA

2. Attend a small, local sporting event.
Whether a church-based softball team, a meet-up soccer league, or a minor league baseball game, watching a local sporting event is fun and exciting.  Seeing people participate, compete, and enjoy themselves reminds us how wonderful it is to be alive.  It also helps us remember how much we value our relationships, what our bodies allow us to do, and the time we have. 

3. Play a round of disc golf.
This is one I've written a post on, but it is so fun and so free.  All you need is a disc or two and sunscreen.  Also, it's suitable for just about any fitness level.  You can play as many or as few holes as you'd like.  For more details, tips, and places to play, check out this post.

4. Host a game night.
Pick a game (or several), make some snacks, have friends over, and get ready to laugh.  If you haven't done a game night in a while, you might be just about due.  Games like Telestrations, Farkle, Jungle Speed, Apples to Apples, Things or even the "party game for horrible people," Cards Against Humanity, can create hours of fun for a small or large group.

5. Plan a day trip to explore a neighboring city/ town in which you've never been.
For the price of a tank of gas (and maybe lunch, unless you plan a picnic), you can check out a whole new place.  See the sights, meet new people, and soak up the history.  Each place has its own story to tell, but you've got to look in order to see.

above images taken in Olde Towne Petersburg, VA

6. Check out free movies in your city/ town.
Sometimes local governments/ churches/ groups put on outdoor movies.  Check your local news website for announcements.  Here is the schedule for one such series in Richmond, VA.  Even restaurants have been known to host their own outdoor (patio!) movies once in a while, so keep an eye out.

7. Get a coffee/ hot cocoa/ tea/ drink with a friend.
This is an obvious one, but sometimes I forget how wonderful it can be to slow down and catch up--no fancy plans needed.  Even better, a thoughtful everyday gesture, surprise a friend with their favorite beverage!

8. Put together a puzzle or play a game alone or with a friend.
Unlike #4, this is low-key.  But, remember, not all fun has to be had with someone else.  You are plenty of fun all by yourself!  Perhaps a rainy day or a lazy afternoon, puzzles, card games, or board games can slow your week down and bring you back to taking time for fun.

9. Go pick local fruit.
I recently spent a morning picking wild blackberries and it was marvelous.  Going to a berry farm is a great way to catch some sun, get delicious and nutritious fruit, and spend time with the people you love.

10. Play mini golf or go bowling.
Obviously, one of these is indoors the other out, but they are both fun ways to enjoy an afternoon/ evening.  In Virginia, bowling is sometimes expensive (especially compared to Western NY), but take a look online to explore your options before deciding.

11. Take a [short] class to learn a new skill.
This is not necessarily a college class, but a community/ enrichment class.  As I mentioned in Olympic Mindfulness & Motorcycle Riding, Danny and I took a weekend motorcycle license course together this past fall.  We loved it. Spending time learning something new together expanded our minds, broke up our routine, and brought us closer together.  Local museums and community centers offer classes on everything from cooking to accounting.  Another favorite of mine was a gardening class I took with my friend, Sarah, at the local botanical gardens.  Grab a friend and gain some knowledge.

12. Lay out and look at the clouds.
Take an afternoon contemplating the shapes and figures in the sky.  If you share the experience with a friend, you can take turns describing your visions to one another.

12 1/2.  Lay out and look at the stars.
Similar to #12, but a little less interactive.  Looking at the stars is an excellent reminder of how small we are and how vast our world is--which is sometimes exactly what we need to put our problems into perspective.

13. Hike.
We've discussed this in previous posts (like this one), but hiking is an excellent way to get active and combat stress.  A little sweat, a little sunshine, a little fresh air, these all will do you good.  Plus, mindfulness is a wonderful inevitability while hiking!

above images taken at Old Rag Mountain in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

14. Put on some music and have a dance party. 
This can be an indoor or outdoor affair.  Perfect music + good friends/ family + smiles = a great time.  You can take turns being the DJ throughout.

15. Sketch a landscape. 
Even if you wouldn't consider yourself an artist, getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to expand your horizons.  Doing something, like drawing, that you don't do often can help you see the world differently.

16. Dress up and go get dessert/ coffee/ gas. 
Sometimes simply taking a little extra time getting ready and picking out your favorite clothes can help you to remember how fun life is.  Being dolled up and getting a positive reaction from passers-by adds to the fun.  One Saturday afternoon in college, my best friend, Molly, and I put on our prom dresses and went out for hot cocoa and muffins.  We had an absolute blast.

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