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7 Free or Low Cost Ideas to Enjoy Summer 

By Matt Diehl, June 20, 2017

Personal Finance

At 11:24 PM CT tonight, summer will officially begin in the United States.1

To help you plan some fun in the sun, here are seven free and low cost ideas to enjoy summer:

1. Go to a public beach

Nothing says “summer” like spending a day at the beach. Although some beaches may charge a fee for entrance or parking, you may be able to find free beaches near you as well. Once you choose a destination, all you need is sand, water and sunshine to have a good time.

However, if you want to be active or artistic, there are several activities to enjoy based on your hobbies. To learn more, check out our article on 7 Budget-Friendly Ways to Enjoy the Beach.

2. Visit a public park

Whether you live near the Rocky Mountains or the Great Plains, public parks can provide a refreshing getaway close to home. While some national parks may charge a fee to enter, the price of admission could be well worth a full day of exploring and adventure. For more information, search for national parks by state to find locations near you.

3. Swim in a community pool

As temperatures start to rise, it can be helpful to have a couple of go-to spots for a swim. Although public lakes are typically free to use, some people might prefer the filtered water and atmosphere of a pool. Community pools are often open to the public at no charge while others may require a membership or the purchase of a day-pass. Research your options before you grab your towel and sunscreen.

4. Catch an outdoor movie or concert

If you need to cool off after a hot summer’s day, free entertainment in the crisp evening air might do the trick. Many cities and towns offer movies and concerts throughout the summer in open recreation areas. Check your local newspaper or community website for a calendar of events.

5. Host a backyard party

Backyard parties and BBQs are a great way to entertain a large group of people for a small price. From daytime cookouts to sunset bonfires, food, music and good company are all you might need for a fun party. To help cut down on costs, organize a potluck and ask family and friends to bring essentials such as tables, folding chairs and outdoor games.

6. Try something new

As the seasons turn, why not try a new activity? Summer traditionally offers the warmest weather of the year so it could provide a lot of low cost opportunities to discover a new hobby.

Here are some potential activities to try this summer:

  • Play a round of disc golf
  • Plan a scavenger hunt
  • Learn how to water ski
  • Paint a sunrise or sunset

7. Volunteer

There are a variety of volunteer programs that are exclusive to summer. Whether you mentor at a youth camp or join an environmental conservation project, you can make a positive impact in your community by donating your time.

To find volunteering opportunities in your area, please search the following links:

Summer fun ahead

Now that summer is officially here, it’s time to make the most out of the season. Hopefully our list gave you some inspiration to plan some enjoyable activities that are free or within your budget. Have a great summer!

  1. Almanac.com. “First Day of Summer 2017: The Summer Solstice.” Almanac.com.
    http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-summer-2017-summer-solstice (accessed June 5, 2017).

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of OneMain. The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else. The author was compensated by OneMain for this post.

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