Fun, Frugal, and Free Activities

Fun Frugal and Free Activities

I’ve never been a super outdoorsy person, until recently. Having fun does not automatically have to mean spending a lot of money and in fact there are many free activities out there. And sadly enough, this is something that I have just recently come to terms with.

My life has changed so much in the past year, and with it comes the activities that I used to enjoy, versus the activities that I enjoy now. Before, I feel like all I did was shop. Ah, I have no idea how I found that fun to do every single day.

Having fun by doing things frugally does not mean that you have to hate your life. Lets please not confuse frugal with cheap. I will not just stay inside and look at a blank wall 24 hours a day just to save money. There are so many things that you can do out there that don’t require much money.

Today’s post will be all about the many frugal and low-cost activities that you can do, including some free summer activities for your family, children, and friends as well. Below are several fun, frugal, and free activities for you to try out. I also have a post dedicated to the many fun and frugal things to do in St. Louis for you to check out if interested.

Kayak in a new area is a great free summer activity to do.

Kayaking does not have to be a lot of money and because of this it is one of the first of the free activities that we will be discussing today. At many parks, you are able to rent a kayak for maybe $10 a day. And if you already have your own, then it is free. You can look for a great deal, or score a used one on sites such as Craigslist.

Go camping as one of the many great free summer activities.

Something that I am always ashamed to admit is that I have never been camping. Yes, I just said that, and yes you read that correctly.

Camping in the beginning might be expensive because you have to acquire everything, but after everything is bought, it then becomes very cheap to go camping. Much cheaper than going to a hotel. Camping is one of the several very fun free summer activities.

Find a place to hike is one of the great free activities.

I’m going to guess that there is at least somewhere around where you live where you can go for a hike. There is a park right up the street for us where we can go for a hike and it’s great!

One place that we would like to visit more is W’s family property. They have tons of acres and miles of land to explore full of creeks, cliffs and everything else. It is so pretty, and I regret not bringing the dogs there more.

Bike on trails or around your town.

Yes, a bike might cost you money in the beginning, and in some cases it might cost you a lot of money. However, I do believe that the cost pays off because usually it will be a one-time cost, unless you go through bikes like crazy (lets hope not!).

We have been going for bike rides a lot lately, and it’s been a lot of fun. I really wish that there was a way for us to get to the Katy Trail without having to get into our Jeep (there is a river that separates us from the trail, and only cars can realistically go on the overpass since it is a highway), but it is still fun.

Riding a bike is another one of the fun free summer activities for you to try.

Seek out festivals for free activities to try.

There are so many festivals happening every single month. St. Louis also has many free concerts during the summer with big headliners (past Fair St. Louis music includes: Maroon 5, Steve Miller Band, Nelly, The Offspring, Third Eye Blind, and much more – and all for absolutely FREE) that I happen to miss all of the time.

The botanical garden almost always has something fun also. I always miss the annual air balloon show also. I would like to start doing all of these things!

Go to the library.

I haven’t been to the library in a very long time. I would like to start spending at least some of my days diving into everything. Learning and reading new things, and for free? Deal!

What other frugal, yet still fun, free activities do you have to add to this list?

When was the last time you did something frugal and fun?



  1. says

    Really great ideas! It’s so true: there is so much out there in our cities to enjoy and it’s fantastic that you are being so active outside! It’s something I really miss where I live (Brussels), there is very little access to nature in such a small, populated country, especially without a car. But back home, I used to go camping all the time – it’s not expensive at all and is really relaxing. You could probably find good deals on camping equipment on ebay, craigslist, etc.

    Taking walks, reading a book, having a picnic, playing badminton or soccer in a park, are all nice things to do for free in the summer. Almost free things can also be visiting local markets (cheaper produce usually) for the atmosphere, fresh food and free tastings. Cooking a new meal trying to use the ingredients you already have is also a good, frugal idea!

  2. says

    This weekend there´s a big literature festival AND a FOOOOD festival in town, so I´m definitely stoked about going! It doesn´t cost anything, and I get the chance to meet some famous authors and taste some delicious food;-)

  3. says

    Picnics and camping are my two favourite, low-cost outdoors activities. So much so that even if I’d the money for a posh holiday I’d still go campaign. Nothing more refreshing – and both picnics and camping are perfectly do-able in October when the days are still sunny. Just bring a cosy duvet for those crisp evenings and cuddle up with loved ones!

  4. says

    Kayaking is so much fun! I almost forgot about it until I read this post even though I love to go haha. DVDs from the library as well as books (though I’ve had little to no time to read recently) are a big source of my frugal entertainment. We had a bonfire two weekends ago and that has been a fairly frugal activity, though it will be MUCH more frugal next year when we can stop buying wood since our friend’s Dad is going to help us cut down a big tree in our yard for firewood. Gotta love frugal entertainment and activities!

  5. says

    Excellent tips and ideas.

    There’s a lot of fun to be had with little money, once you start thinking outside the box. A day kayaking or biking is surely MORE rewarding than a night at the cinema, while also eating junk food. We do some of these activities and really love them.

  6. says

    With fall I used to love going to apple orchards and pumpkin patches when I lived in Michigan and Seattle. Here I don’t do that much, but I do frugal activities almost every single day with running on the beach or beach volleyball. The only thing that can get costly about that is the temptation to go out to restaurants or for drinks after. I have to avoid that temptation every single time-especially if it’s nice out and I’ve been feeling anti-social.

  7. says

    I love this post and personally do one of these things every week.

    So many people going through life thinking that the “mall” is the place to go when you have free time and would like to get out of the house. To me, its the world’s most life sapping and depressing place.

    Like you’re doing now Michelle, get and see the world – its ****ing brilliant!!

  8. says

    Similarly, I wasn’t an outdoorsy person until I met my boyfriend. He loves nature, and I’ve always admired it from afar. Now, we go walking and discover new places around town all the time. It’s fun! We have a few parks we go to, but sadly our area is more beach-oriented than woodsy. I’ve never been camping either, but it’s something I would like to look into for the future. I also love going to the library; it’s so peaceful. I plan on getting a bike next year! I have to save up for one first.
    E.M. recently posted..Student Loan Debt: Update #4My Profile

  9. says

    I love your list!

    In regards to libraries, I know many (at least in our state) have movies there as well that you can rent! FREE movie rentals! Both my boyfriend and I subscribe via text to RedBox and every so often we’ll get a coupon code for a free rental as well. Can you tell we like watching movies? :p

    I’ve also found it useful to keep up to date on things happening within your community. There are always things that are free of charge that are going on where we live. Whether it’s a festival, block party or a movie in the park.

    There is also a museum we have downtown as well as an art museum that both have free general admission (they have special exhibits monthly that are a small fee…).

    Lots of stuff… one just has to look around!
    Thanks for posting, you’ve made me think a lot of more things we can do around where we live!

  10. says

    Hey Michelle and thanks for an enjoyable post!

    Like a few commenters, I am not an outdoorsy kind of guy…although I do plenty of biking to get around.

    My frugal activities include going to the library down the street from my place, hanging out at a friend’s place talking to their children and enjoying a delicious home cooked meal and going to Dollar Cinema which is actually two dollars but popcorn and stuff is a buck! They have second run movies which means that once the first run movies leave the cinemas, they can then be shown at second run theaters. So for like a few bucks, you can enjoy a great movie and treats! My way of living :)

    Take care and all the best.


  11. says

    Great tips! I’m a fan of boat rentals too. As far as camping goes, if you get a Rand McNally Road Atlas (they’re a bit large in size), they list all the federal and state campgrounds across the country so it’s a great way to find a great campsite to try out near a place you want to visit!

    I love something as simple as spending time in a new-to-me walkable neighborhood. My husband and I will walk around new neighborhoods to explore and find new restaurants or places we’d like to try. It’s a great way to find new things you might otherwise miss while driving by.
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  12. Emily says

    Hiking is absolutely one of my favorites (with the Rocky Mountains in my back yard how couldn’t it be?!). Taking advantage of free festivals, neighborhood events and window shopping are great. The Mister and I spend a lot of time walking around when it’s nice. I love finding new nooks and crannies in my city. Our library in Denver not only has books, movies, etc but they also have a lot of free classes and programming to take advantage of. It’s amazing how easy it can be to find free things to do once you look for it! Oooh and flying a kite. Man, if you haven’t done that since you were little, give it a try. It’s a blast :)

  13. says

    I go to cafes often with my girl friends to talk and it only costs a couple of dollars to catch up with your friends.
    There are a lot of free outdoor movie events in the summer time you can search in your area.
    I also sometimes go to a book club which helps me meet new people and read without spending a lot of money.

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