Contrary to popular belief, saving money – or not spending money – doesn’t mean you can’t do fun things. In my experience, finding free things to do can be even more fun!
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Now, we can get into details here: gas costs money, the utilities in your home cost money, etc.. But the free things to do listed here are “free” in the sense that the item itself is free! If you’d rather skip the cost of gas, there are plenty of options for staying at home.
Go to the park
Decent weather? Head to the local park! Most that I’ve encountered have been free of charge, but be sure to check in advance that your park of choice is truly free.
Play a game
Get out a favourite board game (I love The Game of Life* and Clue* – did you know you can get special editions, like Harry Potter* or Game of Thrones* Clue?). Pull out a deck of cards and relearn Go Fish! Pick up your favourite video game. They exist for a reason and chances are you already have a few lying around.
Have a picnic
You can even do it in your own backyard! I’ll bet you have peanut butter (or your favourite allergy-friendly alternative) and jelly on hand, too.
Host a potluck
Call your friends and family and invite them over, on the condition they bring a dish to share. There will be a variety of foods to choose from without spending lots of money and you’ll get to spend time with your loved ones!
Look up at the sky
Sunsets and sunrises are priceless. Go stargazing. A quick Google search will let you know if there are any special astrological events (think meteor showers, eclipses, and the like) in your area!
DIY date night
You don’t need to go to a five-star restaurant for a romantic date night! Chances are you already have food in your home. You might even have some candles! Combine this one with another item from the list to make a night of it (like a DVD or Netflix favourite for a not-so-classic dinner and a movie!).
Go for a bike ride
If you have access to a bike and know how to ride it, this is a great, frugal pastime! This is a great add-on to some of the other items on this list, too.
Put in a movie
Pull out a DVD or open a new Netflix window (maybe even a VHS tape if you’ve got it handy!). Put on a movie or your favourite TV show and curl up with a blanket, a pet, or a loved one. Throw in a cup of tea for an extra bit of comfort!
Go to the library
Utilise the free things! Pick up some books, grab a DVD, or check if your library offers any free classes.
Try a new recipe
Do you have your old football sitting in a corner somewhere? Pull it out and kick it around the yard or a local park! Not one for team sports? Try a sport like swimming or dance.
Have limited groceries but still want to try a new recipe? Get creative! Pick out a few ingredients and set a timer if you’d like to add a bonus challenge. Make Tim proud!
Check out a local museum
If you live somewhere with museums, there may be one that’s free or that offers free admission days. Our local historical society even has exhibits of its own!
Tackle your to-do list
It might not be as fun as some of the other items on this list, but it’s still something to do. If you’re like me, this might even be a little fun itself. Need to organise your closet (and donate what you don’t wear)? Tackle it this weekend! Been meaning to go through Uncle Al’s old photo album you inherited three years ago? Bring it down from the attic and get going down memory lane.
Meet your neighbours
This one may be a bit more likely for the extroverts of the group here, but you never know when your newest friend could be living just next door!
Pick up a forgotten hobby
Did you stop journalling for a while? Has it been a while since you picked up the scarf you were knitting? Is your untouched tennis racket judging you from a corner?
Start an online class
If you know you’ll be tempted to spend, this might not be the free thing for you. But I love heading to the local mall or store to check out some items, even when I can’t or don’t want to buy!
Build a blanket fort
Bonus points if you watch Disney movies in it afterwards.
Try a new DIY project
If you look around your home, you probably have a few items that can be upcycled (head to Pinterest for inspiration!). Don’t have anything that seems perfect? Some natural objects can be ideal, like flowers for pressing.
Help others and have something free to do!
Take a walk
There are few situations in which walking costs money. Are you an avid hiker or live near a great trail? Here’s your chance to get out for a hike! Hiking a bit intimidating? Take a casual stroll through your neighbourhood, or somewhere nearby.
Write a letter
I keep in touch with a few different people almost exclusively through handwritten notes, cards, and letters. You might have someone who’s willing to exchange letters every so often!
Embrace your inner kid
Do you live near a playground? Head to it during an off hour when there aren’t groups of children already there. Remember your favourite equipment from once upon a time? This is a perfect opportunity to rediscover that love! For me, this is the swings—a friend and I used to go pretty often when we lived next to the local playground!
Check out a new podcast
There are thousands of podcasts available – chances are there are a few you’d enjoy! You can likely find one with plenty of episodes existing already, too. I’m currently a little over halfway through catching up on Crime Junkie and I love it.
Take some pictures
You don’t even need a fancy camera – just pick up your phone! Even if you don’t think you have anything to take a picture of, you can find something. Try taking a photo from an unusual angle! You could go on a journey just to get some new photos. If nothing else, your Instagram will thank you!
Make a phone call
If you’re able, call a friend or family member to check in! Parents or grandparents will likely be especially overjoyed to hear from you.
If you’re lucky and have some art supplies on hand, pull them out—if not, you can get artsy with just a pencil and paper! Search for a tutorial online if you’d like some guidance, or get creative with your own original designs. Don’t worry if you don’t have the “talent” to make the next Van Gogh. This is just for you and just for fun!
Remember those new recipes? Plan out when you can make them and batch cook what you can in advance! Future you will thank you for taking the time out now.
Create a time capsule
Did your school create a time capsule when you were growing up? I don’t remember doing it myself, but it always seems to happen on TV shows! Try this yourself or with the friends and family you might see over the weekend.
There are seemingly endless free workout routines online!
Do some yoga
This is similar to working out, sure, but there are certainly differences that are worthy of note! While there are, of course, mental benefits to other fitness regimes, I especially love the mental and emotional emphasis of yoga. Again, there are plenty of free routines available online if you don’t have a workout of your own figured out already!
Put a dent in your TBR list
I recently catalogued my personal library. . . let’s just say I have a lot of books to read. If you’re anything like me, here’s your chance to work on that list! Check out some of my reviews at Pencils & Pages, or pick up a copy of my poetry chapbook* if you’re looking for something new (and slightly less free)!
Have a night out
…literally. Whether you go camping regularly or you made an optimistic purchase before packing it away, if you have a tent on hand, you can camp in your own backyard (or in a friend’s).
Treat yourself to an at-home spa day
Pull out your stash of beauty supplies or whip up some DIY scrubs to give yourself some at-home relaxation. Put on some relaxing music (Enya, anyone?) or your favourite ambient or nature sounds and get as relaxed as you possibly can. You deserve it!
Make a batch of cookies
Or bread, brownies, cake. . . bake your favourite thing! There are so many options for baked goods that only require items that you’re bound to have on hand already.
Learn a new skill
You don’t need to take a full-fledged class to learn something new! Teach yourself a new party trick or a useful skill for your day-to-day life. From juggling or tying a cherry stem to changing a tire or shorthand, head to Google or YouTube and learn something new!
You can even make a few extra dollars with this one if you find items that can be sold on apps like Decluttr or at a yard sale! Check out our list of overlooked places to organise if you need some inspiration to get you started.
Make a list
From a standard bucket list to a 101 in 1,001 lists, there are plenty of options for useful lists. Or, you could try your hand at making a bullet journal lits, like your favourite things to do on a bad day or the things you’re most grateful for.
So, what free things will you do this weekend?