Recreational Activities on a Budget

ThriftyDiane By ThriftyDiane, 25th Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Daily Life

Here is a list of recreational activities that are either free or low cost. Some of these activities are family oriented while others are only for teens or adults.

Outdoor fun at the park

Purchase a season pass for your state park system. Some states charge as little as $20 for the entire year and it covers all of the parks that your state owns, not just the park where you bought the pass. Many state parks offer guided tours of historic buildings on the property, guided nature walks for bird watchers and gardeners, picnic areas with tables and barbecue pits, fishing and sometimes a lighthouse for the kids to explore, and free concerts by local bands during the summer months.You can pack hundreds of hours of fun into one small fee for a season pass.

Additionally, larger state parks may offer a wider array of activities. Parks with rivers may offer canoe rentals, kayaking or river rafting, or go tubing down the river (you sit inside of an inner tube). Other parks may have bridle paths, fenced areas for dogs to run and play, jogging tracks and playgrounds.

Pre-season and season sports games

Go to a practice session or a pre-season game of your favorite sports team. The pre-season games may be free or discounted from what you would normally pay at a season game.

Another way to get to see all of the home games for free is to volunteer at the ballpark. You might be assigned to work at the concession stand but you will get to see some of the game, and frequently the last third of the game in its entirety since the concession stand will not stay open until the end. Check out the volunteer opportunities and ask other volunteers about their experiences.

Ocean and beach activities

If you live near a seaport, you may want to go on a "cruise to nowhere" aboard a beautiful cruise ship. Some people sunbathe or participate in outdoor activities on deck while others play in the casino.

If you live near the ocean, go deep sea fishing on a 4-hour or 8-hour excursion. If you do not like fishing then enjoy a swim at the beach.Take a picnic lunch and a volleyball net if there are a group of you.

Factory tours and botanical gardens

Inquire about manufacturer tours of your favorite products, such as candy factories. Some places, such as Hershey chocolate, also have a nice amusement park for a day of fun. Research the factories in your area and find out who gives tours and how many people are needed.

Enjoy the serenity of walking through a botanical garden. In addition to having flowers and hedges, many have gorgeous sculpture gardens and buildings with exhibits. Backyard gardeners may be inspired with new ideas for their home gardens.

Hot air balloon rides

Enjoy a hot air balloon ride on a nice sunny day. Some companies offer romantic picnic lunches for two. Many offer evening rides to watch the stunning sunset. I am someone who gets seasick and carsick yet I thoroughly enjoyed the hot air balloon. You don't feel any motion since you are sailing with the wind (rather than across it) and at the same speed.

While hot air balloon rides can be expensive during the prime season, you may be able to get a discount in early spring or autumn during a weekday. Ask about package deals. Autumn rides over the fields show the lovely burnt oranges and reds of the season.

Museums and historical places

Visit the websites for your local museums, including the outdoor and hands-on museums, to find out which days (or partial days) offer free or reduced admission. Sometimes free admission is all day but other museums offer only a few hours in the morning. You can enjoy the paintings, sculpture, antique cars, the latest archeological finds and much more. Ask about the museum program where you purchase a season pass with one museum and it is good at many other museums around the country.

Attend the free or reduced admission days at historical places near your home. Plan a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities so you will have something to do if Mother Nature does not cooperate with nice weather.

Chamber of Commerce Website

Check out the websites for your Chamber of Commerce and those in nearby communities, to learn about upcoming holiday parades and/or festivals, home shows, vintage car shows, etc. Check the Chamber of Commerce sites for nearby communities, also. There may be something interesting happening in a city 10-15 miles from you. If an event charges admission, search online for a discount code, or go to the event website and see if there is a discounted day.

Need more ideas?

Visit your local travel agency and pick up a bunch of brochures on local attractions, such as a one-day bus tour to the beach or a casino, or a shopping tour to a large city, or whatever you are interested in. Consider booking a one-day excursion with the travel agency if you see something you like. Travel agents can usually offer either a better price or better seating at an event, or possibly some other perk.

Photo Credits

I would like to thank the following photographers for posting their images on morguefile for all to share:

Park with peaceful river: Antonandreas
Baseball game: Kakisky
Hot air balloon: gypsy4591


Beach Holiday, Beaches, Festival, Festival Season, Festivals, Historic Places, Hot Air Balloon, Hot Air Balloons, Museum, Museums, Outdoor Recreation, Parks, Picnic, Picnics, Sporting Events

Meet the author

author avatar ThriftyDiane
I enjoy writing about gardening, home remodeling and decorating, personal finance and home business, collectibles, crafts and tips to enjoy retirement.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
16th Mar 2012 (#)

Great share. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar ThriftyDiane
19th May 2012 (#)

I'm glad you enjoyed the info. Thank you for stopping by and reading it.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
14th Jun 2015 (#)

Thanks for reminding that - where there is a will, there is a way. I like long walks that cost almost nothing - siva

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