The temperatures are finally warming up, the sun’s coming out. Where else to be than enjoying the wonderful outdoors! Thankfully, there are tons of free things to do this summer (or very close to free) to get outdoors in your community. Here are 10 great ideas from Karina!
1. Check out your local state and national parks
State and national parks are some of the most beautiful places around. Whether it be hiking, swimming, or just exploring, parks offer tons of fun opportunities. Use the National Park Service’s free search engine to find a national park near you or google “state parks near me” to discover close state parks.
2. Swim at the YMCA (without a membership!)
Many YMCAs offer free trial memberships that range from 3 visits to up to 2 weeks. The summer is the perfect time to take advantage of this, especially if you don’t have a pool you regularly go to! Simply google “YMCA free trial membership ‘your town’” or call your local YMCA to inquire.
3. Try geocaching or letterboxing
This is one of my favorite activities to do with friends during the summer! When geocaching, you use GPS to find a hidden “geocache.” Check out Geocaching 101 to learn everything about it. Letterboxing is similar except no GPS is required. Instead, you use coordinates, maps, or clues to find the “letterbox.” Atlas Quest will give you everything you need to know.
4. Brush up on your tennis skills
Even if you aren’t the best at tennis, it’s a great way to get some sun and have some friendly competition with your friends or family. Many high schools and middle schools leave their outdoor tennis courts unlocked during the summer. As long as you leave it as clean as you found it, these courts are awesome places to play some tennis for free.
Flowers are so beautiful in the summer! Grab some friends and see how many different kinds of flowers you can pick. Then, you can make them into bouquets, crowns, or whatever you like! Of course, be careful only to pick flowers if there are multiples as to not disturb nature! If you live in the city, you can still do a version of “flower picking” by either driving, walking, or biking around the city and taking pictures of as many flower pictures on signs, murals, billboards, etc., as you can! Working on your photography skills doesn’t cost a thing except time!
6. Head out biking
Biking is a great way to get some exercise and work every part of your body! Many towns have greenways or parks set up to be perfect places to bike. And if you don’t have a bike, ask around and see if a friend or family member will let you borrow theirs for the day. Even better? Get a group of friends together and make it a group activity.
7. Swim at the lake or beach
There’s nothing better than cooling off in the water on a hot summer’s day. Look and see if there are any public lakes or beaches near you, as most have free public recreation areas to enjoy. Remember the sunscreen!
8. Start an ultimate frisbee league with friends
The awesome thing about ultimate frisbee is it can be played almost anywhere and is accessible to all ages and interests. Plus, all you need is a frisbee! Grab some friends and create a bracket to amp up the friendly competition. Need a refresher on how to play? Check out Wiki How’s step-by-step guide.
9. Practice some summer shredding at the skate park
Find a skate park near you using the Concrete Disciples’ skatepark directory. Then, grab a skateboard, roller skates, scooter, or even a ripstick and start practicing your moves! Many cities have low cost or free skateparks so check it out.
10. Go for a run (or walk)
Of course, one of the simplest ways to get outside during the summer is to go for a run. And, there’s tons of different ways to do it! If you enjoy being in nature try trail running. Or, if you’d rather run on paved trails, search for parks or greenways.
All of these activities and simple, fun, and free! Enjoying the outdoors during the summer is so relaxing and is my personal favorite way to relish the vacation. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, get some fresh air, and enjoy all the free things to do this summer!
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