Wednesday, April 13, 2011
As the walls close in when the weather gets warmer, it may be time to find some entertainment outside the house. When the budget doesn't allow a whole lot of leeway, free entertainment and activities fill the bill quite nicely. Those 'freebie' venues can also offer more than simply no-cost activities: They can present opportunities through which you can make new friends and build or strengthen relationships.
Community Calendars: Local Chambers of Commerce often publish periodic schedules of free concerts, fairs and other local attractions and activities. Call or visit your local Chamber of Commerce office for information regarding what may be available.
Church Activities: Local churches often have activities for parishioners and visitors alike. Some include food drives, visiting the aging or the ill or litter patrols.
Parks: Enjoy the sunshine as you watch a pick-up game of basketball or frisbee. Join in if you can! Bring a few slices of bread and feed the ducks and birds. Stroll along the paths and walkways and let your imagination run freely: Did a knight slay a dragon at the crest of that hill? How deeply into the woods did Robin Hood and his band hide? What battles did the occupants of that tree fort fight and win? Are a spy and her handler having a clandestine meeting in that shadowed copse?
Sports: Sporting events with older participants are possible, but those often require an admission fee. Instead, consider youth sports. Little league baseball and other youth sports often have free admission to the open-access bleachers. Watch the future stars try their best while you remember those good old days when playing meant having fun and not simply improving a win-loss record.
Museums and Zoos: Many museums and zoos have free admission days or request only a small donation. Call those in your area for schedules. Enjoy art exhibits, scientific inventions, cultural heritages and even lunch boxes and yo-yos if you live in the right area. Watch tigers, elephants, monkeys and lemurs in their natural settings. Marvel at the rainbow of colors on the fish and other creatures of the sea.
Employer-Sponsored Events: While they do involve proximity to co-workers and supervisors, employer-sponsored events can extend free entertainment possibilities. Picnics, sponsored sports events you'd otherwise probably not attend, group volunteer activities and dinners represent only a few opportunities that may be available.
Charity Events: Volunteer to work with a local charity. Offer specialized service or general labor. Donating your time and effort can often make a greater difference than a monetary donation. Actually witnessing the benefit you provide by getting directly involved can bring tremendous personal rewards.
Photo Tours: Grab your camera and walk, pedal, ride or drive around your town. Take pictures of things and people that catch your camera's eye. Create a pictorial review of architecture, people and landscapes that many ordinarily overlook in everyday life. The photo of a gnarled tree, bent and twisted from a century of storms and wind, can intrigue the eye and imagination.
If you choose any of these options or discover your own, free entertainment and activities pad any budget and can provide adventures "outside the box"—and off the commercially-beaten path.
About the Author
JC Ryan is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online courses and career training programs they can choose from to reach their goals.