As the weather is warming up, people are anxiously creeping out of hibernation. Whether you’re preparing a spring/summer bucket list of activities to do with your children, or you are an adult looking for an adventure, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the warmer season without breaking the bank. But don’t let the excitement get in the way of your financial goals. With creative planning, you can stay on track financially and create unforgettable memories. Check out these fun staycation ideas to keep you, your family, and friends entertained throughout the spring and summer seasons.
- Tour your own city!
When you plan a trip out of town, you likely research museums, restaurants, and famous sights. Do the same thing, but for your city or the closest city to where you live. In addition to finding out the top places to visit, do a search for free museum days, or free or discounted festival days, and plan your outing around those dates. Stop by your city hall or check online for a local visitor’s guide. Not only will you save money by avoiding hotel and transportation costs, but you will also gain a new appreciation for where you call home.
- Go hiking
National parks are always a good option for hiking. You can usually find visitor information and trail guides on their websites. Some parks allow biking too!
- Learn something new
What have you always wanted to learn, but you never have time. Do you find yourself saying “maybe next month?” Set aside an hour per week to discover a new hobby (painting, pottery, home-brewing beer) or learn a language!
- Listen to local music
Pick up the newspaper and find free music nights across the town. Many cities offer music in the park or live mic night at restaurants. You could also make it a goal to listen to a variety of types of music and see if you find a new favorite.
- Get festive!
Many cities host festivals and fairs in the spring and summer months. Plan out what is going on in your area or take a short road trip to a nearby town offering a festival. You may be surprised at how many options are available.
- Walk the city
When you go on vacation, you often do not have a vehicle and need to explore on foot. This forces you to find new restaurants or stores that you would never have found otherwise. Do the same in your own town! Enjoy wandering the streets, admiring the architecture of different homes or businesses, and taking different paths less traveled.
How often do you take the time to pull out a lawn chair at night and stare into the dark sky? If your yard is not dark enough, drive to a dark lookout point nearby. Pick up a library book on the way with constellations or use your imagination to identify your own. Make it a fun event by bringing a thermos of hot cocoa, binoculars, and blanket.
- Plan a progressive dinner
Instead of putting the pressure all on one host, or spending money at a restaurant, why not try co-hosting a progressive dinner with family or friends? It might be fun hopping from house to house for each course. Start with an appetizer at the first house, then move on to the entrée at the second house, and end with a delicious dessert at the third house. You could even plan a theme, such as a different ethnic food type for each house, a “build your own night” (build your own pizza, burrito, ice cream sundae, etc.), or make it a tradition each month and change the theme!
- Go Geocaching
Geocaching is a popular treasure-hunting game using your GPS or mobile device. Head out on a modern treasure hunt together!
- Go fruit picking
Find out what produce is in season, then head to a farm near you to pick blueberries, peaches, strawberries, or whatever is growing. Make it a full day by planning a related dish to cook when you get back home.
There are so many things that can keep you busy this spring without having to spend much more than your normal budget. Be creative and think of ways to enjoy quality time together while discovering a new talent, hobby, food, or music genre. If all else fails, simply do nothing! Put away the electronics, turn off the television, and enjoy the peace and quiet.