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Cheap Weekend Activities to do Alone or With Others

Updated on October 1, 2010

We all have bright eyes and big hopes at the start of this new year but that doesn’t mean that we’re in the clear yet. The economy is still unstable and we are all still trying to save money where we can. For many of us, this has meant cutting out the usual forms of entertainment like going out to eat and seeing movies in the theaters. Despite cutting back in this way, we don’t have to spend our free time indoors.

Here’s a quick list to remind you of all of the great weekend activities that you can enjoy by yourself, with a date or as a family without having to spend a whole lot of money:

Get Outdoors

One of the best ways to spend an entire weekend having a great time is to get yourself outdoors and into nature. Here are a few of the things that you can do outside that won’t cost you much money:

• Go hiking. Find the nature spot that’s closest to you, pack some snacks and set out to enjoy the scenery. Whether you do this alone or with a group, you’ll be out there getting back in touch with the things that matter in life. • Head to the park. People of all ages can enjoy a day spent in the park. Swing on the swings. Read a book in the grass. Play catch with a partner. • Walk, window shop and people watch. There is so much to see in the urban world around you that you don’t really have to spend any money at all to get entertainment. You just need to walk around and see all that there is to see. • Take free walking tours. Many cities have free or cheap walking tours of different areas where you can learn the history of the neighborhood while spending a few hours being entertained. If your area doesn’t have something like this, you can always do the research on your own and get a group together to create your own little tours. • Have a potluck picnic or BBQ. When you only have to prepare one dish, you don’t have to spend a lot of money but you get to enjoy a great outdoor meal with the people you love. • Go on a photo expedition. Pick one thing that you want to record for the day – all of the trees in a particular park or all of the birds by a certain seashore – and then set off on a journey to explore the world with your camera. • Create a treasure hunt. This is a great outdoor group activity that doesn’t require any money at all. Simply create a list of things to find in the environment – anything from seashells to a certain size of rock to an empty plastic bottle – and then get a group together to see who can find those things first. • Pitch in on an environmental clean-up project. Most areas have things like this going on that you can volunteer to be a part of. Being a part of something bigger than yourself is a great way to spend your weekend.

Free and Cheap Events

You don’t have to stay outdoors to enjoy activities. There are lots of great events and activities indoors that you can check out with spending a fortune. Here are some of those ideas:

• Second run theatres and free outdoor movies. Many cities have “cheap theatres” that let you see movies on the big screen for just a few bucks. And as the weather gets warmer, those free outdoor movie screens are going to start going up all across the nation so you won’t have to pay anything to see a film. • Look for factory tours. If there’s a factory in your area then it probably gives free tours and that can be a great weekend activity. Whether it’s Jelly Beans, Chocolate or Beer that you’re seeing get made, you’ll learn something new and probably have a good time. • Free days at local museums and zoos. Check out the local culture spots to see if they ever offer free days. In most cases, these are not offered on the weekends but there may be a few in your area that do have special no-cost or low-cost days for you to check out. • Art is often free. You can go to an art gallery reception, drink wine and eat cheese and meet some pretty cool people and never have to pay a penny. • Open mic poetry and music. The range of talent at these types of things varies from terrible to outstanding but the good news is that you often get more than what you pay for. • Shop on the cheap. Yard sales, flea markets, swapmeets and dollar stores are great places to go on the weekends if you’re itching to do some shopping but want to make sure that you do it on the cheap.

Little Indulgences

Sometimes what we really want is just to treat ourselves to something luxurious. We can do that in small ways on the weekends without spending a lot of money. Examples of these types of activities include:

• Take a trip to your local candy store. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a few great treats that can make you feel like you’ve really spoiled yourself silly.  • Spend a day at a really great library. There are public and school libraries all across the nation that can inspire you with their size and the breadth of topics their books cover. Take yourself to a library for a full day and get lost in the shelves. • Get a really great drink or dessert at a nice restaurant. You can treat yourself to a great night on the town without spending a lot of money. Do your actual dining at home but then meet up for a shared dessert with someone at a place that makes you feel like royalty.

These are just some of the cheap and free things that you can enjoy on any given weekend in most parts of the country. There are also plenty of activities that you can do at home – arts and crafts, creating your own travel scrapbook of places you’d like to visit one day, having a board game night with friends … the possibilities for cheap things to do are endless as long as you’re willing to be creative, keep a budget in mind and find some great people to spend your time with! 


Submit a Comment

  • moiragallaga profile image

    Moira Garcia Gallaga 

    7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

    useful and great hub, being my 2nd day here in hub getting more inspired.

  • laddriggers profile image


    7 years ago

    The great thing about this hub is it's simplicity. It's not full of new and crazy ideas that no one has ever thought of - it's an excellent list of tried and true favorites that somehow flee our minds when we are bored. Excellent!

  • crazy-zebra profile image


    7 years ago from Midwest

    I love this hub. Very good and useful ideas and your ideas gave me other ideas. I like the idea of hiking in a park in winter with warm clothes and maybe a backpack with lunch and hot chocolate or cofee.

  • hot dorkage profile image

    hot dorkage 

    9 years ago from Oregon, USA

    Yeah, I never had the jack even during fat times. So if anyone wants to know about any of these things, these are the things I've been doing for the last 20 years.

  • fishskinfreak2008 profile image


    9 years ago from Fremont CA

    I love doing all this stuff. Some very good ideas. Thumbs up


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