- Sports and Recreation
Things to do in a Small Town
There's no sports events scheduled, and the nearest mall is between 20 to 50 minutes away. None of you have a car (and even if you did, gas is way too expensive to even bother right now). Options are limited; boredom runs high. What're you gonna do about it?
Well, let me tell you some of the things my friends and I would do in this kind of situation.
Find a good student/teen-oriented establishment.
Yeah, I know, there aren't many in our little communities. But there's bound to be somewhere you can go. Is there a community center in your town? A roller rink? A movie theater?
If money is an issue, consider the park. It might seem like it's more for the "kiddies," but even us teens get a kick out of fooling around the jungle gyms. There are always free beaches available, and I'm sure you can find a lake or river nearby. Heck, even a pond would do, as long as it's not filled with lilypads and pond gunk. Just be wary of leeches and swimmer's itch. Oh, and chiggers. Nasty little buggers, they are...
Still think that's lame? There's always Wal-Mart. :-P
Read the newspaper.
"Dude, newspapers are lame. They're for old people!" Not necessarily. Most city/town/county newspapers will have listings of events that you might actually be interested in, such as art fairs and car shows or dances and film festivals. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Counties hold regular events in an effort to gain popularity or status, or even to show pride for their heritage. Here in lovely Cambridge, Minnesota, there's the Swedish festival everyone's welcome to attend. Personally, I hate lutefisk... And lefsa... And all those other food items they tend to serve up. But it's never a bad idea to check it out in case you're interested.
Another thing to be looking at are the classifieds. No, not to buy something or apply for a paying job, but sometimes certain charity groups hold little events like highway clean-ups that you can volunteer for. And if volunteering's not your thing, you can swing by anyway and make fun of the greenies. Hey, at least it's something to do, right?
Host a movie night.
Slumber parties may have been "so elementary school," but if you take out the slumber part, it's a party. Rent some movies or have everyone bring their favorite and whip up that popcorn. You'll be enthralled for hours. Unless you have ADD/ADHD, then you're kinda out of luck.
Not a big movie person? You can still have a fun get-together with your friends with some simple board games. Monopoly never goes out of style. ;-) Of course, I always win... And if you're sick of board games, pull out that XBox or Gamecube or whatever confangled contraption you happen to call a gaming system and bring on the gameage! You can't help but feel like the "big man" when you pwn your buddies in Halo. Then again, you can't help but feel like an idiot if it's your first time playing and your boyfriend's giving you crap for being so bad, but then you're bouncing off the walls when you manage to kill him... Just that one time... And then everyone pwns the heck out of you...
... Yeah, I'm not a Halo person; can you tell?
Plan a scavanger hunt!
This was always one of my favorite things to do. And everyone knows how to do this, so you won't have someone saying, "But I dunno how to play!" Sounds childish, true, but if you mix it up a little bit, you'll seriously enjoy yourself. Try picking items that are REALLY hard to get a hold of, but keep it within city limits and reason. A good example of a few items you could put on your list:
- A picture of a police officer giving the peace sign (gotta love picture phones).
- An old baseball.
- A fly swatter with fly guts on it (disgusting, but interesting).
- A yellow rubber duckie.
- A newspaper article with every letter of the alphabet in it.
- A school calander.
- A snow sled (or, if you're in the south, something similar in nature).
Just about anything will do, as long as it's legal. Seriously, getting arrested is NOT a fun thing to do.
Got a bike, man?
Schedule a bike ride around town. It's exercise, it's healthy, and most importantly, it takes up a good chunk of time. You could even make a race out of it.
If you have a smaller group of friends, you could try to get more people involved. Have your friends invite their other friends. Get your siblings in on the sports action. Encourage parents to join in. Most people enjoy riding bicycles, so it shouldn't be hard to get some biking fun in your rather boring day.
Not a big bike person? Neither am I, to be honest. Then again, I don't own one. Consider rollerskates/blades if you have them, or just a simple jog. Exercise is somewhat important, as you learned in P.E., so why not have some fun while you're at it?
Heck, even yoga will do. Most small towns don't have yoga centers (or at least, mine sure doesn't), and yoga is great for relaxation and stretching those muscles and tendons, plus it doesn't take as much effort. You can even make fun of each other for some of the funny positions included in yoga. They can be pretty funny-looking. You're bound to crack up with laughter at some point in the process.
Yeah, it rains. Yeah, it sucks. Yeah, it makes things a little more difficult in the boredom-saving department. If it's raining, try some of the indoor activities suggested earlier. You can also consider a fun game of Charades, Guess Who, Pictionary, or a simple trivia game. Don't own one? Make one up! You're bound to know some trivial fact others might not (or you think you know one others might not, anyway). Try to stay inside, though. Getting sick is such a mood-killer.
I think we've covered the basics. Here's a little list of things to consider before you go out and entertain yourself and your friends.
Please keep everything legal. As I stated before, being arrested is not fun. And it's just not cool. Drugs run rampant in smaller communities/rural areas, and they are not the way to go. Try to consider the integrity of your group when you come up with options for relieving your boredom. Heck, consider the integrity of your generation. This goes back to that lovely problem with iPods and cellphones in schools: someone pulled a stupid and did something wrong, and thus, everyone has to pay. So when you're out having fun, please remember you are an example of your generation. It's up to you to show those old folks that you're not as bad as you're made out to be.
Got some more ideas on small-town fun? Put it in a comment! Maybe it'll get placed here!