The joys of summer are many! If you, like me, live in a place where the summer is short, you're going to want to maximize your fun in the sun by doing as many awesome things as possible before the sun goes back to wherever the hell it hibernates during the cold and dark times. The most important ingredients for fun in the sun are friends and…well…the sun, so you can do almost anything with a group of exciting creative people, but here are my favorite el cheapo activities for summer.
1.) Going to see a drive-in movie. Yes, drive-in movies still exist, and no, they are not just for people who want to make out a lot in semi-public places! You can usually find them online, because there aren't a ton of them left and they need all the advertising they can get. If you can stay up for a double feature, you're getting two movies for the price of one, and it's easy to bring your own (maybe even homemade) snacks! Drive a large vehicle and bring your favorite people, some blankets, lawn chairs, a radio (so you can turn off the car and improve your carbon footprint) and some citronella candles (so you can enjoy the night summer air without enjoying a bajillion mosquito bites) and you're good to go!
2.) Going for a walk. Hanging around with nothing to do? Have too many friends for an effective coffee shop visit but not enough for a full-blown party? Go for a walk in your neighborhood, a local park or anywhere outdoorsy and safe! It's a nice activity because you're walking, so you're doing something and don't have to keep up a conversation the whole time if you don't want to, but it's easy to walk and chat if you're in the mood.
3.) Mini golf. I don't care how bad you are, putt putt is a great way to play golf, and a great activity for friends of all ages! My advice when looking for a place to play? The wackier, the better! There's a mini green near where I live that has an old war helicopter, dinosaurs, and pirates, and plays music like "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion and that Christmas song by the Chipmunks (note: I am not kidding about any of this).
4.) Going on a scavenger hunt to nowhere. Not sure what to do with your day? Get a bunch of friends in your car, pick a direction, and go! My friends and I used to pick a town that we'd heard of but hadn't ever been to, and then try to find it without a map. We'd use techniques like, "Let's go to this town, and then take a left!" After playing this game for a couple of years, I know almost every road in the county like the back of my hand, and this one time we found a giant metal demon in someone's front yard (note: I am not kidding about this either).
5.) Washing your car by hand. Have a car you want washed? Rather than spend money to have a big old machine do it for you and then have that one bug spot that doesn't come off and being really pissed you paid like $8 to HAVE THAT DAMN BUG SPOT BE MORE NOTICEABLE BECAUSE NOW IT STICKS OUT FROM ALL THE CLEAN PARTS, why not wash your car yourself, or with friends? It's your opportunity to have some of those awesome movie-style hose and suds fights you've always dreamed about, and a way to get all wet and cool down on those super hot days! Plus, you can reward yourself for a job well done with ice cream afterwards - that is always part of the deal. ALWAYS.
What are your fun summertime activities that don't cost all the possible monies? Give me details in the comments below!
-June the Homemaker