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Cheap Summertime Activities

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The school year is about to end and that means summertime isn’t far behind. If you’ve been wearing your financial belt a little tighter this year and a big family vacation will have to wait, you can still have a great summer. Here are ten low and no-cost ways to enjoy the dog days without spending a pretty penny.

1. Opt for a local staycation weekend. If you live in a major metro check out all the tourist spots you never visit because you’re a local. If you live in Smalltown USA, research towns within a two-hour driving radius to find activities and attractions you’ve never seen. For added savings, seek out a hotel that offers AAA or other discount rates.

2. Investigate national, state and municipal parks in your area. There’s nothing like spending the day hiking, then roasting marshmallows around a campfire in the evening.

3. Check out your local library’s summer programs. From story hour for the little kids to reading programs, workshops and magic shows for all ages, the library is a good year-round resource for low and no-cost entertainment.

4. Go camping. Camping has long been one of the least expensive ways to vacation. Campsites rent for as little as $10 per day at public campgrounds and most state and national parks have campsites available, as well.

5. Do a switcheroo. If you really want to travel out of town while still saving money, consider a home exchange. Just list your home on the Home Exchange website and before you travel, review other listings to find free accommodations nearly anywhere in the world.

6. Host a potluck barbecue. You provide the grill and the main and have your friends, neighbors and family bring the sides and drinks. Everyone gets a good time for very little money.

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7. Museums are a cost-effective way to beat the summer heat and learn a little something at the same time. For a fun day trip, visit museums in a neighboring city in the morning and stop for a late lunch or dinner on your way back home.

8. Hit the lanes! Bowling is one of the best entertainment values going, especially since individual locations run so many deals and events. Look up your local bowling alley online to see what weekly specials they offer for summertime.

9. Matinee movies for $1 are few and far between but, even so, movies are still a great value, especially if you avoid the concessions. Visit Fandango or Dealflicks to nab movie coupons and call your local theaters to learn about their matinee specials. What better way to cool off for a few hours indoors with great entertainment than at the movies?

10. Summertime is baseball time and minor-league ball is always super affordable and fun! If you’re more into the MLB take advantage of the cheap seats at America’s Pastime. Sitting on the third-base line behind the dugout might be pricey, but you’ll save a ton if you nab the same seats a few sections up.

With a little creativity and a sense of adventure, you can do fun things all summer long without breaking the bank.

Monica Ricci is the organization expert at, the leading, free and secure service that lets consumers manage all of their bills and accounts in one place online or using top-rated mobile apps. Ricci also founded Catalyst Organizing Solutions in 1998 and has been helping people change their lives ever since. She is the author of Organize Your Office In No Time and was named one of the nation’s “Organizing Elite” by Forbes Magazine. Monica is a Certified Professional Organizer. 

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