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Fancy brunches out and weekend vacations with your best girlfriends are wonderful, but they can hit your bank account hard. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a single penny to have a good time with your friends this summer. Feeling low on ideas for free group activities? Read on for inspiration.
Picnics are a classic summer activity for a reason: They get you out enjoying the good weather, eating delicious food, socializing and drinking in the scenery. It’s easy to go overboard spending money on tasty treats for a picnic, so why not set yourselves a challenge? You can only bring food you already have in the house! You’d be surprised how much great picnic food you can make from pantry staples and leftovers. You can also save on travel costs by picnicking in your local park or even in a friend’s backyard. All you need is a picnic basket, some sunblock and your besties for a truly memorable afternoon.
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Volunteering is the ultimate no-spend activity, and there’s no better feeling than giving back to your community while spending time with your best girlfriends. Do a little research into the volunteering opportunities in your local area to find out what would suit you best and which organizations accept multiple volunteers. Look forward to working with adorable fur babies in an animal shelter, keeping the waters safe as a volunteer lifeguard, or making sure your local unhoused community has enough water and food this summer.
Most people tend to neglect some of the fantastic tourist attractions their town has to offer in favor of exploring new places on vacation. However, you’d be surprised how much fun you can have and how much you can learn by being a tourist in your hometown. Take a trip to the tourist office, if you have one, and find out what free attractions are available. Many museums and galleries offer free admission on certain days or times. Get a guidebook and see how many new facts you can discover about your town; you might just fall in love with the place all over again.
Some of the best things about summer are the warm, clear nights, so take advantage of them by grabbing a picnic blanket, some snacks and some friends and gazing at the stars. Mid-August is a perfect time for stargazing, as Perseids meteor shower is in full swing, so you’re sure to be treated to a stunning show of shooting stars.
To learn more about the stars you can see, borrow an astronomy book from the library or download a free stargazing app. You could even give the night an astrological twist and read each other’s birth charts: It’s a great way to start a conversation and get to know each other better.
If you loved the thrill of a treasure hunt as a child, you’ll love geocaching. To get involved with this fun outdoor activity, all you need is a GPS or mobile device. Simply download the app and follow the clues until you find the hidden treasure, called a “geocache.” Once you find the geocache, you sign your name in the logbook and leave some treasure of your own to mark your presence. Geocaching is a fantastic summer group activity, as it encourages you to explore new places and work together as a team. Best of all, the standard membership is free!
From time to time, it’s good to clear out of your closet. You can turn this arduous task into an enjoyable group activity by organizing a clothes swap with your besties. Ask each of them to bring a bag of clothes or accessories they no longer want and have fun trying on each other’s cast-offs: Remember, there’s a lot of truth in the adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” You might just find your new favorite outfit without spending a dime!
It’s summer, so stick to reviving your summer wardrobe. Gather your shorts, tank tops and sun hats and swap them for funky sunglasses and pretty boho dresses. Why not do four swaps a year: one for each season? It’s an eco-friendly way to spruce up your closet, and anything that’s not claimed can be donated right after the event.
Learning a new skill is beneficial to different areas of your life, from your emotional resilience to your memory. It’s also a lovely thing to share with friends. However, signing up for classes can become costly. Fortunately, between you and your group of friends, you’re bound to have all kinds of skills, from cooking and crafting to playing an instrument or doing DIY activities, so how about sharing that knowledge with each other? Not only will you learn a whole host of skills this summer, but you’ll enjoy the confidence boost of passing on one of your own skills.
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Going on a bike ride is an excellent way to do some exercise and enjoy the beautiful weather. Not to mention, there’s nothing better than feeling the warm breeze through your hair as you glide down a hill on your bicycle! Pick a local beauty spot as your destination, pack a sandwich and treat yourself to a lazy summer picnic before you head back home. Bonus points if you find a lake for a post-cycle swim! Just remember to take plenty of water and load up on sunscreen.
When you’re with your best girlfriends, having a good time is a given, but it’s easy to get stuck in a loop of doing the same old things together, often spending a lot of money in the process. Fortunately, the good weather opens up lots of opportunities to get together without spending a dime. Discovering new no-spend activities can become a fun activity in itself, especially when you realize how much money you’re saving. You could even take those savings and splash out on a group trip somewhere special to brighten up the winter months.