How to have a “free” a weekend

Always pondering on how to have an inexpensive, relaxing, yet fulfilling weekend, we stumbled upon this list at thesimpledollar.com, and thought it would be fun to share with our blog friends. A spin-off of the original article, The Joys of a Money-Free Weekend, the following list is from Fifteen More Free Things to do During a Money-Free Weekend. Both of these articles are written by Trent Hamm. 

My Lola and Finn's "free" weekend of bird watching.

Be inspired, and enjoy a “free” weekend, friends!

Go on a wandering walkGo out the front door and a child pick the directions. Almost always, you’ll eventually wind up in someplace new and interesting – if that doesn’t happen, at the very least you got a healthy walk out of the deal.

Play a card game—I spent a weekend learning how to play contract bridge once – it was one of the most fun times of my life and it merely took a deck of cards to learn it.

Clean out a closet—I actually enjoy doing this – I always find an interesting thing or two that I’ve forgotten about, plus I wind up clearing out a lot of clutter and have a big pile of stuff to take to Goodwill.

Attend a dress rehearsal—This sounds completely crazy, but try asking around at local events to see whether or not you can bring your children to see a dress rehearsal of their show – quite often, they’re happy to do this for families with children who want to see the show. Why? Children can often interrupt performances out of boredom or bathroom necessity, which isn’t nearly as big a deal during a dress rehearsal, plus the troupe is often very happy to expose children to the arts. Call up a local theatre and ask whether this is possible.

Dig an old video game console out of the closet and play some of your old favorites—I did this in about 1998 with my roommate at the time – we dug out an old Nintendo and played several of the games all weekend long when it was raining. Spectacular fun and it only cost a bit of electricity.

Get involved in local community sports—Join a softball league, or look to volunteer to coach or umpire for youth leagues. Even tasks like being an equipment herder for a pee wee league team can be a lot of fun.

Attend a church service—In college, I used to attend the service of a different religion every week (at least the ones where I was welcome as an outsider). I didn’t really understand most religions, and I definitely didn’t understand the differences between Protestant sects. It became an interesting routine for me, I learned a lot, and I wound up finding a church that really fit me well.

Learn how to juggle—Seriously, spend an hour or two trying to learn how to do it. Find three juggle-able objects and give it a whirl (I first learned with golf balls in a garage). Quite fun, and no one can do it well at first, so it’s good for a laugh, too. It took me quite a while to master it, but now I can even do five balls for a short time.

Make a 101 Goals In 1001 Days list – then start on some of them—Looking back at my list, I’ve made advances on a few of them and have accomplished about six of them – not bad for the first 60 days or so, I think.

Take some photographs—Go on a walk (by yourself or with family) and look for interesting things to take pictures of. Even better, share them on Flickr (or another image-sharing site) when you’re done!

Learn something new—Go to MIT’s OpenCourseWare, find a topic you’re interested in, download some mp3s of lectures, and listen to them while you’re doing household chores. I’ve learned about many things while doing this – and it doesn’t cost a dime.

Make something homemade—This isn’t entirely free, but it’s almost always a savings over buying the “real thing.” I make my own wine and my own laundry detergent, and my wife makes her own soap. In each case, it’s cheaper than buying it from the store and it’s always an interesting experience.

Practice origami—For a while, my wife folded paper cranes by the thousands while doing other things (watching our child, etc.). I like folding paper frogs that jump when you tap them on the back. Both are basically free – just fold them out of newspaper, old magazine pages, junk mail, and so forth.

Have a film festival—Invite some friends over for several hours of movie-watching. Have each person bring one of their favorite “obscure” movies, and then watch them all together. This can be an absolute blast, and the only expense is the popcorn and beverages.

Do a neighborhood cleanup—Invite some people to go out and clean up your neighborhood for a few hours, picking up rubbish along the road and in any public places in the area (like parks or walking paths). This is a great way to interact with neighbors, make your community look better, get some fresh air and exercise, and not waste money, either.

Please feel “free” to leave us a comment as to how you are spending YOUR weekend!

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4 thoughts on “How to have a “free” a weekend

  1. We took our dog Abby to the lake yesterday. Packed up a couple of beach chairs, magazines (Create & Decorate of course!) books, snacks, jackets for us and a towel for the pup. She jumped in the water as soon as we got there! Brrrrrr…crazy dog.

  2. What a fun list ;) :) I’m probably going to take a walk downtown later today. I”m bored and it’s so sunny and warm outside :) :) OH, LOVE the two cats looking out the window :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  3. Spending the weekend watching grandkids playing sports & daughter’s birthday. Son is next week—can’t get any better! Hope everyone has great one, too. The people who run this blog are nicest people—willing to help anytime. Thanks, Cookie17

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