Summer fun doesn’t have to break the bank. Day passes to amusement parks and water parks, road trips to National Monuments and boating adventures aren’t within everyone’s reach financially and they certainly produce their own sort of environmental pollution. Enviro Girl’s family doesn’t own jet skis, water-skis or an RV. Fortunately, there are plenty of emission-free activities for people of all ages to enjoy–fun things that don’t require lots of electricity, gasoline, plastic or cash.
As Enviro Girl and her kids made their summer fun bucket list, they tried to think of stuff they could do within a short distance of home for very little money. Her kids would happily spend summertime parked in air conditioning, playing video games or watching TV but Enviro Girl wants them to enjoy Old School Summertime Memories. Here are her suggestions for free, green summer fun:
1. Check out your public library. Not only is this resource FREE, public libraries offer awesome summer programs for people of all ages. Summer Reading Programs for adults, teens and children even offer incentives for reading–free books, free park passes and even coffee shop vouchers. Public libraries offer magazines, books, audio books, DVDs–all you need is a (free) library card.
2. Kick the can. Or capture the flag. Remember those old games from childhood? With a ball, tin can or flag you can get your family, friends or neighbors involved in a heart-racing game of tag. There are many variations on these backyard games. All you need are people to play and the occasional prop. Check out this website for some great ideas.
3. Enjoy local talent. Many communities have free concerts in parks or outdoor theater performances that cost very little to attend. Pack a blanket, cooler of treats and spend a peaceful evening kicked back beneath the stars.
4. Troll the farmers market. Even if you don’t buy a thing, farmers markets are full of entertainment, smells, sights, sounds and textures. From freshly picked organic berries to textiles to artisan breads, farmers markets are a bounty for the senses at no cost. Bonus: the ambiance is free!
5. Hit the trail. Whether you head out on foot or on pedal, recreational paths and trails provide scenery, exercise and fresh air.
6. Get a pick up game going. If you don’t have space in your own yard or driveway, head to the park to a basketball court, tennis court or soccer field. Enviro Girl has enjoyed the biggest belly laughs of her summer playing basketball with her sons.
7. Put up a tent. Anything is cooler in a tent. Whether you string old sheets across clothes lines or actually own a tent, you can play cards or board games, drink sweet tea, day dream or lick a popsicle in a tent making any experience better than average.
8. Invite some friends and make it pot luck. The best nights of summer for Enviro Girl’s family involve getting people together. This doesn’t have to cost much–ask your guests to bring lawn chairs and a dish to pass. Mix some lemonade, carve a watermelon and the party practically starts itself.
9. Catch a game. If you don’t have a professional team in town, you might enjoy the amateur league. Plenty of baseball teams are playing games in parks across America on almost any night of the week. From Little League to Minor League, baseball is still affordable entertainment–for the price of a beer and a hot dog you can enjoy 9 innings.
Tell the Eco Women: what kind of low-tech, eco-friendly fun do you enjoy in the summertime?