Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Free or Cheap Entertainment

So many people think you have to spend a lot of money, to do something fun or entertaining.
That is not true at all.  I guess it depends on what you call fun - but I was reading a local paper, and found all kinds of neat things to do in our area for little or no money.  I bet you can too.

Of course I get entertained just in my back yard!  I love watching the squirrels and birds and the cats.  During the summer, of course I have my flowers and garden.  Yes that is also work, but in my book it is the best entertainment around.

I love to read as well as do crafts.  I have tons of books I haven't read - and well, there is the library just up the road!  Libraries can provide you with hours of FREE entertainment.  Books, magazines, movies, computers, etc.
Our library often has book discussions and reading groups.  Mix with others and have a snack or two all for FREE.

There are craft classes and reading groups for the kids - FREE

Our local colleges often put on art shows of the talented students.  FREE.  Area schools sometimes have FREE choral concerts or plays (yeah, they are kids - but it is entertaining as heck).

Area churches have dances for various reasons.  Recently there was a prom for handicapped folks at a local church.  There are sometimes singles meetings/dances.  Senior dances and get acquainted nights.
Churches often have FREE dinners for anyone in the community.  One just had a chili cook-off contest - cost nothing to participate in the contest and anyone could buy dinner (all you could eat) for $3!
There are many area churches that have great bands come in once a month to play. 

Area produce stores gives FREE workshops on eating healthy - demonstrations, samples, and cooking ideas.
There are nutrition and wellness events at area Earth Fare stores twice a month.  They have drawings, give out gift bags of goodies and give many demonstrations and cooking classes.

The conservatory at the park is a great way to spend a winter day, enjoying the beautiful plants in the greenhouse.  $3 - and you can spend hours in there.  They often have special programs for holidays.  At Christmas they did a poinsettia/train show and they do a spring  flowering bulb show - all for no money.
Check any local greenhouses to see if you can spend an afternoon touring or even volunteering in some way.
                                   An exotic from the conservatory.  So many neat flowers to see.

Senior centers often offer exercise classes or fun things like Wii bowling for FREE.

Check your area extension service to see if there are any garden clubs in your area.  That is always fun - you can share with others and get lots of fun ideas.
IF NOT - start one.  Start a gardening group or a seed exchange - I bet you would find a lot of people who would also enjoy it.

We have a German park and club in the vicinity that is open to the public.  They have great dance nights - for anyone FREE.  You can purchase dinner or have drinks - but the dancing is FREE

Volunteer at any number of places.  Many small galleries/historical sites need volunteers, area children hospitals, women's shelters, churches, animal shelters, etc..

Our local park has FREE concerts every Friday night during the summer months.  Could be anything from the orchestra to hip-hop to country.
They all have FREE outdoor movie night once a month during nice weather

Many area VFW's, Moose Lodges, Eagles Lodges, etc.  have great entertainment.  Might charge cover fee, but you can have an evening of good music and socializing.

Do family research.  Much can be found at area libraries, and there is a lot that can be found for FREE on-line.  I have found that when we do short stints at a pay site - we split the cost with someone else (family) doing research and we both use the same password and can both benefit from the materials.

Don't forget the good old standbys like hiking, bird watching, mushroom hunting, scenic drives, picnics, game nights, movie nights, etc.
Take pictures.  I am a huge picture taker.  I love photographing flowers, nature of any sort, angel statuaries (yes from the cemetery) and even strange/odd headstones (and those of ancestors).  I know I am kind of strange, but I find those things interesting.

In the summer I totally enjoy going to flea markets and yard sales and farm markets - don't have to buy a thing - it's just fun talking to others and viewing the sites.  Of course I love people watching - I get that from my Dad.  He used to love to just sit back and observe - it truly can be entertaining!!!!!!

So there you have it - a few frugal ideas for fun entertainment.   There is just no limit to what can be fun and FREE.
What do you do, that doesn't cost a fortune?


  1. I like to walk which is free and if I want to go further afield, I use my senior bus pass to have a free day out taking a packed lunch.

    1. Walking is so important to your health and you get to see so much. A bus is a great idea - ooohhh people watching at it's best.

  2. The weather has been beautiful the last 2 days. My youngest and I went for a walk at the local park. There is a playground, splash pad, roller rink, tennis courts, football fields and dog park. All free if you live in the county.

    I love the library. I go to craft classes, cooking classes, take out books, DVDs, CDs, and museum passes. Just signed up for 3 this morning. All the beautiful gardens will be ready soon so I will go see them for free.

    We go to free firework shows by the beach, free concerts at local parks during the summer. There are websites telling you all of the free things in your area for that day. I look at them all the time. Free is my favorite price. We always bring a picnic with us. No need to waste money on crappy food when I cook really well.

    1. Oh talk to me girl - FREE is my favorite four letter F word!!!!! LOL
      The library offers so much more than it used to. The limits of imagination are endless and the library can tickle the imagination for sure.

      I forgot about fireworks - the park does those as well. I love the gardens at the park - we have beautiful fountains and it is such a nice place to just BE!
      Glad you enjoy your area events!

  3. Our library checks out all sorts of neat stuff. A character cake pan? Spend a rainy day making a Minion cake! Nice out? Check out two tickets to the zoo or many other attractions(there are only 2 per week available). We have an AMAZING selection of games.

    For some outside fun, go geocaching. Look online for some treasures nearby. We were shocked by how many were in or near our little town. You can take the dog and a lunch and have a picnic at the park.

    Our church has outside movies during the summer with free hot dogs, popcorn, and ice cream. It's open to everyone in town. When we do the summer lunch program with the food pantry, we hand out flyers. The last city I lived in had movies you could watch in the park pool!

    There really are so many things that don't even require a gadget, screen, or electricity. Inside or outside.

    Great post, Cheryl! I'm always surprised at how much people might miss that are so close. Just last week I was explaining books on CD to my dad from the library! He had no idea there was anything there besides books. He didn't believe they had movies and tv series'!

    1. Thanks Debby. WOW your library has more options than ours. That is so cool. So many free things to check out.
      forgot about geocaching. That would be fun and great exercise as well.
      I am glad others have churches and parks that offer so many neat things as well. One place that does outdoor movies here - do all the very old classics. Kind of a neat way to show the kids the days of old.

      There are so many options in our neighborhoods, if we just look around!

  4. I am most content with free entertainment. I feel like I get the most out of it too. Nature watching is my favorite. I am a library girl forever and ever.

    My DH got me a Kindle Fire for X-mas this year. All libraries have ebooks, steaming movies that are well known, music. Anything you can think of. I use Overdrive to download books on my Kindle. I just found out I can have the Hoopla app on my Kindle. Plus, I also go to the library.

    I don't begrudge anyone who sees a movie at a theater. I know it's about the experience. I love getting DVD's at the library, curling up with a nice dinner and watching the movie at home. That is perfection to me.

    1. I am with you, I'd rather be comfy in my home and watch a movie than fight the crowds. The drawback is - I don't see those movies when they are new and first coming out.
      The last time I went to a movie theater was when Forrest Gump came out!

      I like free as well. As with you, nature is my favorite.

  5. Hi Cheryl and gang, our library has a museum pass that you can check out for 3 weeks. This allows you to go to 4 different museums in our area for free! Also the children's museum near us is by donation only so if you go you can donate what you can afford. We have been making a list of cheap and free things we can do this summer with all of the great grandkids (12 of them) it's been a tradition that my mom started with us and our kids and now we all go with our kids and grandkids. Our list this year includes weekly trips to the lakes nearby, state parks, hikes in the rainforest, bike rides, community events, movies in the park, lowes and home depot kids building classes, library classes, all with picnics of course! It makes summer fun for everyone on a small budget...the one "pay" event we have decided to go to is a trip to a zoo we have never been to...this zoo has been around since the 70's but we have not in all those years gone to it...sooo... we are going to try that this year! Thank you for all the great ideas :0)

    1. I so love hearing about museum passes from the library. That is just too cool. Never have heard of that here. I will need to check.

      I bet the kids truly enjoy going to grandmas and grandpas. It sounds like fun! I love the zoo. I got to go again (after many years) when a couple of the great nieces and nephews came into town with their uncle (my nephew). We made a day of it. It was a lot of fun and great memories.
      You are welcome. Hope you all have a great summer.

  6. I think your area has many more things to do than ours. But we do have great hiking trails, and I also love watching people. I don't mind lay overs in airports, as I find them fascinating. I guess I entertain easily.

    1. Me Too! People watching is fascinating fun! No 2 alike!
      Others seem to have more opportunity than we do too. I am glad everyone knows what is available.