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Free (or Cheap) Things to Do It need not be dull to lead a thrifty lifestyle. Check out these free or inexpensive activities to keep yourself busy and on a budget.

free things to do

  • Go to a museum, aquarium or zoo

On particular days, a lot of aquariums, museums, and zoos provide free admission. For instance, Illinois residents who have valid identification can enter the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago for free on certain days.

Most Smithsonian institutions in Washington, D.C., including the zoo, provide free entry all year round. Some establishments provide discounts to students, seniors, and members of the armed forces, while other establishments have "pay what you wish" policies that allow you decide the price.

Your credit or debit card can be your ticket if you're a Bank of America client. The first full weekend of every month, more than 200 partner venues around the country provide free general admission as part of the bank's "Museum on Us" initiative.

  • Read a book

Explore a new book or reread a previous favorite. Take a trip to the library, trade books with a friend, or browse the used and bargain sections of a nearby bookshop if nothing on your bookshelves catches your attention. You may select from a variety of books, periodicals, and comics to download for free if you're an Amazon Prime member.

  • Catch a movie

Use your public library card to borrow a DVD from the branch in your area or to stream a movie for free on a platform like Hoopla. Alternately, go through the movie collection on a dependable free streaming website or a streaming service you currently pay for, like Netflix.

It is feasible to attend the theater while keeping expenses in check. A loyalty program can help you save money on movie tickets, as can going to a matinee.

  • Play a game inside

Bring out a deck of cards, a board game, or a puzzle. If playing video games is more your style, visit a free gaming website like Pogo or search an app store for inexpensive or free games.

  • Play a game outside

You're seeking a sport, right? Play a pick-up game of basketball in the park, sign up for a local recreational sports league in your area — some are free, while others need a team registration fee — or just go and watch.

  • Volunteer

It might be satisfying to provide a helping hand. And it's free. Choose a cause that is important to you, such as the environment, animals, or education. Then, to locate positions that fit your interests, get in touch with nearby groups or utilize a program like VolunteerMatch.

  • Visit the farmers market

Visit your neighborhood farmers market and take in the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells. Even while locally grown produce has a reputation for being pricey, you can occasionally find it cheaper or in greater quantities than in the supermarket. Walk among the stalls, engage in conversation with merchants, and try out the goods.

  • Go thrift shopping

Visit thrift and consignment shops to find affordable apparel. Remember, you are not required to purchase anything. It might be more entertaining to look about and try stuff on. More suggestions for frugal shopping? Find out how to obtain free clothing.

  • Go for a walk

A walk around the neighborhood has been converted from boring to interesting thanks to cell phones, podcasts, and headphones. Even without access to high-quality audio, going for a walk outside is a fantastic way to kill time and get some exercise.

  • Take a hike

Leave the house and take in the sights and sounds of nature. For a list of parks and trails, visit the webpage for your county or city. Next, get a water bottle and a lunch, put on some cozy shoes, and head outside.

  • Ride a bike

If you have a bike, exploring your surroundings is quicker (and possibly more enjoyable) by riding around your neighborhood or along the paths you located on your local government website. You don't have a ride? Look for models that are for sale nearby on Facebook Marketplace.

  • Sleep in the woods

Do you have a tent and a sleeping bag on hand, and are you in the mood for more adventure? Take off with a buddy or the family for a low-cost camping excursion to a selected location.

  • Gaze at the stars

The night sky on a clear, black night is one of the most gorgeous sights there is. Without spending a penny, you'll be reminded of how insignificant you are in comparison to the enormous Milky Way. Astonish your friends and family with your celestial expertise by downloading free prints of simple star patterns in the northern and southern skies from Google's "constellations" search engine.

  • Listen to music

Scan the radio or try a free music service like Spotify or Freegal, which allows you to use your library card to download tracks, to satisfy your need for music without spending any money. Even live music may be reasonably priced. For a list of future performances, check event websites and locations, and look into ways to reduce the cost of concert tickets.

  • Make some music

Want to jam but don't own a musical instrument? It's alright. Go to your neighborhood music store, get that Martin acoustic guitar, and start (carefully) strumming. The employees at music stores are accustomed to the commotion and will probably let you play.

  • Make something

To save money, use your creativity. Create a picture book, get busy with a DIY project, cook up something delectable, or pen a quick narrative. Most, if not all, of the supplies you require may already be in your possession. Turn your invention into a secondary company if it turns out incredibly well.

  • Learn a new skill

Online, you can get free tutorials for almost anything. Select a new skill you want to acquire. Take up knitting, learn a foreign language, or become proficient at quick fixes around the house. The list is limitless, and an excellent place to start is YouTube.

  • Exercise

The cost of a monthly gym membership does not have to be high in order to be in shape. An alternative to joining a gym is to go for a run, perform some squats and pushups, or workout at home using a free video-based software. 

  • Have a potluck

Plan a relaxed gathering with friends or neighbors. Make it a potluck where each person contributes a special food, treat, or libation. Whether you or someone else serves as the host, that will lessen their financial load.

  • Do something productive

Let's face it, the majority of us are delaying doing something. Set aside time to organize your affairs, finish a job, or clean your home. That might entail drafting a will, developing a budget, booking travel arrangements, or honing your résumé.

  • Host a yard sale

This choice won't cost you anything. In fact, it's probable that your yard sale will bring in money. Collect any unwanted furniture, clothing, or other stuff from your home. After that, arrange a few tables and encourage the nearby residents to go shopping. Clutter will be eliminated in a sustainable manner. So, it's a win-win situation.

  • Engage with your community

You'll probably find a schedule of free community activities in your city or town if you search for local events there. The first Friday of every month can have a concert in the park during the warmer months. Another cost-free summer activity is to watch a movie outside on some grass in the city. Additionally, religious institutions frequently organize free meals and community events. All of these occasions provide wonderful chances for camaraderie and friendship.