If you’re looking for ways to save money because you’re saving for retirement, living on a fixed income, or are simply trying to be more conservative with your hard-earned cash, your entertainment budget might be one of the first areas of your budget on the chopping block.
However, there are many ways to trim these expenses while still having fun in your free time. Here are some ideas for free or inexpensive activities to enjoy if you’re ready to change up your routine. And don’t worry, we’ve included activities that you can do while observing social distancing guidelines, or do alone.
Go on an art walk
Many communities host frequent art walks, where you’re able to meet up with other art lovers to visit a local gallery or two in one evening. Depending on where you live, you may be able to create your own art walk simply by checking out the art on different buildings. Many major metropolitan areas have dedicated art districts. Try searching “art walks” and see what comes up in your area!
Join a walking club or explore local parks
If you live in a senior living community, your facility may organize walking events. Taking walks in your community is a great way to stay active. You can even make friends this way! If you don’t live in a senior community, walks can be just as relaxing, plus you can pick the location. This is a wonderful way to check out local parks.
Start or join a book club
Are you an avid reader with like-minded friends? Start or join a book club! You get to read awesome books and discuss them with friends. And if you get your books from the library, you won’t even have to spend a dime. Even if you don’t always talk about the book, you can still socialize and catch up. Using tools like Google Hangouts or Zoom easily turn your book club into a digital event.
Free lectures and community events
Colleges and universities (especially publicly funded universities) often have a wide range of events and services for little to no cost. If you’re not sure what you want to learn about, you can browse lectures on a variety of topics at Open Culture.
Enjoy some theatre
Do you miss the joy of watching live performances? You’re certainly not alone. The theatre community has made a number of musicals, plays, and operas available to stream for free. Filmed On Stage is keeping a constantly updated list of available productions. If you’re an opera lover, definitely make it a point to check out The Metropolitan Opera’s website—they’re streaming a different opera for free every night. Once live theatre returns, you may be able to volunteer as an usher and see those shows for free!
Visit a museum, digitally.
Some of the world’s most renowned museums are offering free virtual tours. You may not be able to afford a globe-trotting trip to see museums in Italy, France, or Korea. Luckily, you don’t have to—you can see some amazing art from the comfort of your couch. Check out our previous post for more details.
Be a hometown tourist
Similar to going on an art walk, make an effort to go out of your way to experience your community. Taking time to explore other neighborhoods or local attractions can lead to interesting discoveries and experiences.
Visit a national park from afar.
Just like museums, right now you can tour some of the United States’ gorgeous national parks…just by visiting Google! You can get all of the details in our previous post.