7 Free Ways to Get Out of the House

by Debbie Dragon on 9 August 2012 4 comments
Photo: Daz Smith

If you work from home or simply spend most of your free time at home, you may be looking for something to do that gets you out of the house for a few hours. If you’re on a tight budget, leaving the house can seem nearly impossible, since most activities or events you think of will probably have a cost associated with them. Here is a list of seven free ways you can get out of the house and enjoy some social interactions or get a change of scenery. (See also: How to Be Frugal (Without Being a Hermit))

1. Visit Friends

It doesn’t cost a dime to spend some time visiting friends! Get on the phone or send an email to some friends you haven’t seen in a while, and ask if they’d like to get together and catch up. You can simply say, “When would be a good time for me to stop by? I’d love to catch up!” and chances are, your friend will invite you over — getting you out of your own house for free and giving you both the benefit of social interaction. Once you reconnect with several of your friends, don’t be surprised if you start getting phone calls and email invites to events and get-together’s more frequently.

2. Go Hiking, Biking, or Walking

There are hiking trails all over the world, and many of them are free to use. You can find trails by state and location with TrailLink website. Not only will this activity get you out of the house for free, but you’ll enjoy the great outdoors and get exercise at the same time. You might also considering joining a local group on Meetup.com for hiking, biking, or walking.

3. Go on a Picnic

You don’t always need an actual destination to get out of the house. Pack your lunch or dinner in a cooler and head outside. You can enjoy your meal in your own backyard, or visit a nearby park and do some people watching. (Or bring a book or magazine in case there is no one else out and about.) The fresh air will help clear your mind and reduce stress.

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4. Visit a Park

Even if you don’t like to eat outdoors, you can still visit a local park. Walk around the park and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the area. Try to meet new people, or simply enjoy being in different surroundings and give yourself permission to relax. If you live near a national park, consider going for the day. More than half of all national parks never charge an entrance fee; others have free-entrance days. Find out where the parks are located and when they offer free admission by visiting the National Park Service website.

5. Go to the Library

If you don’t regularly visit the library, you may be unaware of all the community resources the library offers for free. Not only can you check out books, but you can often borrow movies and music as well. The library has an extensive magazine and journal selection, most have computers and internet access for the public, and many will host free community events. Visit your local library to see what it has to offer, and don’t forget to look at the community bulletin board to see what else is happening in your area.

6. Go to a Free-Admission Museum

Many museums have free admission. Other museums have certain days each year where they do not charge admission. This is a great activity for a rainy or cold day, when you are looking for something to do indoors but still want to get out of your own home. Read How to Visit a Museum for Free to for information on how to find local options.

7. Go to Free-Admission Festivals

Most communities will put together a variety of events and festivals throughout the year for people to attend. There may be live music, plays, or outdoor festivals held during the warm weather months that offer free admission. You can go and walk around and socialize even if you don’t buy anything from the vendors. Farmers markets are another opportunity to get out of the house for free — and even though the vendors are set up to sell their goods, it can be fun just to walk around and see what everyone is selling.

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Guest's picture

I never pay to leave my house. Just kidding! I would rethink your title next time. No offense. At any rate, people need to visit parks! This world isn't going to be this beautiful for much longer at the rate we are destroying our environment. There are so many nice free places that not enough people take advantage of!!!

Guest's picture

I love the idea you included of going to free-admission festivals. In the city I live in there are events like this and farmers market almost every week during the spring. Its so much fun to "window shop" at the different stands of eclectic things, which are all usually hand made. Its an awesome thing to do outside with friends that doesn't cost anything!

Guest's picture

Good ideas, I agree!

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Sara

I work at a library and the amenities that it offers the public are enormous. We currently have ereaders and tablets for public use and check out. Many libraries now offer free ebooks and are constantly offering free craft classes, computer courses, concerts, etc.