Cheap Thrills That Actually Satisfy

By POPSUGAR Smart Living on 3 December 2012 1 comment

Cheap thrills sometimes get a bad rap, but there are plenty of budget-friendly activities that would satisfy any adrenaline junkie's needs. Nearly each one has different levels, whether you're a beginner or a pro, and you can try most of them out at a local gym, at the club, or in the great outdoors. Have a look, and get your rush on!

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Get your competitive juices flowing by hitting people with paint and getting them out. Costs vary depending on the quality of the paint and how many balls you order, so if it's your first time trying out the sport, keep things simple.


Getting up in front of large groups is a big fear-inducer for many people. Feel the rush by taking an improv class at a local comedy club. Who knows? You might discover a hidden talent.

Mountain Biking

Riding a bike may sound like a fun way to exercise, but mountain biking is no easy feat. Off-roading onto tough terrain requires special mountain bikes that you should rent instead of spending upward of $500 on your own. If you have adrenaline junkie friends who have bikes you can borrow, all the better.

Ropes Course

Get transported back to gym class and tackle a local ropes course. Some gyms and outdoor facilities offer access for reasonable prices, but you can always create your own by jumping over orange cones and charging up the stairs.

Big-Kid Slides

You don't have to pay to go to an amusement park for heart-pounding rides. Outdoor parks and even malls have giant slides that twist and turn and are just as fun for adults.

Rock Climbing

There's nothing like feeling accomplished after completing a challenging task, and rock climbing is a big challenge. Save by taking a group instead of private lessons for the outdoor adventure. One of the cheapest ways to rock climb, however, is to go to an indoor climbing gym and pay for a day pass.


Like several other outdoor activities, the good thing about surfing is that mother nature provides much of what you need. Once the waves are up, all that's left to rent is a surfboard and a wetsuit. Try to get a friend, or even a friend of a friend, to give you lessons. If all else fails, you can always try it yourself using tips from YouTube.


One of the most inexpensive and fun activities is playing in the snow. Grab a plastic sled (or something comparable), take a deep breath, and head down the hill!

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Guest's picture

Good ideas! I did a ropes course a couple of years ago and it was insanely fun. I live in the Tampa area and there are a ton of random "cheap thrills" around to take advantage of from things like zip lining to paddle boarding. Paint balling scares me though!