outdoor sports http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11526/all en-US 10 Ways to Save Big on Family Ski Trips http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family-ski-trip-153831210-small.jpg" alt="family ski trip" title="family ski trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're a working, single person in your 20s, a ski weekend might leave no lingering after-effects &mdash; either on the pocketbook or on aching joints. But once children join the picture, getting out to the slopes takes a little more financial planning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids?ref=seealso">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 ways to cushion the financial blow of paying for two, three, or more little freeloaders' snowy fun.</p> <h2>1. Buy Passes Early</h2> <p>If you are going to ski more than two weekends, a season pass may be the cheapest way. The best time to start thinking about this is during the current season, not at the beginning of the next one. Most ski resorts progressively raise prices as the year goes on. Vail's <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2013/03/29/skiings-best-lift-ticket-pass-deals-are-right-now-for-next-season/">Epic Pass</a>, which gets you into multiple resorts, is typically available by March.</p> <p>My family purchased the Lake Tahoe local version of the Epic Pass in October for $499 per adult and $239 for our oldest child.</p> <h2>2. Look for Other Ticket Discounts</h2> <p>Even if you don't get a season pass, try to avoid buying your tickets at the resort ticket window. For one thing, waiting in the ticket line wastes some of your precious ski time. For another, the window price is typically the highest possible price. You can check with the resort website, local grocery stores, and ski supply shops for discount tickets. If you must buy at the ticket window, find out if there are any multi-day discounts available. Last year we were able to purchase three-packs at Sierra-at-Tahoe at a significant savings.</p> <h2>3. Ask If Kids Ski Free</h2> <p>Many resorts actually don't make you pay for small fries' lift tickets, but in my experience the staff might not tell you that. Other resorts offer a free kid's ticket with an adult purchase. Or they may let kids ski at least the rope tow area for free.</p> <h2>4. Look Into Parent Passes</h2> <p>When we had babies, my husband and I were sometimes able to get a &quot;parent pass,&quot; which allowed one of us to ski part of the day, then hand the ticket off to the other parent while the first parent took over childcare. <a href="http://www.timberlinelodge.com/ski-area/lift-tickets-passes/">Timberline Lodge</a> in Oregon offers a season pass that works this way, too.</p> <h2>5. Don't Pay for More Mountain Than Your Kids Can Handle</h2> <p>Mountains with a wide variety of Black Diamond slopes are great for accomplished skiers, but if your kids are going to spend most of the day on Green slopes or on a &quot;magic carpet&quot; conveyor belt, consider smaller, cheaper resorts. These places may also offer benefits such as closer, easier parking and a more family-friendly atmosphere.</p> <h2>6. Ski School Can Be Worth the Expense</h2> <p>My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I realized how much we would pay to put our littlest skiers into all-day ski school last year. However, once they were dropped off, I realized how much benefit we were getting from the service. Not only did our kids gain a lot of confidence on skis, but my husband and I were free to get our money's worth out of our lift tickets, instead of spending the whole day helping our kids get up after they fell.</p> <p>Not only that, but I really appreciated that the ski school staff helped my little skiers into and out of their skis and boots. With more than one kid to help, plus your own equipment to deal with, that part can be exhausting.</p> <h2>7. Pack a Picnic</h2> <p>Do you ever see people with barbecue grills in the parking lot of ski resorts? They're the smart ones. For the price of a typical ski resort small burger and fries, you can splurge on all your kids' favorite junk food, nice deli sandwiches, foie gras, or whatever your heart desires. If you can get close enough parking, rendezvous at the car at mealtime. Or get a locker, or even pack simpler fare in backpacks.</p> <h2>8. Intersperse Ski Days With Cheaper Activities</h2> <p>A lot of children are exhausted after a day of skiing. Take them onto the mountain three days in a row and you're just throwing away money on kids who will end up hanging around the lodge or lying in the snow, crying. (Not that I speak from experience or anything.)</p> <p>If you have a three day weekend, buy lift tickets for the first and last day, and plan an easy (and much less expensive) day of sledding or ice skating in the middle. With the decline of the snowpack in recent years, California resorts are putting in lots of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/24/sports/skiing/as-snow-fades-california-ski-resorts-face-a-brown-future.html?_r=0">alternative activities</a>. A day of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing is also cheaper, if not less exhausting, than hitting the slopes. If nothing else, sitting around the cabin drinking hot cocoa and watching movies is practically free.</p> <h2>9. Consider Buying Rather Than Renting Equipment</h2> <p>It may seem counterintuitive since kids grow faster than they would wear out their skis, but experts say that you often get a better deal owning kids' equipment. Some stores offer <a href="http://sportsden.com/pages/ski-services-and-rentals/kids-ski-exchange.html">trade-in programs</a> for fast-growing kids. Swapping with other families or <a href="http://www.epicski.com/f/10/gear-swap-buy-sell-gear">buying second-hand</a> can also be a great saver. If you don't buy, a rental for the whole season can save frequent skiers time and money.</p> <h2>10. Team Up With Another Family</h2> <p>Cabin rentals are quite expensive in the Lake Tahoe area, where we ski, and our family of five can easily fill up the average cabin on our own. However, since we're only there for a weekend, the kids are really fine three or more to a bedroom &mdash; especially if they're able to share with their best friends. This season we'll spend one weekend at Tahoe sharing a 3-bedroom with another family, and while it may be tight, we'll save money. Another advantage of skiing with another family is that if one or two kids get tired, there are more adults around to take turns caring for them.</p> <p><em>Do you take the whole family skiing? How do you control the cost?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-big-on-family-ski-trips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-never-pay-full-price-for">25 Things to Never Pay Full Price For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney">8 Affordable Amusement Parks That Are Just as Fun As Disney</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-weird-money-laws-you-may-have-broken">7 Weird Money Laws You May Have Broken</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel family travel family trips outdoor sports ski trip skiing Sat, 06 Dec 2014 18:00:10 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1264763 at http://www.wisebread.com 22 Fun and Free Summertime Exercise Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/22-fun-and-free-summertime-exercise-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/22-fun-and-free-summertime-exercise-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bicycle-1165353-small_0.jpg" alt="bike" title="bike" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are many reasons why exercising in the summer is fun and more feasible than ever. For starters, there is much more daylight during the summer, so you can get outside for more hours, say from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (rather than 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the winter).</p> <p>Your schedule may be less hectic in the summer and give you the leisure time to devote to fitness, especially if you do not have to make sure your children go to school in the morning and finish homework at night. Plus, friends and family may be more likely to join you in an exercise-related adventure. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-summery-ways-to-protect-your-skin" target="_blank">7 Summery Ways to Protect Your Skin</a>)</p> <p>Just thinking about being outside may bring to mind fun and free exercise ideas. But if not, consider these favorites.</p> <h2>1. Create a Boot Camp With Your Friends</h2> <p>Whether you are a veteran of a paid program or not, you can start your own free boot camp with friends. Hold a session in a public space, a common area in your neighborhood, or your backyard if there is enough room to exercise without disturbing others. Use online resources like this one to <a href="http://life.gaiam.com/article/create-your-own-outdoor-bootcamp">create your own outdoor boot camp</a>.</p> <h2>2. Take Swimming Lessons</h2> <p>Free swimming lessons are often available at city and county facilities. Check with your <a href="http://www.nycgovparks.org/registration/aquatics" target="_blank">city parks and recreation departments</a>, <a href="http://www.alleghenycounty.us/parks/swim.aspx" target="_blank">county parks departments</a>, and the <a href="http://www.redcross.org/hi/honololu/take-a-class/aquatics">American Red Cross</a> to learn about any free lessons in your area for children, teens, and adults.</p> <h2>3. Hike as a Friendly, Romantic, or Family Outing</h2> <p>Summertime is perfect for trying out new trails at the state park or returning to old favorites. Many parks close at dusk year-round, meaning they may be open much later in the summer than the winter (9 p.m. vs. 6 p.m., for example). Leave straight from work, bring a picnic dinner, and finish an evening hike while it&rsquo;s still light outside.</p> <h2>4. Run Some Hills</h2> <p>If you want to build your fitness capacity, running up hills in your neighborhood or a local park is a simple way to get strong. Take about 20-30 minutes in the morning, afternoon, or evening once a week to tackle hills. This exercise can help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-your-first-5k" target="_blank">get ready for local 5K runs</a>.</p> <h2>5. Walk the Neighborhood</h2> <p>Summer is a great time to start walking, especially if you are just beginning to exercise. Get up early to stroll before work for a great start to a busy day. Or, take time to walk in the evening for a relaxing end to a stressful day.</p> <h2>6. Walk or Run on an Outdoor Trail or Track</h2> <p>If you want to exercise with the entire family or a group of friends with varying fitness levels, consider going to a multi-use trail, cross-country trail, or outdoor track. In my area, you can find these at public spaces run by the city and county park systems, local Y (outdoor areas are available to members and non-members alike), and even a public garden with green space frequented by area distance runners.</p> <h2>7. Swim the Lake or Ocean</h2> <p>If you are an accomplished swimmer, you can swim in open water. Find designated swimming spots in lakes (often roped off with buoys) or public-access areas of lakes and oceans.</p> <h2>8. Go Swimming at the Pool</h2> <p>Sure, pool memberships can cost you. But you may have access to a pool at no charge sometime during the summer. Bring your swimsuit when you travel for work or leisure (swimming privileges may be included in your lodging rate at hotels or resorts) or go to a neighborhood pool party.</p> <h2>9. Swim Laps in a Competition-Sized Pool</h2> <p>If you sign up for a triathlon training program, a temporary membership to a swimming facility is often included in the fee. Technically, you&rsquo;ll have to foot the bill for the program, but you may be able to get pool access for no extra charge. Similarly, membership in a triathlon club may include free swim sessions.</p> <h2>10. Jump Rope Outside</h2> <p>Do a quick workout on your driveway. If you&rsquo;ve never tried <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTjdOWC9mcM" target="_blank">jumping rope a la Rocky</a>, you may be surprised at how demanding and rewarding this exercise is. For more ideas on technique, see this article from Real Simple on <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/15-minute-jump-rope-workout-00000000051686/index.html" target="_blank">jump-rope workouts</a>.</p> <h2>11. Play Tennis</h2> <p>You&rsquo;ll need to bring a racket and balls, but court use is typically free. Some sites may require reservations while others have courts available on a first-come, first-served basis.</p> <h2>12. Play Softball</h2> <p>You may be able to find a place on a team sponsored by your company, church, or other group. Often, the team practices, uniforms, etc. are paid by the sponsoring group. So, you can get some exercise while bonding with friends, neighbors, and coworkers.</p> <h2>13. Learn to Row or Sail for Free</h2> <p>Boating can be an expensive hobby. But you may be able to snag free rowing or sailing lessons, getting you outside and exercising both body and mind simultaneously.</p> <p>One way to learn, as suggested by former sailing crew members in a discussion forum, is to volunteer as a hired hand for a regatta. Another is to look for free classes sponsored by groups that seek to promote the sport or activity. For example, <a href="http://sailing.mit.edu/LearntoSail/index.php#overview" target="_blank">MIT offers training to its community</a> and <a href="http://austinrowing.org/row_free.php" target="_blank">rowing clubs provide free lessons at least one day each year</a>.</p> <p>Finally, privately run camps and resorts (frequented by kids and adults) may have sailing included in their list of activities, so there are no extra fees to learn boating skills and get exercise at the same time.</p> <h2>14. Go Climbing</h2> <p>If you happen to own or have access to proper gear, summer is a great time to climb mountains outside.</p> <h2>15. Ride Your Bike</h2> <p>Travel on multi-use trails, roads, or mountain bike trails. Go alone or find a group with your local bike shop, cycling club, or Meetup.com group. Make up your own route or check out pre-made routes on sites such as <a href="http://www.mapmyride.com/" target="_blank">MapMyRide.com</a>.</p> <h2>16. Go Rollerblading</h2> <p>I often see friends and families rollerblading on the trail where I run. There is also a group that practices together and participates in local charity bike rides. Rollerblading looks like a great workout and lots of fun.</p> <h2>17. Join a Pick-Up Basketball or Soccer Game</h2> <p>You may have a group of friends who get together regularly to play a game. Join them just for fun. Alternatively, wander over to your local park and start bouncing or kicking a ball around; very often, you will meet people who are interested in playing but just need more players to field a team.</p> <h2>18. Accept an Offer for an Outdoor Adventure</h2> <p>You might agree to participate in an outdoor challenge or ropes course as part of a team-building effort, which could be more fun if you see the activity as a chance to get a free workout rather than consent to a corporate effort. Similarly, you could accompany a friend who has been asking you to go on an adventuresome outing. For example, you might go kayaking with a friend who has her own boat.</p> <h2>19. Sign Up for the Free Trial Membership at the Gym</h2> <p>Take the summer lull as a time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free" target="_blank">try a new gym or exercise class for free</a>. Last summer, I was approached in the grocery store parking lot by two people giving away trial memberships; some gyms may be especially welcoming to guests during this season.</p> <h2>20. Play Outside With Your Kids</h2> <p>Leo Babauta of Zen Habits often talks about simple, fun ways to get exercise. Specifically, he mentions <a href="http://zenhabits.net/minimalist-gym/" target="_blank">playing with your kids as a great way to get a workout while enjoying yourself</a>, which is a more sustainable way to form a habit than forcing yourself to do exercises you dread.</p> <h2>21. Join Your Kids on Their Outings</h2> <p>If your kids need a chaperone for their scout or school-group hikes, volunteer to accompany them. You could get a free ride plus exercise on the trip.</p> <h2>22. Visit Your Playground</h2> <p>Many of the traditional playgrounds have pull-up bars and swings that can give you a good workout. If you need more precise instructions, learn to <a href="http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/987913/how-to-simple-playground-workouts" target="_blank">play your way to fitness</a> with exercises like jumps, planks, and lunges.</p> <p>We often think of the beginning of a new year as the best time to start a new exercise regimen. But January is often booked with work, school, volunteer, and family obligations so adopting a new habit then can be difficult. Summer's less pressured atmosphere is a perfect time to play outside, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-step-out-of-your-comfort-zone-and-try-something-new" target="_blank">try new things</a>, and make fitness fun.</p> <p><em>What fun and free ways do you like to exercise outside during the summer?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-fun-and-free-summertime-exercise-ideas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-work-out-when-its-hot-outside">5 Ways to Work Out When It&#039;s Hot Outside</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-affordable-gym-memberships">5 Most Affordable Gym Memberships</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly">10 Exercises to Do at Work That Don&#039;t Make You Look Silly</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty exercise family fitness outdoor sports summer Mon, 10 Jun 2013 09:48:35 +0000 Julie Rains 977187 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheap Thrills That Actually Satisfy http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-thrills-that-actually-satisfy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-thrills-that-actually-satisfy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mountain_biking.jpg" alt="Guys mountain biking" title="Guys mountain biking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="156" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>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!</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Cheap-Ways-Treat-Yourself-22129255">RELATED: 22 Cheap Ways to Treat Yourself</a></p> <h2>Paintball</h2> <p>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.</p> <h2>Improv</h2> <p>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.</p> <h2>Mountain Biking</h2> <p>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.</p> <h2>Ropes Course</h2> <p>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.</p> <h2>Big-Kid Slides</h2> <p>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.</p> <h2>Rock Climbing</h2> <p>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.</p> <h2>Surfing</h2> <p>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.</p> <h2>Sledding</h2> <p>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! <em><br /> </em></p> <p><em>Do you have any favorites?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> From whipping down hills to walking out on a stage and making up everything on the spot, discover cheap thrills that satisfy. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Free-Things-Do-23881821">24 Fun and Free Things to Do&nbsp;This Weekend</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Where-Get-Free-Samples-25696773">10 Awesome Places to&nbsp;Score Free Samples</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Go-Movies-Cheap-12187346">How to Go to the Movies for Cheap</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-thrills-that-actually-satisfy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-free-ways-to-entertain-kids-for-an-afternoon">15 Free Ways to Entertain Kids for an Afternoon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-fun-nights-out-for-5-or-less">15 Fun Nights Out for $5 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-to-host-an-oktoberfest-party-on-the-cheap">16 Ways to Host an Oktoberfest Party on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-things-you-can-do-this-weekend-for-under-10">18 Awesome Things You Can Do This Weekend for Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment cheap fun outdoor sports winter activities Mon, 03 Dec 2012 10:32:24 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 959509 at http://www.wisebread.com 50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Grand Tetons - hike near lodge 16.jpg" alt="flowers with Grand Tetons in the background" title="Grand Teton National Park - flowers with mountains in background" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are lots of ways to have free outdoor fun. &quot;Naturally,&quot; being outside can be all about exploring nature &mdash; taking a rigorous hike in a national park, for example &mdash; but there are loads of things that you can do outside that involve neither hugging trees nor sweating. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47&nbsp;Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a>)</p> <h3>Relax and Contemplate</h3> <ol> <li>Gaze at the sky, looking at the stars. Or use this guide from Astro Guyz to learn how to <a href="http://astroguyz.com/2010/01/20/satellite-spotting-a-quick-how-to-guide/">spot a satellite</a>.</li> <li>Walk a labyrinth. Find a place that is free and open to the public using this <a href="http://labyrinthlocator.com/home">labyrinth locator</a>.</li> <li>Relax on a park bench, Forrest Gump-style.</li> <li>Lie on the grass and look at the clouds. If you want to know more about different types of clouds, check out these <a href="http://cloudappreciationsociety.org/collecting/main-types/">descriptions of clouds</a>.</li> <li>Watch a sunrise, sunset, or both. For times where you live, check your local newspaper or visit this <a href="http://www.sunrisesunset.com/">sunrise-sunset website</a>.</li> <li>Write. Compose a letter, record your thoughts in a journal, or create a blog post.</li> <li>Read outside. Take your book or e-reader outdoors.</li> <li>Listen to night sounds like crickets chirping.</li> <li>Do yoga poses outside, which you may find more soothing than doing them indoors.</li> <li>Visit a nearby river or creek (or urban park with lots of fountains) and listen to the water flowing.</li> </ol> <h3>Learn Something New</h3> <ol start="11"> <li>Walk around looking at architectural styles in your neighborhood or city. Study styles before you go (see <a href="http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~twp/architecture/">photos of various architectural styles</a>) or take photos for review afterwards.</li> <li>Visit public gardens. Use this <a href="http://www.publicgardens.org/gardens">public garden search tool</a> to find a place to visit; check out each garden&rsquo;s website to see if there is free admission.</li> <li>Go on a bird walk. Organize your own or join one sponsored by an <a href="http://www.audubon.org/">Audubon Society chapter</a>.</li> <li>Visit a national historical monument. Find one using this <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Monuments_of_the_United_States#List_of_National_Monuments.">national monument list</a>. One of my favorites is Arizona&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm">Canyon de Chelly</a>, which is great for a view, hike, and historical tour combined in one outing.</li> <li>Go to an air show. Find a free show at an Air Force base near you like the <a href="http://www.wingsoverwayneairshow.com/">Wings Over Wayne Air Show</a> or <a href="http://www.jsoh.org/ ">Joint Service Open House</a>.</li> <li>Take part in a ranger-led outing at a public park.</li> </ol> <h3>Hang Out With Your Kids</h3> <ol start="17"> <li>Look for four-leaf clovers.</li> <li>Climb a tree.</li> <li>Play at the playground, or relax in the shade while you watch the kids play.</li> <li>Build a sand castle at the beach or the big sandbox at the playground.</li> <li>Play <a href="http://www.gameskidsplay.net/games/chasing_games/tag/tag_flashlight.htm">flashlight tag</a> after dark.</li> <li>Teach your kids how to play outdoor games (or let them teach you the games they play).</li> <li>Collect rocks from your backyard.</li> <li>Watch construction from the visitor&rsquo;s side of the fence. (My son loved watching the big equipment when he was a small child.)</li> <li>Play catch.</li> <li>Toss a Frisbee.</li> <li>Go to a parade (or walk in one) around Independence Day or the holidays.</li> <li>Cool off in the summer by wading in a creek, river, or lake.</li> <li>Catch and release fireflies after dark in the summer.</li> <li>Build a snowman, make snow angels, or have a friendly snowball fight in the winter.</li> <li>Go leaf viewing in your neighborhood or jump in piles of leaves in your backyard in the fall.</li> <li>Pick flowers in your backyard or walk around to see blooming flowers in the spring.</li> </ol> <h3>Hang Out With Friends</h3> <ol start="33"> <li>Attend free outdoor concerts or plays sponsored by downtown associations, theater groups, etc.</li> <li>Go window shopping in a quaint downtown. Find an interesting <a href="http://www.gozaic.com/Explore/Downtowns/">historic downtown</a> to explore.</li> <li>Visit street festivals with art exhibits, street performers, and craft demonstrations.</li> <li>Watch people take part in technical activities, like rock climbing, <a href="http://www.ripboard.com/community/whitewaterpark.shtml">kayaking</a>, or sailing, to see if you would like to start a new sport.</li> <li>Take in a kids&rsquo; ballgame such as a Little League game or high school scrimmage.</li> <li>Sit on the grass outside the stadium (if allowed) for college or professional events.</li> <li>Talk with friends outside. This is especially fun during the time from dusk to nightfall in the summer, or nearly anytime in the spring and fall.</li> </ol> <h3>Be Productive While Having Fun</h3> <ol start="40"> <li>Volunteer for a charity bike ride, triathlon, or road race, such as a 5K or marathon. Find events using <a href="http://www.active.com">Active.com</a>, and visit the organizer&rsquo;s website to learn about opportunities. Check out the event route and logistics if you want to participate in upcoming years.</li> <li>Take photos of your family members. Use these in your annual holiday cards.</li> <li>Exercise your dog.</li> <li>Get involved in a community gardening project. Check with local hunger relief agencies, cooperative extension office, or gardening organization to find a program or learn how to start one.</li> <li>Participate in a community cleanup or <a href="http://www.americanrivers.org/our-work/restoring-rivers/national-river-cleanup/">river cleanup</a> project.</li> </ol> <h3>Move Around and Get Fit or Faster</h3> <ol start="45"> <li>Hike. Ask your outdoorsy friends about their favorite places or check out <a href="http://www.backpacker.com/">Backpacker Magazine's community recommendations</a>.</li> <li>Go running at a steady pace.</li> <li>Do interval training to get ready for a race or outdoor adventure.</li> <li>Swim in a lake, river, or ocean. Be careful and have fun.</li> <li>Take a stroll in your neighborhood. Stop and talk with your neighbors.</li> <li>Take a bike ride. Go alone or find a group ride with local cycling groups, outdoor groups, or bicycle shops.</li> <li>Enjoy a multi-use trail. Find a trail by checking out maps from your parks and recreation department or use a <a href="http://www.traillink.com/">trail finder</a>.</li> </ol> <h3>Enjoy Nature</h3> <ol start="52"> <li>Get closer to nature at a national park or state park. Check out the <a href="http://www.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm">National Park Service's website</a> to find a park to visit at no charge and discover free activities.</li> <li>Take photos of nature. See this <a href="http://www.howtophotography.org/topics/learn_photography/nature/">tips for capturing images of birds, flowing water, and more</a>.</li> <li>Watch the <a href="http://www.moonconnection.com/moon_phases_calendar.phtml">moon go through its phases</a>.</li> </ol> <p><em>What are your favorite ways to have free outdoor fun?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-rein-in-your-spending-without-sacrificing-fun">Easy Ways to Rein in Your Spending Without Sacrificing Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-romantic-inexpensive-anniversary-celebrations">5 Romantic, Inexpensive Anniversary Celebrations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-frugal-ways-to-celebrate-fall">31 Frugal Ways to Celebrate Fall</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Green Living Lifestyle nature outdoor sports things to do Tue, 23 Aug 2011 10:24:20 +0000 Julie Rains 665804 at http://www.wisebread.com Bike On! Great Deals on All Things Bicycle http://www.wisebread.com/bike-on-great-deals-on-all-things-bicycle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bike-on-great-deals-on-all-things-bicycle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000002157865XSmall_0.jpg" alt="bicyclist at sunset" title="bicyclist at sunset" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The season of skiing and snowboarding and of hunkering down fireside with a large hot chocolate is upon us. Or some of us, but not all of us. For some, the season of the bicycle never ends and for those people, now is the best time to shop. Bike gear from 2009 is mostly gone, but what&rsquo;s left is marked down to ridiculously low prices. Bike shops nationwide are gearing up for the holiday season and offering spectacular deals on bike stuff. It&rsquo;s the perfect time to get your shop on and here are some of the best spots to hit.</p> <h2>Bike Nashbar</h2> <p><a href="http://www.bikenashbar.com/">Bike Nashbar</a> is the online mecca for all things bicycle. Seriously. This place has everything &mdash; and I do mean everything &mdash; you could need. Shorts, jerseys, gloves, any random bike part you just happen to need right away, they have it. For less. Even with shipping costs. They also have wicked holiday sales and impromptu discounts. Sign up for their newsletter so you can stay on top of the goodness that is their bike deals. The downside is that they only ship in the United States and Canada.</p> <h2>Local Bike Shops</h2> <p>Swing by your local bike shop and talk shop for a while. They know things &mdash; things you need and want to know. All you have to do is ask. The people who work here just rock. They know where the sweetest local rides are. They can tell you how to fix your bike on the cheap. And they can sell you stuff for super cheap because they often have used bike gear to spare and can cut you a deal on it.</p> <p>This is also the first place to look if you want to buy a used bike. Often the staff members will bring in their old bikes, which they have diligently cared for, and sell it on the shop floor. You might find a two- or three-year-old lightweight road bike tricked out with all the gears you&rsquo;d need for a hill any size &mdash; for a few hundred dollars, a fantastic deal. That same bike bought new would cost between $600 to $800. A new Huffy, with fewer gears and less-sturdy components, would cost around $100.</p> <p>Some of my favorites are <a href="http://www.greggscycles.com/">Gregg&rsquo;s Cycles</a> in Seattle, <a href="http://www.coloradocyclist.com/">Colorado Cyclist</a> in Colorado Springs and <a href="http://www.bicycleway.com/">Paul&rsquo;s Bicycle Way of Life</a> in Eugene, Oregon. Check them out. You won&rsquo;t be sorry.</p> <h2>Performance Bicycle</h2> <p>Started by bike fanatics out of a garage in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, this super bike shop is now nationwide with stores in 15 states, but you can get anything you need online. <a href="http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/TopCategories_10052_10551_-1">Performance Bicycle</a> is the easiest shop for me to find when I hit a new town and because their fare is standard across the shops, I know I&rsquo;ll always find the brand or style I&rsquo;m looking for. Every shop has a mechanic and can make adjustments on your bike. Their prices aren&rsquo;t always the best, but they are consistent, which is nice if you&rsquo;re in a hurry and don&rsquo;t have time to shop around.</p> <h2>Bike Expos and Swaps</h2> <p>Teeming with thousands of bike enthusiasts, packed with the best bike gear around, and filled with awesome deals, the bike expos can&rsquo;t be missed. If you&rsquo;re in the right spot at the right time, you&rsquo;ll hit the bicycling jackpot. Getting the goods here is all about timing. Some super bike expos have already passed, like the <a href="http://sfbikeexpo.com/">San Francisco Bike Expo</a> that finished a few weeks ago, and some are yet to come, like the <a href="http://www.cascade.org/eandr/expo/index.cfm">Seattle Bicycle Expo </a>that&rsquo;s coming in March. Check out the expos in your region. They&rsquo;re happening all the time.</p> <h2>Other Places to Hit Up</h2> <p>Secondhand sports stores offer an assortment of all things sports related and are worth a shot when you&rsquo;re looking for bike stuff. The caveat here is that they don&rsquo;t keep a standard stock, so if you&rsquo;re looking for something specific, you may be disappointed. If you&rsquo;re just looking around, though, you can stumble across great deals. A good one is ReCycled Cycles in Seattle.</p> <p>Other spots to check are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-sports-gear-for-less">outdoor gear shops</a>, such as REI or Big 5 Sports. They generally offer a small selection of bike apparel and accessories. In a pinch, they&rsquo;ll do.</p> <p>Or you can check out the local bicycling clubs. Truly, these riders know everything there is to know about bike stuff in your area. They ride hard all the time, they know where to find things and they&rsquo;re always happy to add more bike enthusiasts to their ranks. Great ones to check out are the <a href="http://fremontfreewheelers.org/">Fremont Freewheelers</a> and <a href="http://www.westernwheelers.org/main/schedules/index.htm">Western Wheelers</a> in the San Francisco Bay area and <a href="http://www.cascade.org/Home/">Cascade Bike Club</a> in the Seattle area. Of course, most cities and towns have cycling clubs. A quick Internet search can help you find them, as can a stop by your local bike shop. Check the bulletin boards for details.</p> <p>Once you&rsquo;re decked out, it&rsquo;s time to hit the trails. So saddle up and bike on! The season is now.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bike-on-great-deals-on-all-things-bicycle">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-free-hbo-or-showtime-just-ask">Want Free HBO or Showtime? Just Ask.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-display-your-art">How to Cheaply Display Your Art</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-travel-with-postcard-fun">Free Travel With Postcard Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-more-places-to-buy-sell-and-trade-books">17 More Places to Buy, Sell, and Trade Books</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Art and Leisure bicycling bike gear outdoor sports Wed, 02 Dec 2009 15:00:02 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 3911 at http://www.wisebread.com