free things to do http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/16206/all en-US 90 Free Activities to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing http://www.wisebread.com/90-free-activities-to-get-your-creative-juices-flowing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/90-free-activities-to-get-your-creative-juices-flowing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fun-4365571-small.jpg" alt="balloons" title="balloons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all get stuck in a rut, which gets frustrating when you're looking for inspiration. Instead of sitting and stewing, get your creative juices flowing with free activities that will motivate and inspire. Here are 90 basically free activities, from heading to a local art gallery to walking through open houses, that are guaranteed to motivate.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Why-Youre-Motivated-26825177">RELATED: 5 Reasons Why You're Not Motivated</a></p> <ol> <li>Head to your local library and check out a book on a subject you're not familiar with.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go on a nature walk and collect five things that are beautiful.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get out your old photographs and take a look at your past, remembering special moments that were important to you.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pick up a pencil or pen and sketch without worrying if you're a good artist. The process is more important than the product.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Grab a cookbook and attempt a recipe you've never made before. Invite friends over for an impromptu dinner party and share the dish.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn how to <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Making-Flowers-From-Pharmacy-Look-Nice-27889391/">arrange flowers</a> into a beautiful display.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep a dream journal and pick up a dream analysis book from the library to learn more about your sleeping brain.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tap into your inner child and head to the closest park and swing on the swings. Along with being fun, pumping those legs will get you thinking in a different way.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Cool-Upcycling-Projects-24338804/">Upcycle</a> something you're planning on tossing.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Volunteer your time at a local animal shelter, elder community, or homeless shelter.</li> </ol> <p>Read on for more motivating ideas.</p> <ol start="11"> <li>Find out when the closest art museum offers free admission and make a date to visit. Spend time walking through the displays and taking notes on your favorite works of art.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Join <a href="http://instagram.com/">Instagram</a> and explore manipulating your pictures and sharing with friends.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do a crossword puzzle.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go to a poetry reading and then try writing your own verse.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fold the best paper airplane.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Download a <a href="http://www.geeksugar.com/Free-iPhone-Apps-30950610/">free iPhone app</a> and check it out.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Head to an empty bench at the park and eavesdrop. Yes, not socially acceptable, but donning dark glasses and pretending to read a book while listening in on others' conversations is a great way to spark your imagination.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Watch a classic black-and-white movie on TV and note how things have changed over the years.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get free tickets to watch a live filming of your favorite TV show.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check for local garage sales or <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Living-Essentials-You-Can-Find-Flea-Markets-30487813/">antique fairs</a> in your area. And you don't have to buy anything &mdash; simply scope out the stuff and people watch.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Borrow your friend's kids and head to the park. Playing with children is a fun way to spark your creativity.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Read a fantasy novel &mdash; or a romance.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Free-Ways-Relax-26337597/">Relax</a>. Calming your mind will allow all your amazing ideas to flow.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take a shower and belt out your favorite tune.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Read back on your journal and reflect on where you are today. Or start a journal and get writing.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn how to make the <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Jacques-Pepin-Tips-Boiling-Perfect-Egg-3373925/">perfect boiled egg</a> to start your day out right.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Start a blog and write posts about something you are passionate about.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Join <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-DIY-Boards-Pinterest-26558933/">Pinterest</a> and look at all the inspirational things others are doing and sharing.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go to a free concert.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Attack that stack of old magazines and create an inspiration board.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check out <a href="http://www.casasugar.com/DIY">DIY</a> blogs online.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go to a craft fair and take pictures of all the neat things people are making.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pack for a trip even though you're not going anywhere. Imagine you're traveling to somewhere amazing and write an email detailing the trip. When finished, send the email to yourself.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Transform just-about-wilted flowers into <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Make-Homemade-Potpourri-28203688/">homemade potpourri</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Listen to classical music.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Head outdoors and take a photo tour of your neighborhood, snapping all your favorite spots.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Write a letter to yourself in the future.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Grab a blanket and find a quiet spot to cloud watch.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ask a friend questions you've never asked before. Or call your sister, brother, or parents, and catch up.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check for free improv nights in your area and make a date.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Head to your local community collage and sign up for a free class.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Start writing the next great novel.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Call your besties and head out for a night of fun karaoke.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do repairs around the house. Yes, not super fun, but while you're making sure that picture's hung right, you'll get your mind thinking in other ways.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Toss clutter and <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-Deep-Cleaning-Your-House-28308166/">clean your home</a>, revealing open spaces and empty corners.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.fitsugar.com/5-Types-Meditation-18949375/">Meditate</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Watch the sunset, or wake up early and enjoy the sunrise.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Switch things up with a <a href="http://www.fitsugar.com/Victoria-Secret-Model-Full-Body-Workout-21416942/">10-minute workout</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Sketch a beautiful dress.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go for a long walk at night and stargaze.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn how to make origami shapes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Fruits-Herbs-Add-Iced-Tea-23575926/">Enliven your tea</a> with fruits and fresh herbs. Drink it instead of coffee in the morning, or during the day, for a fresh new look on things.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go to a candy store and sample all the amazing flavors.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Head to the beach, or your local swim spot, and enjoy the natural surroundings.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Try a new look and <a href="http://www.bellasugar.com/Hair/">do your hair differently</a> or go a day without makeup.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn how to play an instrument.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take some <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/Celebrities-Taking-Selfies-Pictures-30584301/">selfie snaps</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do something you used to love doing as a child, like building a fort with blankets and pillows.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Eat ice cream for breakfast and sausage and eggs for dinner.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check out the best hikes in your area and pick one to try.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Search for <a href="http://www.petsugar.com/Kitten-Meets-Hedgehog-First-Time-Video-30458489/">adorable pet videos</a> on YouTube.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you're right-handed, use your left for the day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take a nap.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Sign up for free dance lessons.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go climb a tree and sit in the branches for a different perspective on things.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Try <a href="http://www.bellasugar.com/Nail-Art-Tips-Tricks-28445421/">nail art</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Grab a notebook and pencil and design your dream house. Even if you aren't an architect, simply listing all the things that you'd love in your perfect home is a fun way to get your creative juices flowing.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put fruits that are slightly unripe to good use by making <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Strawberry-Habanero-Jam-Recipe-30987194/">homemade jam</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check out <a href="http://www.etsy.com/">Etsy</a> and, if you're crafty, start your own shop.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn how to knit.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Create a thinking spot in your home to sit and ponder things.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Check out <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Cheap-Airbnb-Rentals-USA-30777441/">Airbnb</a>. Even if you're not traveling, looking at other people's spaces might spark your imagination.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Talk to a stranger.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Rearrange your furniture. Need inspiration? Call a friend to come over and tell you how she thinks things should be positioned.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take your dog for a long walk. Don't have a pet? Look at <a href="http://www.petsugar.com/Cute-Smush-Faced-Cats-26002379/">cute pictures of kitties</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use your phone to make a short video and then share it with family and friends.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go to an art opening. Along with showcasing new artists, art openings often offer free snacks and drinks.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Head to your local home goods store, pick out a selection of paint samples, and use them to <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Paint-Sample-Crafts-31024252/">do a fun project</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Dress up in your favorite outfit and go for a walk. Even though you're not a celebrity, act like you're one.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get out your favorite pictures and create a <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Hanging-Photos-Ideas-23902523/">unique photo wall</a> in your home.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go through your clothes and make a stack to donate.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Deep-Clean-Your-Mattress-29764178/">Deep-clean your bed</a> for a better night's sleep. This way you'll feel refreshed and ready for anything tomorrow.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Join a local sports league in town and make new friends while being active.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Go to a book reading.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Browse for free things on <a href="http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites/">Craigslist</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn how to <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Easy-Cocktail-Recipes-26458979/">make a new cocktail</a> from bottles hiding in your liquor cabinet.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clean out your email, reading old correspondences before deleting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Invite friends over for a <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Host-Budget-Friendly-Soiree-Game-Night-25913759/">fun game night</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Learn how to watercolor.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Spend your Sunday looking at open houses in your community. Along with getting a chance to see the interiors of homes, take inspiration from how furniture is arranged or the view from the kitchen window.</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don&#039;t just sit there waiting for inspiration — break boredom and get creative with one of these great ideas. </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 style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img width="300" height="95" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Free-Ways-Entertain-Yourself-Home-30926585">68 Mostly Free Ways to Entertain Yourself at Home</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Ways-Relieve-Stress-31075809">Gimme a Break: 101 Frugal Ways to Relax</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Self-Motivate-20965409">How to Self-Motivate in 5 Steps</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </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/90-free-activities-to-get-your-creative-juices-flowing">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/the-power-of-lists-getting-more-creative-and-efficient">The Power of Lists: Getting More Creative and Efficient</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/how-to-have-more-eureka-shower-moments">How to Have More Eureka! Shower Moments</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/14-things-you-should-spend-more-time-on">14 Things You Should Spend More Time On</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/25-ways-to-boost-creativity">25 Ways to Boost Creativity</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/how-less-creativity-can-make-you-more-creative">How Less Creativity Can Make You More Creative</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development creativity free fun free things to do Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:24:31 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 981123 at http://www.wisebread.com 53 Fun Nights Out for $10 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/53-fun-nights-out-for-10-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/53-fun-nights-out-for-10-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/walk-4763760-small.jpg" alt="night" title="night" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can have a fun, entertaining, and relaxing night out without spending much &mdash; or anything. The secret is to do what you truly enjoy and take advantage of what your area has to offer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/classy-dating-on-a-budget" target="_blank">Classy Dating on a Budget</a>)</p> <p>Here are 53 ideas to get you started.</p> <h2>Enjoy Arts and Entertainment</h2> <p>Your city's local arts and entertainment scene can offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-money-on-entertainment" target="_blank">a variety of experiences</a>. Whether you are interested in sophisticated, popular, or down-home culture, you should be able to find something fun to do.</p> <ol> <li>Listen to a live band at a local bar or restaurant</li> <li>Laugh at a comedy show featuring amateur or aspiring professional comedians</li> <li>Enjoy an outdoor concert sponsored by a local arts group</li> <li>Absorb goings-on at a street festival</li> <li>Dance at a local club</li> <li>View an art exhibit at a gallery or community venue</li> <li>Watch a movie screening at an independently owned cinema or film festival</li> <li>See a theatrical production staged by a local college or community arts organization</li> <li>Visit an art museum during one of its free nights</li> </ol> <h2>Get Back to Nature</h2> <p>Early evenings, full-moon nights, and more can be excellent occasions to get back to nature for a fun yet frugal night out. Bring a friend (and a flashlight) to a familiar place or accompany a group <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun" target="_blank">on an outdoor adventure</a>.</p> <ol start="10"> <li>Hike in the early evening before darkness falls</li> <li>Walk or cycle on trails when the moon is full</li> <li>Canoe at twilight with a group on a familiar route (such trips may be offered at state parks)</li> <li>View nocturnal wildlife during events hosted by park rangers</li> <li>Gaze at stars during astronomy sessions sponsored by planetariums or find a secluded place and <a href="http://astroguyz.com/2010/12/15/observing-from-the-%E2%80%98hood-good-targets-for-bright-skies/" target="_blank">make your own observations</a></li> <li>Stroll at sunset</li> <li>Fish on a pier or quiet lake</li> <li>Listen to campfire presentations led by park rangers on topics you find fascinating</li> <li>Wander through a corn maze (farms tend to offer these in autumn)</li> </ol> <h2>Do Something With Friends</h2> <p>Mixing with large crowds can be exhilarating. But sometimes you crave a more intimate evening with a small group of friends. Join an event or plan your own gathering.</p> <ol start="19"> <li>Discuss a favorite book at an informal get-together or book club meeting at a coffee shop or restaurant</li> <li>Talk at a small party hosted by a friend</li> <li>View and discuss an independent film or classic favorite</li> <li>Listen to a community lecture in a subject that truly interests you</li> <li>Participate in an evening volunteer activity</li> <li>Taste samples at a local winery or brewery</li> <li>Develop conversational skills in Spanish, French, etc. at a language meetup</li> <li>Take a cooking class or art lesson offered through a deals site or the community college</li> </ol> <h2>Watch or Participate in Sports</h2> <p>Sports lovers can find plenty to keep them busy <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-sports-gear-for-less" target="_blank">without spending a bundle</a>. Catch a game that is likely to feature rising stars, unpredictable finishes, and interesting entertainment. Or, participate in an activity that gets you moving.</p> <ol start="27"> <li>Attend a minor league baseball game or hockey game</li> <li>Catch a college game</li> <li>Watch a high school game, which often includes band or dance performances</li> <li>Join friends to watch a game at a sports bar</li> <li>See action at the auto races</li> <li>Participate in an evening run with a local running club</li> <li>Go bowling</li> <li>Go skating</li> <li>Play tennis under the lights</li> <li>Play a round of golf on an illuminated par three course (or miniature golf course)</li> <li>Drive golf balls on a driving range</li> </ol> <h2>Eat Out</h2> <p>Locate cheap eateries or partake of just one course (like dessert!) to control expenses.</p> <ol start="38"> <li>Eat at an inexpensive restaurant with great food</li> <li>Grab a bite at your favorite burger place</li> <li>Go to a fundraising dinner at a civic club or church</li> <li>Take part in a potluck dinner at a friend&rsquo;s house</li> <li>Fill up with pasta at a community dinner on the evening before a big running race</li> <li>Have a picnic with homemade food or takeout</li> <li>Visit an ice cream parlor or yogurt shop</li> <li>Enjoy a delicacy from a bakery</li> <li>Dine on a meal provided by a culinary school</li> </ol> <h2>Be With Family</h2> <p>Find family- and wallet-friendly activities. Community events are a great way to have a fun evening outside of your home.</p> <ol start="47"> <li>Watch a free movie sponsored by a library or community group</li> <li>See a high school play, dance performance, or marching band competition</li> <li>Observe (or participate in) a holiday parade</li> <li>Celebrate with members of your community on days like the 4th of July</li> <li>Wander around the county fair (watch for discount tickets and promotions)</li> <li>Let your kids interact with exhibits during one of the free nights at the children&rsquo;s museum</li> <li>Participate in activities at a festival hosted by the school or community center</li> </ol> <p>Enjoy the nightlife or wildlife, get together with friends, or meet new people with mutual interests. Check on prices before you head out and find the frugal alternative to the pricey one, choosing the free concert rather than the ticketed one, for example. Just know that you can have loads of fun without spending tons on evenings away from home.</p> <p><em>How do you have a fun evening for $10 or less?</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/53-fun-nights-out-for-10-or-less">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/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</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/14-ways-to-spend-less-money-on-valentines-day">14 Ways to Spend Less Money on Valentine&#039;s Day</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/7-free-ways-to-get-out-of-the-house">7 Free Ways to Get Out of the House</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/9-cheapest-dates-that-dont-seem-so-cheap">9 Cheapest Dates That Don&#039;t Seem So 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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment cheap dates family night free things to do Mon, 22 Apr 2013 10:24:31 +0000 Julie Rains 973340 at http://www.wisebread.com Fun and Frugal Ways to Enjoy Montreal http://www.wisebread.com/fun-and-frugal-ways-to-enjoy-montreal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fun-and-frugal-ways-to-enjoy-montreal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/montreal-natural-skyline-beautiful-flickr.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Historical architecture, easy international access, and a world-class cultural scene make Montreal a sought-after destination for many travelers. If you&rsquo;re wondering <a href="http://www.viarail.ca/en/explore-our-destinations/stations/quebec/montreal/what-to-do-in-montreal">what to do in Montreal</a>, this list is long indeed. With activity options including everything from live outdoor performances and a strollable street-art scene to evening snowshoeing events and a world-famous winter festival, you certainly won&rsquo;t be bored. If you&rsquo;d like to make the most of your visit to Montreal by channeling your monies towards some favored splurges, follow these tips to enjoy some of the more affordable things the city has to offer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-inexpensive-weekend-getaways-anyone-can-take">10 Inexpensive Weekend Getaways Anyone Can Take</a>)</p> <br /> <h2>Mont Royal Park</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/mont-royal-park-montreal-myscha-theriault.jpg" width="605" height="341" alt="" /></p> <p>One of the largest and most impressive urban parks in the world, Mont Royal Park is one of Montreal&rsquo;s crown jewels. Accessed regularly by tourists and locals alike, the venue costs nothing to visit and offers a variety of ways to enjoy the city&rsquo;s green space. Biking, stroller walking, birding, and nature hikes are all part of fun. In the winter, there are even guided evening snowshoe events with mulled wine for a nominal fee.</p> <br /> <h2>Museum of Fine Arts</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/montreal-fine-arts-museum-myscha-theriault.jpg" width="605" height="345" alt="" /></p> <p>This three-building complex is located in a picturesque area of the city and boasts some exquisite examples of Canadian and international art from a number of time periods. While the museum does charge fees for visiting its rotating exhibits, all of the permanent collections are free. Since they are all world-class and extensive, this venue easily takes two full afternoons to completely explore. Their permanent collections include sections on early to modern international art, archeology and world cultures, Quebec and Canadian art, a photography and graphic arts display, and more. It&rsquo;s important to note that there is no free parking near the museum, so you may want to contact the tourism office for information on a <a href="http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/Accommodations/">Montreal hotel</a> that&rsquo;s in the vicinity.</p> <br /> <h2>McGill University Campus</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/mcgill-university-montreal-flickr.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Within walking distance of Montreal&rsquo;s Museum of Fine Arts is the campus of McGill University. Arguably one of the more attractive college campuses in the world, it&rsquo;s a pretty place to plop down with a picnic, and it's also near a number of fun restaurants, bars, and shopping opportunities. The historical buildings, including an 1800s cathedral, add to the atmosphere.</p> <br /> <h2>Place d&rsquo;Armes</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/notre-dame-basilica-myscha-theriault.jpg" width="605" height="341" alt="" /></p> <p>Located in the historic district known as Old Montreal, the Place d&rsquo;Armes is a charming city square where you can people watch while sipping a hot coffee and planning the next stop on your city travel itinerary. While there are several striking streets and buildings that will have you in <a href="http://trekhound.com/2012/03/29/travel-photography-tips-for-beginners/">travel photography</a> heaven, one attraction that is not to be missed while visiting the square is the jaw-dropping Notre Dame Basilica. It&rsquo;s gorgeous enough from the outside, but the interior is particularly picturesque and totally worth your tourist time. With an entry fee of $5, touring the building is definitely a budget-friendly activity.</p> <br /> <h2>Public Bikes</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/public-bike-system-montreal.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The infrastructure supporting <a href="https://montreal.bixi.com/">Montreal&rsquo;s public bike system</a> is completely solar powered, and the multiple pick-up and drop-off locations throughout the city make choosing this transportation as fuss-free as possible. If you&rsquo;re only there for a weekend, you may want to purchase their one-day access cards, which are available for $5 each.</p> <br /> <h2>Metro System</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/montreal-public-transportation-system-subway-flickr.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>A public bus and <a href="http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/Travel-Information/Transportation/societe-de-transport-de-montreal-stm">subway system</a> is also available for tourists wishing to make their way throughout the city. If you want to see a spot that&rsquo;s too far to venture on foot and the thought of biking in urban traffic leaves you feeling a bit intimidated, hopping the metro is definitely an inexpensive way to go. They also have <a href="http://www.stm.info/English/tarification/a-grilletarif.htm">discount tickets</a> available for families, which let adults bring multiple children along for the ride at no extra charge.</p> <p>Visiting Montreal provides travelers with a great mix of historic charm and urban chic, with plenty of cultural diversity built into the experience. By incorporating some of these cost-effective items into your vacation schedule, you&rsquo;ll easily be able to channel saved funds towards other memory-making activities. The city&rsquo;s international food offerings, year-long festival schedule, and strong art and cultural scene are all things that grabbed my attention. Your preferences may include incorporating more museums or breaking up daily <a href="http://trekhound.com/2012/10/08/world-class-walking-tours/">walking tours</a> with happy hour sessions and coffee house performances.</p> <em><strong><p>Have you ever visited Montreal? What are your favorite frugal destinations in the city?</em></strong></p> <p><em>This post was made possible by support from the Tourism Board of Montreal and local businesses like La Maison Simons, a <a href="http://www.simons.ca/">fashion clothing store in Montreal</a>.</em></p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/myscha-theriault">Myscha Theriault</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fun-and-frugal-ways-to-enjoy-montreal">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/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/how-to-travel-to-and-from-canada">How to travel to and from Canada</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/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors</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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</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/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel Canada city travel free things to do Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:48:31 +0000 Myscha Theriault 973513 at http://www.wisebread.com 99 Affordable Date Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/99-affordable-date-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/99-affordable-date-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7134946449_9b2ae33f8f_z.jpg" alt="happy couple" title="happy couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Going on dates doesn't always have to mean draining your wallet at fancy restaurants. There are plenty of affordable and entertaining dates you can go on with your beloved. After all, it's really the time you spend with your sweetheart that matters and not how much you're spending on the dates. Here are 99 frugal dates for you to try.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Who-Pays-First-Date-18263016">RELATED: How to Gauge Money&nbsp;Habits on the First Date</a></p> <ol> <li>Cook each other's family recipes for each other.</li> <li>Nostalgia movie night. Watch your favorite movies from during your school years.</li> <li>Watch a free improv show.</li> <li>Go for a hike in a beautiful park.</li> <li>Picnic outdoors and prep delicious foods to feed each other with.</li> <li>Explore the farmers market together, and share some juicy fruits or tasty snacks to munch on.</li> <li>Take a tour around a museum the both of you haven't been to (preferable on free museum day!).</li> <li>Go to open mic night and sing your heart out.</li> <li>Visit a board game cafe and play games to your heart's content.</li> <li>Pal up with your partner for trivia nights in neighborhood bars.</li> <li>Create your own city tour, and visit historic landmarks.</li> <li>Pick a documentary, and discuss it after watching.</li> <li>Have a book club date night. Choose a book to read together, and hold an intimate book club meeting for two when you're both done with it.</li> <li>Volunteer together at the pound, homeless shelter, or your favorite nonprofit.</li> <li>Go swimming together.</li> <li>Stargaze and try to name the constellations you're staring at with the help of an app or book.</li> <li>Watch birds and wildlife, and try to identify them with a book or app.</li> <li>Pick fruit from a farm, and find recipes to cook the fruit with.</li> <li>Plan a trip together, and share pretty pictures and hot-spot descriptions with each other.</li> <li>Buy a travel book of your dream travel destination, and read it together.</li> <li>Visit the library, and read books together.</li> <li>Take a free meditation class together.</li> <li>Bike around the city.</li> <li>Bring $5 to the mall and see who ends up with the best buy.</li> <li>Rollerblade together or go to a roller skating rink.</li> <li>Try ice skating.</li> <li>Go on a free factory tour.</li> <li>Go bowling.</li> <li>Play a sport together.</li> <li>Make desserts for each other.</li> <li>Become a kid again, and play games at the arcade.</li> <li>Throw a fondue night, and experiment with unique ingredients.</li> <li>Go fishing.</li> <li>Watch a movie in a drive-in theater, and make a sundae or a root beer float to consume at home before going.</li> <li>Visit the zoo.</li> <li>Go to a jazz bar.</li> <li>Build a jigsaw puzzle together.</li> <li>Go to a local festival.</li> <li>Visit a flea market or thrift store, and try to find things you can restore together.</li> <li>Walk around Ikea, and get a meal there after exploring.</li> <li>Miniature golf.</li> <li>Attend a tasting of your favorite liquor.</li> <li>Check out an art exhibit.</li> <li>Paint together.</li> <li>Try to fold challenging origami pieces.</li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Sharpie-Mug-DIY-Project-24955886">Design mugs</a>&nbsp;for each other.</li> <li>Go to a playground, and exchange childhood memories.</li> <li>Visit a dog park with your dog.</li> <li>Attend a pet show or meetup in your area.</li> <li>Make a scrapbook of your best memories together.</li> <li>Practice photo shoots if one of you is into photography.</li> <li>Attend free lectures.</li> <li>Go to a book signing.</li> <li>Doing crossword puzzles together.</li> <li>Take a dance class.</li> <li>Go to '80s or '90s night at a club or bar in your city, and dress up in clothes from that era.</li> <li>Paint ceramics together.</li> <li>Take a scenic road trip.</li> <li>Play video games from your childhood.</li> <li>Go to an airport, and watch planes take off together.</li> <li>Make and experiment with cocktails. Come up with your own names for the concoctions.</li> <li>Take a ferry ride.</li> <li>Camp in your room, and make blanket forts. Make s'mores with your microwave. Tell ghost stories.</li> <li>Fly a kite together. Perhaps even make the kite together before flying it.</li> <li>Play truth or dare with each other.</li> <li>Go on a coffee date.</li> <li>Visit movie locations in your city, and watch the movies after your tour.</li> <li>Go to the beach, and enjoy activities like building sandcastles and skipping rocks.</li> <li>Do a spa night at home, and give each other massages.</li> <li>Learn a new skill together from YouTube tutorials.</li> <li>Start watching a TV series together.</li> <li>Start a blog together.</li> <li>Go to the rooftop of a very high building and enjoy the view. Bring some sparklers to play with.</li> <li>Tackle an upcycling project. See this list of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Cool-Upcycling-Projects-24338804">111 suggestions</a>.</li> <li>Write out your bucket list with each other.</li> <li>Admire the architecture in your city.</li> <li>Watch a play together. There are plenty of affordable plays hosted by colleges and local community groups.</li> <li>Pet-sit together.</li> <li>Go to a dive bar, and challenge each other to a game of pool, darts, or shuffleboard.</li> <li>Go open-house-hopping together.</li> <li>Check out an indoor rock climbing gym.</li> <li>Play in the snow. Make snow angels and snowmen. Start a snowball fight, and slide down a hill on a sled.</li> <li>Check out a local band.</li> <li>Redeem a daily deal together.</li> <li>Visit a candy store or ice cream parlor, and spend time talking and enjoying sweets.</li> <li>Watch a sports game together.</li> <li>Attend a poetry reading.</li> <li>Participate in a Nerf war.</li> <li>Attend free mixers in your city.</li> <li>Explore a haunted house.</li> <li>Go on a bus or train and get off at a random destination; then spend time exploring that neighborhood.</li> <li>Make a pizza together with all your favorite toppings. Get creative, and attempt to make a dessert pizza.</li> <li>Watch a high school or college sport together.</li> <li>Go to a foreign film night. They usually host one at a school or the library.</li> <li>Volunteer at an archeological dig.</li> <li>Attend a&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/ContentView?pn=HT_WS_WeeklyWorkshops">Home Depot workshop</a>.</li> <li>Learn a language together.</li> <li>Go&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.geocaching.com/">geochaching</a>&nbsp;together.</li> </ol> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Dinner and a movie maybe be classic, but it also gets expensive. Instead, try one of these 99 awesome, inexpensive ways to spend time together. </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/Cheap-Ways-Treat-Yourself-22129255">22 Cheap Ways to&nbsp;Treat Yourself</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Financial-Mistakes-Women-Make-22946014">7 Money Mistakes Women&nbsp;Often Make</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Divide-Expenses-Couple-21473777">4 Ways to&nbsp;Divide and Conquer Expenses as a Couple</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </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/99-affordable-date-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-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/14-ways-to-spend-less-money-on-valentines-day">14 Ways to Spend Less Money on Valentine&#039;s Day</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/if-youre-doing-this-on-your-first-date-youre-not-getting-a-second">If You&#039;re Doing This on Your First Date, You&#039;re Not Getting a Second</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/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget">From $5 to $30+, Date Ideas for Every Budget</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/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</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-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle budget dating free things to do romance Tue, 05 Feb 2013 11:00:36 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 967629 at http://www.wisebread.com 30 Free Ways to Cheer Yourself Up http://www.wisebread.com/30-free-ways-to-cheer-yourself-up <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/30-free-ways-to-cheer-yourself-up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2967604762_4e8caa7eff_z.jpg" alt="Young boy jumping for joy outside with mountains in the background." title="jumping for joy outside " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="189" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having a genuinely sunny disposition isn't my default mode. For much of my adult life, I have had an overly analytic bent and a tendency to consider worst-case scenarios, which may have engendered thoughtfulness and responsibility but not lively exuberance.&nbsp;</p> <p>I have had to learn and practice optimism, lightheartedness, and, well, cheerfulness. As a result, I have gotten better at being positive and enjoying curves in the road. There are several techniques that have benefited me (and my friends) when circumstances or mindsets threaten inner contentment and outward joyfulness.</p> <p>When things have got you down, try one, two, or more of these ways to feel better about yourself and your life. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-things-to-be-happy-about">Big List of Things to Be Happy&nbsp;About</a>)</p> <h2>1. Confide in a Friend</h2> <p>Talking to a trusted friend about your troubles can be therapeutic. A friend can often give you better perspective on either what is happening to you or how you are responding, urging specific actions to remedy the cause of your sadness or offering much-needed reassurance.</p> <h2>2. Ponder Past Accomplishments</h2> <p>You might feel down if you have had recent setbacks or believe that you are not achieving your goals at a quick enough pace. Ease self-induced pressure by taking your focus off the future for a moment. Ponder the past to get a cheerful boost that moves you forward.</p> <h2>3. Do Something That Scares You</h2> <p>Step outside of your comfort zone. Try something that you want to do but scares you because it's unfamiliar. You might deliver a presentation at a professional gathering, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/sound-more-confident-in-one-easy-step">take a class in public speaking</a>, participate in a community book discussion, or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-keys-to-great-management-learned-from-an-inner-city-mission-worker">volunteer at an inner-city ministry</a>.</p> <p>Facing a fear can energize you. Even if there are glitches, learn from your experiences and be glad that you are pursuing your dreams.</p> <h2>4. Think About How You Emerged From Bad Times</h2> <p>The twittersphere inspired this approach to <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/bobgoff/status/238989780250132481">reclaiming hope</a> &mdash; think about how you emerged from difficult circumstances in the past. Remember how you dealt with setbacks, sadness, and frustration. Putting these tactics into action can help you feel less dejected.</p> <h2>5. Exercise Intensely</h2> <p>Intense exercise, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-and-stress/SR00036">the kind that raises your heart rate and produces endorphins</a>, can make you feel wonderful.</p> <p>I am amazed at how much a short but fast run eases anxiety, and even makes me oblivious to new difficulties that would otherwise cause anguish.</p> <h2>6. Read a Book</h2> <p>Getting absorbed in a page turner is an excellent way to forget about yourself and your distress. You may not feel cheery at the very moment (think disturbing scenes from &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kite_Runner">The Kite Runner</a>&quot; or heart-tugging conversations in &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.nicholassparks.com/books/dear-john">Dear John</a>&quot;). But, most likely, you&rsquo;ll distance yourself from your problems and feel better and happier about your life.</p> <p>Ask friends for book recommendations, focusing on the ones that deeply engage readers. Borrow from a friend, the library, or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_1?rh=n%3A133140011%2Cn%3A%21133143011%2Cn%3A2245146011&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1358266700">download a classic for free</a>.</p> <h2>7. Plan a Trip</h2> <p>Anticipating a fun trip &mdash; whether it's a day hike in the mountains or a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-sightseeing-on-the-cheap">weeklong trek to visit museums in Washington, DC</a> &mdash; can make you happy. Although you don&rsquo;t want to spend tons of your time simply planning an escape from daily life, creating plans to enjoy yourself can help increase your enthusiasm for the future.</p> <h2>8. Catch a Movie</h2> <p>Lighthearted movies with an intriguing but not overly complicated plot can take your mind off difficulties, plus make you laugh.</p> <p>To keep this suggestion as a free option, catch a movie on television, watch via a streaming subscription (such as Netflix or Amazon Prime), check out a DVD from the library, or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">find a free screening</a>. Ask friends about their favorite comedies or choose from a list, such as this compilation of the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2012/06/the-25-best-comedy-movies-streaming-on-netflix-right-now/griff-the-invisible">25 best comedies streaming on Netflix</a> that includes &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secrets-about-life-and-career-from-office-space">Office Space</a>.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Hang Out With Your Kids</h2> <p>Children seem to possess an endless well of bliss, which they are nearly always ready to share. They can show you how to act spontaneously, make friends effortlessly, and, most importantly, live happily in the moment.</p> <p>Spend a couple of hours with your children at the local playground (if you have small children of your own); accompany friends with children on an outing; or offer to babysit for a harried parent to bring cheer to yourself and others.</p> <h2>10. Volunteer</h2> <p>Volunteering can relieve stress and improve your outlook in many ways. It can:</p> <ul> <li>Give you a reason to interact with other people including fellow volunteers and non-profit clients</li> <li>Enable you to meet those who may have desperate needs yet remain cheerful in trying circumstances</li> <li>Make you feel appreciated</li> <li>Teach you a new skill</li> </ul> <p>In my experience, some non-profit agencies are more adept than others at fulfilling their missions, serving their clients, and making their volunteers feel like a valued part of the team. So, if an assignment isn't everything you imagined, delight in the opportunity to meet new people and being brave enough to try something new.</p> <h2>11. Watch a Funny Television Show</h2> <p>Watching a comedy show on television may seem like a frivolous waste of time, but if you need cheering up, it can be a great way to re-energize in 20-30 minutes.</p> <p>Although I often <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">do productive tasks while watching TV</a>, the best way to catch comedic nuances that make a show laughable is to give your full, relaxed attention. And, sometimes, you have to see several episodes (or watch the first season via Amazon Prime or Netflix) to understand the characters and plotlines. Similar to the approach for books and movies, ask friends for recommendations or check out <a target="_blank" href="http://www.imdb.com/list/MvZIMHjK8eI/">entertainment industry lists</a>.</p> <h2>12. Pinpoint What&rsquo;s Making You Listless</h2> <p>Figure out what is causing your listlessness. You may avoid trying to pinpoint a problem because you feel dissatisfied in all areas of your life. But this approach may reveal that there is just one thing that&rsquo;s wrong and that it can be easily addressed.</p> <h2>13. Hang Out With Teenagers</h2> <p>Teens can be a blast and impart hopefulness for the future. The ones I know (especially my sons and their friends) are insightful about the sometimes ridiculousness of accepted, grown-up behavior and can not only make you pause and think about your own pretensions, but more importantly, make you laugh at your own seriousness.</p> <h2>14. Do Something Nice for Someone Else</h2> <p>Being kind can lift low spirits, letting you to realize that your ill feelings don't have to control you even when you are having a lousy day. Plus, you may learn that horrific things are occurring in other people&rsquo;s lives; the recipient of kindness may tell you how your action helped them in a particularly black moment.</p> <p>For more than <a target="_blank" href="http://andthenwesaved.com/random-acts-of-kindness-ideas/">100 ideas on random acts of kindness</a>, check out this blog post from Anna Newell Jones.</p> <h2>15. Get Some Sunshine</h2> <p>You can&rsquo;t control the weather but you can get outside when the sun is shining. Spend 10-15 minutes outdoors on sunny (or even partly cloudy) days to lift your mood.</p> <h2>16. Take a Break From Social Media</h2> <p>Keeping up with friends on Facebook can be fun but may cause you to feel that you fall short in terms of a social life, cute-kid stories, and vacation travels. Step away from the computer in your leisure time and enjoy some real-world activities.</p> <h2>17. Forget About Worries for a While</h2> <p>Set aside a few hours each day <a target="_blank" href="http://boardofwisdom.com/togo/Quotes/ShowQuote/?msgid=220041">not to worry</a>, even if you have difficulty controlling fretfulness and anxiety. Free yourself to be happy by not letting worry dominate your thoughts.</p> <h2>18. Look at Old Pictures</h2> <p>Dig out photo collections, either in hard-copy or digital form. Let memories of past adventures and fun times make you smile.</p> <h2>19. Finish a Project</h2> <p>Muster the energy to complete an unfinished project to restore peace of mind. Having lots of partially-finished projects may be weighing you down more than you realize. Choose one that involves mindless activity rather than complicated tasks. Not only will you momentarily forget about whatever&rsquo;s bothering you, you'll get something done.</p> <h2>20. Take a Walk</h2> <p>Stroll through public spaces such as a city garden, beach, or a trail along a lake or river. Beautiful natural surroundings, along with movement, can lighten your mood. If you are short on time, hit the streets in your neighborhood or downtown area as a way of taking a brief break.</p> <h2>21. Invite Friends Over</h2> <p>Spending time with friends can help you to relax, enjoy yourself, and hopefully laugh and become cheerier. You'll celebrate friendships rather than focus on what you don&rsquo;t have or what you haven&rsquo;t accomplished yet.</p> <h2>22. Get Professional Help</h2> <p>Pursue professional help if lack of cheer is an ongoing and debilitating problem, or if you have an issue that you can't resolve on your own. Your health insurance may cover mental health services. Alternatively, you may be able to locate free resources through your local mental health center (which may offer support groups) and counseling centers associated with your community, place of worship, school, or workplace.</p> <h2>23. Play a Board Game</h2> <p>Whenever my sons, husband, and I play a board game, we always end up laughing breathlessly, either at silly responses elicited by personal questions embedded in the game or the raw competitiveness of each family member.</p> <p>Unlike many personal finance bloggers who consider board games a consistent source of cheap entertainment, I don't play very often. Still, this activity provides a pleasant distraction that can dispel the blahs.</p> <h2>24. Get Some Rest</h2> <p>You are more likely to be cheerful if you sleep well. Take a nap or resolve to get to bed earlier or sleep later. If you are having trouble sleeping, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-starting-or-jumpstarting-your-exercise-regimen">get more exercise</a>, consider <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">resetting your sleep cycle</a>, or cut out the electronic noise a few hours close to bedtime.</p> <h2>25. Learn From &quot;The Happiness Project&quot;</h2> <p>Stumbling blocks to happiness are often shared by others, even <a target="_blank" href="http://www.happiness-project.com/">happiness expert Gretchen Rubin</a>. You may find solace in seeing that you are not alone in your struggles. And, more to the point, you can discover tools for cultivating happiness and becoming more cheerful.</p> <h2>26. Plot Steps to Reach a Goal</h2> <p>Whether you made New Year&rsquo;s resolutions, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-goals-for-values">took stock of your values</a>, set specific targets, or did none of the above at the start of the year, you likely have a dream that is yet to be realized. Put together a road map with the steps needed to achieve your desires. Through this process, notice your goals are well within reach, OR discover that getting there will be long and arduous. Either way, knowing that you have a plan can be encouraging.</p> <h2>27. List 50 Things for Which You Are Thankful</h2> <p>Gratitude can ease gloominess. Making a long list of things for which you are thankful can stir a deeper-than-usual awareness of what is going well in your life.</p> <h2>28. Clear Clutter</h2> <p>The process of clearing out clutter isn't fun, but the results can make you cheerier. With clutter gone, you can more readily release angst associated with past events, find the items that you need in your house, and entertain friends more often.</p> <h2>29. Learn Something New</h2> <p>Quiet your discontent by applying your brainpower to learning a new concept or gaining a practical skill.</p> <p>Look for free classes in the community offered by the library, chamber of commerce, or recreation department; listen to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/sit-in-on-a-class-at-mit-for-free">free university lectures</a>; ask a friend to share her expertise with you; pick up some <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-your-career-a-boost-with-one-skill">programming skills at Code Academy</a>, or take part in some of the free classes offered through <a target="_blank" href="http://www.skillshare.com/">Skillshare</a>.</p> <h2>30. Take Time Off</h2> <p>Daily routines &mdash; working much of the day or night, fixing meals, volunteering at school, doing laundry, etc. &mdash; can be overwhelming. Give yourself a break by using vacation days to relax. If you can't take time off, cancel outside obligations for a few days or weeks while you recharge.</p> <p>You can be contented without being perpetually perky. But, if you'd like to feel and act more upbeat, make the effort to nurture authentic cheerfulness.</p> <p><em>What do you do to pick yourself up when you&rsquo;re feeling down?</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/30-free-ways-to-cheer-yourself-up">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/4-guarantees-besides-death-and-taxes">4 Guarantees Besides Death and Taxes</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/5-scientific-reasons-to-ditch-the-luxury-brands">5 Scientific Reasons to Ditch the Luxury Brands</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/gratitude-and-frugality">Gratitude and Frugality</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/how-to-have-a-perfect-no-spend-weekend">How to Have a Perfect No-Spend Weekend!</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/the-secrets-of-historys-most-successful-savers">The Secrets of History&#039;s Most Successful Savers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Personal Development being happy cheer up free things to do Mon, 28 Jan 2013 11:15:00 +0000 Julie Rains 965706 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Do a One-Month Spending Freeze http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-one-month-spending-freeze <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-do-a-one-month-spending-freeze" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000001769284Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Making a big financial change is like getting in a cold swimming pool. You can oh-so-slowly walk from the shallow end to the deep end, shivering all the way &mdash; or you can hold your nose and just jump in. It might not be pleasant, but it sure is faster &mdash; and you might be surprised at how quickly you acclimate to the water.</p> <p>Similarly, if you&rsquo;re looking to overhaul your finances &mdash; whether you want to pay down debt, save more, or just spend your money wisely &mdash; you can develop little habits bit-by-bit, or you can jump into the pool with a spending freeze. By cutting out all unnecessary spending, you can jump-start your financial goals &mdash; and discover lots of fun, free things to do that you might have never thought of.</p> <p>You can do a spending freeze for any amount of time &mdash; a week, two weeks, even a year &mdash; but one month is a nice. It&rsquo;s enough time that you can save what feels like a significant amount of money, but not so long that it feels like it&rsquo;s going to go on forever. (For longer time periods, check out our article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-spending-fast-in-16-easy-steps">How to Do a Spending Fast in 16 (Easy!) Steps</a>.)</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s what to do.</p> <h3>Look at Your Budget</h3> <p>Actually, there&rsquo;s a step before this &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps">start a budget</a> if you don&rsquo;t already have one. The only way you can take control of your finances is to understand where your money is going.</p> <p>Now, look at what you spend money on every month, and separate the needs from the wants. Common &ldquo;want&rdquo; categories include clothing, entertainment, and dining out &mdash; but there are other, sneakier wants too. For example, how much of your weekly grocery bill is wants, and how much of it is needs?&nbsp;Also look at regular subscription services &mdash; such as newspapers or Netflix. Many will allow you to put your subscription on hold without actually cancelling it.</p> <p>After you&rsquo;ve done this, make a revised version of your budget where you spend nothing on these want categories.</p> <h3>Figure Out What You&rsquo;re Doing With Your Savings</h3> <p>Now that you&rsquo;ve established where you <i>won&rsquo;t</i> be spending money, you have to decide what you <i>will</i> be doing with those funds. Whether it&rsquo;s a large debt payment, creating your first emergency fund, or even saving for a vacation, having a goal you&rsquo;re working towards will make the spending freeze easier.</p> <h3>Enlist Others</h3> <p>Anybody who&rsquo;s ever had a gym buddy knows that doing something you don&rsquo;t want to do gets easier when you do it with someone you like. In this case, it might be your significant other, your parents, or a friend. This step isn&rsquo;t necessary, but if you do the spending freeze with someone else, you&rsquo;ll be able to support each other along the way.</p> <h3>Clean Out Your Pantry, and Plan Your Meals</h3> <p>Now that your plans are in place, it&rsquo;s time to get into the nitty-gritty. While food is a need, there are several ways that you can cut down on food costs over the next month.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-pantry-and-save-cash">Cleaning and reorganizing your pantry</a> will remind you what foods you have hiding in your cupboards. After you&rsquo;ve made a list of what you have, use these foods as the basis to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-eat-every-day-a-month-of-frugal-meals">plan your meals for the next month</a> &mdash; not only will you use up ingredients that have been sitting around, but you&rsquo;ll slash your grocery bill.</p> <h3>Schedule Free Fun</h3> <p>One of the most difficult things about being on a spending freeze is the &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t&rdquo; feeling. Instead of moping around feeling annoyed that you can&rsquo;t go out for drinks with your friends, be proactive! Invite people over for a potluck, schedule a hike for next weekend, or set up a weekly board game night with some friends. If you need to get some ideas, check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-free-ways-to-get-out-of-the-house">7 Free Ways to Get Out of the House</a>.</p> <h3>Remix Your Wardrobe</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t think you can go 30 days without a fashion infusion? Then try the <a href="http://www.ajwearsclothes.com/2012/05/30-for-30-wardrobe-remix-pieces.html">30 for 30 Remix</a>, which challenges you to take just 30 pieces of clothing you own and make them into 30 different outfits in 30 days.</p> <h3>Track Your Progress</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s important to track your progress &mdash; seeing that you&rsquo;re on the right track can make you charged up to keep going. Consider putting up a chart on the fridge where you can track your savings.</p> <h3>Adopt Permanent Changes</h3> <p>At the end of the month, take some time to consider what worked for you. Maybe you discovered that packing your lunch for work wasn&rsquo;t so bad, and you didn&rsquo;t miss eating out. Or that there&rsquo;s more versatility in your wardrobe than you thought. Or you didn&rsquo;t miss cable. Whatever it is, see if there are some frugal changes that you can adopt as long-term habits instead of just going back to your old ways.</p> <h3>Need Motivation? How About $10,000 in Prizes?</h3> <p>Almost inspired to start a spending freeze but need a little extra motivation? We're here to help! Wise Bread has teamed up with SaveUp to give away $10,000 worth of cash prizes to reward you for not using your credit card. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/saveup-s-no-spend-giveaway-win-up-to-10000-in-rewards">Check out our contest post for full details</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you done a spending freeze? Or are you thinking about trying one? Share your experiences in the comments!</em></p> <div align="center"> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saveup-s-no-spend-giveaway-win-up-to-10000-in-rewards"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/saveup-nospend-300_0.jpg" width="300" height="300" alt="" /></a></p></div><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-one-month-spending-freeze">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-6"> <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/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</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/can-a-robot-called-digit-really-help-you-save-more">Can a Robot Called Digit Really Help You Save More?</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-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">25 Frugal Items for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List</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/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</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-frugal-foods-you-should-always-have-in-your-freezer">18 Frugal Foods You Should Always Have in Your Freezer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting free things to do pantry spending freeze wardrobe Wed, 16 Jan 2013 11:36:34 +0000 Meg Favreau 965736 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Have a Perfect No-Spend Weekend! http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-perfect-no-spend-weekend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-have-a-perfect-no-spend-weekend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3935702554_5bd026824e_z.jpg" alt="community garden" title="community garden" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all want to be to make getting out of debt a bigger priority in our lives, but what do you do if you&rsquo;re not quite ready to make the full commitment (especially around the holidays) or if you&rsquo;re not quite sure you&rsquo;ll be able to handle it?</p> <p>The perfect solution is a No-Spend Weekend! You&rsquo;ll reap the benefits of cutting-back without the time commitment. After you get your feet wet with a No-Spend Weekend you just might be ready to try it for a year! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-spending-fast-in-16-easy-steps">How to do a Spending Fast in 16 (Easy!) Steps</a>)</p> <h3>1. Remember: Potlucks Are Your Friend!</h3> <p>There are a ton of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-potluck-parties-that-help-you-share-the-wealth">different potluck options</a>. Get creative and try breakfast, dessert, or appetizer potlucks. Recently I went to a pumpkin potluck, and everyone brought something around the pumpkin theme. It was a very clever idea! When everyone brings something the burden is lifted from one person, and you just might get to try some new foods!</p> <h3>2. Clear Out the Clutter</h3> <p>Go through everything in the closets, in the basement, under the beds, in the dressers.</p> <h3>3. Volunteer</h3> <p>Put a deposit in your karma bank, and help a person or organization in need.</p> <h3>4. Tap Into Your Library or Community for Free Events</h3> <p>Every city has <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">free events</a>; pick up a local paper and look online for listings.</p> <h3>5. Nap</h3> <p>Relax! A no-spend weekend is the perfect time to take that nap you keep dreaming about.</p> <h3>6. Wash All Your Linens</h3> <p>Nothing is better than clean sheets!</p> <h3>7. Have a Sleepover</h3> <p>Channel your childhood, grab your sleeping bags, and stay up late telling ghost stories.</p> <h3>8. Sign Up for a Free Week at a Gym</h3> <p>Get out of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise">work-out rut</a> quite like switching up your gym &mdash; even if it is just for a week (or a weekend)!</p> <h3>9. Try Out New Hairstyles</h3> <p>A whole new look for you could be as simple as parting your hair on the opposite side, slicking your hair back, conquering that fishtail braid, or simply pulling your hair up just a slightly higher ponytail.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite no-spend activities, and have you tried a no-spend weekend?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anna-newell-jones">Anna Newell Jones</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-perfect-no-spend-weekend">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-7"> <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/11-unusual-ways-to-sell-your-stuff">11 Unusual Ways to Sell Your Stuff</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/5-financial-holidays-id-like-to-see">5 Financial Holidays I&#039;d Like to See</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/30-free-ways-to-cheer-yourself-up">30 Free Ways to Cheer Yourself Up</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/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</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/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living decluttering free things to do weekend Fri, 07 Dec 2012 11:00:31 +0000 Anna Newell Jones 955762 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Free Ways to Get Out of the House http://www.wisebread.com/7-free-ways-to-get-out-of-the-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-free-ways-to-get-out-of-the-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/outside.jpg" alt="Path in a park" title="Path in a park" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>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&rsquo;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: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-frugal-without-becoming-a-hermit">How to Be Frugal (Without Being a Hermit)</a>)</p> <h2>1. Visit Friends</h2> <p>It doesn&rsquo;t cost a dime to spend some time visiting friends! Get on the phone or send an email to some friends you haven&rsquo;t seen in a while, and ask if they&rsquo;d like to get together and catch up. You can simply say, &ldquo;When would be a good time for me to stop by? I&rsquo;d love to catch up!&rdquo; and chances are, your friend will invite you over &mdash; 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&rsquo;t be surprised if you start getting phone calls and email invites to events and get-together&rsquo;s more frequently.</p> <h2>2. Go Hiking, Biking, or Walking</h2> <p>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 <a href="http://www.traillink.com/">TrailLink</a> website. Not only will this activity get you out of the house for free, but you&rsquo;ll enjoy the great outdoors and get exercise at the same time. You might also considering joining a local group on <a href="http://www.meetup.com/">Meetup.com</a> for hiking, biking, or walking.</p> <h2>3. Go on a Picnic</h2> <p>You don&rsquo;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.</p> <h2>4. Visit a Park</h2> <p>Even if you don&rsquo;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 <a href="http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm/index.htm">National Park Service website</a>.</p> <h2>5. Go to the Library</h2> <p>If you don&rsquo;t regularly <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/duh-libraries">visit the library</a>, 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&rsquo;t forget to look at the community bulletin board to see what else is happening in your area.</p> <h2>6. Go to a Free-Admission Museum</h2> <p>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 <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free">How to Visit a Museum for Free</a> to for information on how to find local options.</p> <h2>7. Go to Free-Admission Festivals</h2> <p>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&rsquo;t buy anything from the vendors. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-not-to-buy-at-a-farmers-market">Farmers markets</a> are another opportunity to get out of the house for free &mdash; 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.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debbie-dragon">Debbie Dragon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-free-ways-to-get-out-of-the-house">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-8"> <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/13-free-or-cheap-ways-to-be-blissfully-unproductive">13 Free or Cheap Ways to Be Blissfully Unproductive</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-frugal-ways-to-battle-boredom">15 Frugal Ways to Battle Boredom</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/53-fun-nights-out-for-10-or-less">53 Fun Nights Out for $10 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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment festivals free things to do frugal fun library museum Thu, 09 Aug 2012 10:36:41 +0000 Debbie Dragon 948687 at http://www.wisebread.com Hurray! Annual Freebie Calendar http://www.wisebread.com/hurray-annual-freebie-calendar <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/hurray-annual-freebie-calendar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dozen_donuts.jpg" alt="Man with donuts" title="Man with donuts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't you hate it when you find out today <em>was</em> free ice cream day by seeing photos on Facebook of your friends chowing down? Print out this calendar of the freebies that tend to come up year after year, and you'll never be caught unawares. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</a>)</p> <h2>January</h2> <p>New Year's Day freebies on Jan. 1 have included <a href="http://forthemommas.com/free-stuff/free-sheetz-coffee-on-new-years-day">free coffee at Sheetz</a> (seriously, this is the name of a store chain), and in a few areas, a whole <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/blog/stay_tuned/2011/12/free-donuts-to-ring-in-the-new-year.html">box of Dunkin' Donuts</a> for the first few customers of the morning.</p> <h2>February/March</h2> <p>IHOP usually gives away short stacks of pancakes once a year, on or near <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/01/ihop-free-pancake-day-2011_n_829705.html">&quot;Pancake Day,&quot; or Shrove Tuesday</a>. In 2012, this was <a href="http://www.ihoppancakeday.com/">Feb. 28</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.benjerry.com/scoop-shops/free-cone-day">Ben &amp; Jerry's Free Cone Day</a>&nbsp;comes <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_%26_Jerry's">between late March and early May</a>.</p> <h2>April</h2> <p>Every year a number of businesses offer something <a href="http://www.taxdayfreebies.com/">free on Tax Day</a>, on or around April 15. Past Tax Day offers have included coffee at Starbucks and food at Panda Express, Cinnabon, and Arby's. Also watch for local Tax Day promotions, like special happy hours.</p> <p>In the past, Baskin Robbins has offered its <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/141042619296709/">cones for 31 cents apiece</a> in April &mdash; not free but almost. In 2012 they didn't host this event.</p> <h2>May</h2> <p>The first Saturday in May is <a href="http://www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/992">Free Comic Book Day</a> &mdash; check to see if your local shop is participating.</p> <p>Haagen-Dazs usually chooses a <a href="http://moneyland.time.com/2012/05/08/free-cone-day-today-at-haagen-dazs/">day in May to give out free cones</a>.</p> <p>May 8 is Teacher Appreciation Day, and <a href="http://funfamilyfreebies.blogspot.com/2012/05/happy-national-teacher-day-to-all.html">Buca di Beppo, OfficeMax, and others</a> have offered teachers goodies around then. Homeschooling parents can sometimes collect those freebies as well.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savingscow.com/2012/05/06/happy-nurses-day-freebies-for-nurses-for-national-nurses-week/">National Nurse's Week</a> falls in May, and certain chains such as Cinnabon and Buca di Beppo like to treat healthcare workers to a little sumpin-sumpin.</p> <p>For the Mommas has a nice <a href="http://forthemommas.com/free-stuff/mothers-day-freebies-2012-2">list of Mother's Day freebies</a> that were offered this year, including a free cone at TCBY and some buy one, get one free offers.</p> <h2>June</h2> <p>The first Friday in June is <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Doughnut_Day">National Donut Day</a>. Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts, and other shops have offered a free donut on this day in recent years, sometimes requiring a purchase.</p> <p>A lesser-known freebie day, <a href="http://www.freerpgday.com/index.htm">Free Roll-Playing Game Day</a>, was celebrated on June 16 in 2012.</p> <p><a href="http://www.takemefishing.org/assets/downloads/FreeFishingDays.pdf">Free Fishing Days</a> (PDF), when you can fish without a license, are locally scheduled by individual states, but most of them fall in June.</p> <p>Dads can usually snag some freebies on Father's Day, such as <a href="http://www.fathersdayfreebies.com/">free breakfast at Ikea and buy one, get one free coffee at Caribou</a>.</p> <h2>July</h2> <p>Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has been known to give out <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2012/0711/Free-Slurpee-Day-Celebrate-7-Eleven-s-birthday-on-7-11">free Slurpees</a> to celebrate its &quot;birthday&quot; on July 11.</p> <h2>August</h2> <p>Whether you have kids in school or not, you should pay attention to the ads at office supply stores as summer winds down. As they compete to bring in back-to-school shoppers, OfficeMax, Office Depot, and Staples often offer a few items for free. Sometimes the goods are free upfront &mdash; usually smaller things like a pack of crayons or pencils. More expensive items, like backpacks, may be offered free or for a penny after rebate.</p> <h2>September</h2> <p>In honor of Make-a-Wish Month, Cold Stone Creamery usually holds <a href="http://www.coldstonecreamery.com/promos/makeawish/">The World's Largest Ice Cream Social</a> during September, where you get a free creation and are invited to donate to Make-a-Wish. Last year, this happened on Sept. 27.</p> <h2>October</h2> <p>Walgreens often offers free photo collages around Halloween.</p> <p>Chipotle used to give away a free burrito to kids who dressed like one on Halloween, but in recent years they've <a href="http://fastfood.ocregister.com/2010/10/30/chipotle-says-no-to-free-halloween-burrito-yes-to-2-deal/77728/">charged $2 for it</a> &mdash; still a frightfully good deal.</p> <h2>November</h2> <p>On Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving), you can often find department store coupons for $10 off any purchase, which can lead to a free $10 item. Sometimes restaurants offer free coffee and other treats to tired shoppers.</p> <h2>Your Birthday</h2> <p>This is the best freebie day of the year! You can sign up for everything from <a href="https://www.baskinrobbins.com/content/baskinrobbins/en/signin.html">free ice cream</a> to <a href="http://dennys.com/?utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_term=free%20meal%20on%20your%20birthday&amp;utm_campaign=%28UB%29+Free+Birthday+Meal+P-&amp;utm_content=s3JECKqk1|13101032436&amp;gclid=CNG9_aaKtrECFSQ0QgodoBQAJQ#/specials/specialsMenuLeft3">free meals</a> &mdash; and many, many local bars will give you a free drink as well. You can also check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-birthday-freebies">Big List of Birthday Freebies</a>.</p> <p><em>What did we miss? Leave your own favorite annual freebie in the comments.</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/hurray-annual-freebie-calendar">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-9"> <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/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</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-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries</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/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</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/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</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/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days">Never Miss Free Ice Cream Again: Complete Calendar of Annual Free Stuff Days</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Freebies Shopping calendar free things to do freebies Wed, 01 Aug 2012 10:36:41 +0000 Carrie Kirby 944698 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Free or Cheap Ways to Be Blissfully Unproductive http://www.wisebread.com/13-free-or-cheap-ways-to-be-blissfully-unproductive <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-free-or-cheap-ways-to-be-blissfully-unproductive" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/paddleboat bliss.jpg" alt="paddleboat fun" title="paddleboat fun" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I often think I should be productive even in my downtime. I don't want to live slothfully and, well, there's always something important to do. And, as I pursue professional opportunities that mesh with my personal interests and vice versa, then much of my leisure time becomes filled with activities that can reap rewards in all aspects of my life.</p> <p>Certainly, there are productive activities that are fun to me, beneficial to my well-being, and professionally inspirational. I really like reading about business trends and strategies, watching culturally relevant television shows and movies, sprinting for better fitness, de-cluttering for a clearer state of mind, trying new recipes and cooking to save money, doing volunteer work to improve myself and my community, and designing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-own-amortization-schedule-0">spreadsheets</a>. But I wonder if I should try to squeeze value out of every moment.</p> <p>I can justify my frivolity by saying that being unproductive on occasion boosts productivity at other times. That may be true, but it misses the point entirely. And, though I believe that I should be a good steward of my time, I also think that I should savor unproductive pursuits purely for their own sake. If collateral benefits are derived, that is wonderful. However, the real purpose is to <a href="http://zenhabits.net/kill-time/">enjoy the present moment</a>.</p> <p>If you are looking for more joy in your life and want to have free or cheap fun (specifically the kind that does not involve being connected with technology), consider some of these ways to be blissfully unproductive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-less-creativity-can-make-you-more-creative">How Less Creativity Can Make You More Creative</a>)</p> <h3>1. Make Someone Laugh</h3> <p>There are many ways to make someone else laugh that are genuinely funny and don't involve rudeness or putdowns. For example, I tell stories about myself that reveal quirky behaviors and extreme fears, which turn out to be unfounded. My teenage son shares humorous observations about the flawed-but-accepted-as-normal thinking of adults. My husband imitates people from our shared past, capturing their personalities through accents and inflections.</p> <p>You might develop formulas for joke telling, like the way a couple of my friends do. They'll see a company name like &quot;Speedy Transport&quot; emblazoned on the cab of a tractor-trailer and say something like, &quot;Speedy Transport. Yeah, business really picked up after we changed the name from Sluggish Transportation.&quot; The humor is not so much in the words but in the delivery and surprising silliness from otherwise-serious businesspeople.</p> <h3>2. Watch People Do Things You&rsquo;d Never Do</h3> <p>I love to watch people do daring activities that I have no intention of trying but nevertheless find intriguing. Your list may be different, but mine includes rock climbing, hang gliding, and kayaking. I don't go out of my way to observe people involved with these things. But if I happen to see someone navigating a Class III or IV rapid in a decked kayak after I have finished canoeing, or if I catch a glimpse of a hang glider or rock climber when I am hiking, then I'll stick around a while.</p> <p>Because I have neither immediate plans nor long-term goals of trying or mastering these activities, this time is unproductive. I am not picking up tips or observing technique. I just like watching them.</p> <h3>3. Listen to Outdoor Creatures</h3> <p>When I traveled to Minnesota several years ago, one of the sounds that I learned to love is the <a href="http://blog.syracuse.com/indepth/2008/07/audio_hear_the_calls_of_the_co.html">loon's call</a>. I associated these voices with peacefulness, serenity, and the timelessness of the outdoors and wilderness. Closer to home, I like to hear critters outside (preferably at a distance) such as a cicadas, crickets, and frogs at night and birds in the morning.</p> <p>If you like these sounds, you&rsquo;ll find being outside and listening to them naturally blissful.</p> <h3>4. Ride Paddleboats in a Park</h3> <p>I am not quite sure of the original use of paddleboats. They seem to exist as a way for municipal parks to generate income and provide entertainment to little kids, young teens, and their parents. Unlike canoes and sailboats, which have value for transporting people and goods, the paddleboat is good for 30-minute segments of unproductivity.</p> <h3>5. Stroll Through a Public Arboretum or Garden</h3> <p>Though I hope to move beyond weed puller to fruit-and-vegetable grower one day, I am not a gardener. So visiting an arboretum, greenhouse, or garden doesn't give me ideas or inspirations that are useful to my efforts. Seeing flowers, trees, and plants is just a pleasant way to pass the time. Some sites charge but many are available to strollers for free.</p> <h3>6. Gaze at Clouds and Tell What They Look Like</h3> <p>Looking at clouds and describing what earthly objects they remind you of is the perennial, classic way to be unproductive. Lay directly on the grass or on a blanket for greater comfort. Relax and share what you &quot;see&quot; with a friend or family member.</p> <h3>7. Read a Book Void of Cultural, Societal, or Historical Value</h3> <p>I often consume media in order to become a better _______ (fill-in-the-blank): writer, parent, citizen, party guest, advocate, businessperson, volunteer, etc. I do enjoy learning and growing, and hopefully becoming more interesting. But not all books or other types of media (movies, magazines, TV) have to be relevant to personal and professional goals.</p> <p>Just as Gretchen Rubin talks about in <em>The Happiness Project</em>, I can choose to love something (like <a href="http://happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2010/08/read-about-my-childrens-literature-reading-groups-in-the-new-york-times/">children's literature for Gretchen</a>) just because I do. Read for pleasure, not just to become enlightened.</p> <h3>8. Experience the Past</h3> <p>It can be fun to patronize a long-established country store, especially if &mdash; like me &mdash; you grew up frequenting 7-11's and other modern-day convenience stores. Or you might enjoy navigating with a paper map and compass, testing your abilities to see if you can find your way without a GPS.</p> <p>Sure, historical knowledge and skills could come in handy one day. But the idea is to do something out of your ordinary pattern just for kicks</p> <h3>9. Look at Old Photos and Scrapbooks</h3> <p>Looking through old photos and scrapbooks can make you smile and recall some things you did simply for fun. You don't have to post them online or organize them. Just enjoy the memories.</p> <h3>10. Throw a Cheap Party</h3> <p>Invite friends over for ice cream or popsicles in the summer and spring. Host the party outside so that you don't have to clean inside (though you might want to tidy up the bathroom) and so kids can play while the parents talk. If you don't have the front porch or backyard for a get-together, consider meeting up at a local park or reserving space there for a couple of hours.</p> <p>Host a chili party in the fall or winter, and let people bring a favorite topping if they insist on contributing something. Enjoy the company and conversation.</p> <h3>11. Watch a Pick-Up Game (or Be Part of One)</h3> <p>If there are public playgrounds or schools with open fields and outdoor basketball courts in your town, then you can watch a soccer match or play in a pick-up game. Though there are probably organized games for kids that may be interesting, it's nice to happen upon an informal, impromptu gathering.</p> <p>Last year, when I went to my son's high school to watch him in the football team's first scrimmage for the season, a couple of little kids were playing their own football game as I sat on the practice-field bleachers. Unlike many older students, they weren't marketing themselves as well-rounded student-athletes or potential scholarship athletes. They were just having fun. Watching them reminded me that sports can be about sheer joy.</p> <h3>12. Wade in a River, Stream, Lake, or Ocean</h3> <p>Wading is best done as an impulsive response, not a planned activity. Instead of hesitating when you come to a stream, peel off your socks and shoes, roll up your pants, walk in, and let the water soothe you.</p> <h3>13. Walk at Sunrise or Dusk</h3> <p>I&rsquo;m not a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-benefits-of-being-a-morning-person">morning person</a>, so I tend to take walks closer to dusk. Whether I take in a sunrise or a sunset, I like to see how the light changes the landscape as the sun moves above and below the horizon.</p> <p><em>What do you like to do that is blissfully unproductive but also free or cheap? </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/13-free-or-cheap-ways-to-be-blissfully-unproductive">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-10"> <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/7-free-ways-to-get-out-of-the-house">7 Free Ways to Get Out of the House</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-frugal-ways-to-battle-boredom">15 Frugal Ways to Battle Boredom</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/53-fun-nights-out-for-10-or-less">53 Fun Nights Out for $10 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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-the-most-out-of-warm-weather-weekdays">15 Ways to Make the Most Out of Warm-Weather Weekdays</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Productivity free things to do frugal fun relaxation Tue, 24 Jul 2012 10:00:35 +0000 Julie Rains 942735 at http://www.wisebread.com Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/seattle-3753522-small.jpg" alt="Seattle Space Needle" title="Seattle Space Needle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Seattle's natural beauty and mild weather make it a fairly easy city to enjoy without dropping a ton of cash. Here are some of Seattle's local attractions that cost under $5 per person. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Artsy Stuff</h2> <p>&nbsp;<img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/seattleartsy-3754931-small.jpg" /></p> <p><a title="Seattle freebies" href="http://seattle.citysearch.com/roundup/36901">Seattle Museums</a> offer free days on the first Thursday of every month for the general public (some of the museums also have free to seniors the first Friday of every month and free to families on the first Saturday of every month). At the Seattle <a title="Seattle Asian Art Museum" href="http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/visitSAAM.asp#free">Asian Art Museum</a>, tickets for adults are only $5 on a normal day. Other local treasures that are expensive on a normal day but free on the first Thursday of every month include the <a title="Wink Luke Museum" href="http://www.wingluke.org/home.htm">Wing Luke Asian Museum</a>, the <a title="Frye Art Museum" href="http://fryemuseum.org/">Frye</a>, and the University of Washington <a title="Burke Museum" href="http://www.washington.edu/burkemuseum/visit/hours.php">Burke Museum</a>.</p> <p>The Asian Art Museum also butts up against the Lakeview Cemetery, where <a title="Bruce Lee grave site" href="http://www.allbrucelee.com/article/bruce_lee_grave_site.htm">Brandon and Bruce Lee</a> are buried, and <a title="Volunteer Park" href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/volunteer-park-seattle">Volunteer Park</a>, which features a free <a title="Volunteer Park Conservatory" href="http://www.seattle.gov/PARKS/parkspaces/VolunteerPark/conservatory.htm">Conservatory</a>.</p> <p>Speaking of dead celebrities, you can also visit the <a title="Jimi Hendrix memorial" href="http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/North_America/United_States_of_America/Washington_State/Seattle-894670/Off_the_Beaten_Path-Seattle-Jimi_Hendrix_Memorial-BR-1.html">Jimi Hendrix memorial</a> in Renton, just 20 miles south of Seattle.</p> <h2>Park-y Stuff</h2> <p><img width="605" height="341" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/seattleparky-1227326-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Seattle has a wealth of public parks, but it really depends on what your needs are. You can play <a title="Seattle tennis courts" href="http://www.seattle.gov/PARKS/tennis.asp">tennis</a> in a variety of outdoor courts, which is great when tennis clubs are few and far between (but not so great when dealing with our 9,000 days of rain per year or whatever). Some great beaches can be found at <a title="Golden Gardens Park" href="http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=243">Golden Gardens</a> and <a title="Alki Beach Park" href="http://www.seattle.gov/parks/park_detail.asp?ID=445">Alki</a>. We also have a large number of <a title="favorite dog parks" href="http://www.nwsource.com/peoplespicks/2004/traveloutdoors/dog_park.html">off-leash dog parks</a>, should you need somewhere to let your pooch run free.</p> <p>(Wise Bread Pick: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009ZBKG4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0009ZBKG4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=seealso-20" target="_blank">Easy Walk Dog Harness</a>)</p> <p>My favorite place in all of Seattle is the <a title="UW Botanic Gardens" href="http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/index.php">Arboretum</a>, which is maintained by the University of Washington. It's open year-round, and is completely free to the public. (Also, it has great parking that rarely fills up.)</p> <h2>Nerdy Stuff</h2> <p>&nbsp;<img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/seattlenerdy-9383-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Seattlites are fairly proud of their highly-educated population (we beat Minneapolis in 2005 for the title of Most Literate City in the US, but those buggers <a title="most literate city 2007" href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-12-26-literate-cities_N.htm">keep taking the number 1 spot</a>), so it's no surprise that we would build a <a title="Seattle Central Library" href="http://www.spl.org/default.asp?pageID=branch_central&amp;branchID=1">huge central library</a> that you can easily lose your children in (we will return them to you). We also have a huge number of <a title="Seattle used book stores" href="http://recollectionbooks.com/seattle.html">used book stores</a>, which can be fun to browse. Also, if you are looking for fellow nerds, you can head to the Science Fiction Museum (see above). Linux fans can walk past any of the dozens of Microsoft campuses and scream obscenities. (Technically, this is free, but Microsoft does ask for a donation of a part of your soul.)</p> <h2>Sporty Stuff</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/seattlesporty-5542-small.jpg" /></p> <p>In spite of our hornrim glasses and pocket protectors, Seattlites are a fairly fit bunch. You might enjoy seeing the city on foot on a variety of <a title="Seattle walking tours" href="http://www.seattle.gov/tour/HistoricDistricts/index.htm">walking tours</a> (I like the <a title="International District walking tour" href="http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=cybertour.cfm&amp;file_id=7051">International District</a>, next to the stadiums, best). If you prefer two wheels to two feet, you can get a decent backyard view of Seattle by taking the <a title="Burke Gilman Trail" href="http://www.seattle.gov/PARKS/BurkeGilman/bgtrail.htm">Burke Gilman Trail</a> from Ballard to Kenmore on your bike (you can also walk, rollerblade, jog, or whatever suits your fancy).</p> <p>Downhill mountain biking trails can be found under the <a title="I-5 Colonnade" href="http://evergreenmtb.org/colonnade/">I-5 Colonnade</a>, if you have the desire to hurdle yourself across a crazy downhill course but don't have the vehicle necessary to get you out of the city. If you have your own set of discs, free frisbee golf can be enjoyed at the <a title="Lakewood Park Disc Golf Course" href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/lakewood-park-disc-golf-course-seattle">Lakewood Park Disc Golf Course</a>. Being something of a disc golf newbie, I can also attest that Lakewood has a pleasant share of wild fruit, from apples to blackberries, growing around the course. The <a title="UW Rec Sports" href="http://depts.washington.edu/ima/IMA_wac.php">UW Rec Sports Center</a> rents out canoes for $7.50 an hour, which is good and cheap with split between a couple people. You can row around the Arboretum, or even under the 520 freeway.</p> <p>If exerting yourself isn't what you had in mind, it's worth noting that you can see the Mariners <a title="Seattle Mariners" href="http://www.bestshowticketslasvegas.com/ResultsEvent.asp?event=Seattle+Mariners&amp;pid=916">lose to any team in the league</a> for as little as $6 per person (OK, OK, I know that's more than $5, AND you'll have to prevent yourself from buying the <a title="IchiRoll" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sevensixnyc/745571014/">IchiRoll</a>, the beer, or the chocolate-covered strawberries).</p> <h2>Obvious Stuff (But Without the Added Cost)</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/seattleobvi-5328429-small.jpg" /></p> <p>If you're not from Europe or Asia, you'll probably be as thrilled as I am with <a title="Pike Place" href="http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/">Pike Place Market</a>, Seattle's public market since 1907. I personally just enjoy walking around and gawking at the gorgeous flowers and produce and views of the water, since everything is a touch pricey (farmer's market prices). Kids also get a kick out of reading the names on the market's floor tiles, where you can find some pretty funny, intriguing, and sentimental dedications and names (the tiles were purchased as a part of a fundraising campaign by people who wanted to help rebuild the market, which regularly falls into disrepair, in the 1980s). The most famous site at the market is, of course, the <a title="fish throwing video" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seXLDofsWn4">fish-throwing guys</a>.</p> <p>It costs a lot to take the elevator to the top of the <a title="Space Needle" href="http://www.spaceneedle.com/visit/">Space Needle</a>, but I personally just enjoy walking around it and looking up. The Smith Tower offers a great view of downtown, but costs $7.50 per adult (still cheaper than the $16 that the Space Needle charges).</p> <p>You might have noticed that Seattle has an awful lot of water, something that the Army Core of Engineers took advantage of when they built the <a title="Hiram M. Chittenden Locks" href="http://www.nws.usace.army.mil/PublicMenu/Menu.cfm?sitename=lwsc&amp;pagename=mainpage">Hiram M. Chittenden Locks</a>. The locks are built between the Puget Sound (salt water) and our local lakes, Lake Union and Lake Washington. It's fun to watch boats come and go using the locks, and kids are especially enchanted with the fish ladder (please do not ask me why).</p> <h2>Cheapest Eats</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/seattlefoodie-5252405-small.jpg" /></p> <p>The cheapest food to be had in Seattle is at the international eateries sprinkled throughout the <a title="International District" href="http://www.cidbia.org/">International District</a> (formerly known as Chinatown) and the <a title="U-District" href="http://www.udistrictchamber.org/">U-District</a> (the neighborhood that surrounds the University of Washington). <a title="Seattle Deli" href="http://www.nwsource.com/ae/scr/edb_vd.cfm?ven=4612&amp;s=st">Vietnamese</a> food is exceptionally affordable, but we have some decent taco wagons throughout the region as well. Also keep an eye out for happy hour specials at more upscale establishments or smaller bars. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">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-11"> <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/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</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/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors</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/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (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/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</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-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel cheap activities cheap vacations family fun free things to do recreation Seattle things to do in Fri, 05 Sep 2008 01:01:57 +0000 Andrea Karim 2373 at http://www.wisebread.com