8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday


A Wise Bread reader recently asked us what are some fun and frugal things to do during the day, since she works at night. Since I quit my day job, I have found that there are many things in my community happening during the weekday when most people are at work. Here are some of my suggestions.

1. Go to the Library

The public library is not only full of books and DVDs that are free to access (with a library card), but many libraries also have enrichment programs that are free. I have seen free guitar lessons, art classes, and readings of books by authors at my local libraries. (See also: 4 Reasons Why You Should Support Your Local Library)

2. Take a Factory Tour

There are many factories and stores that give tours of their facilities. One famous example here in the Bay Area is the Jelly Belly factory. The tours are usually free, and guests get to have a little sample of the products. Factory Tours USA lists many of these tours.

3. Visit a Public Park or Beach

These public recreation areas are usually open from sunrise to sunset. Before I had my son, I rarely took advantage of them, but now I find that it's quite nice to just sit on the beach for a few hours. The large state parks usually feature many miles of walking trails, and they are great for some exercise.

4. Take Advantage of College Campuses

Many adult schools and colleges offer seminars that are free to attend, but they're generally during the weekdays when school is in session. I have also found reasonably priced dance and art classes in the local adult school catalogs. Some colleges even have free concerts and events that are open to the public. You do have to research these opportunities a bit, but they are out there.

5. Take Photos

For beginner photographers, it is easier to practice the art in natural light before moving onto purchasing expensive nighttime lenses. So if you have a lot of time during the day, you should consider taking some photos for fun. This hobby requires a small amount of initial investment, but if your skill level advances far enough, it is possible to sell your photos.

6. Go Geocaching

This is a global treasure hunt game where people hide tiny "caches" at specific GPS coordinates. All you need to play is a handheld GPS and the website geocaching.com. This hobby may cost you some gas if you decide to purposely drive to a cache that's far away, but you can also create your own little treasure boxes for other people to find.

7. Visit a Historic Site

Many historic sites around the country are accessible to the public. You can find a list of local historic sites online. I have found that I have actually driven past some of these sites many times without bothering to visit. If you are a fan of local history, it can be quite fun to rediscover your own community via historic sites.

8. Go to a Discount Movie Theater

Depending on where you live, there may be a cheap movie theater nearby that shows movies for $2 to $3 at strange times on weekdays. They often screen movies that have been in the theaters for awhile or foreign movies, but sometimes there are a few blockbusters. It is fairly cheap entertainment for an afternoon.

I have listed eight possible fun activities for those who do not have a regular work schedule, but you may find many more activities in your community if you just venture out and take a look. Your hometown might be more interesting than you thought.

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Guest's picture

My wife and I worked together at a place close to the Platte River. At least three times a week we'd go here at lunchtime for a quick sammie and a walk. Good time to reconnect in a busy day (before we're arrive home tired at 6) and good exercise. Not everybody has a pretty river with a manicured hiking trail, but building exercise into lunch is something many people never even consider...

Guest's picture

I cannot stress enough how much my family has enjoyed Geocaching. Though the app was $10, that's been some of the best money every spent. It gets us outdoors, together as a family and has exposed us to so many places we never knew existed.

Guest's picture

State Museums in Ireland are free as are State run art galleries. Not sure if free admission is the case everywhere but both can be a great way to pass a day - particularily if it is raining and outdoor activity is restricted.

Guest's picture

#2 is a really good suggestion. Maybe it's just a geek in me but I really enjoy factory tours and learning how things are made. I even payed for some of the tours I went to. It's an interesting and education way to spend some free time.