If your budget says a big summer vacation is out of the question, here are the first 5 of 9 Cheap, Fun Things to Do in the Summer.
1. App it
Stumped for something to do? The apps DoStuff and Eventbrite can show you popular events in your area—depending on where you live—and many of them are free. Also, check the “events” section of Facebook to see what local events your friends are going to, as well as popular nearby happenings. You can also regularly check the perennially popular Groupon and LivingSocial for discounted entry to local attractions, restaurants, and more.
2. Visit a national park
You support these beautiful gems through your taxes, so take the time to visit them. There are 59 national parks proper across the U.S. Get a Passport to Your National Parks book and start collecting stamps each time you visit one. Or stay local and visit your state parks—great places to hike, fish, and camp.
Nearby is Crater Lake National Park. When is the last time you’ve been there? Some parts are still inaccessible due to snow, but there is still plenty to do, and the awe inspiring vistas never get old.
3. Attend a concert
Whether it’s a local artist jamming in a coffee shop, a nationally touring act rocking a nearby theater, or a destination music festival, catching live music is synonymous with the summer. Not sure where to start? The app Songkick lets you browse nearby shows, and tracks your favorite artists, alerting you when they’re in town.
In Central Oregon, there is no shortage of live music opportunities. Mid Oregon is pleased to help sponsor several, but there are so many more. In Redmond, Music in the Canyon (next concert on 7/19). In Prineville, Picnic in the Park (Starting 7/19). At the Deschutes County Fair, Mid Oregon is a Friday at the Fair sponsor on 8/4.
4. Plant a garden
A garden not only gives you a summer-long project, but saves you money on your grocery bill. Plus, it can be a soothing pastime.
5. Start a home project
If you saved some money by not summering in Spain, why not reinvest it in your house? With a little bit of elbow grease, you could end the summer with more equity. Pick a project your skill level and budget can handle, or learn how to do something new. It might not be as relaxing as, say, summering in Spain, but it might prove more rewarding.