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fun things to do for free

27 Fun Things To Do For Free on Saturday Night

Need some quality ideas for what to do on a Saturday night? You don’t always have to go out drinking with your friends at a bar or ditch everyone and decide to stay in just because you don’t have any money. We’ll show you some fun things to do for free or on the cheap.

I always say, “constraint breeds creativity,” so you just have to make yourself get creative. Instead of coming up with ideas on your own, I’ve put together this list of things you can do for free any weekend you want. The only thing left to consider will be figuring out what to do.

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1. Hang Out at a Friend’s House

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/electricnerve/

This is my go-to. Find a friend who wants to stay in on a Saturday night and join them. Bring some food and drinks over. Bring a movie or binge watch a show. Technically, you’re not staying in when you’re out at a friends house. I do this all the time when I’m looking to lay low and not spend any money. Really one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday night with friends.

2. Go to The Library

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/

I truly hate that this is an option, but I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t at least mention it. Does it make me sound lame if I tell you there is actually a lot that you can do at your local library? It doesn’t even have to be YOUR library. Go find a huge kick-ass library. You can go on the internet, read books, watch movies, and hit on the opposite sex/meet people.

3. Visit a Free Museum or Zoo

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/osseous/

The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. is free, and so are plenty of other museums. And I don’t care what you might be thinking, but museums are an awesome way to spend a Saturday. Educate yourself and save money instead of sitting on your couch watching — god forbid — Duck Dynasty or something.

4. Go Play a Sport

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/chapter3/

Do you know how easy it is to get a group of guys together to play Saturday night football? Seriously, I’m asking, I have no idea. I figured it was because they did it in the movie Invincible with Mark Wahlberg. I’m not a big sports fan, but I bet if you wanted to play a sport at night, you could get some people to join. Try Basketball (I call it Night Court), football, tennis, hockey, or baseball.

5. Have an Outdoor Film Festival

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolynwill/

Lug your flat screen TV out back or use a projector and watch movies outside. My neighbor put a flat screen next to his hot tub and he watches TV out there all the time. Do get creative here – throw a theme night or set up a retro concession stand. Teenagers in the 1960’s used to pay a lot for the privilege of watching a movie under the stars on a Saturday night.

6. Night Swimming

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurelville_gallery/

If it’s summer and you, or someone you know, has a pool, night swimming is the cheapest and greatest thing you can do without spending any money — I mean, if you tried to spend money, it would get all wet.

7. Night Hike/Bike

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/arruki/

Get out your bike, or put on your sneakers, and go the hell outside. Tour your neighborhood, take a hike through the safe part of some local woods. Perhaps find a lit pathway at a local park. Oh! That gives me an idea…

8. Go to a Local or National Park

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore/

I love parks. There’s wide open spaces, trails, tennis courts, water fountains, pavilions, and playgrounds… a large-ish public park is literally filled with things to do on a Saturday night. Try the swing.

9. Attend an Art Gallery Opening

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/mosmancouncil/

If you want to drink and not spend money, go find an art gallery — they usually serve free wine! Bare minimum, you could probably make do with some free cheese. And the art could be cool too.

10. Community Calendar

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/cambodia4kidsorg/

I don’t know this for a fact, but apparently, most communities have a calendar of events that you can check for what to do on a Saturday night. I would look for free festivals or shows.

11. Barnes & Noble

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/evblogger/

If you’re wondering what to do on a Saturday night alone, I’ll you what I do when I’m bored and flying solo, I’ll go to a Barnes & Noble in a heartbeat. I usually bring my laptop and order a coffee, but there have been times I’ve gone, found a comfy chair and read either magazines or a few books. Best thing ever!

12. Make a Backyard Bonfire

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/waltstoneburner/

As a former boy scout, I have a deep affection for fires. I could build a fire and sit around it for hours just starring at it without a thought crossing my mind. All you need is an open space away from trees, a few bricks to make a fire ring, and wood. Boom!

13. Walk on the Beach

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasos3/

If you live near a beach (ocean or lake), walk on it. Mother Nature didn’t create beaches so they could be photographed for postcards.

14. Nights Are Made for Star Gazing

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/gammaman/

As a huge nerd, I could look up at the sky and get real deep in conversation about our universe with just about anyone who would listen to me. My dad is even worse.

15. Volunteer

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/bikeman04/

Do some good, why don’t cha? Volunteering may not sound like much fun, but it’s free, it’s something to do, and can turn out to be really fun when you meet new people. You can bring a friend to make it even more fun, and you’ll feel good about yourself.

16. Modern Scavenger Hunt

fun-things-to-do-for-free-Scavenger-Hunt

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hlrecord/

Gather your friends, create a list of weird things to find throughout your area, set a timer and go do it. Here’s a great video to help you get started with your game.

17. Geocaching

fun-things-to-do-for-free-Geocaching

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pe5pe/

Geocaching is a unique game that you play with your phone. Simply go to the website, create an account, and start searching for a cache near your location. Players hide treasures all over the world for others to find, and it will take you places you’ve never been. It’s a lot like a scavenger hunt that you can play any time you’re looking for something unique to do.

18. Be a Designated Driver

fun-things-to-do-for-free-Designated-Driver

http://www.flickr.com/photos/winkyintheuk/

Want to go out to a bar with your friends and not spend any money? Drive them. I’m not going to lie and say this is the greatest idea, but I’ve done it, and I saved money. I danced too.

19. Window Shopping/Flea Markets

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidstanleytravel/

Have you ever gone to the mall and not bought anything. I bet we all have at one point, and I bet it wasn’t a complete waste of time. You can walk the mall or a flea market and just check out all the awesome stuff that you won’t buy. It sounds lame, but can be a good time too. And you might be surprised at how, um… interesting the crowd gets at night.

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20. Find a Friend with a Kick-Ass Community Clubhouse

fun-things-to-do-for-free-Clubhouse

I used to live in a condo complex that had a really nice community center. There were two pool tables and two poker tables, and although technically I paid to use it every month, it was free for that night for my friends. So find a friend or relative who has access to one of these and use it.

21. Camping

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilspicys/

Again, as a former boy scout, nothing gives me wood like camping…for a fire of course. You don’t even need a tent if you really want to do it right. Just camp out on the ground like god intended. Make a fire. Roast Marshmallows. Sleep outside.

22. Do a Brewery or Vineyard Tour

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/karen_roe/

Touring breweries is one of my favorite things to do, and I look for ones that give you free beer at the end. However, I have a hard time not buying more beer after the tour. So I would suggest touring a few breweries or wineries in a single Saturday night.

23. Tour a College

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/codnewsroom/

Colleges offer free tours all the time, or you can just go and do the campus tour yourself. If you want a more planned experience, check with a local college to see when they’re running tours. Otherwise, just go and see what’s happening.

24. Watch a Play at the Local Theater

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/princesstheater/

You know, not all local theater is bad. I should know because I used to perform in my community and in high school. A lot of theater troupes put on free shows, or at the very least, really cheap admission. You’ll be surprised at how entertaining this can be to do on a Saturday night.

25. People Watch in a Busy Area

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasleuthard/

I used to sit on the Wildwood, NJ boardwalk and watch people for a very long time. People watching sounds creepy, but it can be a whole lot of fun. Park yourself somewhere with a friend or two and just watch the world as it passes by.

26. Just Drive

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/viernest/

Although gas costs money, it can still be pretty cheap. I love driving. Since I work from home, I don’t get to do as often, but it also makes driving that more enjoyable when I don’t spend the day stuck in traffic.

I’ve gone on long night driving trips with friends and had a blast. One time, we even went in search of a White Castle like that movie.

27. Go Visit Your Parents

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It might sound lame to some, but I do this at least once — if not twice — a week. Eat their food, drink their beer, and watch their TV. You could also sit around drinking their coffee and chat with them. That’s what I do.

What Would YOU Do?

These are just some ideas to help jumpstart an amazing free, and fun, weekend — whether you’re by yourself or with friends and family. I’m sure you have some ideas yourself, so please share them with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

Also, you can check out our infographic and share it with your friends!

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  • Doug Provins

    Great list! Other cheap / free entertainment (mostly similar to the list above) that comes to mind might include:
    – Watch a movie you already own
    – Rent one at RedBox ($1.29 is almost free)
    – Take the dog for a walk
    – Play board games, card games, etc.
    – Read
    – Write your thank you notes
    – Write a journal entry
    – Cook / prepare a bit of extra food in the house for weekday lunches
    – Clean (You’ll feel better when you are done)
    – Purge a bunch of the extra stuff in your house. Donate it, freecycle it, craigslist it, whatever (again, you’ll feel better when you are done)
    – Renew an old hobby or interest (drawing, cooking, guitar, etc.)
    – Start a new hobby
    The list is endless. Thanks.

    • Matt Giovanisci

      You’re right. The list is truly endless. My original idea was to call this post: Things You Can Do for Free Without Staying In on a Saturday Night. And Before that it was called: things you can do for free without looking lame.

      The list didn’t really fit those titles, so I went with something a bit more generic, and I could have added a whole bunch more.

      Thanks for sharing, these will be helpful :-)

  • Lennie

    Wow this is such a cute list coming from you guys. :) I just discovered your podcasts recently and they are awesome. Btw, I love the geocaching part! Gotta try that.

    • Thanks Lennie, we definitely like nerding it out with geocaching ;)

      Also, we’re really glad you like the podcast, if there is anything specific you’d like to hear, please let us know!

  • I love camping on weekends. Nature is such a great stress reliever. For this coming weekend, i’ll be baking my all time favorite chip muffins. :)

  • Fun list. Great ideas especially for the summer. Will you do a winter-oriented one soon? :)