- Board Game Night
- Night Hike/Bike
- Make Some Extra Money
- Do a Brewery or Vineyard Tour
- Learn Something New
- Girls (or Boys) Night In
- Check Your Community Calendar
- Visit a Free Museum, Zoo, or Botanical Garden
- Play a Sport
- Have an Outdoor Film Festival
- Go to a Local or National Park
- Attend an Art Gallery Opening
- Nights Are Made for Star Gazing
- Hang At A Book Store or Public Library
- Make a Backyard Bonfire
- Modern Scavenger Hunt
- Be a Designated Driver
- Watch a Play at the Local Theater
- Window Shopping/Flea Markets
- Find a Friend with a Kick-Ass Community Clubhouse
- Just Drive
- Visit Your Parents
- Go to The Library
- What Would YOU Do?
Do you need some quality ideas for fun, free things (or cheap) to do on weekends? 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 money. We’ll show you some fun, free activities, and you do. You may even earn some cash!
I always say, “Constraint breeds creativity,” so you have to get creative. So, 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 you have to do is choose one!
Board Game Night
Host a monthly or weekly board game night. It is the perfect excuse for a laid-back night with a few of your favorite peeps. Pick up some snacks and ask your friends to bring some booze. Viola, you got yourself a fun-filled night of friendly competition and laughs. You can also make it a family-friendly fun night.
Some of our favorite strategy games are Small World, Settlers of Catan, and Pan; try Exploding Kittens, Disturbed Friends, or The Voti if you want something a little more lighthearted and amusing Game. A simple game of Poker works too. With suitable matches and people, it will be your new favorite thing to do on Saturday night.
Get out your bike, put on your sneakers, and go outside to get some fresh air. Tour your neighborhood, and take a hike through the safe part of some local woods. Perhaps find lit hiking trails at a local or state park or biking trails. Watch the sunset. Be one with nature! But remember, safety comes first, kids. Reflective gear and helmets if you are riding in the dark.
Check local websites to see if there are any group nighttime rides in your area, like this Moonlight Bike Ride in Central Park in New York City.
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Make Some Extra Money
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Do a Brewery or Vineyard Tour
Touring breweries is one of my favorite things, and I look for ones that give you free beer at the end. However, I have difficulty not buying more beer after the tour. So I suggest touring a few breweries or wineries on Saturday or Sunday.
Geocaching is a unique game that you play with your phone. Go to the website, create an account, and search for a cache near your location. Players hide treasures worldwide 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 anytime you’re looking for something unique to do.
Learn Something New
There are endless ways to learn something new. Podcasts are a great and enjoyable way to educate yourself on new topics and are available to you for free.
Into science and culture? Check out Radio Lab or This American Life. Want to get your finances in check finally? Listen, Money Matters is, of course, our favorite, but we love Marketplace too. Finally, history buffs, you must listen to Hardcore History with Dan Carlin.
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Maybe you can finally up your street photography game or learn the basics of hand lettering. You’ll have the next four Saturday nights covered.
Do some good, why don’t cha? Volunteering may not sound like much fun, but it’s free, something to do, and it can be fun when you meet new people. Also, you can bring a friend to make it even more fun, and you’ll feel good about yourself.
Not sure where to volunteer? Check out Volunteer Match to find volunteer information and listings in your local community. With a quick google search, you can find local soup kitchens, children tutoring facilities, and religious organizations looking for help.
Girls (or Boys) Night In
This is my go-to. Girls’ or guys’ nights in are some fun things to do. Find a friend who wants to stay in on a Saturday night and join them. Bring some food and drinks over and have a movie night. Technically, you’re not staying in when you’re out at a friend’s house. I always do this when I’m looking to lay low and not spend any money—one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday night with friends.
Check Your Community Calendar
Most communities have a calendar of events or visitor centers that you can check for things to do on a weekend. In our town, there are always cheap or free events going on around town- live music, walking tours, historical sites, etc. Check your town’s website and visitor center, or follow local bloggers on social media to be up and up on what’s happening near you – music events, grand openings, street fairs, farmers markets, and comedy shows.
Visit a Free Museum, Zoo, or Botanical Garden
The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. is accessible, and so are plenty of other museums. Museums are an excellent way to spend an afternoon. Enjoy art installations or special events while educating yourself and saving money instead of sitting on your couch.
Play a Sport
Do you know how easy it is to get a group of guys together to play Saturday night football at your local park? Seriously, I’m asking; I have no idea, and I figured it was easy because they did it in Invincible with Mark Wahlberg. I’m not a big sports fan, but I bet if you wanted to play a sport on weekends, you could get some people to join. Try Basketball (I call it Night Court), football, tennis, hockey, or baseball.
Have an Outdoor Film Festival
Lug your flat-screenT.V. outback or use a projector and watch movies outside. My neighbor put a flat-screen next to his hot tub, and he watchesT.V. out there all the time. Get creative here – throw a theme night or set up a retro concession stand. Teenagers in the 1960s used to pay a lot for the privilege of watching a movie under the stars on a Saturday night.
Go to a Local or National Park
I love parks. There are wide-open spaces, trails, tennis courts, water fountains, pavilions, and playgrounds… a large-ish public park is filled with things to do on a weekend. So bring a picnic and a deck of cards and enjoy the outdoors.
Parks are also great for people-watching. People-watching sounds creepy, but it can be a lot of fun. Park yourself somewhere with a friend or two and watch the world as it passes by.
Attend an Art Gallery Opening
If you want to drink and not spend money, 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. Nothing clears your mind and boosts your creativity like visiting art galleries.
Nights Are Made for Star Gazing
As a huge nerd, I could look up at the sky and get deep in conversation about our universe with just about anyone who would listen to me. My dad is even worse. And you don’t need a fancy telescope to discover the sky.
SkyView is a hand-held planetarium for your phone. Point your phone at the sky to identify stars, constellations, planets, and satellites. I use it constantly, and it’s a lot of fun.
Hang At A Book Store or Public Library
If you’re wondering what to do on a Saturday night alone, I’ll tell 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 sometimes I’ve found a comfy chair and read magazines or a few books. Best thing ever!
Make a Backyard Bonfire
As a former boy scout, I have a deep affection for fires. I could build a fire and sit around it for hours, staring 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. Then, boom! Make some smores, drink some beers, and sing kumbaya. Maybe even tell a few ghost stories.
Modern Scavenger Hunt
Gather your friends, create a list of weird things to find throughout your area, set a timer, and do it. A little friendly competition never hurt anybody.
Discover new things about your neighborhood and come back with many fun stories. And it gets you outside and moving around. Get those steps in. Here’s a great video to help you get started with your Game.
Be a Designated Driver
Do you want to go to a bar with your friends and not spend any money? Drive them. I’m not going to lie and say this is the most excellent idea, but I’ve done it and certainly did save money. I danced too. Plus your friends will love you. Or be a designated driver and get paid for it.
Watch a Play at the Local Theater
You know, not all local theater is horrible. I should know because I used to perform in my community and high school. Many theater troupes put on free shows or, at the very least, really cheap admission. You’ll be surprised at how entertaining this is on a weekend.
Window Shopping/Flea Markets
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, local boutiques, or a flea market and check out all the awesome stuff you won’t buy. It sounds lame, but it can be a good time too. And you might be surprised at how interesting the crowd gets at night. Stop at a local coffee shop and treat yourself to a latte.
Find a Friend with a Kick-Ass Community Clubhouse
I lived in a condo complex with a friendly 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.
Again, as a former boy scout, nothing gives me wood-like camping…for fire, of course. You don’t need a tent if you want to do it right. Just camp out on the ground as nature intended. Make a fire—roast marshmallows. Sleep outside.
Although gas costs money, it can still be pretty cheap. I love driving. Since I work from home, I don’t get to do it as often, but driving is 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 searched for a White Castle-like in that movie.
Visit Your Parents
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 T.V. But, you could also sit around drinking their coffee and chat with them. That’s what I do.
Go to The Library
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 a lot that you can do at your local library? It doesn’t even have to be YOUR library. Find a vast kick-ass library. You can go on the internet, read books, watch movies, and maybe even meet people.
What Would YOU Do?
These are just some ideas to help jumpstart a fantastic free, and fun weekend — whether by yourself or with friends and family. I’m sure you have some ideas, 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!