15 Free-ish Fun Activities When You’re Broke

Sometimes you just want to get out of the house and do something with yourself or with some friends, but it can be a challenge to find things that are cheap or even better—free! We’re all on a budget here at LD, so we’ve compiled our list of fun activities that are at least super cheap if not super free!


Take a weekend trip to the library: 

All the books, CDs and movies we can ask for at no charge?! No question.

Believe it or not, video stores do still exist: 

Mostly they are local, small and family-owned, so it will take some searching to find them, but if you’re a movie buff, it’s well worth it!

Take a hike or a walk: 

Whatever your city has to offer—hills, mountains, plains, parks, water—take advantage of it. Nature is the best gift you can give yourself!

Visit a museum: 

Whether you’re in a city or a small town for the summer, there is likely to be a museum dedicated to art, history, or some other culturally significant event or person. Plus you get some free AC for those hot summer afternoons!

Make a brownie-movie date with your friends or significant other: 

As only the truly nutritionally savvy know, brownies are the obvious go-to when in the depths of despair/happiness/boredom/budget-dom. If you’re in the mood to be lavish, grab a bottle (or two) of wine and really party it up.

Go out dancing:

If you plan your venues strategically, most ladies can get in free to clubs on certain days or after a certain time. Obviously, buying alcoholic beverages amps up the price (or you can get guys to buy you something), but if you just go to dance… Well then good times can definitely take place—so whip out that red lipstick and put on your dancing shoes, darlings.

Check out your town/region’s event calendar:

There are guaranteed to be festivals, free concert series, demonstrations, and more all nearby and at little or no cost to you!

Have a picnic:

It doesn’t have to be fancy. PB&J will do! You can see your pals, bring a ball, maybe hang out by a man-made lake and not spend big bucks on night out.

Host dance parties: 

OK, yes, this sounds like it’s middle school all over again, but pull out your iTunes, find a terribly outdated playlist, invite your friends over and dance like you just don’t care. It’s literally carefree (and pocketbook-free) fun.

Volunteer at the animal shelter:

Yes I know this sounds depressing and not fun, but shelter pups need acclimating and play time. Volunteer with the ASPCA and be chief dog-play person. It’s a great way to get in your need for puppy cuddles, do something good, and have a fun afternoon.

Get in your car and go:

Admittedly this isn’t entirely free since you have to pay for gas, but sometimes there’s nothing better than a long drive with no destination, wide open windows, and blaring music. Clear your head and enjoy the ride.

Play Top Chef:

Your pantry may seem like a black hole of weird crap you’ll never be able to turn into a meal, but when that becomes a challenge with you and your friends, it becomes a helluva lot less daunting. See if you can make something edible from maraschino cherries, pancake mix, and frozen chicken. Who knows, it may become your new go-to recipe.


Is there anything better than just sitting and watching the world go by, hearing snippets of conversations, and imagining whole lives for people? Airports, subways, big cities, and malls are a great place to just watch people be people. And if you’re a writer, it’s prime way to get inspiration, so bring a notebook. It’s not creepy… it’s artistic, eh?

Start a book club/mutual library with your friends out of what you already own:

 While you may be tired of your own book collection, there will almost certainly be something in it that entices a friend. Share the books you have, books you like, books you’re looking to read in a Facebook group, group text message, email chain, or by carrier pigeon, if that floats your boat. If a few friends in the same circle have the same book, or can get it from the library (see No. 1) have a discussion every month. Tea costs next to nothing, and everyone can bring snacks to share the cost. The opportunity to read more books, for free, and hang out with your friends and have intellectual discussions, for free, is pretty much unbeatable.

Dude, do some art:

Dig through your house and find anything that could pass for an art supply and write, draw, create. Creative inspiration doesn’t strike on command but if you begin assembling the materials, something may inspire you. Creating something always feels a little more productive than inhaling hours of television, and you might surprise yourself.

Have some free fun ideas? Let us know! Comment below or tweet us @LitDarling!

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