Spring is in the air and that means an end to being cooped up inside the house during bitter cold winter days. As you welcome the warm weather and search for things to do, remember that you don’t have to spend a lot of money this season!
Here are 12 frugal and fun springtime activities to enjoy with your whole family.
Plant a vegetable garden
There’s no better time to plant a garden than during the warm months of spring. Consider planting vegetables so you can enjoy fresh food picked right from your backyard while saving time and money at the grocery store.
Start small by planting just a couple of your favorite herbs like rosemary, sage or dill and study up on gardening tips for optimal conditions. Apartment dwellers can get in on the action too; vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, summer squash, eggplant and peppers can be grown in containers on window sills.
Enjoy bird watching
Birds of all kinds — from hummingbirds to red-winged blackbirds to robins — come out to play and sing in spring, giving you many opportunities to go bird watching. Grab a pair of binoculars and a book on species from the library to start tracking these beautiful creatures. You can even get them to come to you by using bird feeders filled with food in your own yard.
As the weather warms up, you don’t have to go far to enjoy an evening under the stars. Pitch a tent and set up a fire pit to create a camping experience in your own backyard. Grill hotdogs over an open flame then finish with s’mores while sharing scary stories around the fire.
Fly a kite
If the wind picks up, head over to a local park and fly a kite. Turn it into a friendly competition with your kids to see who can fly their kite the highest. You don’t have to spend much money on a kite. Just grab some inexpensive supplies like a plastic garbage bag, roll of electric tape and knitting yarn and follow these step-by-step tips to make your own.
Plan a scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is a fun activity for the whole family and will get everyone out and exploring. Put together a list of tasks that everyone must complete and print the list for each person to keep track of. Make the missions fun and unexpected to keep the excitement going all day long. Task ideas may include trying a new flavor from a favorite ice-cream shop, feeding the ducks at a lake or climbing the monkey bars at a nearby park.
Be a tourist
If you’re always going away for vacation, chances are you’ve overlooked the most interesting parts of your own city. Get reacquainted with where you live by becoming a tourist in your hometown. Grab a list of free or low-cost experiences from the local visitor bureau to find sites such as historical landmarks, farms, museums and more. Your local library is also a great resource for information and you may even be able to score free museum passes.
Host a garage sale
There’s something about spring that gets us in the mood to clean! While you’re clearing the clutter, you may as well make some money too! A garage sale is a great way to unload your unwanted stuff while earning some extra cash. Since advertising is important to draw shoppers, list your sale on sites such as YardSaleSearch.com and GarageSalesTracker.com. If you need help pricing used items, Goodwill’s Valuation Guide is a good place to start.
Organize a block party
Enjoy the warm weather with your neighbors by organizing a block party. Check with your local city or town hall to learn if you need a permit. Then begin planning by recruiting neighbors to help with various tasks like making the invitation flyer; bringing chairs and tables; and assigning food and drinks for everyone to serve. The more people you get involved, the less it will cost everyone to participate.
Shop a local farmer’s market
Get out of the grocery store and head over to your local farmer’s market where you will find fresh produce and meats, locally sourced foods like honey and jam and other interesting goods and crafts. It’s the perfect opportunity to support your community and hang with family and friends outside.
Forget the gym! Instead of slogging over the elliptical or treadmill, go for a run, hike or bike ride in the fresh air to improve your fitness. Exercising outside feels less like a chore and doing the activities you actually enjoy makes working out more pleasurable. Bonus: you can cancel your gym membership or put it on hold to save big bucks.
Set up a lemonade stand
For families with young children, a lemonade stand is a fun weekend activity that gets your children to spend quality time outdoors while providing an opportunity to teach them an important lesson in earning and saving money — not to mention encouraging entrepreneurship to boot! Freshly made lemonade will go a long way, so grab some lemons and start squeezing away.
Take a scenic drive
As winter fades away, you will find beautiful colors emerging around you. A wonderful way to view the bursting landscape is to take a scenic drive through local mountains or by a lake. Use the Roadtrippers App for ideas on things to see and do along your route, and don’t forget your camera so you can snap pictures along the way.
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