Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Free Outdoor Fun

Rows and flows of angel hair,
And ice cream castles in the air,
And feather canyons everywhere,
I've looked at clouds that way.
- lyrics from Both Sides Now (one of my favorite songs)
Continuing my theme of FREE things to do, here are
50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun from Julie Rains at WiseBread.com.

Relax and Contemplate

  1. Gaze at the stars. Learn how to spot a satellite.
  2. Walk a labyrinth.
  3. Relax on a park bench.
  4. Look at the clouds.
  5. Watch a sunrise, sunset, or both: sunrise-sunset website.
  6. Compose a letter, record your thoughts in a journal, or create a blog post.
  7. Read a book or eBook outside.
  8. Listen to the night sounds.
  9. Do yoga poses or Tai Chi outside.
  10. Visit a nearby river or creek or fountain and listen to the water flowing.

Learn Something New

  1. Study various architectural styles in your neighborhood.
  2. Visit public gardens.
  3. Go on a bird walk.
  4. Visit a national monument.
  5. Go to an air show.
  6. Take walk with a Park Ranger.

Hang Out With Your Kids

  1. Look for four-leaf clovers.
  2. Climb a tree.
  3. Play at the playground.
  4. Build a sand castle at the beach or playground.
  5. Play flashlight tag after dark.
  6. Teach your kids how to play outdoor games (or let them teach you the games they play).
  7. Collect rocks from your backyard.
  8. Watch construction from the visitor’s side of the fence.
  9. Play catch.
  10. Toss a Frisbee.
  11. Go to a parade (or walk in one).
  12. Cool off by wading in a creek, river, or lake.
  13. Catch and release fireflies after dark.
  14. Build a snowman, make snow angels, or have a friendly snowball fight.
  15. Go leaf viewing.
  16. Walk around to see blooming flowers in the spring.

Hang Out With Friends

  1. Attend free outdoor concerts or plays.
  2. Go window shopping in historic downtowns.
  3. Visit street festivals.
  4. Watch people rock climbing, kayaking, or sailing, to see if you would like to start a new sport.
  5. Take in a kids’ ballgame.
  6. Sit on the grass outside the stadium (if allowed) for college or professional events.
  7. Talk with friends outside.

Be Productive While Having Fun

  1. Volunteer for a charity bike ride, triathlon, or road race, such as a 5K or marathon. Find events using Active.com.
  2. Take photos of your family members for your annual holiday cards.
  3. Exercise your dog (and yourself).
  4. Get involved in a community gardening.
  5. Participate in a community cleanup or river cleanup project.

Move Around and Get Fit or Faster

  1. Hike. Check out Backpacker Magazine's community recommendations.
  2. Go running at a steady pace.
  3. Do interval training.
  4. Swim in a lake, river, or ocean. Be careful.
  5. Take a stroll in your neighborhood. Stop and talk with your neighbors.
  6. Take a bike ride alone or with a bike club.
  7. Enjoy a multi-use trail. See trail finder.

Enjoy Nature

  1. Visit a National Park.
  2. Take photos of nature. See tips for capturing images of birds, flowing water, and more.
  3. Watch the moon go through its phases.
Bottom Line

My wife & I have enjoyed many free concerts this summer at West Point with the Army Jazz Knights and Orchestra. The final performance on Labor Day Sunday included the 1812 Overture with real canons and fireworks afterwards. The fireworks were amazing close and filled the sky overhead!

On Labor Day Monday we enjoyed a "free" BBQ at home. We could have paid to attend a cookout but had more fun inviting a friend to share meats and veggies cooked on our grill.

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