Summer Activities on a Budget

Jul 7, 2023 3:44:14 PM

The sun is shining and the temperatures are soaring! There’s no better time of the year for escaping the stay-at-home hum-drums to spend some time in the great outdoors. Meeting with friends and family in an outdoor space is not only fun—it can be a great way to save money. Read on for a few ideas about outdoor summer fun on a budget, right here in Boston.

Explore Local Trails

Lace up your walking shoes and head out to one of the many fantastic trails in the Boston area. The city offers several parks and nature reservations, making it easy to find one that suits your fitness level, interests and location. One popular summertime option is Breakheart Reservation, in the north of the city, where visitors will find beautiful lakes and plenty of open space to hike, hop on a bicycle, or enjoy a morning run. On the other hand, if you’re interested in something a little more demanding, Middlesex Falls Reservation offers tougher hiking options including some rocky terrain, with options for easier or more challenging hikes depending on what you’re up for.

Spot Nature in the City

During our day-to-day life, it’s easy to forget about the exciting plants and animals that share our local environment. This summer, connect with the natural world by engaging in some city nature spotting. Many animals live in Boston and its surroundings—from seabirds in the bay, to coyotes, deer and raccoons right in the city. Grab some flora and fauna identification books from the local library and look for a pair of binoculars at your closest second hand store. Bird watching apps are another useful and affordable resource, as is the iNaturalist app where you can record what you see and connect with other amateur and expert nature spotters all around the world.

Explore History

Boston is chock-full of historical landmarks, and the warmer months are an ideal time to explore the history of the city and the United States. Start with the Freedom Trail: a two-and-a-half mile walk in metropolitan Boston that takes walkers through a full 16 sites of historical interest. You’ll pass churches, museums, statues and more, all signposted with information about what it all means. Guided tours are available as well, but if you prefer to save money, grab a free map in person or online. Do keep in mind that some of the bigger historic sites may require an entrance fee, but it’s also very easy to limit your sightseeing to the free access options.

Pitch a Tent

Another fun summer activity is, of course, camping! July is National Parks and Recreation day in the U.S., and staying overnight in a state park is a fantastic way to celebrate these spaces while enjoying some quality time with friends and loved-ones. The Massachusetts State website lists the state parks where camping is allowed, and has details about amenities and other services. Concerned about the cost of camping? Equipment such as tents and coolers can be shared with friends or purchased at thrift stores. And, if you do decide to invest in some higher quality camping gear, you can always use it again next year or sell it the following season.

Go Geocaching

Never been geocaching? You’re missing out on some of the best (and free) summer fun around! Geocaching is an outdoor activity similar to a treasure hunt, in which participants hide or find various objects. Using a geocaching app, you can hide things around town, or seek hidden objects—caches—placed by other app users. This fun activity is awesome for families or groups of friends; especially when you’ve exhausted all your other summer break activities. It’s entertaining, and also an amazing way for Boston newcomers to get acquainted with the city and have tons of fun, without the need for a big budget.

Tags: Budgeting