Cheap and Fun Ways to Spend Your Summer

snow coneSummer is definitely my favorite time of the year. Summer is three months filled with absolutely nothing truly urgent that you have to do. Sure, you might have to work or have an internship, but chances are, you do not work every day of the week. Summer is free time, to fill with whatever you choose.

It sounds perfect, until mid-July when you have done everything that you wanted to do at least five times. Walking around the mall with friends tends to lose its appeal when you just did it yesterday and the day before. So what can you do with all of this lovely free time that you haven’t done a billion times already and does not break the bank?

Try these suggestions to occupy your lazy summer days!

1.    Go to a drive-in movie with friends.Most of the drive-in movies I have been to charge by the car, not per person. So, if you borrow your mom’s minivan and pile six of your friends in it, you could pay only  $1.66 each to see a movie, assuming the theatre charges $10 a car. Even if the movie turns out to be a bust, like when I went to see Nacho Libre at a drive-in, you’ll have fun laughing with your friends and doing something that you typically don’t do.

2.    Let your inner kid play at a local pool or lake. Public pools are not usually too expensive, and chances are that one of your friends might even have a private pool at his or her disposable. If there’s a lake near by, you could also go swim there. To keep it from turning into just another excuse to work on your tan, play games. Bring a football to toss around or play a game of Sharks and Minnows. Hey, if it was a blast back when you were in middle school, why shouldn’t it be just as fun now? And a swimming workout is a great excuse to indulge in a ice cream cone later on – kiddie-sized, of course.

3.    Spend some quality time with Shakespeare. Many local performing groups put on a series of Shakespeare in the Park plays during the summer. So grab a blanket, a friend or two, and go listen to Hamlet contemplate the meaning of life or see Romeo and Juliet’s first kiss. If you are planning on making this a date, I’d recommend seeing Romeo and Juliet over Hamlet, but that’s just my opinion.

4.     Throw a bowling ball down the alley. Personally, I am awful at bowling, but I have heard that a lot of people enjoy it. So, if you are more talented at this game, head down to the local alley with some friends and practice your skills. You could make it a competition, with losers buying ice cream for winners. And if you are as awful as I am, you might be able to convince the employees to put up the bumpers for you. Then everyone can practice using silly moves to throw the ball, such as Granny style – between your legs – or with your eyes closed. Of course, the same ice cream competition should be applied to the silly version as well.

5.    Only two words: Snow cones! There is something just excellent and definitely summery about shaved ice drenched in sugary, flavored water. If you are watching your calories, a lot of snow cone stands now offer sugar-free syrup. However, be careful: these things are addicting. I’m terrified to know how much of my monthly paycheck goes straight to the snow cone stand in my hometown.

We wait all year for summer break. Do not waste a day being bored this year! But if none of these tips appeal to you, here’s my last, tried, and true tip.

6.    Sleep. Yes, sleep. We all know that most of us are sleep-deprived studentsduring the school year, so if the urge to take a nap or to sleep-in late strikes you, I say go for it. Come October, when school is definitely back in full-swing, I know I’ll be wishing for naptime!

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