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Make the Most of Your Summer Weekends

Make the Most of Your Summer Weekends

By Lauren Bayne Anderson

July 01, 2011

Times are tough. Especially if you’re working your first job – which historically is not the highest paying gig you’ll ever have.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your coveted weekends.

In fact, there are tons of things to do that will make you feel like you’re getting the most out of your summer, and not breaking the bank doing it.

Our ideas range from cheap weekend getaways, to day trips, to things you can do in your area if you have a few hours to spare.

Check out our list and try a few this weekend. See if you don’t forget all about work and feel like a kid again.

  • Camping: You can get a tent for $20 and rent a campsite for around the same price for a night. Grab a bunch of friends, and you’ll have so much fun sitting around the campfire, making smores, telling stories and just plain bonding.
  • Hiking: This day trip packs a lot of punch—especially if you bring a picnic to enjoy in the woods. Not only will you get good exercise, but you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful summer weather and feel like you’re in a whole different world for the day.
  • The Beach: Even if you don’t live on a coast, there are lakes and ponds you can enjoy that often have sandy “beaches”. Layout and get a tan, play some volleyball, make a sandcastle. And if it’s permitted, make a bon fire as the sun sets!
  • Boat Rides/Fishing: You may not have been fishing since your scout days, but give this one another try. When you go with a friend, you spend a lot of time just talking and enjoying the weather. Then there’s always lots of excitement when you get a fish on your hook! Another plus: free dinner! If you’re really just not into the whole fish thing, go for a boat ride sans the fishing gear.
  • Have a Cook Out: Everything is better with friends. Throw a party! Throw some stuff on the grill and just hang out. Even if it’s a regular weekend or any day after work, it just FEELS like summer when you’re barbecuing.
  • Go Antiquing: OK, so antiquing on a first job salary may not be so doable. BUT, it’s the sentiment we want to get across here. Usually when you go antiquing, you’re heading to small, quaint towns with a lot of atmosphere and character. Take a trip to one of these small-town-America spots around you. Enjoy walking around, window shopping, having a nice lunch, etc. Anytime you get out of your own regular environment you’ll feel like you’ve “gotten away”. Same thing goes for small town folks headed to the big city!
  • Try Some Water Sports: There’s a lot you can do with this one. Head to the nearest small river to go white water rafting or tubing. Head to the beach to go surfing.
  • Go to an Amusement Park: Amusement Parks with rides or Water Parks, they are all fun and they will all make you forget work and feel like a kid again! Also, check out your local zoo and aquarium, which by the way, make awesome/creative date spots!
  • Get to Know Your Area: Depending on where you live, there are so many local things to do. For example, if you live near upstate New York, you can explore Howe Caverns – deep underground prehistoric caves with beautiful geology. If you live in Florida, hope on an air boat and go alligator spotting. If you live in Kentucky, try out the Derby! If you’re in Virginia, check out Colonial Williamsburg. You get the picture. Every area has their claim to fame, make the most of the area you live in.
  • Check out Markets, Craft Fairs and Local Festivals: Chances are your area has several, especially if you live in a major city. For example, Chicago is known for having a different festival every weekend! Farmer’s markets are great places to go get fresh veggies and fruits, cheaper than the grocery store, and support the local economy. Plus you’ll feel like you did something fun!
  • Go to the Local Fair or Carnival! Like an amusement park, but a little cheaper. They come through most areas in the summer. So take advantage. Get on some rides, eat some fried dough/funnel cakes, win yourself a big stuffed animal you’ll have nothing to do with once you get home!
  • Go Put-Putting: Play some miniature golf. Go paint balling or laser tagging. Hop on the go carts! If you loved it as a child, you’ll love it now, as the nostalgia washes over you. Follow up with going out for ice cream (instead of eating it from a tub at home on your coach).

What your plans for this weekend? Share with us below or on our Facebook page!