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6 cheap things to do this summer

By Jeff Fruhwirth ·
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Posted: 5 pm ET

With summer just around the corner, there are plenty of great ways to save on keeping your family and friends entertained. Many outdoor activities cost little or nothing.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to save money and have a memorable time during the summer.

Have a picnic. Gather a blanket, sandwiches and snacks, and head to your nearest park. Find a great spot and set up your picnic gear.

I've got a bag that is specifically for picnics. It has all the plates, bowls and glasses we need, and we never forget it when we are headed out for some summer fun.

To spice it up a bit, head to a park that's got a unique attraction, or is simply a place you rarely visit. When you're done eating, take a walk, or have the kids play nearby.

Go for a walk or a hike. Both of these activities are free. Just strap on some appropriate footwear and hit a sidewalk or trail.

You can enjoy the weather and do a little relaxing, all while getting a bit of exercise.

Visit museums. Many museums have days when they are free, or when they charge reduced admission. Typically, these bargains occur on weekdays.

These outings work great for the summer, when you have extra time to devote to a fun museum trip.

Take a bike ride. Family bike rides are a great way to explore your neighborhood and get some exercise. Pedal slowly down a bike path or a nearby greenway.

Many trails and greenways have some sort of information tour along the way. Stop every quarter-mile or half-mile so you can learn about a specific topic that is unique to your area.

Pick up a new hobby. Learning to knit, crochet or sew is inexpensive, and it's great fun. Or, learn a few simple magic tricks to create a great conversation starter.

Start a garden. It's never too late to plant something and get a garden going. You don't need a huge plot to do it.

If you want to keep costs down, try planting in a few heartier things, such as zucchini, asparagus and rhubarb. These are very easy to grow, and they produce a great bounty that will keep you busy all summer.

What are some of your favorite summer activities that don't cost a lot?

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