I love the summer.
Some people like the winter, where you can snuggle up under a blanket by the fire or build a snow fort and toss snowballs. Me? I like the summer where you can watch movies outside or go on a hike, just breathe in that fresh summer air. I don’t mind it so much when it’s hot either, the heat and the perspiration makes me feel alive, productive.
So now that it’s summer, why not list a bunch of great frugal summer date ideas?
- Go to a state fair or Renaissance faire: Ever late-summer and fall, there’s a Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, Maryland  that we like to go to. We enjoy walking around the wilderness, eating food on sticks and turkey legs, and otherwise enjoy ourselves. It’s usually pretty inexpensive and you can spend a whole day there marveling at the costumes.
- Check your local paper for events: Your local newspaper usually has a listing of all the fun events going on in your county. We can pick up a local events calendar at our library that will tell us what’s going on throughout the county. Many of those events are free or pretty close to being free.
- Visit farmers markets: Part of the fun of farmers market is walking around the stalls and talking to all the vendors. Learn about where their farms are, how they make their jams or pies, and you end up buying some wonderful goodies you can cook with at home.
- Go to baseball games: Baseball games are always a lot of fun and many parks let you bring in your own snacks and sealed drinks. At Camden Yards, we’re allowed to bring in sealed sodas and all the peanuts and cracker jacks we want. Even if you can’t, there are going to be plenty of vendors outside selling hot dogs, brauts, and all manner of grilled foods. Major league games often have cheap tickets or you could hit up a local AAA team, I heard those games are a blast.
- Go on a hike: Hikes are great, you can learn all about them from the U.S. National Park Service’s Find a Park  search tool. You can bring a lunch too and turn it into an impromptu picnic at a scenic spot. Just remember to bring lots of water and a map!
- Watch movies in the park: Unfortunately, not everyone has this but you’ll know if it’s available if you check your local events calendar. The movies won’t be new releases and they’ll probably just be classics, but it’s a fun time out in the park. Remember to bring snacks, drinks, a blanket and perhaps some bug spray too.
- Walk around old neighborhoods: We live near Ellicott City, which has a “old town” portion that you can walk along. They even have ghost tours! We sometimes enjoy walking along the main street, window shopping and stopping in for some homemade ice cream.
- Go to cool open houses: Ellicott City also has a lot of older unique homes, so going to open houses can be a lot of fun too. We attended an open house for a home that was once used as a chapel, where all three floors had ground floor access. It was a beautiful home and a treat to look around in.
- Go to the beach: Beaches are usually free, so all it costs for a fun time at the beach is some gas and some sun screen! We don’t go to the beach much because we don’t like sitting around, but when we do we make sure to bring games like bocce ball.
- Go camping: Camping is fun as long as the weather isn’t too terribly hot, otherwise it can be difficult to fall asleep at night. We tend to go camping during the Spring and Fall months, when the weather is more temperate. Camping can be very inexpensive if you have the gear, otherwise a tent and such may run you some cash.
Those were on the first ten I mustered, I’m sure you guys can do better! What are your favorite frugal summer date ideas?
(Photo: clevergrrl )