Happy June. Did you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend? I certainly consumed some experiences over the past three days. Our local pool opened, and we celebrated my son’s birthday poolside. The 7-year-old sous chef who I frequently tell you about is now an 8-year-old sous chef.
Joining the pool is a bit of an expense for my family, but it’s the best money we’ll spend all summer because of the experiences we’ll have there. We’ll spend countless hours together as a family, we’ll get to spend plenty of time with friends that doesn’t have to be “penciled in” on our calendars, and it’s the best way I know to keep the boys from begging for extra TV and video game time all summer. For me, the pool is an experience well-consumed.
But, like I said, the pool is a bit of an expense, so lets talk about some experiences we can consume that cost a lot less — many of them cost nothing at all.
Take in a concert in the park: Many cities or counties offer concerts through their parks and recreations office that cost very little or are free. Where I live, the Camden County Parks have amazing free concerts throughout the summer. There are free concerts (and Shakespeare) in Central Park in New York City. You can also find concerts in Los Angeles; Savannah; Washington, D.C.; Delaware; Olathe, Kan.; and more. A quick Google search can find you free concerts in your area. Grab a picnic basket full of foods from the farmers market and enjoy music under the sun or the stars.
Dust off your library card and get involved with a summer reading program: Most libraries have summer reading programs for kids and even adults. Lose yourself in books this summer and experience people you’ve never met and places you’ve never been.
Host a local foods potluck: Challenge your friends to use food from their gardens, the farmers market, other markets, and roadside stands as the basis for their dishes for an outdoor potluck. To keep the sustainable theme going, ask guests to bring their own dishes and flatware if you don’t have enough so you don’t need to use disposables.
Enjoy a museum: Target has an arts & culture program that sponsors free or reduced admissions to many museums and other cultural events. Some of the free deals are amazing like free admission to The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on the third Wednesday night of each month and Imagine That! Children’s Museum in Atlanta on the second Tuesday of each month.
Volunteer at a local winery: I recently found out that one of the small wineries near me asks for volunteers to help with bottle labeling, grape harvesting and wine festivals. If you have a local winery that you appreciate, find out if they need volunteers. How much fun would harvesting grapes be? I’m not sure, but I hope to find out later this year.
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