The 17 best free things to do

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to cut back on spending. Spending a little less, saving a little more and being more financially responsible is something many of us want to do in the new year.

Entertainment costs are perhaps one of the areas where most of us can scale back a bit. It’s very easy to overspend on things like movies, concert tickets, restaurants or nights out on the town.

But don’t worry! There are countless fun things you can do to entertain yourself, your family and your friends. The best part is that they are all free!

  1. Go ice skating: Take advantage of the winter weather to start 2015 by going skating at your local outdoor rink.
  2. Have a movie marathon: Have your friends and family over for a movie marathon. Choose a theme, or even binge-watch your favourite TV show.
  3. Take a hike: Find a local park or trail and plan a hike. You can walk, run or cycle. It’s a great way to keep in shape too!
  4. Play board games: Who doesn’t love a little competitive board game action? Head to the basement or storage closet and pull out a few of your favourites to play with others.
  5. Have a family dinner: Round up the family and plan a dinner. Invite everyone over for a great meal and conversion. You could even make it a potluck.
  6. Plan a walking tour: Regardless of where you live, your town or city is sure to have a number of historical or cultural sites worth visiting.
  7. Do a photo shoot: We’re not talking a professional shoot. Just grab your camera and find unique and interesting things to photograph at home or in the community. Put your photography skills to the test.
  8. Play sports at the local park: Whether you are into hockey, basketball, football, baseball or soccer, rounding up your friends for a pick-up game can provide you with hours of fun and competition.
  9. Read a book: Yes, books can be entertaining, and there are thousands of great books out there worth reading. Head to your local library to check out a few you have been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to yet.
  10. Go to the museum: Many communities have museums that you can visit for free. Take advantage. You never know, you might even learn a thing or two!
  11. Catch up with an old friend: Whether it’s a simple phone call, a chat online or in-person over a coffee, catching up with friends is one of the best free things you can do.
  12. Learn a new skill: With so much information available online, it is now easier than ever to learn a new skill, and you can do it for free. There are many free courses online. Try searching online for information or even videos. You should have no trouble finding what you need.
  13. Take a nap: Sometimes, taking time out of your day to relax and take a nap is the best thing you can do, especially if you are having a busy or stressful day. You could try meditation as well.
  14. Go for a family drive: Load up the family in the car and drive. You can have an idea of the places you want to check out or improvise as you go.
  15. Volunteer: Giving back to your community is a great way to contribute to society. It’s also the perfect opportunity to meet new people, network and learn something new. You could volunteer at a local community centre, charity, business or any other place you find interesting.
  16. Spend some quality time with your pets: One of the great joys of life is playing with your pets. Why do you think cat and dog videos are so popular online? Pets are awesome!
  17. Attend a free community workshop or event: Many local companies and community groups hold free seminars and courses. Check your local listings to see what is offered in your area.

There are lots of great things you can do without having to open your wallet. All it takes is a little thought and you can find yourself having hours of fun – for free!