Go Outside, Have Fun And Stay On Budget

by Anne Middleton, on May 31st, 2016

Warm weather means plenty of opportunities for inexpensive and fun-filled outdoor activities.  So put down the video games, stopping posting on social media, and grab the family for some awesome activities that will get everyone out of the house.  Whether it is a few hours hiking together, a visit to a national park or even the unique experience of visiting a Renaissance Faire, these budget-friendly outdoor ideas are deliver a day of entertainment for everyone.

Renaissance Faires

Our guess is that you have never been to a Renaissance Faire. And your friends and family probably don’t even really know what a Renaissance Faire can offer  or how much enjoyment it can bring without the huge entrance fees charged by many amusement parks.

A Renaissance Faire provides a full day of uncommon fun.  It is partly a craft event, partly historical reenactment and partly performance art.  Booths sell artwork and food. Parades wind their way through the crowds. Jugglers, musicians, magicians and others perform through the day.

A trip to a Renaissance Faire is spent wandering at your own pace, browsing items for sale and sampling refreshments like turkey legs and English Ale. There are hawkers in the streets and the Renaissance entertainers often to converse with you as the character they're playing.

It can be a bit bizarre, but the uniqueness is the attraction and joy of attending a Renaissance Faire.

People who work at the Renaissance Faire dress in garb of the Elizabethan period. You, however, can wear whatever you please: there are no dress codes, but many like to put on apparel of olden times to  get in the mood. Larger fairs often have clothing booths where you can rent clothing for the day if you become motivated by your surroundings.

Take a Hike

A more common inexpensive outdoor activity is hiking. Hiking may seem relatively tame compared to a Renaissance Faire, but it can be just as interesting. Whether it is a local trail or a special trip to a national park, there are countless rewards for strolling down a hiking path and experiencing first-hand encounters with the natural environment.

Whether you are an expert in managing trails or a novice who has only trekked through the wilderness in Cub Scouts, hiking outdoors has plenty of perks including nice views, fresh air and the sounds of nature.

Many individuals take to the trails because hiking exercises almost every part of your body.  Unlike being inside a health club or gym, hiking allows you to engage with others as you walk or jog together and embrace the trees, forest or desert around you.

Hiking, especially a short trail hike, is an inexpensive way to enjoy the day. Just take a couple of water bottles embrace this basically free activity.  Here are a few things to remember on your excursion:

• Start Slow. A short, local hike is best for beginners. Gradually work up to trails with uneven terrain.

• Head for the Hills. As you get stronger, even a small hill will intensify your heart rate and burn extra calories. Many areas in our national parks have rustic roads that work muscles while improving balance and stability.

• Bring a Buddy. It’s best not to hike alone at first, especially if you are a beginner or hiking on unfamiliar or remote trails. A partner or group can help you navigate and offer moral support if you get tired.

• Know Before You Go. Familiarize yourself with the trail map. Check the weather, and dress and pack accordingly. If storms are a possibility, rethink your plan. Follow marked paths and trails.

Hiking the National Parks

The majesty of hiking in one of our 58 national parks presents unparalleled opportunities. Last year more than 305 million people visited national parks.  From the Denali National Park in Alaska to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, each location offers a unique hiking experience.

Whether it is a three-mile day hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah or a challenging climb through the peaks at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, any hiking adventure can be budget friendly.

Other Options

Go fly a kite.  No seriously.  It’s likely that this is one of the most memorable outdoor activities that got you out of the house when you were a child.  Flying a kite is virtually free. Just don’t purchase a handmade, lavish flying kite in case it gets stuck in a tree.

Other inexpensive outdoor activities include rollerblading, skateboarding Frisbee (and Frisbee golf), open air free concerts and of course, bike riding.  Even if you don’t own your own two-wheeler, you can usually rent one for very little money.

So get up and get out!  Whether you wander through your community’s Renaissance Faire, enjoy a hike at nearby trails or venture out to one of our magnificent national parks, engaging in these and other outdoor events can be within everyone’s budget.

 

 

 

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1. https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/release.htm?id=1775