Mark Roemer image of a sign that says Summer's End

Things to Do Before the End of Summer That Are Totally Free

I, Mark Roemer, understand that this summer season is unique since the threat of a pandemic isn’t looming over our heads. However, inflation is here and that means your wallet is left high and dry to spend on fun activities during the summer. Let’s check out a few totally free or dirt-cheap things to do before the end of summer.

The Activities

1. Summer hike – Walking isn’t affected by inflated gas prices. It’s free, can be fun, and keeps you fit. Walking in nature is both calming and exciting. The summer season is probably the best time to go on a hike up a mountain or into the woods since the air is warm, the terrain is dry and there’s a lot of animal activity around you.

To keep this activity free, go on a nature hike trail that’s near you or discover one yourself. Instead of buying food, pack a lunch and plenty of water in your backpack.

2. Explore the city – Everything in the US is designed around the car and you’re lucky if you live in a city where you can afford to not own a car. If you’re on a budget and bored out of your mind, you can explore the city by walking or biking.

Open up the map app on your phone and search for walking tours of your city. If there’s no walking tour route, you can select a cluster of popular landmarks that are close to each other and explore them on your feet. Grab a friend, hop on your bike and go out.

3. Photography challenge – You love clicking pictures. Whether it’s a selfie, a group photo, a picture of a cute pet, or an Instagrammable location. You can make things interesting this summer by giving yourself a challenge instead of clicking random pictures all day.

It can be something like a 30-day photography challenge recording the changes in urban landscapes or nature. It can also be something educational. There are guides on photography challenges that help you teach yourself professional photography and get better at the hobby. It’s completely free as long as you own a smartphone. Who doesn’t?

4. Go on a local run – Towns and cities often host various community activities across the year. During the spring and summer seasons, there’s usually a 5K run hosted by a city. If you have such an event planned hosted in your city, participate in it. You don’t need to be a pro or even complete the entire 5K run.

Treat it as a fun activity and train for it. Just the training starts you on a fitness journey and during the run, you’ll make a few friends. If you’re entrepreneurial enough, you can find hidden gems in your small town or city and host your own guided tours.  

5. Urban foraging – You don’t need a garden to start foraging. You can explore your own town and start foraging for free food right from nature. You can ask friends and family about foraging locations or look for foraging maps of your town or city.

People are able to collect wild herbs, nuts, fruits, and more on urban foraging trips. Make sure you do everything within legal bounds and don’t trespass on a stranger’s property. It doesn’t even need to be food. You may collect rocks, plant matter, or other things you like.

6. Climb a tree – While our ancestors were able to swing around and climb trees effortlessly within seconds, most modern humans don’t engage in that activity. You can choose a local tree and try climbing it to throw yourself a challenge. You can extend this free and fun activity by tracking your progress throughout the summer season. Climb higher every day or even compete with your friends. It’s also a great workout.   

7. Swim in a local lake – You’re incredibly lucky if you live near a beach. However, most people need to burn a lot of fuel and get other supplies to spend a relaxing day at the beach. You can try out the next best thing by going for a swim at a local lake. Grab a couple of friends, get on your bike and visit the local lake on a weekend. It’s free and a fun way to beat the summer heat.

8. Make popsicles – While this one isn’t free, it doesn’t require a lot of money. Making popsicles is a fun activity that you can do with your kids or siblings this summer. It’s similar to baking delicious treats during the winter season. Mix a few flavors, sugar, and fruits with water or condensed milk and put them in bar-shaped containers in the freezer. Each popsicle would cost you around a dollar and a whole batch would cost you around $10.

9. Watch a storm – During the summer season, the air gets warmer and warm air can hold a ton of moisture. When there’s enough moisture and rising warm air during the summer seasons, thunderstorms are common events. There’s something romantic and exhilarating abo[ut thunderstorms. So, if you can find a safe spot that gives you a scenic view of the local skyline, just lie down and enjoy the rain, storm, and incredible sights and sounds they create.   

10. Catch fireflies – Summer brings a lot of childhood memories and you can relive one of them. Catching fireflies used to be a common and cherished childhood activity. Recreate those memories by grabbing a jar and going out to a large open field. It’s even better if you are a parent now. You can recreate those memories with your kids and make them spend more time in nature, away from the phone, for free. 


I, Mark Roemer, believe that there are a million ways of having fun and most of them don’t require you to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars. You can try out any of the above-mentioned activities for free or on a shoestring budget before the summer ends.