25 Fun Outdoor Activities for Under $25

by Alexandra Weisser in Fun / 29 Comments

What a great list of fun outdoor activities for under $25! Some of the ideas are even free. I can't wait to try them all this spring and summer!

Spring has sprung and summer is on the way so there is no better time to plan some FUN outdoor activities! As you know, I love getting a great deal, and having fun doesn’t mean spending a lot of money. Here are some ideas for activities you can do that cost less than $25 each- some are even FREE!

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1.) Visit a local park

I live in NYC, so I am lucky to have Central park as my local park. My absolute favorite place to visit in Central park is the Turtle Pond. When the weather is warm, the pond features a ton of turtles swimming around and sunning themselves on the rocks. I love turtles!

2.) Color with sidewalk chalk

Sidewalk chalk is not just for the kids! NYC has some awesome sidewalk art. Create some of your own in your  neighborhood, kids optional.

3.) Pack a picnic lunch

For under $25, you can definitely make some awesome sandwiches and bring a thermos of lemonade to the park. I love turkey, cheese, lettuce, and mayo on whole wheat. If you are feeling fancy, make cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwiches like these! Make sure you pack everything in a cooler with lots of ice if it is a really hot day so the food doesn’t spoil. I’ve found great cooler bags for cheap at the dollar store or check out this one:

4.)Take a boat or ferry ride

Many cities have free or cheap ferries or boats that travel down rivers and main waterways. The town next to mine growing up had a ferry that went back and forth across the river and that provided hours of summer fun!

5.) Volunteer

There are so many amazing ways to get involved in your community that are outside! Local parks, schools, and community centers are often looking for volunteers to plant gardens, clean-up parks, or run children’s activities. I highly recommend checking out where you can help out in your area for a fun (and free!) way to give back outdoors.

6.) Take photos

I have captured some of my favorite photos on my Iphone during the spring and summer months outdoors! Take advantage of the blooming flowers, sun shining, and all the good things nature has to offer by taking some photos you can use on social media, your blog, or frame in your home.

7.) Visit a botanical garden

NYC has a beautiful botanical garden, as do many communities! Check out your local area to see if you can plan a visit to a botanical garden or outdoor garden of some sort. Most are under $25 to visit for the day.

8.) Create a birdfeeder

Get a little crafty and attract some birds to your yard by creating a DIY birdfeeder. Not creative or crafty? That’s okay, you can buy one and still enjoy all those beautiful bird sightings!

9.) Wash your car

I absolutely loved helping my parents washing our cars when I was younger. You can break out the hose, some sponges, and some soap and have fun with your friends or family washing the cars. Here’s everything you need for just under $25, assuming you can provide a water source and the labor! Washing cars is also a great way to raise some money, so if you want to bring in a little extra income host a car wash on a nice sunny day and charge each car you wash.


10.) Play kickball

NYC has a lot of co-ed social sports leagues and kickball is one of the sports you can play! This one is easy to play in a big backyard or at a local baseball field.


11.) Visit a beach

The beach is my total happy place! If you don’t live along one of the coasts (I’m lucky enough to be on the East Coast), most towns have a local pond or lake that you can visit for the day. No ocean, ponds, or lakes? Find a local community pool or a neighbor with a pool and pretend you are at the beach for the day.

12.) Play with bubbles

Another one that is not just for the kids! Bubbles can be a relaxing and fun way to spend some time outside in your backyard. Blowing bubbles can even help reduce your anxiety.

13.) Check out a local fair

When the weather gets warm, many states have local fairs or carnivals roll into town. Some towns even put on their own mini versions! These are a lot of fun to walk around with your significant other, your kids, a group of friends, or even just solo. New England has an amazing large fair called the Big E where all New England States are represented.

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14.) Stargaze

Grab a blanket and find a spot outside to cozy up and watch the stars! Since I live in NYC, whenever I am in suburbia this is one of my favorite things to do. It is so amazing how beautiful the night sky can be and is something you take for granted when you see it every day!

15.) Host a tag sale

Spring cleaning on your to-do list? Gather up some items and set up shop outside on nice Saturday or Sunday. You can even see if your town runs a town-wide tag-sale, as my hometown does annually. Not only will you get rid of something extra belongings, you might generate some cash. Don’t forget to have the cash box ready!

16.) Sip a cocktail

Hit up Pinterest to find some fun cocktail recipes and skip the high prices at local outdoor bars! Host a few friends for some drinks on your back patio, backyard, rooftop, or whatever outdoor space you can find.

17.) Plant something

Seeds are inexpensive and can turn into beautiful flowers or vegetables you can use all summer long! I have found great little started kits in the dollar spot of Target. Also check out herb growing kits by Buzzy- super easy for beginners!


18.) Hit the farmer’s market

You can get some great deals on local produce and products as well as support your community by purchasing items from a farmers market! Check out this article on 50 farmers markets in 50 states to find a great one near you!

19.) Fly a kite

Flying a kite makes for a fun solo activity (and a great conversation starter for meeting people!) or a fun date with your significant other. Be sure to pick a windy day and a wide open space so it doesn’t get stuck anywhere!

20.) Mini Golfing

This is by far one of my all-time favorite warm weather outdoor activities! My family has a house on Cape Cod so mini-golfing is a summer time essential. While it is not as cheap as it used to be, you can definitely play a round of mini-golf for under $10 a person. So much fun!

21.) Browse the local shops

It is fun to play tourist in your own town or local neighborhoods and see what the stores have to offer. Many towns still have amazing main streets or communities with mom and pop run shops. Window shop, or pop in for a small trinket while supporting local businesses!

22.) Read a book

Outside of course! My recommendation is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

23.) Go to a baseball game

You can actually snag some of the pro tickets for less than $25! But in the event you don’t live near a pro team (or the seats are too expensive) check out a local high school or college baseball game. They still pack all the fun of watching the game, cheering, and grabbing some snacks. Alternatively, you could host a wiffle ball tournament in your backyard or local park. Play Ball!

24.) Have a water balloon fight

Grab your significant other, friends, or the neighborhood kids and have a good ole-fashioned water balloon fight! This is a fun way to run around outside, cool down, and have some FUN!

25.) Walk!

The ultimate free activity is just to walk around! Explore local neighborhoods, streets, hiking trails, whatever is around you. Since I live in NYC, I take advantage of the nicer weather to walk home from work. It is a great time to clear my mind and get some exercise at the same time.

Love this list of 25 fun outdoor activities for under $25! Perfect list of things to do when the weather is nice but your budget is small!

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Looking for some great spring and summer deals? Target (my absolute favorite store!) has everything you need for the spring and summer at great prices! I live in NYC and still order a ton of items from Target (free shipping over $35!) I love it even more when I get to go back to CT where my parents are and make a trip to the paradise of Target myself.

What is your favorite fun outdoor activity?



29 responses to “25 Fun Outdoor Activities for Under $25

  1. Great list! Chalk, bubbles, playgrounds, and picnics are on repeat for us this time of year! I love that this list is not just for parents – there is something here for everyone!

  2. Fun ideas! I think one of the greatest things about having kids has been rediscovering how much fun you can have doing silly or simple things. I had a water gun fight the other day and it was pretty awesome 😉

    • Alexandra Weisser

      I absolutely love the beach! Agree that the park makes due when there’s no beach to be found.

  3. Great list. My favorite outdoor activity is swimming or going to a beach. But I don’t live near a beach, so that is only when on vacation. My family goes to the drive-in movies when it’s nice out, and we also do an art crawl, where we walk around to different art galleries to check out the latest exhibits.
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    • Alexandra Weisser

      I absolutely love the beach! Great excuse to plan more vacations since you don’t live near one 🙂

  4. Such a great list, love the ferry & picnic suggestions! I always love getting a good book and a latte from my favorite coffee house and chilling with them on a bench in the park or on the side of an Amsterdam canal.

  5. My kids and I love to go to the Farmer’s Market early Saturday morning in our small town. We always end up walking around our town square and back through some of our historic neighborhoods. I love to do whatever I can to keep us outside and away from the TV.

    Great post!

    • Alexandra Weisser

      Love that! It is so fun to make new recipes using whatever seasonal ingredients you get. What are some of your favorite farmer’s market purchases?

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