Summer is in full swing wherever you live, (except perhaps Australia?) and your piggy bank is feeling a little slim. South Florida is like living on the sun and don’t get me started about the humidity. But the thing is, I love it. Call me Jungle Jean, but the sweltering weather brings out my inner kids, and visions of inner tubes, beach and ice cream line up in the fantasy film in my head.
Florida, inaptly named the Sunshine State, gets most of its rain and tropical storm (OK, read that to say Hurricanes) between June and September. This is not to say it’s always bad weather, but it can be iffy, and you need to be ready to change it up rather quickly when you hear that rumble in the distance. I used to spend months plotting activities for my kids, but now that two are college bound and one is a snarky teen vampire, I’m planning better activities for me, sometimes with the hubby, sometimes with the girls. But, that budget just doesn’t disappear.
Most of the time, once summer season hits So Fla., you see a gazillion people out and about, and usually, they’re pretty happy folk. They work hard and want to play hard, so they let their hair down (OK, more likely it’s up in a ponytail) and look to have fun outdoors. Since I am lucky enough to live where the sunshine comes around all year, I have a pretty good idea of how to have fun on a budget.
Fun in the Sun for Under $20.00
- Coffee Date. Grab your fave beverage, iced or hot and sit outside in the shade or inside and schmooze. Try finding a funky café. If you’re in Boca, try The Seed. In Asheville, NC- get on over to Double D’s. City Lights if you’re in Charleston, SC. (I’m a wealth of “javaformation,” lol)
- Happy Hour. Find a place with a little atmosphere and daily drink specials. If there’s a Rocco’s Taco’s in your town, Tuesday nights are $15 pitchers.
- Ice Cream Party. This is a fun DIY, and all you need is a half gallon of your fave flavor and some toppings. My husband is a master shake maker, and when he pulls out the blender, I get excited!
- Concert in the Park. Grab your cooler, a blanket, and some snacks and pull up some grass at the local park. We adore the July 4th celebration, but there are lots of free concerts year-round (here, but for sure in the summer where you live!)
- Plant a Garden. An early morning at the garden center, some wood planks and you can build your step garden. My son and husband built me a step garden with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and zucchini. I added a special pot for herbs, and the smells from our kitchen were awesome!
- Music and Memories. We spend time looking through old cassettes and CDs, singing (badly) old tunes and talking about the memories we associated with those songs.
- Visit your local playground. Even when we were dating, we’d stop at the playground for a swing, and maybe a few pushes around on the merry-go-round. Queasy can be fun.
- Farmer’s Market. This is something I love to do with my kids. We go to a place where you can pick your own, and then get some homemade ice cream as a treat. The big bonus is all the fresh berries and veggies we get to bring home.
- Movie Night. With Netflix and Redbox and the library as resources, movie night is easy shmeasy. You can cuddle on the sofa, or invite a few friends round and use a projector to have an outdoor show. A flat sheet makes a great screen. S’mores are optional.
- Water Fight. These usually begin while washing the car, watering the veggie garden or just messing around with the kids. Buckets, water balloons from the dollar tree, or just a few squirts with the hose make the heat dissipate quickly, and the laughter erupts!
Of course, there are many more ideas, such as the beach, happy hours, bike trails, homemade cookies, build a fort in the living room and plan a picnic…and the list goes on. It just takes a little creative spark, and you and your friends or family can have a blast for next to nothing. We like to have friends over and listen to tales from the past when my husband was a rogue student wreaking havoc in boarding schools. I think he likes sharing the renegade part of his past because it helped shape him into who he is today. (Even if he’s still a little geeky and loves to play Zelda – I’m guilty too.)
Enjoy your summer, stay hydrated, motivated and caffeinated!😉☕