It’s mid-march 2019 and there is still snow melting all over the place as I sit and look out my living room window. Now if you are a winter aficionado, like a big ski bum or you’re into snowboarding or some other interesting-yet-life-risking maneuver, then this post may not be what you are looking to read. However, thinking more rationally, I do know that winter is about to end (it kind of has to eventually, doesn’t it?) and spring is literally just days away. Hopefully that means my outdoor time will be increasing and the times ahead will include lots of warm air, sunny skies and—wait for it—free events to attend and fill my social calendar. So despite the fact that today the temperature when I woke up was just 24 degrees F, hope “springs (and summers) eternal” that those winter days are waning quickly.
Every spring and summer, my wife and I look forward to all the local township, county, and statewide events that happen just about every week and cost zippo to do— yet are really cool things. Music we love and other activities we can actually participate in too are abounding and all starting in just a few more weeks. We love the outdoor summer concert season but if you are more into a family-type fun thing, there are no shortages of those either from parks to beaches and all kinds of special community events.
And of course, the very best part as far as I am concerned besides just getting out of the “cabin” is that it’s free stuff and we save all kinds of money on our entertainment bill!
It makes no difference where you live
I could list tons of freebie events right here in NJ where we live but the really great thing is that it doesn’t matter where you are: the same kinds of events are happening right in your own backyard.
In fact, in many cases, where you live also has some pretty special and iconic events that are planned and staged each year. Those are the kind of things that mark historical events or special community people, places, or things.
Getting the information is most of the effort you have to spend so you can be aware and plan properly. If you don’t check to see what’s going on, you might just miss some of the sweet fun things that everyone will be jabbering about all next winter. So here’s how to make your plan!
Google your way to fun!
The first thing I always do each time around right about now is to Google “spring calendar of free events” for my area online. What comes up is so amazing and of course where you live it will be different but let me share some of what I found right in my own backyard!
You can also check your hometown website, library website, or county website for great info too.
Almost every weekend you can follow local sports for both the kids and even semi-professionals—like great softball games or your local little leagues. Pack a picnic lunch and the folding chairs and you’re set to enjoy some fresh air and some great ballgames at the playground or parks.
Speaking of the park, why not take a nice walk through some beautiful public botanical gardens? Just about every town has one and spring and summer seasonal blooms are spectacular!
Cue the music
Your internet search will also come up with lots of weekend music events and calendars of free stuff too. Most local towns schedule a “day” of food, games, rides, and fun stuff including a free concert in the evening. Truthfully, it’s my favorite thing mainly because I have the chance to see some of my very favorite musical stars from the past. You know, back when the 60’s music scene was dominated by people like Tommy James and the Shondells, Herman’s Hermits, and groups like that which I idolized.
Nowadays, they play all over for free (I guess my tax dollars are actually footing the bill) so, hell yeah, I go and groove on it every year. We have seen Peter Noone (Herman of Herman’s Hermits and “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” and “I’m Hen-er-ry the Eighth I Am” fame) three times in the past several years so I guess that makes Suzanne and I authentic “Noonatics”.
Last summer we also saw the Tokens, Gary Pucket, and The Rascals perform (Google them if necessary you young whippersnappers!), all huge hit makers of the 60’s and they were awesome.
But there’s more than just golden oldies pop. Last week, Suzanne and I went to a free classical guitar concert at our library. Next week they’re having a blues band, and after that, who knows? Open your ears to something new and different!
Free events aren’t just for holidays
It’s a given that you’ll see events like the egg hunt around Easter or a fireworks display around Independence Day. But, seriously, there are another 180 days to get out and enjoy free warm weather fun from the flea markets to the beaches and parks, riding your bike or heading for the township pool. When was the last time you played tennis or shuffleboard (or something called pickleball that I have never seen) on the municipal courts?
Many areas also have free museum days at least once a month, and free outdoor movie events in the parks too. In fact, there is almost something of any kind of thing you can think of to see, hear, or do if you check and search it out on the net!
If your entertainment budget isn’t ready for sticker shock…then?
The days when we were ready to shell out $50, $100 or $200 bucks for two hours of entertainment are probably gone for us. All I can say is I don’t really miss that expense nor regret holding on to my money and using it for other more worthy things say like healthcare and even giving to some to worthy causes and not to some gazillionaire “rock star”.
I just happened to notice that tickets to see my all-time fave Paul McCartney this summer on his “Freshen Up” summer extravaganza all around the U.S. and the world are going for—are you ready?—as much as $2,800 in places like Lexington KY! Even the cheap seats at Dodgers stadium in LA are selling for about $100 each (plus handling and fees and yada, yada, yada). How does a free Paul cover band show sound right about now at your local park or high school field?
Now’s the time to begin planning the fun for your summer. Why? Well, if you are anything like me you need something to look forward to with the temp hovering around 24 and the snow piled up outside. Hell yeah, I want to think about spring and summer fun right this minute. Look, if you are in a place in life where you don’t mind buying your entertainment at premium prices, bless you and good luck. For me, I’m not out to impress anyone any more than I have to and to me that means getting my entertainment kicks for free. Want to join us?