The Basic Girl's Guide to Squeaky Clean Summer Fun (Without Breaking the Bank)

If you're like and clumsily falling into your twenties with such finesse and grace (yeah, right), then you know the struggle of finding things to do that a) aren't expensive or free and b) don't require excess amounts of drinking and staying up all night.

Yes, our 18-year-old counterparts hate us. But adulthood calls.

Here is a list of ten things that are cheap, and some are even free, that are a great way to kill all that free time. Do them on the weekends, weekdays, whenever. At least you'll be in good, clean fun that is doubling as a workout to stay fit and healthy.

I've also highlighted how some may also be used for date ideas. Enjoy!

1. Geocaching 

Anyone who knows me knows this is a huge one for me. I absolutely love geocaching. So what is it? Well it's a real world scavenger hunt. People hide "caches" (pronounced "cashes" and "geocash") all over the world. You just download the app, which is free for the basic service and $9.99 for the full, and viola! Instant geocaches just waiting to be found. The $10 can seem steep, but trust me it's totally worth it.

This is a great date idea especially if you head out to a park. You can spend the day enjoy each others company while working together searching for the hidden treasures.

Geocaching Site (You'll need to make an account first)

2. Kayaking
Okay, so you're not Miss Adventerous...I get it. But kayaking doesn't require all that much physical effort and you get a great tan. Most trips run anywhere from $10-20 depending on where you go. Keep in mind you want a tour that is long and takes you to the top of the river only to have you end at the bottom. Or else you'll be dragging a kayak back upstream to the start.

This is a great date because what's more relaxing and romantic than following water? Plus, there might be a few spots where your date will have to play hero, which is always a plus. Plus, you can pack a picnic and pick a spot on your route to enjoy the warm air and each others company. Kayaking uses teamwork, exercise, and communication between two people. It's also a great activity for double or group dates.

Best kayaking for the Athens area: Broad River Outpost

3. Bowling
Okay, so this one I have to fudge a little. I don't mean bowling at the local bowling joint that smells of moldy shoes and stale nacho cheese. I mean the adult bar ones. If you're like me and aren't a big drinker, this is still a viable place to go and have fun. The bar atmosphere is usually kept to a minimum.

The price usually runs per hour plus shoe rental and rounds out around $20-25 for two people. It's inexpensive, has good music, and is set in an adult atmosphere. A little competition on any date is always fun and really lets you feel the other person out. Don't worry about sucking it up either, it'll just be a way for your date to flirt with you later.

Where can you find this place in the Athens area? Right here, at Ten Pins.

4. Trivia
This one works better, in my opinion, with a group or on a double date. Plus, it's normally FREE!! This is a great way to communicate and see each others random, worthless knowledge brain storage. It's fun, cheap, and usually you can buy food as well.

Try looking in your local area paper for days, places, and times. If you're in the Athens area, Flagpole is the place to look!

5. Local Venues
Get out and see your city! If you're an Athens native, such as myself, this isn't an issue! There's tons of bands playing every night in different genres, and usually for free or a small cover (around $3-8). Also, most venues are laid back and allow for great conversation.

This makes for a great date because you can physically see if other is interested in some of the same stuff. No one likes a radio nazi who listens to music you hate.

Once again, refer to Flagpole.

6. Dog Park
Obviously you will need a dog for this one. Your cat may really kill you if you take them. It's a great way to hang out outside and just play. Yeah, like a little kid. Dog parks are usually free and private, plus it's a great way to just meet new people. This is also great if both of you have dogs.

Just be aware of dog park laws. No aggressive type dogs are allowed. And yes, I'm a huge advocate that Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, Boxers, etc. aren't "evil" or cold-blood killers. However, it is the law and many others don't feel safe. So just respect others and the law.

I have a great list of some parks in the Athens area, just write me a message using the "Contact Me!" tool and I will reply back with that.

7. Rock Climbing
Search for a rock climbing gym in your area. I know there is one in Athens that I have linked for you...HERE! It's awesome! You'll get a great workout and have a ton of fun. Plus, they're usually pretty cheap by the hour plus the cost of shoes.

On a date this is a great idea! You'll have to use teamwork and coordination. Plus it'll bring in some friendly competition.

Active Climbing located in Athens area.

8. Local Fairs & Festivals
Does your town have a "That Horse That Doubled as a Stop Sign Festival"? Probably not. But you get what I mean. Small towns are notorious for this stuff. (Trust me I live in one) Go to them! They're fun and there's tons to look at and see. No matter how lame it sounds, it's a great way to just get out and enjoy the day. Maybe pick up some cute crafts as well!

Visit Patch.com, type in your zip code, select the city you're looking in and tada! A whole list of everything local in that area. The interwebs is grea.

9. Volunteer
Guys, this one is huge. If you're finding yourself with a lot of free time, why not spend some of it helping others? Google search "non-profits" in your area. There's a ton of places and organizations just waiting for your to reach out and join. Find one that you're passionate about and commit to it.

Non-Profit Jobs for Athens area

10. Letterboxing
Same idea as geocaching, but more scavenger hunt by clues based. You follow the clues, they lead you to a location, find the log, and stamp that you've been there. The app is totally free and you only need a stamp that you feel reflects your personality and an ink pad!

Letterboxing Site (You'll need to create an account)





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