1. Check out the community calendar. Look at your town’s website (as well as those of cities and towns nearby) or stop by city hall to find a list of events going on in the community, many of which are free. You’ll often be surprised at how many interesting (and free) activities are going on right now in your area.
Calendar Dome- BixlerandJohnson@etsy.com
2. Visit your community library. Not only is a library a warehouse of books, most libraries also have extensive CD and DVD collections you can check out. Many libraries also have “story time” for young children, film nights, book clubs, and many other events that you may be unaware of – completely for free. Stop in and check out what they have to offer.
3. Get involved in community sports. Many towns have community sports fields where both youth and adult sports leagues and activities are regularly going on throughout the weekend. Stop by, watch a game or two, and if something intrigues you, look into joining either as a participant or as a volunteer.
4. Get your financial papers in order. This may not sound like a fun activity up front, but the peace of mind it gives you will make your life a lot more relaxing. Spend an hour or two organizing all of your statements and other financial documents. This is a perfect time to start your own filing system. If you’re more adventurous, try initiating an electronic filing system, as it will save you significant space and make information retrieval easier (though it’s more of a time investment up front).
5. Check out some podcasts. Podcasts are wonderful things – top-notch audio programs available for you to listen to for free. Give some a sample – you can do it easily by using iTunes. Visit the Podcast section of the store and check a few out. My favorites include The Splendid Table (on food topics), Marketplace (on economics and business), Speaking of Faith (on religion), Fresh Air (interviews of general interest), This American Life (quirky general interest stuff), and This Week in Tech (technology news), among many others.
6. Play board games. We have a pile of board games, mostly received as gifts, that we often pull out and play, plus our closest friend has a few choice ones. Classic games like Monopoly and Pictionary can be great fun, but our favorites are Settlers of Catan, Cartagena, Puerto Rico, and especially Ticket to Ride. Just dig through the recesses of your closet, find an old board game you haven’t played in ages, and bust it open!
7. Bake a loaf of homemade bread. You probably have everything you need to make a loaf of bread in your kitchen right now (except for maybe the yeast). Anyone can do it, and the bread turns out deliciously. Here’s a detailed visual guide for making a simple loaf with minimal ingredients and complexity.
8. Learn how to juggle. All you really need is three balls and a video showing you how to do it. Not only is it a fun activity to learn, it’s something that’s fun to bust out as a party trick on occasion (trust me, you can always get people to smile if you juggle three fruits in the kitchen while preparing something).
Juggling Life's Illusions II - 16x20 Genuine Giclee Canvas Reproduction - Limited Edition-- mailto:ThePaintedBrush@etsy.com
9. Teach yourself how to change the oil in your car. If you’re due for an oil change, just bring the oil you need home with you and teach yourself how to do it. All you really need is an old pan to catch the wasted oil and a funnel to pour the old oil back into the canisters for later disposal. Just use your car manual as a guide for the procedure and you might just find that not only is it a lot easier than you thought, but it’s a useful skill to have and it’s cheaper than taking your car into Jiffy-Lube (or wherever you take your car for oil changes).
10. Meet your neighbors. Make an effort to introduce yourself to your neighbors if you don’t know them well. Invite any interesting ones over for a cup of coffee and a chat, just to get to know each other better. Your neighbors can not only become friends, but can also be a valuable resource – a friendly pair of eyes on your property when you’re away or a helpful set of hands when you’re trying to complete a challenging task.