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10 Affordable Things to Do Before the End of Summer

Posted on 7/19/2012 11:35 EST

This summer has been a scorcher throughout the country, but don't let the heat keep you from taking full advantage of these remaining summer days. Keep cool with ice-cold treats and try some new adventures worth reminiscing about during the cold winter months, which will return all too soon. Here are some of our favorite affordable yet fun summer activities.

Photo by souaflavia
  1. Take a yoga class outside.

    Many cities offer free outdoor yoga during the summer. Consult Google or your local community center for the next scheduled event near you.

  2. Go on a date or make new friends online.

    How About We takes the novel approach of asking users to post suggested dates or fun summer activities, rather than sexy photos and lengthy profiles. (One example: "How about we ... go hear some live bluegrass and drink some good whiskey.") Already taken? The site is launching an app for couples, where you can find others who like to do the same things you do.

  3. Grab a book and head toward the water.

    Choose an intriguing title from a summer reading list -- Publishers Weekly offers suggestions in eight categories -- and head to the beach or the nearest pool chair for a relaxing read. Take a dip to cool off every few chapters.

  4. Visit a public park.

    National, state, and local government websites provide lists of parks in your area. Bring a picnic, or be more adventurous and try a fun summer activity such as horseback riding.

  5. Host an outdoor dinner party.

    If you have a backyard or a roof deck, dress it up with a few strands of white lights and farmers-market flowers. Ask everyone to bring a dish to pass.

  6. Spend the night in a treehouse

    or on a houseboat or in other quirky accommodations via Airbnb. Rates are often a fraction of the cost of a hotel and you may have to travel no farther than the other side of town.

  7. Go on a weekend trip.

    If you are willing to hit the road, take your partner or a spontaneous friend away for a couple of days and use the Hotel Tonight app to find a last-minute deal on an unsold room.

  8. Photo by schmitee

  9. Create a summer playlist

    and go for a run, a hike, a drive, or another fun summer activity. Right now the Amazon MP3 Store is featuring "essential summer jams" for just 25 cents each, compared with 99 cents or $1.29 for other best-selling songs. Head out before dawn to beat the heat and catch the sunrise.

  10. Start a biker gang.

    Tune up a tired bike -- or, if you don't have one, rent one -- and get some friends together to go riding. Matching shirts preferred.

  11. Go gelato tasting.

    You've heard of wine tasting; why not try ice cream? Gelato shops usually let you test flavors before you commit. Try a few varieties on little plastic spoons -- and then order scoops of a couple of others. See if you can make it through all the flavors by the end of August.

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