Are you always searching for “fun things to do near me” on the internet? Finding fun, cheap or free things to do is our specialty and Catherine is here to help you take the guesswork out of your searching!
“Best summer activities for free.” “Winter activities for free.” “Fun things to do near me.” “THERE’S NOTHING TO DO NEAR ME.” “WHY ARE NONE OF THESE GOOGLE SEARCHES WORKING?!!!” I cannot begin to share with you how many times I would end up frustrated, irritated and still bored after searching for “fun things to do near me.”
I used to think I lived in the MOST boring and expensive place in America. But then, I began to get a little crafty and creative. I discovered new ways to find fun events and activities in my local area. I realized it was my Google searches that were tired, not my town. Keep on reading to learn how you can find fun things to do near you!
5 WAYS TO FIND FUN THINGS TO DO IN YOUR AREA
I want to share my top five hacks for finding mostly free and local events in your area. These hacks will work no matter where you are. Trust me, it’s probably not your town that's boring, sister! It’s your searches! Rather than googling “fun things to do near me” and getting the same 12 suggestions, take a look at these wonderful and often unused resources that are FILLED with events and activities.
The best part? They’re all hiding right under your nose, or more precisely right below your fingertips. It really doesn’t require more effort than a simple Google search and you get SO MANY better suggestions out of it! Here are just a few of the things that my fiancé and I were able to do all because we searched smarter rather than harder!
- We've gone axe-throwing for free during the soft launch of a new company.
- We've taken distillery tours for free.
- We took my brother and sister to local concerts in the summer for super cheap!
I could keep humble bragging about all the fun activities we’ve experienced locally to us, for basically pennies. Instead, here are some hacks so you and your family can find refreshing and fun things to do near you!
I have Facebook, you have Facebook, Grandma has Facebook! Right? Everyone has Facebook. So do local businesses, restaurants and all types of events. The Facebook Events calendar is a WEALTH of events! How often have you seen “National Ice Cream Day” or “World Taco Day” pop up, and you click interested because some friends have (and because you love ice cream and tacos, obviously). But you never think about it again because the event is located six states away?
Well, this is your chance to actually find one of those celebrations near you! Here’s how:
- Check out your local events by logging onto Facebook, heading to the left hand side bar, and clicking “Events” under “Explore.”
- Once you get to the Events page, you’ll find any events that you have responded to. You'll also find long lists of local and recommended events, fairs, festivals, cooking classes, brewery launches, food truck appearances, and anything else you can imagine.
- Now, you even have the option to search by date or interest to find events that are family friendly or just for you and your hubby! A huge amount of the events you find are free entry. The Facebook event page for the specific event should have plenty of information. This will allow you to make an informed choice and prepare beforehand for what you’ll be bringing with you, or purchasing while there.
- Click “going” or “interested” and get reminded by Facebook when the event approaches!
Extra Tip: Check out any areas you may be traveling to soon! It’s a great way to choose dates based on free or cheap events.
LOCAL TOURIST CENTER OR PUBLIC LIBRARY
I don't use this one as frequently, but it still has a wealth of information! Go to your town office or tourist center and take a look at their info. Most communities or towns will have a seasonal flyer, calendar or something similar in the town hall or town website. Depending on where you live, this might vary, but think:
- Comedy shows
- Farmers' markets
- Craft nights
- Events at the public library (book readings or sing-alongs)
- Summer concerts
- Charity events
- Walks and sports events
If you have a local minor league sports team in your area, make sure to check their tickets out! Their tickets are usually a lot cheaper than the professional teams and sometimes you can even find them for free. Some stadiums will let you bring your own food inside. If they don’t, the food may be a little too pricey for you. Our solution to that is to have a cookout before or after the game!
In general, town sponsored events are great because they usually require prep well in advance if they’re to be included in season flyers. You can also plan ahead that way and fill up your weekends early.
- You can select interests, so the search results can be tailored to you.
- It also lets you select any location and date to look for events.
- You can filter them by free or paid events! They’re typically events that require booking a ticket, and although many are paid, many are also cheap and some are free!
These are usually events that need head counts, so you have to make sure you reserve or purchase tickets via Eventbrite. We’ve found so many fun activities to do as a family and new experiences that we would never have been able to find searching through Google alone.
So many of these events are specific and best found through this platform. Even if you don’t have anything in mind, just go take a peek! I challenge you to find a few events that might pique your interest and curiosity!
FIND FUN THINGS TO DO NEAR ME WITH A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING
This fourth “hack” is a conglomerate of ideas because they might not all be relevant for everyone!
If you’re near a city or tourist destination and you’re looking for a unique experience, check out Airbnb and explore your area for “Experiences.” Airbnb is no longer about just finding homes to stay in while traveling. Locals now advertise experiences, tours or classes that they offer! Once you find them, you can look them up through another platform and check out what else they may offer.
One more software/app I can recommend is wildly relevant if you love the outdoors and you’re looking for new outdoor places to explore. Check out the Geocaching app! It’s like a huge world-wide game of scavenger hunting. I could have a whole post about it, so I encourage you to look it up and learn more about it. There’s a free version of the app that you can use to get started and to see if you like it enough to do it often. I’ve used it rain or shine and have really made the paid version worth it!
PARKS, ZOOS AND AQUARIUMS
Offline, I would encourage you to also look at your local parks, zoos, or aquariums. See if they have any additional events going on outside of normal park hours, special experiences or events during normal hours. Often these will be at no additional cost, especially if they have an educational perspective to them. They’re fun and great for your kiddo’s brains! This is especially applicable in the summer, winter holidays, school breaks, and around back to school time. Take advantage of them while they’re there!
Finally, IF you are going to Google and I can’t convince you otherwise, get specific!
- Free cooking classes
- Free brewery tours
- Museum events for kids
- Free concerts in *your state/town* (Free concerts in Utah)
- *Current Season* fairs in *your town* (Fall fairs in Dallas)
- Restaurant openings near me
Specificity is your BFF! When you get really specific and have some idea of what you are looking for, Google will reward you! It narrows search results and refines it to specific activities. It will be so much better than some of the answers you’ll get from broad Google searches like “Help! I’m so bored, what should I do?”
Alright Freebs, happy activity hunting! I would encourage you to try some of the easy activity and event finding hacks I recommended above. Never again will you find yourself exclaiming “I can’t find fun things to do near me!” Let me know how your searching goes in the comments. I can't wait to hear what all fun things you've done with your family and friends!
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