How to Have an Adventure Without Leaving Town: 25 Ideas to Have Fun on a Budget

How to Have an Adventure Without Leaving Town: 25 Ideas to Have Fun on a Budget

With summer officially in full-swing, there couldn’t be a better time to push your boundaries and get into the adventuresome spirit. But if you’re like most people, shoveling out thousands of dollars for an international trip isn’t entirely feasible. If you’re tired of the usual cinema, beach, or bar scene in your summer repertoire, we have you covered. Here are 25 ideas to ignite your adventurous spirit and shake things up this summer!

Ghost tours

I’m lucky enough to live near the beautiful ancient city of St Augustine, Florida. With its long and often gruesome history, there are enough ghostly sightings to go around. From the harrowing Huguenot cemetery to the ancient lighthouse, a $25 ghost tour is a great foundation for a night of equal parts education and fun. Plus, who’s to say it can’t end up in a bar by the sea!

Watch a meteor shower

What better free entertainment than a night beneath the stars? Whether alone or with your beau, there’s hardly anything more romantic than a night watching mother nature at her most powerful and beautiful. Check out this site for meteor shower dates.

Sleep on the beach

As weird as it sounds, there’s something extremely comforting and lovely about falling asleep to the sound of the breeze, having sea breeze in your hair, and being nestled in the warm sands as you relax. Plus, what a view to wake up to! Make sure to be safe and to get proper approval from the authorities before setting out on this one.

Check out a new religious service

Whether or not you find yourself a religious or spiritual person, it’s important to understand different walks of life. One of the easiest ways to do this is by visiting a new place of worship. My boyfriend and I recently visited a Sikh temple and gained an even deeper, more personable understanding of the values of the religion and its practitioners. If you are strongly religious and don’t want to stray outside of it, perhaps try visiting a different sect within your religion or worshiping in a way you never have.

Check out Groupon for a thrilling adventure

If you’ve never signed up for Groupon, you could be missing out on fun you’ve never even thought of! Through Groupon, I’ve tried horseback riding, soap making, and rented hotels in cities I’d never considered visiting. Grab the spirit of spontaneity by the horns and check out a new opportunity on a whim!

Spend a weeknight in the outdoors

So we might not be able to change our 9-5, but what about our 5-9? Resist the urge to plop down on the couch after a long day at work and do something wild – like spending the night in the wild! Before work, pack a bag of supplies and find a place far from civilization – it could just be an hour away! Spend the night under the stars and be kissed by fresh air while you sleep. Sure, you might come back to the office disheveled, but you won’t regret a moment of it.

Spend 24 hours hiking

Set out in the morning, just before the sun rises, and spend a full day walking among nature. Go slowly, take your time, and most importantly, remain present. Where you end up is of no consequence. Take the time to rest every hour or so, and enjoy time spent among the trees.

Swim in a natural lake

Whether it’s a hot spring, lake, or sea, a day spent swimming in natural waters is the perfect way to get your body moving and keep your wallet fat during these hot summer months.

Explore a flea market

You never know what you’re going to run into when you go to a flea market. Perhaps you go for the antiques, the fresh produce, the weird odds n’ ends or the even weirder people-watching. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it and more (for cheap!) at the city’s flea market.

Find an exciting race and sign up for it

Love to workout, or need a reason to? Running doesn’t have to be all sweat and shin splints. From the Holi-inspired Colour Run to races in superhero pyjamas to those fundraising for a myriad of causes, there’s sure to be a race that inspires you to get in shape and have the best fun of your life.

Check out cool groups on

This is the ultimate cure-all for boredom. There are groups for all manner of fun and offbeat interests, allowing you to learn and do new things and make tons of new friends in the process. In my area alone, there are groups for swing dancing classes, dragon-boat competitions, book clubs, and Italian language meetups. Why not see what your city has to offer?

Try a new box subscription service

These days, there’s a subscription service for just about everything. If you want to try something new but aren’t quite ready to get out there (or just don’t have the time), why not try a new subscription box service that brings goodies to your door every month? Try Stitchfix to get a stylin’ new outfit every month, which is great if you’re like me and have no idea how to dress. Or maybe you want to try to make something new and delicious for dinner but don’t want to run from store to store grabbing obscure ingredients, so you opt for a service like Blue Apron. But it doesn’t end there! There’s ones specifically made for teachers, makeup enthusiasts, pet lovers, and gamers. Why not get a fun surprise every month?

Play tourist in your own home town

Chances are that there are at least a few tourist traps in your hometown. Why not play tourist and go visit those attractions sometime? Bonus points if you rent a room to get the full experience!

Play hookie and take the day to pamper yourself

Adventure doesn’t have to mean travel, and it doesn’t even have to mean leaving the house! Take the day to totally pamper and remake yourself. Do a face, foot, or full-body scrub that softens and brightens your skin, colour or style your hair, do your nails, and deeply relax into a bubble bath. Or if you feel like splurging, get a professional massage or have a friend or loved one give you one.

Try a new off-the-wall restaurant

Chances are that if you’re like most people, you have a certain set of restaurants that you stick to. Next time you go out, try to find a peculiar hole-in-the-wall restaurant or one that features food you’ve never tried before.

Thanks to taking a trip off the beaten path, I’ve found delicious Vietnamese and Greek restaurants, as well as a hidden gem that does the best chicken and waffles you could ever ask for!

Go to a midweek concert

A lot of musicians do midweek concerts. Why not have fun and try out some new music after work sometime? Beats the same ol’ routine of TV and takeout!

Take a cheap course for fun

Udemy is a godsend, in my opinion. From travel hacking to coding to business and more, you can learn a wealth of information for sometimes as low as $10. With the skyrocketing cost of college, you can hardly find a cheaper way to broaden your horizons and expand your mind. Better yet, you can do it at home in your comfy clothes!

Visit an offbeat festival

Summer is full of wild music festivals, but what about some of the weirder ones? Clinton, Montana hosts the Testicle Festival, Florida has its underwater music festival in the Keys, and Ohio hosts the duct tape festival. Why not check out what oddities your city has in store?

Visit an abandoned place

If you’re not afraid of ghosts (or potential squatters), abandoned places can be an incredible thrill. Equal parts creepy and intriguing, you’re sure to create memories while exploring the haunting beauty of a long since abandoned building.

See a psychic

Maybe you love the occult or maybe you think it’s a bunch of nonsense. No matter the case, you’ll either find your run-in with a reputable psychic fun or insightful. Or you could try your own hand at it with a tarot card pack!

Go skinny dipping

Who doesn’t love a little bit of racy fun?! If you find yourself a particularly intrepid adventurer, find a pool or beach with less than watchful security and bare it all while you swim alone or with friends!

Craft something incredible

Places like Pinterest are great for incredible DIY projects that will really give your home a facelift. Or who knows, maybe you can sell them and make it into a side gig!

Earn money for small tasks

Speaking of side gigs, why not branch out and use your skills to get some fun money? Sites like GigWalk allow you to complete simple tasks around town, such as price checking and product availability checking, for cash. You could also do sites like Swagbucks or Cashcrate, where you can take simple surveys for a few dollars a pop.

Plan a mini-retirement

Who says you have to work from the time you’re 16 to the time you’re 65? Some people have found that taking mini retirements where you take a break for a year, work a few more, and repeat the cycle, fits their lifestyle better. Why not plan for a mini-retirement of your own? What would you want to do and see during your break?

Learn a new skill

With the rise of the internet and sites like Udemy, MIT Open Courses, Free Rice, and YouTube, there’s no excuse not to learn that awesome skill you’ve always wanted to. Whether it’s perfume making or blacksmithing, dancing or coding, there’s a class out there for you. Better yet – most of them are free!

Plan an itinerary for a dream trip

I know we focused on staying in town for these trips, but there’s nothing wrong with planning an international (or not!) trip for when you are better able to. Pick a country or place you’d like to visit and dream up all the places you’d like to see and adventures you’d like to go on. Maybe research the cost and come up with a feasible plan to visit it within a certain time.

Your turn

What about you? What are your favourite ways to shake up your routine and breathe adventure back into your life? Be sure to share below!

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