1. Visit a new neighborhood.
Get on a random bus and see where you end up. Or bike to a neighborhood you’ve always wanted to explore. Once you’re there, just wander around.
2. Grab your camera and go for a walk.
Decide beforehand what you want to snap photos of – flowers, tree branches against the sky, the color purple. You might be surprised at how differently you look at everything, even on a familiar walk.
3. Discover a new food.
Visit the produce section of your grocery store or your farmer’s market and find a fruit or vegetable you’ve never eaten. Then find a recipe for it. Last week, we tried yucca-root quesadillas. (They were good, but a little bland. Next time we’re going to spice them up a little more.)
4. People watch.
Go to a bustling part of town and just sit or wander around and enjoy the spectacle of your fellow townsfolk. My favorite people-watching spots: the college campus, the library, and just about any coffee shop.
5. Visit open houses.
Check the real estate listings in the newspaper and on Craigslist and visit some open houses. Pretend you’re picking out some new digs, or just find out how other folks live.
6. Find a free event.
Go to a lecture. Attend a book reading. Go on a group nature walk. Or take your kids to a story time or free play.
7. Watch a sporting event.
Go to a little league game or a high school sporting event. Bring a picnic. Root for a team. Cheer.
What’s your favorite cheap way to spend a weekend afternoon?