Fuel prices have made traveling this summer a luxury not everyone can afford. But who said astronomical travel costs should prohibit summer fun? Not this writer! And not most Americans. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we’re a resourceful and creative bunch. So to make the most of your breaks, check out these six fun, inexpensive, and (mostly) easy activities to do with family and friends.
Blindfolded Goodwill Challenge
You might have seen the trend on TikTok or Instagram: people are blindfolded at Goodwill, tasked with grabbing random outfits, which turn out wildly mismatched and often hilarious. The outfits are then worn on an outing immediately after the shopping excursion.
To replicate this fun and affordable Goodwill experience, gather a group of friends and take turns blindfolding each other. Guide each person up and down the clothing aisles closest to their size and let them choose one item from each, without seeing them. And no recovery! Once everyone has purchased their items, find a place to change. Before heading out to lunch or dinner, be sure to capture snaps of wonderfully fake combinations of neon striped tank tops with red and black plaid pants for everyone to enjoy.
book sharing club
Many years ago, a trend started with the premise of spreading literary joy by leaving finished books behind (in cafes, restaurants and other public places). Some people would even leave an email address to track the book’s journey to find out who found it, read it, and passed it on.
Rather than attaching an email address, consider creating a virtual book club on Facebook and put its designation inside the cover of the book. This way, anyone who has read the book can join a virtual book club to share their thoughts and start a conversation about the book. If you happen to have a neighborhood sharing library, consider placing a few of the same book and see if that increases your virtual book club attendance.
The madness of summer menus
Prepare a summer-themed four-course menu with summer favorites such as barbecue, pasta salads, fruit and vegetable salads, fries, baked beans, pie, brownies, lemonade and iced tea, for example. Now, this is where the “madness” comes in. Create a paper menu for your guests, but instead of listing foods with their real names, caption each dish with a summer-themed name. For example, chest is sunscreen; pasta salad is flip flops and brownies are sunglasses. Keep three summer items for a fork, spoon, and knife (for example, fork is “sunscreen” on the menu). The true identity of foodstuffs must remain secret.
For each dish, your guests can only choose three items from the menu. Watch as some guests receive a brownie, pasta salad, and knife, while others receive summer gazpacho soup with iced tea and a hot dog. Didn’t receive a fork for your first dish? Maybe you’ll have some next time, or maybe you’ll have to be inventive in how you eat your flip flops, i.e. pasta salad!
TikTok Family Challenges
Tailor your TikTok feed to “family challenges” and lots of ideas will pop up. From candle blowing content (the fastest to blow out a line of lit tealight candles wins) to cookie challenges (whoever gets a cookie from their forehead into their mouth first – without using their hands – wins), it There are a ton of cheap and fun activities to share.
For fun, try the “Doodle challenge”. Place participants in line with pieces of paper taped to their backs. Have each person try to imitate what they feel being pulled onto their back by the next person (and so on). Think of it like the telephone game, except instead of matching a phrase, an image is played. The results are often hilarious and nothing looks like the original image.
Neighborhood scavenger hunt
Neighborhoods may not care much about notaries anymore, but all bets are off when it comes to scavengers. Prepare an old fashioned scavenger hunt for your crew, having them hunt for things like a bar of soap, a candle, three cotton balls, etc. – and send them in teams to compete for lists of scavenger items. Be sure to set a time limit. The team that returns with the most items receives a prize (in addition to being able to keep the soap, the candle, the cotton balls).
If you’d rather not rely on your neighbors to unearth random household treasures, consider doing a yoga posture scavenger hunt. Here, teams are tasked with filling out a list of yoga poses to do in their neighborhood, captured on camera. As a project manager, you will determine who was the most creative – the team that did the tree pose next to a tree in the park? Or those who dogged upside down by the fire hydrant?
Positivity of rock painting
Rather than asking neighbors for items, consider leaving some of your own in the form of brightly painted rocks. If you don’t have native “river rocks” or waterproof paint around the house, you can find both on Amazon.co.uk. Or, you can get a rock painting kit from Amazon or Walmart, as well as many other craft stores.
Smooth oval-shaped rocks can be turned into positive totems, with phrases like “be happy”, “smile” or “love”. A little jaunt on Pinterest will give you all the creative inspiration you need (and then some). Once painted and dried, take a group tour of the neighborhood, delivering these inspiring works along the way.