Arts & Entertainment

July 9, 2019

Hello, Summer!
How to enjoy the summer without breaking the bank!

With the 4th of July behind us… cue to stop it with the fireworks already… many people are looking for fun things to do this summer with family and/or friends.  With the rising costs of living and not-so-rapidly growing incomes from work, there are still things that can be done to have a bit of fun this summer without breaking the bank or… missing a student loan payment.

1. Free Movies. Check out newspaper or social media listings for free events in your area. You would be surprised! Recently “Kel” Mitchell from one of my… I mean my kids’ all time favorite movies – Good Burger – held a screening at The Chop Shop in Wicker Park, Chicago which was complete with burgers, orange sodas and complimentary popcorn during a screening of the the film. Did I mention it was all free?!?! Now this event did fill up pretty fast but most cities host weekly “movies in the park” events where you and your tribe can cozy up under the stars with your own snacks and make some beautiful memories!

 2. Arts and Crafts. This activity may cost you a little bit of money, but it shouldn’t be too much. Be creative! It’s something I enjoyed doing as a kid and so I was certain to pass it down to my own children. I still enjoy going into resale shops, thrift stores or scavenging garage sales to find things that I can transform into something fabulous – when I have time. Painting, sculpting, drawing, sewing, cutting, gluing, mixing, molding… sounds like a little piece of paradise to me!

3. Sporting Events. Go to a local or minor league sporting event. If you’re in Chicago, why not check out the Chicago Dogs!  On Saturdays you can take advantage of the Friends and Family 4-Pack – 4 tickets, 4 commemorative hats, and a large pizza from Moretti’s. More information can be found by visiting! If you know of any fun, inexpensive sporting events, please share them! Perhaps more spending time with friends and family doing exciting things will help cut the crime!

4. Volunteer. Volunteering our time is a great way to give back to the community. We all have work and personal responsibilities, but maybe if we all looked outside of ourselves just a little bit more and more… we could make this world a better place. Volunteering as a family or with a group of friends is an experience that will create a beautiful bond between you all.  There are so many ways to volunteer – perhaps you can give your time as a tutor, at a residential shelter, at a hospital, or maybe even organize a group to physically clean up a neighborhood that is ridden with litter! The possibilities are endless and it’s free!

5. Plan a Scavenger Hunt. This is an activity that will require some planning time in advance but it will be worth the fun!  Just decide on a location – could be a shopping mall, at a park,  or in Chicago, the Magnificent Mile OR check for local free museum days and host it at your museum of choice! Just create a list of clues/items to be found and a timeframe to be completed. Be sure to consider the ages of the team players and don’t forget the prize! This is a great way to have some fun, explore and maybe learn some new things!

Explore Nature.  Whether you are taking a hike along the trail of a local forest preserve or exploring the sandy beach on the coast, spend some time paying attention to nature… the sounds, the smells, the textures… the beauty.  Maybe you’ll even get to go home with some cool souvenirs like a beautiful rock or shell and don’t forget to take a few pictures for the Gram.

8. Play Outside. Some of my best memories as a kid involved me running around outside with my friends and family members, just being a kid.  Riding a bike, playing games with friends or having family time. Sometimes it’s not necessary to go anywhere to do something meaningful – especially when you have everything that means anything to you right in front of you. 

Enjoy the summer!