Practical ways to live better on less.
Those of us fortunate enough to have the week between Christmas and New Year’s off should take advantage of this great opportunity to relax, have fun, and even pursue some new hobbies. Fortunately, none of these activities have to cost a dime. The key to having fun all week without unnecessary spending comes down to a combination of focusing on the simple joys in life and taking advantage of the resources available to us.
Enjoy browsing through my list of 10 free and fun things to do the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Feel free to share a few post-holiday frugal fun ideas of your own!
1. Ice skate
Not only is ice skating a fun, budget friendly activity, it also provides you with a great cardiovascular workout. After skating for just 30 minutes, you will feel the burn in your lower body. It’s one of my favorite winter activities and luckily totally affordable (especially if you have access to a local pond and you own a pair of skates).
2. Try out a new recipe
This relaxed time in between holidays is an ideal time to try out that new recipe that you ordinarily have no time for. Browse online – there are thousands and thousands of excellent recipes for every diet, from hearty winter stews to warming casserole dishes. Nowadays, you can easily find vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, and low GI diet friendly dishes. Use this time to be creative and experiment with new flavors.
3. Watch a new TV series
Netflix is the place to go for both old and new classics, whether you enjoy a laugh a minute sitcom or an intriguing thriller. No matter your preference, you are bound to find something to keep you interested all week. No Netflix subscription? Check out a series at your local library. It’s also a great idea to look into an affordable Netflix subscription as it will only cost you a mere ten bucks a month.
4. Enjoy a refreshing nature walk
All too often during the holidays we overindulge and tend to slack off on our normal exercise routines. It’s important to keep up your fitness routines, especially during the holiday season when you are overindulging in holiday treats. This doesn’t mean you have to engage in monotonous gym workouts. Take this time to take an invigorating walk through your local park or a nearby state park.
For those living in warm weather, this shouldn’t be difficult. Those living in cold climates will reap the benefits of a brisk walk, especially after being cramped indoors all winter season in the dry heat. Too much snow? Why not try snowshoeing – it’s just like hiking, only more fun! Snowshoeing is a wonderful way to experience nature in a pristine, secluded setting.
5. Plan a board game night – In our technology obsessed culture, we tend to rely too much on our phones and computers to entertain us. It gets old and boring after a while. Sometimes it’s great to just turn off all the technology and enjoy a simple, old-fashioned board game night. Grab a few snacks, some old favorites like Monopoly and Scrabble, and enjoy a nostalgic trip back in time with your family and friends.
6. Visit family members and friends – Now is a great time to plan a meetup with family and/or friends that you haven’t visited in a while. Instead of merely talking over Facebook and the phone, why not plan an actual face to face visit?
7. Check out your local library – Many of us forget that our local library is a wonderful free resource. Asides from books, you can check out all sorts of free goodies like movies, CDs, magazines, and video game rentals. It’s also a great place to find out about free community events. And last but not least, it’s a great place to just chill out and read for the day.
8. Take up a new hobby – Yoga, crafts, baking, learning a foreign language, etc. – whatever it is that interests you, take some time learn some new skills using free resources like your library and the internet. You Tube is a great place to find free workout videos. Pinterest is a great place to find inspiring craft projects and DIY household decor ideas. Free guitar and piano lessons can be found by doing a simple online search. In short, take the rare opportunity to enjoy some non work related entertainment.
9. Host a party
Didn’t get around to a holiday party this year due to your crazy schedule? Why not throw a party after Christmas? Make it a potluck to save yourself both time and money. The advantage of hosting a party this week is that more people will be off work. Keep it relaxed and simple as most of your guests will likely be burnt out from the holidays. Keep it light and fun by only inviting a select number of people.
10. Attend local holiday events – Free community events such as light displays, zoo lights, city Christmas tree decor and displays, and special holiday attractions often run at least until the New Year. Now is a great time to attend any of these events that you did not get around to earlier in the month. There are many advantages to attending the event after the holidays, namely fewer crowds. Check newspapers, community websites, and sites like ZEvents to find a listing of free holiday related events near you.