* Cambrian will be closed on Friday September 30 for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

How to Enjoy Summer Activities on a Budget

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As the weather gets warmer, summer activities are a priority to help get the most out of summer. Warm weather during the summer provides an excellent opportunity for individuals and families to relax and recover their energy. It is prime time to enjoy summer vacations, views from the patio, beach trips and more.

With children out of school and family vacations waiting, it is easy to allow your spending to get out of control. However, this should not stop you from enjoying summertime. It is possible to enjoy summer activities without breaking the bank.

We have compiled a list of free or inexpensive activities you can enjoy while sticking to your budget. These ten activities are perfect for individuals and families.

5 Budget Friendly Summer Activities

Farmers Market

A farmer’s market is a fun way to enjoy social time with family and friends. What’s better than a sunny day shared with family, selecting fresh produce and participating in all the activities offered by your local farmer’s market?

Visiting a farmer’s market is also a great learning opportunity for kids. It enables them to take an interest in healthy food, discover new foods and help them make connections between what they eat and where it comes from.

Apart from fresh fruits and veggies, some farmer’s markets offer entertainment. You can enjoy a variety of performances, from live music and dancing and participate in activities like stories and crafts for kids. You can also enjoy sampling freshly baked goods and other products, all while benefiting your local farmers.

Picnic at the Park

There are many new parks to discover in your local community. You only need a picnic blanket and some snacks from your fridge and pantry. You can plan a budget family outing while exploring what your city offers.

Picnic food is quick and easy to prepare using ingredients you likely keep in your home already, such as lunch meat or peanut butter for sandwiches and vegetables and dressing for salad. If you’re packing meat or using eggs or mayonnaise, just be sure to keep sandwiches cool.

At some parks, picnic sites can be reserved for a fee, but there are many others available for free on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.’ If you want to avoid the crowds, you can pack a picnic blanket and settle someplace quiet at your local park. Pack your sunglasses and a hat, apply some sunscreen to protect yourself from the hot summer sun, and bring a Frisbee or ball for some post-meal fun!

Free festivals & events in your city

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy fun festivals in your city. From concerts to parades, most cities are homes to free local events available to the public.

In Winnipeg, Downtown Winnipeg Biz is a great resource for free events happening in the city. For example, there is a Downtown Sounds Concert Series happening on Tuesdays from June to September. Local Winnipeg artists gather to perform at various downtown locations for free.

Another popular event in Winnipeg is the Folklorama Festival which celebrates and showcases unique cultures in venues across Winnipeg. It features interactive children’s activities, cultural and sporting demonstrations, workshops and performances. Cambrian is the sponsor of Folklorama’s Ambassadors’ General program and a huge supporter of Folklorama.

Some parks also host free events like movies at the park or music concerts. Search for free events in your local parks to make the most of your summer.

Family blowing bubble 

Swimming, splash pads and wading pools

What better way to cool off from the summer heat than splashing around at a spray pad or enjoying wading pools? Spray pads are a great option for families to stay cool and get active during the hot summer months. However, most spray pads are not supervised, so children should go with a parent or guardian.

In Winnipeg, the city operates several spray pads throughout the city, most of which are free of charge. You can find the full list by clicking here.

Most wading pools also offer free admission and are staffed by an attendant, but a parent or guardian should still accompany children. Click here for more information on wading pools. It is a good idea to wear shoes, such as flip flops or sandals to prevent slipping at splash pads. 

Hiking & Biking

Summer is a great time of year to put your hiking shoes on and head out for a walk or grab your bike and ride out to explore your beautiful city. Best of all, hiking and biking trails are free to use!

Walking and cycling are great ways to get some exercise, and in Winnipeg, there are plenty of trails to choose from! Not sure where your closest trail is? You can find a list of Winnipeg trails and maps on the Winnipeg Trails website! 

Remember to dress for the weather, apply sunscreen and bug spray, and bring enough water to stay hydrated during your hike or cycling trip. If you bring your pet with you, keep them on a leash and ensure you clean up after them.

Final thoughts

We understand how challenging it can be to stick to your budget during the summer, but the good news is that you can still enjoy summer activities without overspending! Like building any new habit, be mindful of the fact that building sustainable financial habits can take time. If you go over your budget, don’t beat yourself up. Pick up right where you left off and forge ahead. Set a meeting with a financial advisor to ensure you are on track.