10 Free Things to Do in Every City


With inflation and the cost of living on the rise, entertainment opportunities may be limited — but that doesn’t mean they are nonexistent. Wherever you’re headed this summer, keep in mind that in every city there are always free ways to have fun. If you are getting on the road, finding the cheapest car insurance will not only get you to your destination with greater peace of mind, but it will also put money back in your pocket.

  1. Follow the Music to Find a Festival or a Concert

All it takes is a quick Google search to discover what free festivals and/or concerts there are to attend in any location. These will include street performances, gallery openings, art exhibits, and more. While it might cost a buck or two for a snack and soda, there is fun to be had, music to listen to, and festivals to marvel at in every city.

  • Strap on the Sneakers and Join a Candlelight or Walking Tour

If you want to get to know the city you’re visiting like only a local can show you, then hop on board a candlelight or walking tour. Most of the guides are locals and know the ins and outs of the city and all of the unique aspects that a guidebook can’t show you. They take great pride in their work and welcome questions from the group so you can find out everything you’ve always wanted to know.

  • Visit the Animals at the Zoo
    Zoos originally sprang into being to help injured and orphaned wildlife and to provide a habitat for native species to avoid extinction. This continues to this day, with zoos housing animals that require rehabilitation and as a place to protect endangered species. Fortunately for us humans, there are a number of zoos around the country that offer free admission to visitors, including the Salisbury Zoo in Maryland and the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Ill. Check to see if the zoo near you offers discounts or “free” days that tend to be less busy. Pro tip: Enjoy the zoo in the morning when animals are wide-eyed and are being fed.
  • Prepare to Be Awed in an Observatory

The release of some of the James Webb Telescope space images has sparked a desire in many Americans to learn more about our universe. And, there is so much to learn! Children and adults alike will have a thrilling experience when visiting one of the many observatories around the country. If you want a closer look at the cosmos, consider venturing to the Oregon University Observatory or the National Air &Space Museum where you’ll find free days for public viewings.

  • Leave Your Wallet at Home & Window Shop

The United States is home to some of the most fantastic fashion capitals in the world. New York and Los Angeles are home to dazzling shopping districts that border on shows themselves. If you are someone who appreciates fashion but not necessarily the accompanying price tag, find the city’s shopping area and wander for the day.

  • Loosen Up at the Library

When you’re traveling with family it can be difficult to find different things to do. Luckily, every city usually has many libraries and within those libraries are classes, book festivals, storytime, and author readings. Generally, plenty of things for the kiddos to do for free!

  • Go Geocaching!

If you haven’t heard of geocaching you may be a bit behind the times. It’s essentially a scavenger/treasure hunt and you can find the cache pretty much anywhere. Most of the caches are hidden on a trail or in the woods but some are also in urban areas. They are fun, can involve the whole family, and help you explore the new city for free.

  • Take Selfies with Well-Known Landmarks

Every city has a history they celebrate with monuments and statues.  You’ll have something to remember your trip by when you get pictures of landmarks and historical spots. Take a moment to read the plaques and embrace the culture.

  • Check Out a Meetup Group
    If you don’t know about Meetup groups, now is the time to learn! Available everywhere, meetup groups embrace visitors and locals alike and you can go pub hopping, biking, canoeing, or whatever the group is focused on. A great way to make new friends, too!
  • Pack a Picnic for the Park

You are already going to spend money on something to eat and drink, so why not take it to one of the best beaches or parks in the town you’re visiting? You might find trails that meander beyond that spot, along with arboretums, gardens, and vineyards.

Even though everything is going up in price, it doesn’t mean you have to put the brakes on traveling. Mixed in with all of the other activities you know you can’t live without, sprinkle in some freebies for a breath of fresh air for your mood – and your wallet.

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