Monday, May 13th, 2019
As the sun comes out and temperatures rise, Canadians start looking at ways to enjoy our short summers.
There are patios to enjoy, road trips to take and cottages to visit. But all those fun times with friends and family can make your wallet leaner than an Olympic swimmer. With so little time to enjoy the good weather, it's easy to get carried away with summer spending.
Here are five simple and affordable outdoor summer activities I'm looking forward to enjoying.
Want to entertain, but the thought of all that cooking, grocery shopping, organizing and cleaning up is both daunting and pricey? Host a potluck instead. If you live in a small space, take the party outside to a backyard (yours or a friends), by a lake, beach, park or your building's communal patio.
Is your condo balcony large enough? Use that space to carry the overflow of guests. Nearby nature can provide it's own stylized backdrop, so all you have to do is gather your pals. You can even make it a BYOB to save on costs - just have a cooler ready. Even a cool and refreshing punch doesn't have to break the bank.
If you prefer to keep things a little more intimate and don't want to herd the gang for a potluck, simplify and grab the kids or a few of your favourite people and head to a serene green space for a summer picnic. This is the perfect way to have a relaxing day out in the sun, with easy snacks like hummus and your fave dippables, flatbreads, sandwiches, cut fruit and tortilla chips. Take a Frisbee along and make a day of it. If you'd rather go out at night, stargaze and relax by the light of the moon.
Travelling within our own borders means our Canadian dollar works harder for us. Drive, or take the bus or train. Look for last-minute deals to a neighbouring city and enjoy all there is to offer in this country.
Or book a staycation in your city to take advantage of museum exhibits, galleries and events. There are tons of free, family-friendly festivals across Canada, from Toronto's Panamerican Food & Music Festival to Montreal's Jazz Fest. Or keep on eye out for free nighttime movies in parks or event spaces in your town or city, like Vancouver's Stanley Park summer movie series. Consult the entertainment listings in your city or town.
Savvy deal hounds know that whether you're buying merch online or you're looking to attend a theatre performance, there are some deep discounts to be had if you're willing to dig a little. Spa treatments, circus performances, meals out, concerts—all of these can be had for a lofty discount with a little sleuthing.
Check out your city or town's free workout sessions, like yoga in the park. Or head to any one of these fitness parks in Edmonton, where you can sweat like Thor under the prairie sun!
After our long, cold winters, we deserve to have a little fun in the sun. By finding joy in what's around me, from local parks to my friends and family, I'm looking forward to being busy and active this summer without going over my budget.