Sometimes we just need to kick back and enjoy ourselves. What follows is a list of 101 simple pleasures and enjoyable activities to explore without breaking the bank. This list only skims the surface… the possibilities are endless.
These are the good old days you’re going to miss in the years ahead.
– Author Unknown
- Check out a book from the library and read the afternoon away.
- Break out the old mix-tapes and mix-CDs of yesteryear… soak up the memories and sing your heart out.
- Picnic in secluded areas.
- Bake and eat homemade cookies.
- Start a blog.
- Hike outdoors and explore Mother Nature.
- Head downtown with a friend and two digital cameras. Shoot as many funny and interesting photos as you can. Then go home and sort through them all.
- Find old stuff in your attic, put it up on eBay and watch the bids role in.
- Play old-school board games like Monopoly and Scrabble.
- Read interesting articles online… Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg, Metafilter, etc.
- Brew a fresh pot of coffee (or tea) and share it with someone over an interesting conversation.
- Take a candlelight bubble bath.
- Learn to play guitar (or any musical instrument) online.
- Go swimming.
- Crank up the tunes, break out the Wii and invite some friends over.
- Fly a kite.
- Research and discover new bands and musicians similar to the music you already like.
- Re-watch a great movie you haven’t seen in years.
- Host a long night of $10 Texas Hold’em Poker with 9 of your friends. Make sure you understand poker odds.
- Learn to play other card games too… especially Spades!
- Find and pick beautiful wild flowers.
- Test-drive a really expensive car.
- Drink cheap beer and share funny stories with your friends.
- Fire up the backyard BBQ.
- Browse around thrift stores.
- Take a moonlight stroll holding hands with someone you love.
- Make a pizza pie from scratch.
- Craft some artwork.
- Write poetry.
- Eat fresh strawberries sprinkled with sugar.
- Go camping.
- Take an easy, breezy bike ride.
- People-watch in high traffic areas.
- Build a backyard bonfire and roast marshmallows.
- Feed small wild animals… like geese, squirrels, etc.
- Rent 3+ funny movies and host a funny movie marathon.
- Happy Hour! …but only if it’s a really good deal.
- Hit up local carnivals, zoos, museums and weekend festivals.
- Prepare a big ice cream sundae or a banana slit and share it with someone special.
- Massage her feet if she promises to massage yours. 😉
- Share an interesting, true story with someone.
- Go canoeing or kayaking (if you can find a local establishment with cheap rentals).
- Sit lakeside and skip rocks across the water.
- Watch the sunrise and sunset.
- Organize a sports game with your friends. Touch football, anyone?
- Tailgate and attend a local college sporting event.
- Learn cool magic tricks online.
- Master a new simple skill you’ve been meaning to learn.
- Go bowling on discount bowling night.
- Create and maintain a square foot garden.
- Watch old home movies or look through old photo albums.
- Create a digital video highlight reel of all your favorite digital photos and video clips.
- Go fishing.
- Visit model homes to get simple DIY decorating ideas.
- Play Catch Phrase or Charades.
- Spend a day surfing or boogie-boarding… if you live near the coast.
- Host a water-gun war with water-balloon grenades.
- Remember, really long Slip ‘N Slides never get old… especially when they end in a pool of water.
- Pick fresh fruits and veggies at a local pick-your-own fruit / vegetable farm.
- Try letter-boxing or geocaching.
- Dream an afternoon away in your cozy bed.
- Host a paper airplane distance competition.
- Learn new jokes online and share them with friends and family.
- Go rollerblading.
- Get to a peaceful, scenic location and stare off into the distance.
- Hit the magazine rack at the local book store (just don’t buy any).
- Hmm… #69. Umm… Sex? 😉
- Host a wine tasting party where everyone brings a cheap bottle of wine.
- Challenge someone to an exercise competition. Choose 10 simple exercises and see who can go the distance.
- Take on a small DIY woodworking project and build something.
- Play Twister.
- Call an old friend and catch up on things. Use your night and weekend minutes.
- Climb up a large oak tree, hang out and think (not too high).
- Host an outdoor egg toss competition.
- Learn to juggle.
- Explore a local college campus.
- Plan your next vacation.
- Look at the current ingredients in your cupboard, find some recipes online and cook a feast (or something simple) you’ve never made before.
- Karaoke anyone?
- Attend a local college Improv comedy show.
- Put together a framed photo collage.
- Give a cat some catnip.
- Wink at complete strangers in a busy public setting.
- Play with puppies at the local pet store.
- Give people unexpected compliments and watch them smile.
- Make a rope and tire swing.
- Go sledding or play in the snow.
- Clean the bed sheets, make the bed, and snuggle into the freshness.
- Relax outdoors on a sunny day.
- Reminisce about old times with your closest friends.
- Take a short jog and a long relaxing shower.
- Watch children play.
- Eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
- Give someone you love a long hug.
- Cuddle with your partner.
- Pillow fight!
- Make your own list…
Photo by: cispeace
Im really looking forward to implement 41 & 99 this weekend:)
[email protected] says
Fabulous list! The main key is in your title: ENJOY YOURSELF. We’re too busy keeping up with the Joneses, too busy trying to make ourselves look good in front of the boss, too busy trying to acquire “stuff.”
This list should be printed out and put on the fridge!
and on #41, get YOURS done first 😉 lol!
Frugal Dad says
Awesome list! I found one particularly amusing (#34 people-watch in high traffic areas), because I’ve done it my whole life, and I learned it from my Mom. When I was small, we would go to the mall, grab and ice cream cone and “people watch.” My Mom probably could have been an interrogator or something because she was so good at reading people based on body language, facial expressions, etc. Now when I go to airports I’m in sensory overload!
😉 There’s a small lake in front of my house… Angel and I chat and skip rocks accross the water quite frequently.
LOL! I agree with all of it… foot massage order included.
Without question, Angel and I are people-watchers. Sometimes we’ll meet downtown for lunch and spend half of our time sitting in silence… watching everyone around us. It’s fun!
Karl Staib - Your Work Happiness Matters says
I can’t remember the last time I flew a kite. I think I have one in the attic. That’s what I’ll do this weekend. Maybe bring a little picnic with the wife and fly a kite.
Thanks for the great idea.
play basketball – it’s fun even if you’re lame at it.
Ari Koinuma says
My family practically lives in our local library. 😉
Shilpan | successsoul.com says
I always enjoyed flying kite back in India when I grew up there. Kite flying is a national event in India. I used to remain awake all night just to have a chance to fly first kite in the early morning hours. Great article. I enjoyed it.
I like to sit out on my porch swing and sip coffee early in the morning with the hub.
When my kids were younger we would play a game where we would take turns reading a definition from the dictionary and everyone tried to guess the word. The competition was fierce.
If you have a group of people, that game Apples to Apples is a lot of fun.
Funny how the simple pleasures are usually the best ones.
Sara at On Simplicity says
Hooray for pillow fights! Dancing, playing hide and seek with the pooch, and giving my spouse fake wet willies all rank very highly on my list for cheap fun.
@Karl and Shilpan:
Angel and I flew a kite last week for the first time in years. Talk about relaxing enjoyment…
That’s my second favorite sport.
Your family must be very wise. 😉
Hide and seek with the pooch, eh? Or fetch… I can’t believe I left these activities off the list.
This is a fun list. Thanks for sharing.
Ricardo Bueno says
I’m going to go with starting a blog, checking out a book from the library (I used to buy them till I convinced myself checking them out would save a lot of money), and renting a DVD.
Those 3 give me comfort. Of course the best would be staying in a watching a movie with her (my g/f Johanna).
Find beautiful wild flowers certainly. PLEASE don’t pick them. They will die. And no one else can enjoy them.
These are great ideas. My husband and I are on “stay-cation” next week and we’ve been looking for fun free or almost free activities to do while we’re off. Thanks!
madsow - engineer a debt free life says
I especially like idea no 69. Of course now with kids that only seems like a distant memory, LOL.
My favorite frugal pastime now is blogging and reading blogs.
Miss Lissy says
Hey, this is a great list – I particularly enjoy it. I was just wondering if I could take this list to my blog (link included) and not reproduce it exactly, but start like a 101 day challenge to try and accomplish everyone on this list. It’s like a challenge to try to enjoy myself for 101 days! If that’s okay with you of course. I would link back to this list every day. If it isn’t, I completely understand.
Miss Lissy says
This is just an additional comment, that I probably wouldn’t do all, but I would attempt them all. There’s just some I err . . .can’t do for personal reasons? Lol. If that makes sense.
There used to be a childrens TV program in the Uk called “Why don’t you”. The theme tune went, “Why don’t you, switch off your TV set and do something less boring instead”.
They could have done a whole series around this post. Fantastic work!
What a great list! Many times it really is the simple pleasures in life that are the most enjoyable. The fact that you can do so many things without spending a lot is an added bonus!
Carol Warnken says
Thank you for this brilliant posting. My partner and i liked the thought you put straight into it. I really believe I’ll go through a lot more you’ve writen around the subject matter. Thank you again!
A book, a beer and a quiet place!
Last night i tried to make the world’s biggest cookie. I called it megacookie. I made it out of a whole lot of pumpkin pie filling and a bunch of other junk. It was a a really cheap way to have fun.