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Fun on a Budget

Maybe you’re feeling strained from holiday shopping or maybe you just want to save more this year and are looking for ways to entertain yourself without spending a lot. In 2021 the average spent on entertainment for the year was $3,568. Whether you’re looking to cut costs this year or just find something fun and inexpensive for this weekend, there are plenty of activities to choose from.

Take a Hike

Living in Colorado has many perks, one if which is access to beautiful hiking trails. All throughout the state are free hiking trails of varying difficulty levels. Save on gas by going to a local nature path that you can walk or bike to, or carpool with friends. There are many nature trails and open spaces, right here in the city as well. Check out this hiking trail website which provides detailed trail maps, trail reviews, and includes trail photos submitted by hikers.

Go on a Picnic

A picnic with family or friends is a way to have fun without spending a lot of money. Its always fun to get outdoors and be in nature. When the weather is nice you can go to your favorite outdoor spot or use it as an opportunity to explore someplace new. It’s really cheap if you’re walking or biking to your destination (and not using a car) and packing your basket full of items already in your pantry or fridge.

Two women enjoy a picnic

Go to No-Cost Museum and Zoo Days

Many local museums and zoos offer free days a few times a year. The downside is that these days can be relatively popular and crowded, but it’s worth it if you’re trying to find fun things to do without spending money with friends and family. If you live in the Denver area, The Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Zoo, and Denver Museum of Art all offer free days. The art museum encourages reserving an entry time before you and the zoo has a lottery system. Check out their websites to learn more and find a day that’ll work for you.

Enjoy your local community

Many towns and cities offer no-cost festivals, music nights, and other events. Taking advantage of free events is an easy way to enjoy your hometown, socialize with friends, and mix up your activities on evenings out—all without opening your wallet. To scope out upcoming events, check out the website for your local chamber of commerce, city, or rec-center for a calendar of fun things to do without spending money. Click here for upcoming events in Lakewood. Or check out our event calendar under SmartStuff to see what events we’ll be participating in.


You may not think of volunteering as among the most fun activities that don’t require money, but there are tons of organizations in your area that can use your help right now. Ask at a local nonprofit, such as a food bank or animal shelter – like our friends at Foothill’s Animal Shelter or use a volunteer website to search for opportunities. You could meet new friends, feel good about helping those in your hometown, and even develop new skills.

A woman picks up trash out of the ocean

Additional activities in the Denver area

For more ideas on free and low-cost activities check out this local entertainment guide. Some of these activities include the Denver Museum of Miniatures Dolls & Toys, MillerCoors Brewing Company Tour, and Hammond’s Candy Factory Tour.


Sources & Enhanced by Credit Union of Denver

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