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Fighting Boredom: 50 things to do for less than $10

By brass Staff on August 1st, 2012 • Budgeting, Managing your money
Originally appeared in: Fall 2012

These 10 things will keep you busy on a lazy afternoon without blowing a ton of cash.

There's nothing worse than a lazy afternoon with nothing to do, bored out of your skull and no money to speak of. To save the day, and your sanity, these 10 things will keep you busy without blowing a ton of cash.

1. Go dumpster diving. Discover, refurbish, sell or treasure.

2. Tour a factory. It's usually cheap or free, you learn something, and if the factory happens to make food… free samples!

3. Catch a game. Less popular sporting events, like soccer, wrestling, and gymnastics, usually have cheap or free admission. Don't forget minor league baseball and indoor football.

4. Take a class. Look for dance classes at clubs and schools, swimming classes at the community pool, or art classes at an art or community center.

5. Get your game on. Get a group together to play fugitive, capture the flag, photo scavenger hunt, or bigger and better.

6. Enjoy the arts. See a community play rather than a movie.

7. Start a nerf war. The basic toys are inexpensive and no one gets hurt.

8. Build a house with Habitat for Humanity. They're always looking for extra helpers, and you can feel good about where you've spent your time.

9. Bake cookies. Any homeless shelter would be happy for the treats, and you know your class, workplace, or even your own mouth and a glass of milk would make them disappear in a hurry.

10. Head outside. Hit the park with a picnic and a Frisbee (or a ball and a bat, etc.).

11. Start a club. Books, knitting, sports, whatever.

12. Put together a pickup game. Soccer, basketball, baseball… just choose your poison.

13. Explore the local parks. Hiking/walking is free.

14. Card and board games. Pick up something you've never played before at a thrift shop.

15. Poker night! "I'll see your green M&M and raise you a gummy bear."

16. Learn an instrument. Take a guitar lesson or learn rhythm on a set of drums.

17. Learn a language.

18. Go camping.

19. Host a craft party. Pool your tools and supplies and build stuff.

20. Tour a fire station, police department or radio station.

21. Take advantage of happy hour treats.

22. Pack a bag and a sleeping bag and go for an overnight bike ride.

23. Build a bonfire and eat s'mores.

24. Play pool at an arcade or bowling alley. Or better yet, go bowling.

25. Forty quarters at an arcade can be loads of fun.

26. Plant trees with a local nonprofit.

27. Plant a garden with $10 worth of seeds.

28. Try your hand at an open mic night.

29. Spend an afternoon at a rock-climbing gym.

30. Change your look: dye your hair, paint your nails, shave your head…

31. Share your supplies and throw a manicure party.

32. Fill a growler with root beer at a local brewery.

33. Redbox marathon.

34. Learn how to knit hats or scarves.

35. Visit a museum, memorial, monument or zoo.

36. Try a new recipe.

37. Pick your own produce at a local farm.

38. Visit the local library. Some offer more than books--like movies, video games and magazines.

39. Host a water balloon fight.

40. Attend a book reading or signing.

41. Visit a nursing home to hear stories about the "olden days."

42. Check out the garage sales in your area. Or clean out your junk and hold your own. 

43. BBQ. You buy the burgers or veggie patties and partygoers provide everything else.

44.Go see a local band.

45. Make a trick-shot video with friends.

46. Reorganize a room.

47. Go fishing.

48. Hit the beach with some plastic buckets and shovels and build a sand castle.

49. Go fly a kite.

50. Take a bath with a good book. After doing all of this, you'll need it.

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