There are a lot of options that won’t cost an arm and a leg if you’re looking to enjoy summer on a budget. Sunlight is free, and hopefully it will be plentiful. So are water and fire, and Waterfire, for that matter. Also check out our beaches and bike paths map. Here’s a completely random brainstorm of affordable ways to take this summer by storm….
Letterboxing – www.letterboxing.org – this is part treasure hunt, part hiking. Boxes are, at this moment, hidden in various public places around the state, waiting for you to follow clues to find them.
Geocacheing – www.geocaching.com – sort of the same thing, but instead of clues and a compass, you’re using GPS coordinates to find and leave trinkets of your choosing in secret hiding places around the state.
The Providence Zen Center operates off of generous donations. However, most programs and classes are totally free. Here’s their site to see what’s happening and may spark your inner light. www.providencezen.org
Free museum tour at RISD – Every Sunday 10-5pm and the third Thursday of each month from 5-9pm. www.risdmuseum.org
Steel Yard Tours – the first Wednesday of every month @ noon. Experience the world of metal sculpture. www.thesteelyard.org/
Free Kite Flying @ Breton Point, Newport. Or really anyplace with wind (Colt State Park is good too)
Free Open mic and art night every Monday at the SPOT @ 7pm & Re-Creation Tuedays Open Mic and Open Jam, 8pm-1am. www.thespotunderground.com
Wine tastings – BIN 312 every Thursday 5-8, Bottles 3:30-7:30, The Savory Grape Friday 5-8 & Saturday 3-6, ENO Friday 4:30-6:30 & Saturday 4-6, Campus Fine Wine Friday 5-8, Nikki’s Liquors Friday 5-7 and Saturday 4-6.
Free concert series – Friday night concert series @ Waterplace Park July 17th@ 7:15 until August 21 or @ Burnside Park beginning July 9th 4:30-7:30 (be on the lookout for the summer schedule which has not been posted yet) or @ Fort Adams Sundown Thursdays free concerts beginning June 19th
Zoo – First Saturday is free every month for residents of Providence. Wild, huh? www.rwpzoo.org
Picnics – These are just some of our favorite places to sling a pic-a-nic basket: Fort Adams, Newport/ Bird Sanctuary, Newport/ Newport Beaches/ Black Rock, Block Island/ Roger Williams Park, Temple of Music/ Prospect Park, Statue of Roger Williams/Blackstone Blvd, Providence/ India Point Park/ Carr Pond/ Carolina Reserves (see hikes and trails)/ Lincoln Woods/ State House lawn/Goddard Park/Beavertail/Snake Den
Glen Farm Polo Sunday @ 5pm. www.nptpolo.com
Hikes – www.everytrail.com/best/hiking-rhode-island. They start with a single step.
Camping – riparks.com
Festivals and fairs – they happen, and some are free to enter – www.visitri.com/state/fairs-and-festivals
Outdoor Films – Movies on the Block Thursday nights starting @ dusk on June 6th Grant’s Block the corner of Westminster and Union St. / Tennis Hall of Fame lawn has free movies
Volunteering River Pick-Up –get exercise, socialize and do something good at Save the Bay www.savebay.org/volunteer
Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council activities – www.wrwc.org/events.php
Pick-up basketball game, softball at any local parks all year round.
by Debralee Iacobucci with additional reporting by Mike Ryan