Wednesday officially marked the first day of summer! We made it through another winter in Maine, but can our wallets survive the warmer season? Because the warm weather is so short-lived, it’s easy to find ourselves spending a lot of time (and often, money) making sure we make the best of the summer months. I’ve put together a list of some activities that are both enjoyable and affordable:
Switch Up Date Night
Summer is the perfect time of year to look into some fun and budget-friendly date night alternatives. Going out to dinner or the movies is pretty common during the colder months when you don’t want to find yourself out in the elements for too long. However, now is your chance to get out and enjoy what Maine has to offer with your significant other. Grab a blanket, get outdoors and take some time to gaze at the stars together. Make your way to your favorite field or park and enjoy a nice picnic. Another alternative is to support the Portland Sea Dogs at a home game. Compared to a Major League game, the tickets are relatively cheap at $10. Check the Sea Dogs’ schedule, as some games wrap up the night with a fireworks show, which is an added bonus!
Host a game night in your backyard for family and friends. Have everyone that attends bring one game and one food item. Fire up the grill and play some ladderball, cornhole or giant Jenga. It can cost less than a night out at a restaurant, and you’ll also get to enjoy some games and time spent with those close to you.
Trips to the grocery store aren’t always the most exciting. Switch things up a bit and support local farmers at the same time by spending an afternoon at a farmers’ market. It’s a far more personal experience and it can even be fun! You get to meet the people who grow your food, connect with other community members and learn cooking tips, recipes and meal ideas. The food is fresh and hasn’t been shipped long-distance, and you’re giving local farmers a fighting chance in today’s economy.
Okay, you don’t need to do these all consecutively for 50+ miles, but heading outdoors for some hiking, biking or swimming is a cheap way to have a lot of fun! Although the snow usually melts by the end of April, the water is a bit too cold for swimming until late June. That only leaves a couple of months for swimming until the fall weather comes around. Take advantage of a nearby pool, or your nearest pond, lake, river or beach! There are also a number of fun hikes throughout the state, with many having no entrance fee. Pull your bicycle out of storage for some fun exercise, and explore some scenic trails. If you don’t have a bike, you can consider renting from businesses like Coastal Maine Kayak, Gorham Bike or Acadia Bike.
Maine has tons of fun festivals every summer. Make your way to the Lobster Festival, Whoopie Pie Festival, Moxie Festival, Great Falls Balloon Festival, Wild Blueberry Festival…the list goes on and on. Get out and show your true Maine colors. And while you’re there, stop in and say ‘hi’ to yours truly! I’ll be there with a local credit union and we’ll be sure to have something fun and interesting going on.
What are you looking forward to most this summer? Let me know!