Once the weather starts warming up, I have an immediate urge to go out, spend money and attend every event possible! Unfortunately, having fun on a budget often puts a damper on my wishful thinking. If you are living in a big city, there are plenty of ways to have a great summer and enjoy the outdoors without breaking the bank.

Free (or Super Cheap) Events

Living in Chicago gets pricey after a while, but there are countless–and I mean countless–free events and festivals that take place across this metropolis. From street festivals that ask for a $5 donation at the entrance to free music in the park, Chicago has budget-friendly options for anyone (and these events feature well-known independent acts!). Check your city for similar options. The city government website will often have a calendar of events in parks, and you can also check local newspapers and magazines for additional options.

To keep track of all the free and inexpensive events across your city, create a calendar to share with your friends!

City Amenities

Why not spend your afternoon in a nearby park, or at the beach or a community garden? Living in a big city may have a higher price tag than suburban life, but that’s because there are endless opportunities for fun on a budget. You can plan a picnic with your friends, pick up a game of softball or soccer, or just hit the beach to bask in the sun. All of these options won’t cost you a penny–that is, of course, unless you need to buy food for a picnic.

Outdoor Spaces

If you or a friend have an outdoor space, there’s no reason to head over to the local bar to sip on some brews. Having fun on a budget is as easy as setting up some cool lights, a bean bag toss set and plenty of seating so you can invite all your friends over!

Go on an Alternative Vacation

We all want to go on a vacation over the summer, but sometimes a strict budget won’t permit it. Instead of hopping on a plane and venturing across the country, you can find a place nearby to go camping or a cabin to rent for a few days if your budget is a little loose. Although you usually need to pay to stay at a camping ground, the cost is far less than getting a hotel on a beach in Florida.

Don’t have enough money to head out of town at all? Go on a staycation! Take a day or two off of work and explore the city you live in–chances are there are plenty of tourist attractions you have never visited.

Coupon Sites

Take advantage of coupon sites as much as possible! Popular websites like Groupon and LivingSocial offer discounted tickets for music festivals, street fairs and other activities. These sites even have options for discounted boat rides, river tubing and all-inclusive deals at sports stadiums! Make sure to check out these sites on a regular basis so you don’t miss out on the best discounts, which can sell out in minutes.