A really long list of free things to do this summer
A cozzie livs summer cheat sheet to guarantee fun in the sun
image Lorde / YouTube
words Rhys Thomas
Unanimously, from the school-goers to the students to those of us at work looking out at the sun shining on the outdoors, it’s summertime. But it’s also a cozzie livs summer, so we have to be a little more mindful about how we’re spending our money. This could be a dark little cloud in the sky, but we’ve blown that cloud away by making a - pretty long - list of free things you can do this summer from more or less wherever in the world you are!
From walking and climbing, to organising and journaling, summer is great for long days that help the world to feel slower and yet more active. If you’re looking to make the most of the day or even hide away from the hot hot weather, hopefully this list of free things to do this summer will help you find some things to do that you enjoy. And okay, some of them might technically cost money (like drinking water) but allow it. We tried!
Free things to do this summer
Go for a walk
Regardless of that whole 10,000 steps thing people like to do, walking is really nice. It’s a low impact exercise sure, but it’s also access to some of that sweet summer sunlight (and Vitamin D), and it’s an ideal way to slowly explore your local area.
Go for a run
All the walking benefits (except for the impact, that’s harder, so be mindful) but faster! You can cover more ground, feel the air against you. Focus on nothing but your stepping and your breathing, and sure, improve your cardiovascular fitness too, why not!
But if you want to go really far, or equally far with a little less effort, take your bike! Maybe even pop a little safe wheelie when you’re out on the open road too, life is for living. Wear a helmet though, please.
Sit on a bench
Maybe after all that walking or running or cycling, a nice sit down. Ahh. With a book, a drink, whatever, lovely wood under your bum and often with a nice view to gaze at. Maybe the bench has a memorial on it, you can read that and think about life and stuff.
Sit on some grass
For more earthy summer sitting, touch grass. Yes. Plonk yourself down on that grass, feel the dried soil all dusty against your hands, run your fingers through the shards of grass. Perhaps you’ll find you are expressing gratitude for the time of year where you can sit on mud and not ruin all of your clothes and vibes.
Enjoy some shade
Life is about balance, just as we love the sun scorching against our skin, nothing hits after a lot of sun like some shade. A respite. Cool down there, the nice thing is you can still see the sun, as long as there’s shade, the sun isn’t going anywhere.
Important, and a big glug of water on a hot day is primal levels of feel good. You can even throw some on your face, when it’s really hot, wet a t-shirt a little and just sit in that for a while.
Make sure it’s someone who wants to kiss you, of course, but summer kisses are nice! They’re warm, sometimes they’re slightly salty and sweaty, sometimes you get a little whiff of some sunscreen too.
Tell someone you love them
Love makes the world go round. Do they say that? Either way, it does. Summer is the opposite of Christmas, it’s a time where we’re whizzing about doing everything and not being all that sentimental. But it’s still nice to be told you’re loved.
Open the windows
It is very unlikely a seagull will swoop into your room and decide to take over the place and start charging you rent. Promise. Besides, the nice little breeze that’ll go through your room and make it feel like you’ve been transported to a veranda somewhere in the mediterranean is very much almost worth it. Of course, if it’s really hot, you want to keep the heat out, so close the curtains and windows in that case.
Visit a free gallery
Wherever you are, there’s probably a gallery or museum not too far away. Even in teeny tiny villages, you’ll find something. From Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow to Falmouth Art Gallery in Cornwall (both of which are free) there’s often more to discover on our doorsteps than we realise.
Visit a free festival
They do exist, and in many ways they’re often more interesting to rock up to than the ones you’d intentionally go to because you’re paying, because you end up experiencing things outside of your comfort zone. The Guardian has written about a few here.
Find one of them giant chess boards in public in some places and play a few games
You know the ones! Great fun. Technically a bit of a challenge if you’re playing a whole game given you don’t have a birds-eye-view of the board (unless you’re really tall).
Go for a swim
Bodies of water that are safe to swim in, are often free! The sea, a lake, a little river, some public pools. Go wild water swimming, jump off a rock into some water, whatever! It’s a great time of year for swimming. It’s very good for your physical health, too.
Dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing, it’s an Italian phrase that’s all about getting pleasure from just vibing. You can just lay on your bed gazing out of the window at the sun, feeling warm. You can walk aimlessly. Sit somewhere while everyone else is on holiday just staring into space. It’s free and the downtime is a lovely feeling that we often don’t give ourselves.
Sit outside and sketch something
You only need talent to sketch well, not to sketch. So regardless of ability, provided you have something to draw with and something to draw on, go and find a nice spot and do a little sketch of it. Because why not, hey? Nobody has to see it.
Go and smell some flowers and herbs growing in and around your neighbourhood
Neighbours with gardens that have flowers in them are wonderful. Walk around and enjoy the colours and the sizes and shapes of the petals. Herbs have lots of healing properties too, so if there’s enough of it, you could steal a little lavender and put it in your pocket to smell just before you go to sleep, for instance.
Unsubscribe from shit
Of course, this isn’t really a time where you want to be on your phone for ages (nor is it easy to see the screen in the sun) but if it’s simply too hot and you’re having some time in the shade for five minutes, why not use that time unsubscribing from newsletters you don’t read anymore, and other things, especially things you pay for and don’t use (come on, we’ve all been there).
Free food! Whether it’s herbs, mushrooms, berries, or wild garlic. A bit of foraging can elevate something you’re already cooking up, and it’s free. Plus you’ll be in nature touching lots of leaves. Of course, some things can be hard to identify and poisonous, so be careful and use official guidebooks. This list is a good primer.
Identify the flowers you like when you walk past them and try to remember the name
If gazing at neighbours flowers and fauna isn’t enough for you, why not set about trying to identify the flowers you like too? A couple Googles can help. Not only is it just nice to know the names of the things we like, but it’s handy if someone ever happens to ask us what flowers we like.
A good one for any time of year. Journaling has been shown to help with anxiety, stress, and depression. You can get a nice fancy journal of course, but you can also just use your notes app, or any paper you can get your hands on.
Listen to an album in full every day while being outside
Because why not! In a world of streaming and general busy-ness, it’s less common to play a record front to back. But doing so makes sense because it’s often how the artist intended the songs to be heard, plus it’s a nice feeling when you take the time to dive into an artist you like that bit more, realising actually there’s some lesser-known songs that you prefer to the singles.
Eat the free samples in food markets
A sort of girl dinner that guarantees to be good (and if parts aren’t then you know where to spend your money in future anyway). Walking around a food market nibbling on the free samples at every counter until you’re full or run out of counters. A great way to explore new food for free.
Watch this legend slash through mundane objects on TikTok
We all want to be the person with a sword just decapitating inanimate objects, but swords are probably quite expensive. The next best thing we can all do and enjoy is watching “samuraidad1” obliterate things for us with his sword, there’s often old school hip-hop accompanying the video too. Massive vibes, for free.
Having sex with people who want to have sex with you too is hot, and it’s hotter in the summer (in the literal sense, because of the weather). It’s often free, and is a form of light exercise, and you know, it’s getting hot in here so take off all your clothes and the rest.
Although most people associate the siesta with Spain, we actually owe the art of siesta to Italy and the ancient Romans. They call it riposo. Whatever you decide to call it, taking a few hours during the hottest part of the day to do very little, maybe even nap, is common in many parts of the world and worth implementing into your life as the country gets warmer. You’ll feel all refreshed for the evening this way too, and can bask in the coolness for a little longer.
Take your shoes and socks off
Barefoot life is becoming more and more of a thing, and people who love it really love it. There are a lot of reported physical benefits, but also psychological ones. A lot of this is through the idea of grounding, which is essentially a way in which we humans can get antioxidants from the ground. We’ve written a little more on that here. Should going sockless on the streets of your hometown feel a little extra to you, try it on some sand or grass.
Match the bright vibes with your clothing. Cute caps, short shorts, statement sunnies, joyful jorts … or just whatever makes you happy! Dopamine dressing is one of those TikTok trends that has actually ended up being a bit of a life hack for a quick little mood boost. There’s actually some scientific evidence suggesting this is all legit, too.
Look, you're already paying for the energy bill, so put some water (basically free) or other liquids that freeze at a couple degrees celsius in the freezer and have a bit of fun. Add them to drinks, flavour them and eat them like a popsicle, if you just freeze some water you could use them for sensual play too, ooo.
Walks are fun, but walkies are funner. That’s just a fact. Holding a lead in the morning sun before it gets too hot, and seeing a little four-legged friend doing some sniffing and a wee, and generally giving great vibes to the world is a perfect way to start the day. Then you can shelter inside and play with them for hours before walking again in the evening. Maybe you can even get paid!
Okay we won’t do this for every pet, but you know, if you wanna just be inside with a fan whirring, cat’s are much better for that. They don’t tend to need to be walked. Cats also love the sun, so you might have to get all cosy if the space is short on warm spots, but that’s nice. A cat’s purr is a fine, fine thing, and helps humans to feel less anxious too, apparently.
Watch the sunrise from a nice place
Sunrises are special, maybe it’s because most of us tend to see them less than sunsets, maybe it’s some spiritual ethereal magic universe energy thing about the day starting up, who's to say. Either way, they’re nice, and you’re more likely to get one that looks great on a sunny day. Summer tends to have more sunny days.
… and a sunset
No shade to sunsets! Both are fun! If you’re simply not a morning person then you know, sunsets have possibly less of that weird ethereal energy to take into the day, but they are often very pretty. Maybe you can do both from the same spot on the same day.
Find some nature
A little sub-mission for your walk perhaps, go to some nature: forests, fields, parks. Nature has a lot of benefits for our mental health, and isn’t it just nice to be as far away from concrete and corporate and academic environments as you possibly can sometimes?
Be a tourist (on a budget)
Like the free museums, hometowns often have a lot of history that we never pay attention to because we think it’s always going to be there. But not any more! Go and read those information boards, do a little wikipedia on where you live, learn something new about where you’re from.
Picnic … sort of
If you equate not spending extra as ‘free’ then just take your lunch outside. A girly dinner works very well too. Eating al fresco hits different. It just does. Bring a little towel and spread your spread all over the place and take a photo. It will be fun, in the sun.
Donate clothes to charity
Now that you’ve flipped the winter wardrobe out and the summer one is in, perhaps you can have a look through the clothes you have and see what you still vibe with and what you don’t. With the don’t pile, you can sell it of course, but you can maximise feel good vibes by donating some to charity, perhaps!
Join a library
Libraries are a gift. You get to go into a place and leave with a book for free (and use other facilities like wifi and workspaces, check your local one to see what’s going down). But yeah, free books to read in a park! Renting a book makes you have to read it or not read it - no leaving it to wither on yourTBR pile for months on end.
Cut off all your hair
Well why not! It’s hot outside, and provided you have some SPF in, it’s a nice time for a change? Embrace the wind on your hair, experimenting with a new style. It’ll grow back before it gets cold…
Play sports you or your friends randomly have the equipment for
Remember being young and playing rounders and how it was kinda nervy having such a small bat but also a thrill when you hit or caught the ball? Does your friend have a football? Or a bowles set? Whatever you have, take it to the park, you’ll feel young again.
Write a letter for someone and deliver it by hand
Nobody does letters, and they should! Seeing someone’s handwriting is kinda lovely and cute, and being able to keep the letter in a more tangible way is lovely. You could send them the sketch you did sitting on a bench in a park maybe, or press some flowers into it. Whatever! It’s just a nice thing to do and it’s nicer to walk with a letter in the sun than the rain.
Climb a tree
Climbing a tree is a fun challenge: you have to think about where to put your hands and feet, you have to use your strength to lift your body up higher, you may even gain a little self-confidence by going further up the tree than you thought you’d be comfortable with. And it won’t be slippery at this time of year either.
Watching people is amazing. You just have a little nosy at them, look at their vibe and their outfit and how they walk and where they’re walking. You get to invent little characters for them, ponder about why they happen to be holding what they’re holding, and more. But ultimately, passing time by subtly acknowledging and appreciating other humans is a lovely thing to do. And parks are full of other humans in the summer, for instance.
Learn another language
You might study harder when it’s cold and wet outside, but summer is synonymous with holidays, and so you’ll probably be more motivated to start learning a language in the summer. Dreaming of holidays far far away? Pondering about getting the train to Paris for a romantic weekend? Downloading an app, watching some YouTube, whatever works, learn that language baby!
Do breathwork at home
Sometimes when it’s warm the humidity gets to us. The reminder that the globe is pretty damn warm and warming up more, can leave people anxious. Breathwork can help people to calm and centre themselves, and to ultimately feel a little better. You can do them anywhere, we’ve some resources here, others are available!
Sound healing at home using woo or online resources
Sound healing is like meditation, only it’s sort of a bit easier to get in the zone because instead of ‘stilling your mind’ when it’s full of to-do lists and busy thoughts and neurosis, sound healing drowns all of that out and helps you to just be. Here’s a free little entry point to sound healing, from your pals at woo.
Tidy your room (but like deeply)
So you missed spring cleaning? Well hello summer - seriously clean that damn space of yours. You’ll be spending a lot of time here in the winter, you may as well make it vibe now, while the sun is shining on everything and you can, like, really see that dust.
Sleep under the stars
It’s a bit like grounding and immersing yourself in the world, but for longer, and if you’re lucky, late at night you’ll be able to see lots of lovely twinkling stars. Now in theory, this can happen in winter too, but there’s more clouds then, and it can be far colder.
Make a list of what you want to achieve this summer
Do you want to learn to paint? Do you want to get a little tan? Whatever it is you want to do, summer is now properly getting going. Sit outside, take a pen and paper, have a nice think like the main character you are, and set those intentions,
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