60 No Cost Or Low-Cost Leisure Activities

  • Time to read: 11 min.

Many of us feel the pinch regarding our finances in today’s world. However, just because money is tight doesn’t mean we have to give up on having fun. There are plenty of leisure activities that won’t break the bank. In addition, there are many activities that people can do for free or at a low cost. Lets take a look at 60 No Cost Or Low-Cost Leisure Activities.

Leisure activities are essential as they provide a way to relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday life. These activities are also a great way to bond with family and friends and a way to build new friendships. There are many different ways to enjoy leisure activities, and there is something for everyone.

Are There Benefits To Doing A No Cost Or Low-Cost Leisure Activity?

Yes, there is a benefit to participating in no or low-cost leisure activities.

The advantage of leisure activities that cost nothing is you begin to appreciate those things around you that many take for granted, such as the walking paths, bike paths, trees, or flower gardens.

Appreciation and gratitude allow us to keep a positive mind state and release the negative, positively impacting our health and relationships. In addition, leisure activities can help improve our mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, improving our mood, and increasing our sense of well-being.

Where To Find No or Low-Cost Leisure Activities

Finding free or low-cost leisure activities in your area can be as easy as asking friends, neighbors, or relatives or may require a bit of research online or contacting your community association or recreation center.

60 No or Low-Cost Leisure Activities

Below is a  list of free or low-cost leisure activities for you to consider. This list is far from comprehensive but will give you a great starting point.

The list is broken down into outdoor, indoor and educational activities.

Outdoor Activities

Hiking: Being outside and getting some exercise are easily achieved when hiking. There are plenty of trails available in most areas, and you can find information about them online or in local guidebooks.

Walk: Taking a walk in your community is a great way to get some exercise and explore your surroundings.

Birdwatching: Many nature lovers are thrilled at birdwatching as it is an excellent activity for nature lovers of all ages. It would help if you had a good pair of binoculars and a field guide to begin this activity.

Cycling: Cycling is a great way to stay in shape and see the world. You can ride for transportation or recreation. All you need is a bicycle and somewhere to ride. Rentals of bikes are more common nowadays, making cycling a more viable, low-cost activity.

Geocaching: Geocaching is a fun outdoor activity involving GPS coordinates to find hidden containers called caches. What a great way to explore and discover exciting things about your surroundings. You could even create your own backyard geocache.

Horseback Riding: For those who love animals, horseback riding is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Either alone or with your family, this is a beautiful adventure. You don’t need to own a horse to ride one; there are plenty of places where you can rent horses with a guide for a reasonable price.

Kayaking/Canoeing: Kayaking and canoeing are two great ways to get out on the water and explore your surroundings. They’re also a great way to stay active and have some fun. Once again, many places rent kayaks or canoes for an hour or a day, allowing you to explore for a reasonable cost.

Gardening: Gardening is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. It’s also a great way to grow your food. You need some space, some plants, and some basic gardening supplies.

Picnicking: Picnics are a great way to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. A blanket, some friends or family, food, and a place to spread out is all you need.

Star Gazing: Stargazing is an excellent activity for clear nights. You will need a dark location and a pair of binoculars or a telescope. If you live in the city, a short drive to the country will allow you to view the stars with your own eyes. You can find out more about stargazing by doing an online search or checking out books from your local library.

Sunrise/Sunset: Whether by driving out of the city, or sitting in your backyard or on your balcony, watching the sunset or sunrise is a great way to relax and appreciate nature.

Scenic drive: Taking a scenic drive is a great way to relax and see the sights.

Sliding/Tubing: Sledding and tubing are great activities for winter days or weekends. Equipment includes a sled or a tube, some snow, and a hill. When younger, we utilized a cut-open garbage bag as our sled as we could not afford a toboggan or sled, and it worked wonderfully.

Snowshoeing: Nothing beats snowshoeing as a way to explore the winter landscape. You will need a pair of snowshoes, rented or owned by you,  and some warm clothes.

Skating: Skating, whether roller skating or ice skating, is an excellent activity for all ages. You can find public skating rinks in most cities and towns and rentals as well.

Tennis: If you want to stay active and have fun, then take a look at participating in a game of tennis. Membership in an exclusive club is not necessary to play, and you can play singles or doubles.

Basketball: Basketball is a great way to exercise and compete with others. You can play pickup games with friends or join a league. A basketball and a homemade hoop or store-bought ball and hoop will get you started.

Running/Jogging: Running and jogging are great ways to get in shape and stay healthy. You can do this anywhere, and you don’t need any special equipment. Just put on your sneakers and go!

Fishing: Fishing is a very popular pastime for many people. Whether you’re fishing for sport or food, there’s something to appeal to everyone. If required in your area, a fishing license, a rod, and a place to fish will get you started. You can also make a rod from a tree branch, fishing line, and hook.

Swimming: Swimming is a great way to stay in shape. You can swim in a pool, at the beach, or in a lake. Just make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and be safe!

Skiing: Skiing is a great way to enjoy the winter landscape. You can ski on groomed trails or cross country ski in the backcountry  Rent or borrow a pair of skis, ensure you have some warm clothes and somewhere to ski.

Build a sandcastle: Building a sandcastle is a fun way to spend time at the beach with family and friends.

Collect shells: Collecting shells is a fun way to remember your time at the beach.

Fly a kite: Flying a kite is a great way to enjoy the wind and spend time with family and friends. Making a kite then seeing it fly is very rewarding.

Visit a national park, local zoo, or aquarium: National parks offer a great way to learn about nature and the environment. Zoos and aquariums allow us to learn about animals and their habitats. Many zoos and aquariums offer free admission or discounted rates for students and seniors, whereas national parks provide free access or discounted rates for students and seniors.

Indoor Activities

Puzzles: Puzzles are a great way to challenge your mind and have some fun. They come in different difficulty levels, so there’s something for everyone. Just make sure you don’t get too frustrated – it’s supposed to be fun!

Games: Board games or card games are a great way to have family fun. People of all ages can enjoy them, and you don’t need any special equipment. Just gather your friends and family around the table and get started.

Video Games: Video games are a great way to have fun and escape reality. There are games available for players of all ages and skill levels. The games are rentable, and many share games with their friends.

Reading: The written word has been enticing people for all of time and is a great way to explore, relax and escape from reality for a while. It can also help improve your knowledge and vocabulary. You can read books of all genres, including fiction, nonfiction, biographies, and more. Online apps such as Kindle offer free books to download and enjoy. In addition, many neighborhoods have a give a book, leave a book station on people’s front yards, or you could go to your local library.

Crafting: Crafting is a great way to express your creativity. There are many different types of crafts, such as knitting, crocheting, sewing, scrapbooking, and more. For instance, making a scrapbook is a fun way to remember special moments in your life. You can include photos, tickets, and other souvenirs from your travels.

Cooking and baking: Cooking and baking are great ways to spend some time indoors. It’s also a great way to learn new skills and create delicious food.

Watching TV/Movies: Watching TV and movies is a great way to relax and escape from reality for a while. There are TV shows and movies of all genres, so you’re sure to find something you enjoy. In addition, documentaries offer a wealth of knowledge on various topics. They can be seen on TV, online, and even at your local library.

Painting: If you are a highly creative person, artwork may be what you have been searching for to express your creativity. You can use any paint – acrylic, oil, watercolor, and canvas or paper. Just let your imagination run wild. Your local dollar store sells very inexpensive painting supplies.

Drawing: Drawing is another excellent way to express your creativity. The tools of the trade may include – a pencil, markers, pen, charcoal, and paper. So again, just let your imagination run wild!

Sculpting: Sculpting is a great way to create three-dimensional art. You can use any material – clay, wood, stone, metal, etc. – and either carve or mold it into the shape you want. For example, if you have a kitchen knife and your mom or wife does not mind you using it, and a broken tree branch, you can widdle and sculpt beautiful things.

Photography: Photography is a great way to capture memories and moments. You can take photos with any type of camera – digital, film, or even a phone. As cell phones are pretty standard in most homes in North America, photography via a cellphone is a cost-effective way to begin your journey.

Writing: Feeling the need to share your story or tell a story you think will inspire others? Writing is a way to express yourself and tell your story if your answer is yes. You can write in any format – journal, blog, novel, and any topic you choose. Let your imagination run wild. Perhaps you want to express your thoughts and feelings by writing a song or poem. Then, you can share your poetry with family and friends or publish them online.

Educational Activities

Many of the suggested ideas have an educational component; however, some specific educational opportunities are free or at no cost.

Visit a museum: Museums today are exciting and take you back or forward to the times they represent, immersing you and teaching you about history, art, and culture. Check your local museum, as many offer free admission days or discounted rates for students and seniors.

Attend a lecture or class:  Many colleges and universities offer free lectures and classes free to the public that cover various topics, from history to science to literature. In addition, you can signup for a class at your local library, university, college, or local community center. Alternatively, if you check online, there are also many free courses.

Participate in a workshop: Workshops are a great way to learn new skills and explore your interests. There are workshops on many different subject areas, such as cooking, writing, history, or photography.

Researching your family tree: Researching your family tree can be a fun and educational activity. You can join family tree apps or visit your local library to begin your research. The online apps generally have a free period that could get you going on your research.

Attend a city council meeting or school board meeting: Attending a school board or city council meeting is an exciting way to learn about your local community. You can find out what’s happening in your city or town and how your local government works.

Going to an author reading: Going to an author reading is a great way to learn about new books and meet the author. These readings are often free or have a discounted price at the library or bookstore.

Attend a play or musical performance: Attending a play or musical performance is a great way to support the arts. Many times, these performances are free or have a discounted price.

Botanical Garden or Arboretum: Visiting botanical gardens and arboretums is a great way to learn about plants and trees. They often offer free admission or discounted rates for students and seniors.

Volunteering: Many agencies are looking for help, and volunteering is a great way to give back to your community. Many volunteer opportunities are available, such as tutoring students, helping the elderly, or cleaning up your local park.

Factory tours:  Factory tours are a great way to learn how they create their product, and sometimes, the factory may offer samples. Many factories provide free or discounted tours.

Participating in a book club: Participating in a book club is a great way to discuss books with friends and meet new people. Many book clubs meet at local libraries or community centers.

Visiting a farmers market: Farmers markets are a great way to buy fresh, local produce. They often offer free admission or discounted rates for students and seniors.

Attending a festival or fair: Festivals and fairs are a great way to experience different cultures. They often have free admission or discounted rates for students and seniors.

Study a foreign language: Learning a new language is a great way to connect with people from other cultures. There are many free resources available, such as online courses and apps.

Below is a table of all the activities we have discussed for your quick refererence.



Build a sandcastle
Collect shells
Fly a kite
Horseback Riding
Scenic drive
Skiing=downlhill/cross country
Star Gazing
Sunrise/Sunset Watching


Attend a lecture or class
Attending a city council or school board meeting
Attending a festival or fair
Attending a play or musical performance
Botanical Garden or Arboretum
Factory tours
Go to an author reading
National Park Tour
Participate in a workshop
Participating in a book club
Researching your family tree
Study a foreign language
Visit a museum
Visiting a farmers market


Board games
card games
Cooking and baking
Video Games
Watching TV/Movies

Though 60 activities have been presented in this guide take the ones that appeal to you and enjoy.

The best way to get started is simply to pick one or two activities from this guide and give them a try. If you like them, keep doing them! If not, move on to something else. There’s no right or wrong way to approach this – just find what works for you.

There are plenty of fun and free activities to enjoy, so get out there and explore your local area!