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Spring is finally in the air. After a brutal winter for much of the country, it seems like it’s been a very long time coming! In addition to some spring cleaning, it’s also a great time to have some fun.

Now that you are ready to venture outside again, there are some ways you can celebrate spring and still stick to your budget.

1. Walk

The first step is leaving your home. You may have gotten used to curling up on the couch under a blanket and binge-watching television during the past few months. But begin incorporating walks back into your day. Re-explore your town or neighborhood. Taking in the sights on foot is free. Window-shop in local businesses, but leave your credit cards at home so you don’t end up spending money on things you don’t need.

2. Join a Sports Team

There are options all across the country for outdoor volleyball, tennis and softball leagues. Other sports are also out there. Use it as a way to make friends, get some exercise and enjoy the improving weather. There are a variety of experience levels out there and also a variety of price levels. Some leagues make you buy uniforms or pay high fees, but there are cheaper options as well. You just have to do a little research.

If you aren’t ready to join the team just yet, look into taking lessons through community programs. You can often find cheap group alternatives that still let you socialize but won’t cost as much as private lessons.

3. Go to Community Events

Local events like flea markets, festivals and farmers markets will start popping up more and more. Check community calendars and town websites to see when these are available near you. Even big yard sales can be fun to check out. Farmers markets let you pick up some fresh, local produce in addition to getting outside. There are all kinds of festivals from food-based to music-based. These usually provide free or low-cost fun for the whole family.

4. Explore Local Attractions

This is one step up from the neighborhood walk. Explore local parks, zoos and botanical gardens. Most parks offer free recreation, and now is a great time to watch the flowers start blooming. Look into discount days at local zoos and botanical gardens as well. These places offer lots to see and do for what is usually a reasonable price.

5. Have a Picnic

You can do this at the park, zoo or even sometimes at a festival. Bring some food outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather. You don’t need fancy, expensive accessories for a successful meal. If you enjoy cooking, get creative with the food but bring it from home to be frugal. If you don’t, pack something simple, like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Whether you focus on the food or just on the simple joy of being outdoors, a picnic is a great way to beat the winter blues and celebrate spring without breaking the budget.

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