Don’t need money for a good time

An outdoor concert in Kincardine as part of their Summer Music Festival

Many years ago I was an editor at Toronto.com. It was a listings site where people could list their events for free.

There were some costs associated with some events but a number of those events were free to everyone. I was amazed by how many free or pay-what-you-can events were available if I was just willing to look for them and then go.

When you move to a new neighbourhood, you might feel that you can’t afford to go out. After all, you just bought a new home or may have done some renovations. You can still have a great social life and discover someone or something new by just doing a little digging.

Where can you find free events in your neighbours Start with your local newspaper. The community section will list the events that are happening in your neighbourhood. This can include live music, garage sales and fairs.

Next, try your local library. They always have some event – whether an author reading or an exhibition.

Your local YMCA or community centre will have a lot of activities – most of them free. They include fitness and swimming classes and classes for your grandchildren when they visit. Why not join the local running group? You’ll get fit and make new connections.

If you like art, your neighbourhood gallery is a good place to visit. You might even find a local artist you really love and want to support by buying his or her art. Try the Maclaren Art Centre in downtown Barrie. (http://maclarenart.com/). Art galleries aren’t the only place for art – your local coffee shop is a hub of art, often displayed on their walls. They also have a community billboard with local events, yoga classes, book clubs and other community events.

Check out your city or town’s official website. They may list events that are free to the public or give you suggestions on how to be a tourist for a day and check out monuments or areas of the city you would originally never explore.

Personally, I like going to the theatre or live music so I’m always on the look out for events via the papers or my local library. This month I’m going to a talk and training for a 5k race. I’m getting extra motivation by joining the weekly free runs at my local Running Room. The best part? I haven’t spent a penny (five cents?) yet!

Part of a sponsored project with Harmony Village.

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