With May came graduations, the end of final exams, packing up, and moving on to the next chapter of this year: summer break. There is finally time to relax and spend time with family and friends, but as a college student or recent graduate, many of us are still on tight budgets. Here are some low cost (or free!) ways to enjoy this summer without breaking the bank.
If you live on a coast or by the Great Lakes, this can be a perfect option for you! Many beaches are free and have free parking for residents. You can also pack your own lunch and bring things to do such as a Frisbee or a volleyball.
If you don’t have any beaches nearby, find a park in your area and have a picnic. Bring a few friends and make it a potluck and you’ll cut costs even more.
Take advantage of the sunshine and head out on a hiking trail in your area. The best part about it is it’s absolutely free! Spending time outdoors can really make you appreciate the beauty around you: no wifi required.
During the summer months, many museums and aquariums have free days on the weekends. These places will usually advertise events such as these on their websites and in local newspapers.
When summer heat gets too intense, take advantage of air conditioning and catch a movie. After all, it’s time for summer blockbusters!
Keep an eye out for advertisements for local free concerts. Many parks and small theatres have shows for upcoming bands or community theatre productions. These ticket prices are usually very low (or free!) and you can support local artists at the same time. It’s a win-win!
Share your thrifty summer plans in the comments below!
With the spring semester quickly progressing, college kids everywhere are scurrying to make summer plans. Some travel, while others rent beach houses or relax at home. But personally, I like to go see live music. There’s no question about it: summer time is concert season. The warm weather makes for a comfortable outdoor experience to listen to some of my favorite bands. Yet, one band stands out far above the rest, and that’s the Dave Matthews Band.
I’ve seen DMB live ten times thus far, and I’ve never left a show disappointed. The environment at every show is electric, regardless of the venue, but summer shows are always the best. The lawn tends to be filled with college-aged kids looking for nothing but a good time. Once Dave Matthews gets on stage, the place simply erupts. Before the band even plays a single note, you just get the feeling that you’re about to see something special. And you always do.
For a band that’s played approximately 2,000 concerts over the course of about two decades, the energy of each performance is unbelievable. From Carter Beauford, the drummer, to Boyd Tinsley, the violinist, each member goes all out every night. Dave Matthews’ eccentric personality shines through in every performance, as he takes frequent breaks to talk to the crowd and thank them for coming, even sharing a story or two.
As a self-proclaimed Dave Matthews fanatic, the joy I get at these shows is hard to put into words. Yet, people who don’t even listen to the band come to the concerts and have a great time. The atmosphere and the music itself are perfect for any warm summer night. So if you’ve never experienced it, the one band you need to see live this summer: DMB.
For many young people, Memorial Day is considered one of the first marks of summer. The public pools open, barbecues are planned, and those who work get a day off. However, Memorial Day has much more meaning than just a three day weekend. Memorial Day is a national holiday that honors all those Americans who have died serving our country. With Memorial Day just around the corner, now is a better time than any to contemplate the history and true meaning behind the holiday, and think of how you can celebrate Memorial Day the right way this year.
There are numerous differing accounts concerning the first Memorial Day, though most agree that it began during the Civil War era. Early observers of the holiday laid flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers, and also paid respect to soldiers who died during the Civil War. The first official Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30th, 1868. General John Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic proclaimed the holiday, and by the late 1800’s, Memorial Day became a national observance. At first, Memorial Day was meant to pay respect only to the soldiers of the Civil War. Around 1890, it was expanded to honor Americans who died in any war.
There are many things that we can do to honor the soldiers who died defending us, and also those who are still living. Consider spending the day with any veterans or current soldiers you may know. It is important to tell them how much they mean to us, and to let them know what their service means to our country. After all, without them, we might not have a day off at all. Another way to show your thanks is to follow the old tradition of placing flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers. I think that this was and still is a great way to honor our veterans. Perhaps we cannot ever truly repay them for what they did, but we can still give thanks as best we can.
If you are wondering how to spend your Memorial Day, consider some of these ideas as well as your own as to how to make the day a meaningful one that expresses gratitude and respect to our fallen soldiers. As long as we give thanks to those who have defended our freedom, we’ve spent Memorial Day the right way.
To learn more information about this holiday, check out www.funtrivia.com for some interesting facts. How do you celebrate a meaningful Memorial Day? Let us know!
Summertime is almost here, folks. You might be wondering what to do with yourself for the next few months. If you have the time, why not go see a pulse-pounding summer blockbuster? Here are three movies I am really looking forward to:
First, try Man of Steel, coming to theaters on June 14th. The latest of the Superman film adaptations, this version boasts an impressive cast, including Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Russell Crowe. In addition, the film is produced by Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan, who turned an ailing Batman franchise into a multi-million dollar juggernaut. Judging from the preview, I’d say that Nolan has brought the gritty, realistic style of his Dark Knight trilogy to a franchise that is often criticized for endless campiness. I wonder if they’ll still have Superman change in a phone booth…
The next blockbuster I’m looking forward to is Disney’s The Lone Ranger, starring The Social Network’s Armie Hammer as the titular character. Johnny Depp plays Native American warrior Tonto, and together they set out to fight corruption. The main reason to see this one is the crew. The Lone Ranger reunites writing duo Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot with director Gore Verbinski and actor Johnny Depp, all of whom worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Yes, the last three installments were stinkers, but the The Curse of the Black Pearl was excellent. If Elliot, Rossio, Verbinski and Depp can recapture the sense of adventure that was at the heart of the first Pirates, I think The Lone Ranger could be a hit. Look for it on July 3rd.
Last but not least is R.I.P.D.: Rest In Peace Department, an action film about two dead cops (played by Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds) who work from beyond the grave to fight crime. R.I.P.D. is based on a comic book, and you can tell from the trailer. The film looks to be chock full of zany action, impressive special effects, and snappy one-liners. And of course, Jeff Bridges is in it. What more could you ask for?
Enjoy your summer, and don’t miss these great films!
Spring is finally in the air. The days are longer, the temperature is warmer, and the sun is here to stay. Now that summer is right around the corner, it’s hard to resist spending the day outside. However, before you head out into the sunshine for the next few months, taking a day to do some cleaning and organizing from the months you’ve spent inside the house will be well worth it.
The transition from winter to summer is a great opportunity to de-clutter your life. We spend so much time inside during the winter months, and thanks to the holiday season we have a tendency to accumulate more than we need. The summer redirects our attention from our material items indoors, to the simple beauty of the outdoors.
Trading out your thick winter sweater for a t-shirt and pair of shorts can be the greatest feeling in the world. While switching out your wardrobe this spring, take the time to go through and get rid of those winter clothes you haven’t worn in years. Also consider getting rid of those gifts you received that you know you have no use for. Then, take advantage of the nice weather and have a garage sale. You’ll be able to enjoy the weather outside while getting rid of your old things and making a little extra money. Have old books lying around? You can sell those too!
Summertime also rejuvenates our spirit to tackle new projects. If you’re looking for something to do, check out websites like Pinterest or OrgJunkie for fun ideas that will help you organize the items you do have, in fun and unique ways. If you don’t have any need to de-clutter, take time just freshening up your house. Pull back your curtains to let the sun in, and spend your day vacuuming, dusting, and trading out your warm winter sheets for a lighter, more colorful set. Having a clean and organized home will allow you to enjoy the summer even more.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be dreaded. If you use our tips above you can face summer head on with an organized home, a little extra cash in your pocket, and a few new projects to get working on!
What do you do to get organized for the Summer? Let us know in the comments.
Everyone knows the big names in music festivals (think Bonnaroo, Coachella, Ultra, Sasquach etc.) but there are some great smaller music festivals that are sure to cure the festival fever without causing major wallet damage. Here are my picks for the top 5 little known music festivals.
5. Bunbury Festival – Cincinnati, OH July 12-14
This downtown festival has six stages and three days of performances. The headliners include Fun. MGMT, Sky Ferreira, Tegan and Sara,Yo La Tengo, The National, and Daniel Martin Moore. Although you may have to spring for a hotel for the weekend instead of camping, you will still come in under budget because this festival is only $120 for all three days.
4. Wakarusa – Ozark, AR May 30-June 2
If you are looking for an intense camping experience in one of the most beautiful locations look no further than Wakarusa. I would say that this particular festival isn’t for everyone. It has an attractive line up but be prepared to have a primitive camping experience and be surrounded by some modern day hippies where music and shows are a way of life not just a summer distraction. Notable acts include Grouplove, Snoop Lion, Zeds Dead, Baauer, Icona Pop, Araabmuzik, RJD2, Widespread Panic, and my personal favorite, Amon Tobin. Be warned you will be dirty, smelly, and sweaty at the end of this one. Watch the promo video and you’ll know what I mean.
3. Hard Summer 2013 – Los Angeles, CA August 3-4
If you live anywhere near LA you’ll want to attend this show. In the past this series has some of the most elite electronic acts including Deadmau5, A-Trak, Borgore, Crystal Castles, and Flying Lotus. The festival lineup isn’t out yet for this year but tickets for a 3 day pass are about $120. It is definetly a bang for your buck.
2. Summer Camp – Chillicothe, IL May 24-26
This is another small camping festival that landed some big names this year. The lineup includes Big Boi, Diplo, Zeds Dead, STS9, Theievery Corporation, 3 days of Moe, and 3 days of Umphreys’s McGee. It has 7 stages and over 75 artists and at $115 it is a no-brainier. Like other mid-west camping festivals you’ll wanna be prepared for limited showers, bugs, and heat. If you can stand the stress it’ll be worth it and at ¼ the cost of Bonnaroo.
1. Forecastle – Louisville, KY July 12-14
This will be the 11th forecastle festival, and in the past few years this festival has gained some major publicity mostly due to the unique structure and setting of the weekend festival. It is a true music and arts festival that includes speakers and art tutorials as well as music. The setting is also unique. There are 5 stages in downtown Louisville on the water front (one stage is even under an interstate overpass). The after parties are on the historic bell of Louisville and range from 15-35 dollars for late night shows. This festival has become a popular one so it may be your last year to enjoy it at the low $145 price point.
When so many good lineups are released in one year it can be tempting to clean out your savings account on tickets, but it is important to look around at your options before committing to the priciest summer fest. Are there any we missed?
Summer is notoriously bad for reruns, movies with too many commercials, or simply nothing to watch. You just want to plop in front of the TV for once, but only last 5 minutes flipping through the channels before declaring there’s nothing good on. Well, some shows are around just for the summer season, and while they may not be everybody’s cup of tea, they’re certainly entertaining.
1. MTV’s Awkward.
If you went to high school—which, hello, you all did—you’ll enjoy this show. It follows Jenna Hamilton living one awkward moment after the next. And ok, we don’t all have such weird moments as she does, nor do we have to deal with deliciously rude Sadie Saxton, but hey, this is TV! Life can be exaggerated! Jenna and Tamara deal with hook ups, break ups, weird parents and an anonymous letter that leads Jenna outside her comfort zone and into some more—you guessed it—awkward situations. If you’re looking for a laugh, or just want to kill half an hour, catch this gem on Thursdays at 10:30 pm (it’s on its second season right now, and we see it lasting for plenty of summers to come!).
2. MTV’s Teen Wolf
Auuuu! Forget about Twilight, which never seems to be on TV anyway. Tune into this addicting show that one of its stars, Colton Haynes, deemed “the little MTV show that could.” Though its second season just reached its finale last Monday, all the episodes can be found on MTV.com—so there’s no time like the present to catch up before next year’s extended third season! The show focuses on newly made werewolf Scott, going through all kinds of crazy supernatural activities with his best friend, and the true heart of the show, Stiles. If that doesn’t convince you, all of the male actors and super attractive…and often shirtless. You’re welcome.
3. Pretty Little Liars
This show is all about the confusing drama! You’ve got boyfriend problems, a dead best friend, more people dying, and some freaky A Team that only seems to get worse and never leaves the best friends alone! The mystery alone will suck you in and keep you guessing season, after season, after season. On a further plus note, this show also has a winter season so you’re not stuck without anything to do during winter break either—or having to wait a whole year to find out what happen’s next.
4. The Newsroom
Another HBO masterpiece, written by Aaron Sorkin—so you know it has to be good. The show focuses on a 24-hour news network starring Jeff Daniels, Olivia Munn and other well known celebs. After anchor Will McAvoy faces his executive producer leaving for a new program along with most of the staff, him and the rest of his new and remaining team face a variety of obstacles to keep their news show going. It’s already been renewed for a second season, so get watching!
5. Breaking Bad
If you haven’t watched any of the previous four seasons…well, there’s no time like the present to catch up and tune in for its fifth and final go! Follow Walter White, the typical chemistry teacher…who has now become a meth cook. The AMC drama isn’t as simple as a drug-focused show, though! This new-found life of crime is meant to secure good, financial well being for the ailing teacher’s family. But of course, no good deed goes unpunished and Mr. White with his accomplice, Jesse Pinkman, face a lot of problems along the way.
So, what are you waiting for? Stop being bored and entertain yourself with one of these series!
Last week I was sick for two days straight. It was terrible. While the sun was shining outside on a beautiful summer day and while my friends spent the day tubing down the river, I was left to fend for myself in a sad and sick world of reruns and chicken noodle soup. While I spent the first day of my sickness in a mopey and depressing mood, I spent my second day trying to find new ways to have a good day and pick myself up out of this misery of an illness.
I realized I needed fresh air. My dog and I drove down to a local park and took a walk along a trail. I was instantly cheered. I didn’t run or do anything to make myself sicker, I just took some time, breathed some fresh air, and enjoyed the sunshine. I believe getting out of the house can definitely pick you up.
When it came time for dinner I decided soup was no longer my friend. The meal that could cheer me up would include pancakes and some freshly scrambled eggs. Eating breakfast for dinner is something that can always put a smile on my face, and after all of the soup I’d eaten in the last couple days, it really hit the spot. Switching up your “sick diet” for something you really enjoy is always a pick me up.
When the night came to a close I decided reruns weren’t my thing. What could make me happier than an old childhood favorite? That’s when I decided it was a Space Jam kind of night. I watched the entire movie and I loved every minute of it. Not only did I really want to go play a game of basketball, but I started to really feel better.
Sometimes the mental part of being sick can leave you feeling worse than ever. If you can find a few little things to do that you know will cheer you up, I believe you’ll be feeling better faster. Next time you’re sick, give it a try!
I have to credit the idea of this blog to my high school newspaper. Every month, they would release the paper which included the roses and thorns from that month. I always enjoyed reading this section of the paper and I thought it’d be fun to make my own edition for the summer.
I will begin with the thorns from this summer in order to leave the best thoughts for last. The first thorn I have for the summer of 2012 is the excessive heat. As most of you have probably gotten to experience, the sun has been more than friendly lately. This is a picture from just today around the nation. It’s just plain hot.
The second thorn I have for the summer 2012 are the wildfires. Due to the current drought, there have been a number of fires this summer including a mass of wildfires in Colorado making it the worst fire season there in a decade! Many homes have been lost due to these fires and it has been a huge thorn. The third thorn I have is the political advertising. You can’t currently watch tv without viewing an add of one politician bashing another, definitely a thorn. Now that we’ve talked about three thorns, lets move onto the roses!
The first rose is the olympics! Not only have I enjoyed watching the trials, but I am counting down until the 27th of July for the opening day. There is nothing better than watching your countries greatest athletes compete against other countries for a chance at the gold. The second rose I have is releated to roses, ABC’s The Bachelorette has been going on and for any of you who have been following, it’s been a great season. Emily Maynard had a selection of 25 gorgious men and has narrowed it all the way down to two.The final episode is set to air in the 3 hour special this Sunday the 22nd. The final rose I have for this summer is all the free time I’ve gained to spend with family and friends. Being home for the summer has been wonderful. Spending time with family and old friends is just what the doctor ordered to refresh and recharge before heading back to school, I hope many of you have had that same opportunity.
I hope my edition of roses and thorns helped you to think about what has been the good and the bad of your summer. Make the most of what’s left of summer before school starts, and try to make more roses!