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How to enjoy the good weather without burning a hole in your pocket

When the sun is shining and the weather gets nicer, most folks do what they can to maximize the amount of time they spend outside. Even if you're taking paid surveys with Opinion Outpost to earn some spending money, finding an outdoor table at a favorite bistro or heading to the beach can be an expensive pursuit when you factor in parking and other costs. 

Having said that, enjoying some fun in the sun doesn't have to be expensive, and a full day outdoors with friends and family can be done without breaking the bank. Here are just a few ideas for how to take advantage of the nice weather on a budget.

Visit a national park
Many public green spaces like state parks or national forests are free to visitors and offer all sorts of activities, from hiking and camping to kayaking and fishing. The national parks often have a small entrance price, but there are several times throughout the year when the National Park Service waives any fees, according to the NPS website.

In fact, mid-April marks National Park Week, a stretch when visitors can enjoy the nation's natural heritage for free. This is a fantastic opportunity to show your children the great outdoors, or spend time with a significant other taking in the flora and fauna of this country.  

Plan a picnic
Another easy way to bask in the glorious return of nice weather is to pack up a picnic basket and head to a local park. Ants notwithstanding, picnics are a fun and timeless opportunity to get some fresh air.

To really hone in on the spirit of the season, be sure to bring fresh fruits and local produce along with you on your picnic. It may even be worth looking into local farmer's markets and other outdoor vendors to grab ingredients and make a delicious spring salad or delectable meal.

Look into outdoor concerts
Cities and towns often usher in the nice weather by throwing all sorts of civic events, from parades and fairs to public concerts. From Bourbon Street to Central Park and elsewhere in the country, cities come alive with music and jubilation when the sunshine returns. Odds are wherever you live, there are all sorts of opportunities to get outside and take in some culture.

Catch a baseball game
Nothing says spring quite like baseball, and heading to the ballpark is one of the best ways to get outdoors. Statista reported that the average price of admission at an MLB game during the 2015 season was just north of $25. With online marketplaces for fans to sell and exchange tickets, this price can drop even further, especially a few hours before the game. Clever baseball enthusiasts can easily snag seats far below the face-value cost of a ticket.

Before heading out to the park, be sure to grab your favorite shades, because as fun as it is to catch a baseball game, it's less than ideal to get caught on the big screen without looking your best.

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