Friday, 5 June 2009

10 Ideas for Cheap Days and Nights Out

We may be in the midst of a recession, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and have some fun. Here are 10 cheap/free outings to get you out and about. From the sublime to the downright ridiculous, we guarantee you will have fun.

1. Go stargazing
One of my favourite pastimes is to take off to the beach or a field with a blanket, a pillow and picnic to go stargazing. How much more romantic can you get, unless of course in my case, you are accompanied by a herd of rampaging children. But even the children love it and will spend hours patiently watching the night sky. It has to be said that there is something quite magical about watching and waiting for a shooting star to wish upon.

One of the best times of the year for a shooting star is July and August. In July we have the Delta Aquarids and August the Perseid Showers. Or for something even more spectacular you could always head up to the far north of Scotland for a potential glimpse of the amazing Aurora Borealis.
2. Go foraging
Unleash your hidden hunter. Get out into the countryside or parks and riverbanks and go looking for your dinner. Alright you probably won’t be able to provide the protein part of your dinner without a visit to the shops, but you could easily find yourself some salad, herbs and fruit to go with it. Along the lanes and towpaths you can find an abundant supply of wild garlic, blackberries, sloes and other delicious morsels.

NB. Two words of warning go to your local library and borrow a book on foraging so that you know that what you are eating is safe. And avoid foraging for mushrooms unless you really know what you are doing! For some top tips on foraging try

3. Go to the theatre
Did you realise that there is a UK government scheme to get young bums on seats? If you are aged between 14 –26, you could get free theatre tickets. In an attempt to encourage young people into the theatres the government and more than 200 venues across the UK are giving away free theatre tickets.
• For more information visit

4. Go to a Gallery
If you enjoy a bit of culture, a cheap night out at a gallery opening should be right up your street. Many galleries host exhibition launches during the evenings. These are great opportunities to see some exciting new work and you may even get some free food and wine thrown in as well.

Several of the larger galleries and museums offer late nights and some have regular themed events. The Tate Galleries have late openings, as do the National Gallery in London and The Victoria and Albert Museum.

For more information go to
The V and A Museum
The Tate
The National Gallery

5. Become a piece of art work
Got an hour to spare and fancy becoming the centre of attention? You could be become even more involved in the art world. Sculptor Anthony Gormley is looking for 2,400 volunteers to stand for an hour on a plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.
• For your chance to enter visit
6. Watch your favourite TV show being filmed
Fancy being in the audience of the X-Factor? Want to se QI being filmed? Ever thought it would be fun to go and see Top Gear in action? You can, because it is a little known fact that it is very easy to get tickets to be in the audience of TV shows and it doesn’t cost you a penny. All you have to do is go online and register and you will be sent a regular update of tickets that are available.
• For more information go to

7. Go to the cinema on Orange Wednesday
If you are an Orange subscriber you can get 2 tickets for the price of one on Wednesdays at most cinemas in the UK.
However, even if you are not an Orange subscriber you could still get tickets if you buy a free pay as you go SIM card. This will only cost you £5 to top up with credit and will entitle you to 2 for 1 tickets every Wednesday. You will soon earn your money back.
For more information

8. Listen to music
Take a blanket and a picnic and enjoy some afternoon delights. Many parks provide free music in the afternoons and some carry on to the evening.
Go online and check out the free festivals in your area.

For those of you who prefer something a little livelier, Modular records host a completely free party event called ‘Recession’ every first Sunday of the month through the summer.
• For more information visit
9. Learn something new
Many local universities put on free lectures, which the public can attend.
They won’t award you a degree for attending, but you will have the chance to listen to some of the great brains of the country and learn about a variety of fascinating subjects. Some Universities even throw in a free glass of wine.
Visit your local university for more details.

And leaving the best to last
10. Go worm charming
Yes, you read it right – you could go worm charming. This bizarre event started out life as a fund raising event at a school fete in Nantwich, Cheshire. However the event has now grown into an annual event that anybody can enter.
Entrants are given a 3mx3m plot and 30 minutes to charm as many worms from the ground as possible (digging is against the rules). The person who charms the most worms is declared the winner and receives a or a trophy in the shape of a golden rampant worm.
For more information

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