The sun is blazing as you glance out the window. It is the perfect summer day to go have fun with friends. Looking in your wallet you find a few dollars and a handful of change.
Being broke is a bummer teenagers seem to always have. What do you do when you're low on cash and you can't afford to take a trip to France? It turns out that you can still have a ton of summer fun by staying local and finding cheap activities.
Many Top of Utah teens enjoy staying in their own community for the summer. There are many reasons why they can have fun without traveling across the world or spending a lot of money to go to out-of-state amusement parks.
"You can have an amazing summer without spending money," says Aryn Meinzen, a future sophomore at Syracuse High School. "The real stuff happens, the stuff you'll remember forever. Yeah it's nice to go to the mall or the movies sometimes, but just hanging out is great."
As a NUAMES senior this fall, Aja Swalberg claims that "there are a lot of fun things that you can do that don't cost a penny!"
Jessica Cameron, an upcoming Syracuse High senior, agrees that having fun isn't all about the money.
"If you're with friends you don't have to have money to laugh and have fun with them," she says.
Colt Florence, a senior in the fall at Bonneville High School, says that even though free activities are great you don't need to be afraid of spending a little money either.
"It's always nice to have a good time if it's free, but it's always worth it to pay if it's something fun or exciting, especially if you're with friends," Florence says.
Fun in the sun
So what can teens do around their hometowns that is exciting?
Julia Cain, a junior at Ogden High in the fall, says for her inexpensive summer fun she goes to the park and hangs out with friends, walks around stores or maybe takes in "a cheap $3 movie."
"My friends and I go to parks to just chill and play games during the summer, plus it doesn't cost anything," Meinzen says.
Holly Sagers, a future Ogden High junior, says, "I go to a park, hang out with friends. I don't really do a whole lot involving money. I like to do things with what I already have."
Jenny Rasmussen, who recently graduated from Clearfield High, likes to spend her summer outdoors.
"I love just going to play tennis at the local courts," she says. "It is good to stay fit and in shape. Also, it is even fun just to head to a park on a date or with friends, have a picnic lunch and just play a sport in the grassy areas. I enjoy doing it because I love being out in the sun."
Sierra Hansen, a recent graduate of Northridge High, says, "I ride the FrontRunner down to Salt Lake to see a movie there! My friends and I like to go on 'adventures' and explore places we've never seen."
Another kind of pool
A recent Roy High graduate, Madison Waples, says she likes to swim and do other activities with her friends during the summer.
"With it being as hot as it is you can almost always run into friends at the Roy Aquatic Center ... I also love going on bike rides at night with my friends. It is free and it is always a good workout," Waples says.
Kip Corry, an upcoming senior at Roy High, has a passion for playing a specific game.
"Sometimes my friends and I go down to The Junction in Ogden and actually play pool," he says. "They have a bunch of pool tables in there. ... It's actually really fun and for some reason I just plain love pool!"
Ariana Golchin, a soon-to-be senior at Bonneville, says what she loves most to do is to call her friends and tell them to "bring water balloons and squirt guns." Then they go attack people and their cars with their ammo.
She recommends, "Don't forget the Oreos."
Change of scenery
Even though many teens can have a blast and keep things cheap during the summer by staying in their own community, there are some disadvantages.
"Sometimes it doesn't feel as exciting," says Hansen. "Sometimes your options are narrowed. You don't get to see other places and people!"
Tanisha Langston, an incoming Davis High sophomore, says that staying local "might get old after a while."
Cameron says one of the drawbacks is that even though you are saving money by doing inexpensive things, "lots of things cost money these days so you may not have as many options open to you."
Even though she sticks around Waples says she may not be at her house: "I try to spend as (little) time as possible at home because I will most likely get wrapped into doing some sort of chore," she says.
Out of the box
Some of our veterans at doing inexpensive activities gave some hints for teens who may not be as skilled in this department.
Hansen recommends "trying things you've never tried" and "getting out of your box" and enjoying yourself.
Bailey Bateman, an upcoming senior at Fremont High, says it is a good idea to have a job so that you can have money to do fun things during the summer.
"If you get bored easily do things that aren't boring to you," says Kaitlan Boman, a future senior at Bonneville. "Surround yourself with fun people and you'll have a fun summer!"
* Build sand castles at a local park
* Run through the sprinklers in your backyard
* Have a homemade ice cream party
* Blow bubbles while you watch the sunset
* Go on a photo scavenger hunt
* Have a sidewalk chalk drawing competition
* Play water baseball with your friends
* Go summer caroling with camp songs
* Host a track meet at a park with unique events
* Have a "Back To The Future" movie marathon