Blogs » Lesley, Student of Life » Victoria's Treasures: 5 Things to Do for $20 or Less


During these hard economic times, it can be difficult to find ways to have fun and get out of the house without spending all your cash. Wondering what to do? Well, so was I, and I asked some friends and co-workers what they enjoyed to do that was both cheap and fun. We came up with a lot of ideas, and the top five are as follows:

Join a Club
There are a variety of clubs and organizations in the Victoria area that have weekly or monthly meetings, do community events and have speakers or classes. I would suggest finding a hobby that interests you-and discover if there is a comparable club to join. For example, if you enjoy art, you can join the Victoria Art League. Enjoy the zoo? The local Zoological Society, and if you like sewing, the Busy Bee Quilters may be for you.

Browse a Thrift Store
Thrift stores are great fun. I went into the Goodwill off of Navarro, thinking to get a few small gifts for some pen pals, and left with a lovely Daisy Fuentes blouse in autumn colors for $3.99, a pale iridescent sea-shell necklace for $1.99, an eclectic belt for .99 cents, six new decorative candle holders in various designs and colors for 99. cents each, and a sturdy basket for only $1.99. The total tally was just over $15. For those needing decorations and costumes, these are all out on display creating a fun, festive atmosphere. Costume prices ranged from $2-$3, and decorations start at only .99 cents. Other area resale shops include the Salvation Army, and The Hope Chest. Image

Dinner & a Movie
I love going out to eat and catching a movie, and vowed to find a way to do both for under $20. It wasn’t too hard actually, as I didn’t want to buy any drinks or snacks at the movies. Instead, I went to local eatery, Big Jim’s Burger, which served a wonderful meal of fried fish, lettuce and tomato salad, buttered toast and fries for only $7.52-tax included. Movie tickets can be as high as $10.50 depending on what time, day or showing you are going to. If you are frugal like me, you will wait until Tuesday when tickets are $2 off.


Nurseries and Gardens
Even if gardening isn’t your forte and every plant you keep withers into cornflakes after two weeks, walking outside amongst beautiful lush flowers and plants is therapeutic and relaxing. Victoria has quite a few nurseries and gardens. Among the more popular are the Rose Garden at Riverside Park and the Victoria Educational Gardens near the Airport. Both cost nothing to visit and are quite the experience to the senses.


Swim & Sauna
Living in the crossroads area, so very close to rivers and beaches, swimming is probably one of the favorite physical activities. I discovered soon after moving here, that swimming in the river was quite dangerous (I didn’t notice the ‘NO SWIMMING’ sign hidden behind a tree until I nearly drowned). Fortunately, there are other alternatives. Local health clubs offer safe and often heated swimming pools. For example, both the Victoria YMCA and Citizen’s Healthplex have a heated swimming pool and a sauna that is free to members and also offered to non-members for a low daily fee of $10. Swimming is a great exercise for those not wanting a strenuous sweaty work out, and relaxing in the hot tub and sauna offers a wonderful way to unwind after a busy work day or week.

As I said before, there are numerous ways someone with little or no money can get out of the house and have fun. These activities can be enjoyed alone or as a group, and offer big benefits for little bucks. Have a better idea? Let us know! Please comment with your suggestions of great activities to do in the Crossroads area for $20 or less.