The perfect day-out with friends is every teenager’s dream. It’s one of those occasions when you get to meet up away from the tension of your classroom and melodrama at home and just enjoy the outdoors. You visualize movies, good food, games, shopping and the likes; basically having a lot of fun. But you know, perfect teenage is also the haven of problems. The party-pooper comes into the picture when you open your wallet to discover that you’re broke. Yes, running out of pocket money is painful and frustrating, especially when you’re in hopes of enjoying a good time. Without a few hundred rupees, the KFC and Civil Mall and Gaming Center dreams just aren’t possible, right? But then you don’t earn, you shouldn’t steal and you just can’t bear to keep pestering your parents for extra-cash; so what to do? Right in front of your eyes, your wonderful weekend plans wash down the drain. You drag your feet back inside. Sadly, it’s back to TV re-runs and Facebook for the rest of the day.

Well, knock knock! If that’s what you’ve been thinking, you’re obviously wrong. There’s still pretty much to do outside besides splurging, you know? And it doesn’t matter if you like crowds or not, all you need to do is step out to find interesting options for your ghumgham. The next time you have a holiday, try these:

Option A for the Adventurous and Ambitious

  • Stretch your legs a little. Ever heard of trekking? Do that! Pick out a nice, suitable area (it won’t be that difficult here), put on a pair of sturdy shoes and off you go! Lose yourself in the beauty of Mother Nature, share laughs as you slip off rocks, watch the birds and watch out for creepy crawlers. Don’t litter. And yes, please inform your parents before leaving, pack your bags with a first-aid kit and carry fully-functioning mobile phones (preferably with SIM cards of multiple network operators) just-in-case.
  • Go camping, or go for a picnic nearby (helps if you have friends who live a little away from the city area). To avoid spending, just rummage through your storeroom and backyard. Odds are, you’ll find old quilts or hammocks, bed-sheets and table-spreads, sticks, stone and perhaps a few junk-food packets lying about the kitchen. If any of you cook, or know someone who’d do that for you willingly, you could have a potluck as well. Then bring along board games or cards, spark up (not too dangerous) challenges, have a tennis/ badminton/ volleyball match, hold scavenger hunts and play tug-of-war!
  • Look up the ‘events’ section in Fr!day Events and Entertainment Weekly. Sort through programs like free conferences, talk shows or discussions on topics of your interest. Walk in, listen and participate.  

Option B for the Bookworms

  •  Visit public libraries like Kaiser, AWON or AmLib, even if you don’t have a membership already. Spend the day at book-stores, browsing through volumes of paperbacks and hard-covers to your hearts’ content. Leave as a happier and wiser person. 

Option C for the Creative and Crowd-lovers

  •  Poets can always pen poems, whether indoors or in the wild and the pollution. Wouldn’t it still be great if you could gather fellow poetic friends at a park or a café and write away? Seek out such places, share your verses and umm, talk to strangers in the street in rhymes just to annoy them. Artists, painters and photographers can go sightseeing for subject and inspiration too.
  • If you really really adore music, find free music. I bet there are plenty of musical spots in your whereabouts just waiting for you to come and join. Unleash your talent and appreciate the same of others.
  • Head off to a popular people destination, a well-trafficked area like the mall or squares or Thamel for instance. Then pick out a comfy spot and people watch. Make up stories about them, find out funny traits, discover similarities or differences.

Option D for Doers

  • Try your hands at gardening. Or bicycling. Or research do-it-yourself activities and get them into action.  

Option E, bias-free, for Everyone

  • If you’re a sports person, go to open courts or playgrounds. If not a serious sportsman, engage in some classic schoolyard games like tag, fire-and-ice or hide-and-seek because no one’s too old for that!
  • Flash-mobs are all the rage these days. These are events in which a huge group of people come into a public spot and do something noticeable. The actual activity varies – they may all start singing or dancing at once or they may participate in a pillow fight or they may dress in costumes. Start one or check out dates and venues of those already happening and stop by. You might earn new friends and experiences, without spending a dime.
  •  Do some volunteering work or run errands for someone else. Participate in a fundraising event so that when the weekend is over, you feel good about yourself.
  •  Window shop and loiter around. See if you run into someone you know. And if nothing works out, make paper airplanes and hold a flying contest!