5 nerdy (but cool) free things to do on the long weekend

A night under the stars is a free activity that anyone can enjoy. Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

TORONTO – It’s the first unofficial long weekend of the summer (yes, we know it’s still spring). So what can you do?

Here are some cool, nerdy things you can do with the whole family — and they’re all free.

1. Nature Hike

We live in a country replete with greenness. You might just want to visit a local park and take a look at the trees and flowers in bloom, or you might want to be a bit more ambitious and hit up a local trail.


You can even try to do a bit of birdwatching. Take a logbook and record the types of birds you spot. If you don’t recognize any, you can write down the description or draw it and then try to look them up on a birding site such as

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Birding hobby soars in popularity across North America

There are also plenty of national parks and provincial parks that you can check out. But remember: always be safe. Be aware of your surroundings and ensure that there are no warnings due to local wildlife.

2. Clean up your neighbourhood

It’s spring time and all that melting snow has likely uncovered a abundance of debris leftover from fall and winter. From leaves to paper to pop cans, they can make our neighbourhoods look like a garbage dump.

Why not take the opportunity to spend just an hour cleaning up your neighbourhood? Not only will you be making the area around your home clean, but you might inspire others to also take initiative.

3. Geocaching

Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt.

Using a GPS-enabled device such as a cellphone, participants are invited to search for various things that people have hidden, leaving you the GPS co-ordinates of the hidden treasure.

Geocaching got its start in 2000. The activity started out at first as a way to test out the accuracy of the now public global positioning satellites. The task quickly spread on newsgroups on the Internet and resulted in the site where people around the world hide things and leave clues.

Story continues below advertisement

Once you find the geocache, you enter your name and something about your find in the logbook that is left at the location. You can take an item from the cache so long as you leave something behind of equal or greater value.

And if you think this is just relegating to backwoods or parks, you’re wrong: there are geocaches throughout downtown Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and pretty much any city you can think of.

4. Night under the stars

If you have the weather for it, you might want to just sit under the stars and enjoy the night sky.

Some things you can do is try to identify constellations. Don’t know any? Make up your own.

You can also try to see how many meteors zip through the sky. And in between that, you can even count satellites.

International Astronomy Day is a day to look up at the stars. Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

You can easily spot satellites as the slow-moving lights that pass across the sky. But don’t mix them up with planes: the lights on satellites don’t blink.

Story continues below advertisement

5. Put away your devices and read a book

This may sound anti-nerd, but it’s really where nerdom all began.

Sticking your nose in a good book and shutting out the world provides a quiet that most of us lack nowadays. If you have the weather for it, you can even take your book outside and settle in a comfortable chair or lie in the grass and enjoy the weather.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story said that a geocache can be taken. However, it’s an item inside the cache (which could be a container, etc.) that can be taken.

Sponsored content