There are times when I want to leave my apartment and experience the fun and character of Athens, GA...and then I remember I have very little funds to do so (this usually occurs after having to purchase textbooks -- fellow college students, I know you understand this feeling!). Usually, when this situation arises, I find myself sitting on the couch, flipping through TV channels, and longingly looking out the window at the clear blue sky.

However, this behavior stops now! I've finally discovered a number of things to do that take very little toll on the wallet, all of which do not skimp on the fun despite the fact they do not require too large a chunk of your change. These super free and cheap deals are great for everyone and are a must-do for all Athens GA  residents and visitors. Ready to save money and still have a good time? Turn off that TV and read on!

Trail is a unique facility in Athens. There are around 120 species of Georgia wildlife in the zoo - including bears, otters, bobcats, and more!) - and a mile-long nature trail also located on the grounds. This is a great place for kids to go, and the area even has an exhibition hall in which younger guests can enjoy different kid-friendly exhibits as well as interact with some of the animals. The facility hosts many special events and programs, and you can even book your next birthday party with them if you're feeling like doing something a little different for your birthday celebration!

2. Love food and music? Don't miss out on the Athens' Farmers Market that takes place twice a week in two different locations. On Saturday morning, it is located at Bishop Park, and on Tuesday night, you can find the market at Little Kings Club. This is a fun way to get your grocery shopping done, check out some local Athens vendors, or even just enjoy some local musical talent. No matter what you go for, you will be guaranteed to have a good time - and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that only fresh Athens produce is up for sale! This is definitely one of the best ways to support your community every week.

3. Looking to enjoy the outdoors? Be sure to make some time for the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, one of Athens' most visited attractions. You will be surrounded by beauty no matter where you are in this 313-acre attraction, and there's always something new to see. There is five miles of nature trails to walk, a wonderfully tropical Visitor Center and Conservatory to visit, and plenty of differently-themed gardens to enjoy. This is a great place to visit on a pretty day, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy a relaxing afternoon. Bring a book or a friend, and enjoy all that nature has to offer!

4. If you're interested in the beauty of the skies during the nighttime, be sure to mark your calendar for the once-a-month viewing at the UGA Observatory. No matter whether the night is cloudy or clear, you will be able to gain a very informative experience learning about astronomy and the night sky. The telescope is placed on top of the physics building at the UGA campus. Keep the next viewing date open!

5. Those who have an appreciation for the arts definitely should check out the Georgia Museum of Art. The museum is constantly showing exciting travelling exhibitions; it also boasts around 9,000 pieces in its permanent collection. They offer tours, including those for kids, and often host fun events including film festivals and showings as well as classes and educational programs. The museum recently underwent a huge expansion, so if you haven't visited yet, be sure to check it out!

These five free finds are only a few of the many great things to do you can find going on around Athens, GA. You can find more at the Athens CVB website. What are some wallet-friendly adventures you've been on in the Classic City, and what were some of your favorites?

- Debbie