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To do this week: Have some free fun

And, public pools to visit before the season ends.

The last weekends of summer are ideal for Shore trips.
The last weekends of summer are ideal for Shore trips.Read moreJOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer

On the to-do list this week: Life is expensive, so we’re focusing on some free ways to get out of the house this week. Below, we have free things to do at the Shore, free things to do in Philly, free places to swim at the Shore and in Philly, and more.

What’s on my personal to-do list: I’m going to the Schuylkill Banks for its free movie night. They’re screening Knives Out along the river tonight.

We’ve collected our best Philly tips all in one place here. Stay healthy, stay safe, and get vaccinated.

Jillian Wilson

Summer toolkit

» Ask us a question through Curious Philly:

Do this

Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:

Upper Bucks Brew Fest 🍻 (Festival / in-person / outdoors / beer) Craft brews, games, and food come together to form a beer lover’s paradise this Saturday. General admission tickets include full event access and craft beer tastings. Featured breweries include Free Will Brewing, Breckenridge Brewery, and Fat Heads Brewery. Not a drinker? The $10 ticket includes full event access promising games, live music and special raffles. ($10-$45, Aug. 21, noon-5 p.m., 501 W. Mill St., Quakertown,

🔎 Find more of this week’s events, and we even have a kid-friendly events calendar, too.

Go down the Shore

The remaining summer weekends are numbered, sadly, but there is still time to sneak in some Shore time before the days cool down. Here are some free ways to spend your weekdays or weekends at the Shore:

New Jersey Maritime Museum: There are so many cool museums dedicated to the history of the Jersey Shore, but Beach Haven’s New Jersey Maritime Museum’s claim to fame is that it’s considered the most extensive collection of maritime history and artifacts in the state. Located on the southern end of Long Beach Island, it’s home to over 10,000 rare and historic photos, logs, videos, and artifacts spanning over 100 years. We’ve all heard of the Titanic, but are you familiar with the ill-fated liner Morro Castle? The maritime museum has an entire room dedicated to the 1930s luxurious cruise ship that caught on fire, killing 137. Come for a few hours, or visit for an entire rainy day. There are so many things to discover here.📍 528 Dock Rd., Beach Haven, 🌐, 📷 @njmaritimemuseum, 🕑 June-Aug., daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept.-May: Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Listen to live music at Laguna Grill and Rum Bar: Listen to music just about every night (and during the day on weekends) right on the beach. Laguna is a great spot for food and drinks, but what really sets it apart is its outdoor stage in the sand. There’s no cover charge, and you don’t need to make a reservation to enjoy the music and vacay vibes. Take a break to enjoy a meal inside or outside the restaurant, or just hang out and listen to the music. There’s a walk-up outdoor bar if you want to enjoy a drink while you relax. (Insider tip: Bring a few small sand toys for the kids.)📍 1400 Ocean Ave., Brigantine, NJ, 🌐, 🕑 Daily noon-10 p.m., music Mon.-Tue. 5-9 p.m., Wed.-Fri. 6-10 p.m., Sat. 1-5 p.m. and 6-10 p.m., Sun. 1-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.

Cape May Zoo: Head to the Cape May Zoo to meet Jambazi the Giraffe, Gracie the Zebra, Marty the Camel, and more than 500 of their friends. The Cape May Zoo is one of the few zoos in the country that is free, including parking. (Donations are, of course, appreciated.) And it’s open every day of the year except Christmas. This is a great place to visit for a relaxing morning, when most of the animals are out and about. It’s a completely manageable size and easy to navigate. After, enjoy a picnic and let the kids loose on the large playground right outside the entrance.📍 707 U.S. 9 N., Cape May, NJ, 🌐, 📷 @capemaycountyzoo, 🕑 daily 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

» READ MORE: Free things to do at the Jersey Shore

Go for a free swim

Swimming can be a free activity at both the Shore and within Philadelphia — there are public pools and free beaches that you can check out for a day of on-the-water fun.

Swim for free at Philly’s public pools

Philly’s public pools are always free to visit. This summer, the city opened 47 public pools in neighborhoods across Philly, and as the summer winds down, it’s your last chance to go for a free swim within the city limits. Some pools are already closed for the season, but several are still open for swimming: You can visit the recently remodeled Bridesburg Recreational Pool, John A. Lee Cultural Center Pool (which has a changing room!), or Southwest Philly’s J. Finnegan Playground Pool.

Swim for free at the Shore

While most Jersey Shore beaches require beach tags (which generally cost upwards of $5 to purchase for the day), there are a few beaches that are completely free to visit for a swim. In Atlantic City, lifeguards patrol the beach through the end of the season in early September, which means you can safely swim for free along AC’s coastline. Strathmere, located between Sea Isle City and Ocean City, is another free spot to swim and lounge in the sun and is much quieter than bustling AC.

» READ MORE: The best public pools in Philly & Where to swim for free at the Jersey Shore

Go to a free event

The world is (kind of) reopened and life is getting expensive, again. Thankfully, though, there are many free things to do in Philly and beyond in the coming days, including:

🎬 an outdoor screening of The Iron Giant at Clark Park on Friday

🎭 a Hansel and Gretel opera performance at Franklin Square on Saturday

💉 the Vax Up Philly Parade on Sunday

🎤 the Sistah Soul Concert Series at Spruce Street Harbor Park on Sunday

🚶the Ellen Reid Soundwalk through Fairmount Park, which continues through September

🧘 yoga at Pennypack Park on Wednesday

Insta inspo

Here’s something that caught our eye from a Philly-area Instagram account that I think is worth sharing:

Once a railroad line, the Rail Park in Callowhill is now an open-daily elevated public park with plenty of space for lounging and exploring. You can embark on donation-based walking tours of the park that are led by a tour guide who will share the park’s history, the future vision (there’s a phased plan for expansion), and point out the oft-overlooked spots.

Summer day trip resources

🍴 The best Jersey Shore restaurants with outdoor seating and waterfront views

🚴‍♀️ The most picturesque bike trails and routes at the Jersey Shore

⛱️ Things to do in Stone Harbor, Avalon, Sea Isle City, and Strathmere

🌮 The best Mexican restaurants at the Jersey Shore