Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guest Post with Melanie! -- Cheap Summer Ideas

Hey y'all!
I'm out and about today, probably moving in some fashion,
and have left my blog in some capable hands of the awesome ladies
who signed up to help a sista out.
So do enjoy your break from regularly scheduled programming!


Hi all! I'm Melanie and I blog over at Metropolitan Money Pit. I mostly write about fun, inexpensive things to do in Southern California with a few odds and ends thrown in. You see, Southern California is a pretty expensive place and...well...I'm a cheapskate. So my goal is to find great stuff to do at little or no cost to myself. And since I pride myself on being a cheapskate (call me thrifty, a penny pincher, heck, even a miser and I'll take it as a compliment) I thought I'd share some suggestions for inexpensive summer activities.

 Free Museum Days - I LOVE museums. I was an art history major in college and practically lived in museums during my studies. And I still can't get enough of them. But sometimes the admissions are none to cheap and definitely add up if you have a family. Luckily, many, many museums offer free days. Usually once a month they'll designate a day where admission is waived. If they don't there's a couple of programs they might participate in. If you're a Bank of America customer there's Museums on Us where on the first full weekend of the month you can gain admittance to over 150 (!) museums nationwide simply by showing your B of A credit or debit card. The other program is Target Family Days in which Target sponsors free admission to various museums across the country. These are usually great for those with kids. I know one of my local museums, LACMA, usually has an array of arts and crafts booths on these days.

One of my favorite exhibits at LACMA

Concerts in the Park - There's nothing like sitting under the stars on a warm summer's evening while listening to some great tunes. Luckily, there are a heck of a lot of parks that provide this pleasure for free. You can just grab a blanket or lawn chair, a light dinner, and sit back and enjoy. Check your local park and see if these are offered in your area. Usually the music can range widely from classical to cover bands. Also under this umbrella would fall movies in the park and Shakespeare in the park. All are an awesome way to spend the evening.

Movies - Don't worry, I'm not going to offer some lame suggestion of hitting up a matinee. I'm talking about summer movie deals. Like the movies in the park I mentioned above. Or sometimes there's more offbeat offerings. In past summers I've been to movie screenings in historic movie palaces, on the deck of a 200 year old wooden ship, and even in a cemetery. I did have to pay an admission to these but they weren't expensive and the experience was well worth it (except for the cemetery, I didn't really like that one).

But wait! There's more. Many theater chains have children's film festivals where they'll show a kids movie for around a buck. Check around. Also see if you're local theater offers a rewards programs. For instance, Regal Cinemas has the Regal Crown Club. It's free to join and you just give them your card when you buy your ticket. Through this I've earned countless free popcorn, sodas, and even tickets. Pretty sweet, huh?

My favorite historic movie palace, The Los Angeles Theatre

Craft Fairs - The growing popularity of the DIY Movement has brought an influx of craft fairs with it. Check and see if your local area is holding one. And don't worry, these aren't your Grandma's craft fairs - no tea cozies or macrame or afghans around. Most offer free or inexpensive admission and usually there are perks involved. The ones in my area tend to have free photo booths (rule of the thumb, always ALWAYS get your picture taken when there's a photo booth around), free make and take projects, and sometimes free drinks. And my favorite craft fair, Renegade, tours the nation (and London!). See if they'll be in your area.

So, these are a few inexpensive things I like to do in the summer. What things do you like to do?

No comments:

Post a Comment