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Entertainment

Free Museum Days

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 20th May 2015

The Frugal Diva loves culture and she loves the word free. By combining these two concepts, the divas of the world can soak up culture without getting soaked.

Most museums have a free day. It may be once a week, once a month, a late night but they believe that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy great works of art, science exhibits, and natural history.  Check the local museum websites for venues in your area.  The free day can usually be found under visitor’s information.

In Los Angeles,  the California Science Center is free every day for all permanent exhibits including the space shuttle Endeavour, the Guggenheim Museum in NYC has free or pay what you wish on upcoming Saturdays, and the Philadelphia Museum has free Wednesday nights (you can even run up the steps and stand near the Rocky statue).

Since many of you will be traveling this spring or summer here is a great site for finding free museums in your city and at your destination. Museum Free Days provides a list for many cities and links to the respective website.

In the fall, tickets for over 1400 museums across the country are available through Smithsonian Free Day and can be downloaded on August 1, 2015 from the site for you and a guest. If you are in Washington, D. C. the Smithsonian Museums are our national museums and are free every day.

The world of culture is yours – however timing is everything.

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Free And Low Cost Fun For Kids

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 25th February 2015

A Big Thank You to Jennifer Moss of  BabyNames.com and author of Town Red, for providing this great list of activities that are free or low cost, build creativity and skills for kids, and are bonding experiences between parent and child. She did forget to mention how much fun it is to look up names on her site and find things like character tips for writers, what are cool names now and in the past, and games for baby showers.

1. Your local library – get your child his/her own library card, it makes them feel very important and introduces them to the awesome library system. Make it a weekly trip and allow them to pick out 3 books at a time.  Some municipal libraries even have bookmobiles that may be in your neighborhood!  The library is also an inexpensive place to rent videos. At the Los Angeles Public Library they are usually free!

2. Your local recreation center. Many rec centers (like Westwood on Sepulveda) allow you to swim for a couple dollars per person.  Hours of enjoyment for little money! Rec centers also have affordable summer programs for kids, since they are sponsored by the city.

3. After school day care: LAUSD public schools have a free after school program called “YS” (Youth Services).  Take advantage of this if you can’t pick up your child and don’t want to pay a babysitter! YS coordinators are usually teachers from the school and they do outdoor activities with the kids they know.

4. Make your own restaurant! For dinner one night, make it fancy without going out!  Type up a little “menu” and play restaurant with your kids. Decorate your table with candles and let them make a centerpiece. Take turns being the “waiter!” Variation:While eating dinner, let your kid pretend they’re you and you pretend to be them. It is very revealing what they say, how they act and how you’re seen from their eyes!  You can also use this opportunity to point out some of their bad habits (like whining or chewing with their mouth open).

5. Have “pioneer night” where no electricity is used. This is harder for the adults than the kids! Can you go one whole night without power? No internet, no tv, no videos! Be creative and spend a whole evening with your kids in the dark! Stock up on candles and flashlights before you do this. It saves on the electric bill AND prepares your kids for emergencies!

6. Don’t have bikes? Rent them! Many of the L.A. beaches have bike rentals. If you don’t have bikes of your own, take the kids down to the beach for the day and rent bikes. For less than $10 you can have a great active day that they’ll love.

7. Bowling! Remember bowling? There are still lanes out there and you don’t even have to keep score anymore! Bowling alleys have many “off” times that are only a couple dollars a game. Check out your local bowling alley and ask for the bumpers for the kids!(Bumpers guaranteed to improve your game too!)

8. Baking. Bake with your kids. It’s fun for them to be part of the creative process and only costs a couple dollars for cake mix and frosting (or cookie dough).

9. Walks, parks and playdates. Take advantage of walking in your neighborhood and local parks. Walk slowly and point out flowers and interesting landmarks to your child.  If they are younger, practice colors and counting (“what color is that flower?”, “How many red cars can you count during our walk?”).  Barter play dates with your kids and their friends.  Play dates are a great way for parents to get “alone time” without paying for sitters.  Take the kids and their friends to the local park!  Better than video games and they won’t get bored as easily! Take a picnic lunch or snacks so they have some downtime between running and jumping! Bad weather? Take them to the mall — most malls have child play-places for free.

10. Share your picture/video camera with your kids. Most kids pick up on electronics quickly, so show them how to use the video camera and tell them to make a TV show all by themselves–with commercials!! It keeps them busy for hours and the result is usually hilarious!

If you don’t have kids, many of these activities are fun for adults too!

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Singles Mingle Valentine’s Day

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 26th January 2015

Singles always want to hide out during the February romance fest however if you are looking for a kind heart on Valentine’s Day try out these volunteer events throughout the country.

In Los Angeles – By popular demand, the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank has its Feed the Soul While Helping Feed the Hungry!  Saturday, February 14, 2011 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Date & Time: Saturday, February 14th – Registration is from 8:00 am to 8:25 am – volunteer project starts at 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. Please bring in your release form on the day of your service project.
Address: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is located at 1734 E. 41st Street, Los Angeles, 90058.

Hunger doesn’t end after the holiday season, hunger happens in Los Angeles County 365 days a year. Volunteers are needed to help sort, inspect, and repackage donated food items from local food drives. Help us help those in need by donating your time to fight hunger in our community. *Once you register you will receive an email confirmation with all the logistics and forms.

***All volunteers must wear closed toed shoes***
***Minimum age requirement to volunteer is 14 (sorry, no exceptions)**
Check out VoluteerMatch.org for more opportunities around the country.

You got the idea, just google valentine and volunteer plus your location. Opportunities will pop up for making this a heart warming day.

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Free Days At The National Parks

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 16th January 2015

When The Frugal Dude suggested going to Yosemite, The Frugal Diva replied that it was just a bunch of trees.  I could not have been more incorrect. The magnificent vistas, the fresh air, the beautiful meadows of wild flowers, and spectacular waterfalls made me realize that there was a whole world that awaited outside of urban areas. And the other good news, it did not involve any camping. I also believed that you had to pitch a tent and gather berries for sustenance.  Many National Parks have food and accommodations that are reasonable and don’t involve building your own fire. Of course for those who enjoy sleeping in the great outdoors there are numerous camp sites.

feb_22_08-1042Just to make this more fun, these are the 2015 dates when entrance fees are waived.

January 19-Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 14-16-Presidents Day weekend
April 18-19-Opening weekend of National Park Week
August 25-National Park Service Birthday
September 26-National Public Lands Day
November 11-Veterans Day

Many of your 392 national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee. So start planning your visit!

And if you are over 62 get a Senior Pass for a one time $10 fee.  This is for a lifetime of free admissions.  The pass admits the pass holder and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and pass holder + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, at per person fee areas (children under 16 are admitted free).

If you plan to visit several national parks in one year, consider the $80 one year pass.

The Frugal Dude was right, the national parks are a fabulous vacation and we have since been to the Grand Tetons, Glacier, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon (the north and south rims), Bryce, Zion and many others.  It is a great reminder what a vast and beautiful country we live in.

Let me know your favorites!

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Halloween Fun In LA For The Kids

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 29th October 2014

Start Halloween early with free and low cost fun for the kids!

Halloween Harvest Festival at Pierce College
Returns in 2014 for its 10th year, featuring a live stage show inside of a pumpkin patch, where you pick a pumpkin after the show. The event includes a maze, a haunted trail and a haunted house.
Location: Woodland Hills
Admission: Ticketed
For Kids: All Ages
2014 Dates: Various dates from September 26 through November 2

Dia de Los Muertos at El Pueblo (near Union Station)
A 9-day annual celebration, culminating with a 2-day festival. The event includes Aztec dancers, street performers, mariachi bands, children’s activities and more. El Pueblo is adjacent to Olvera Street where you can shop and eat lunch or dinner. There is a procession and blessings each night.
Location: Downtown L.A.
Admission: Free
For Kids: All Ages
2014 Dates: October 25 to November 2

Grand Park Dia de Los Muertos Concert
Bands, altars, food trucks, face-painting and more
Location: Downtown L.A.
Admission: Free
For Kids: All Ages
2014 Dates: November 1

Santa Monica Dia de Los Muertos
An opening procession led by Ketzaliztli dancers, a workshop to create offerings of marigold coronitas (crowns) and papel picado (perforated paper) for loved ones who have passed, self -guided tours of the cemetery that explore the history of local famous people and more.
Location: Santa Monica
Admission: Free
For Kids: All Ages
2014 Dates: November 1

Old Pasadena Halloween Celebration
Old Pasadena Halloween Celebration Trick-or-Treating (oct 31); Halloween Movie Screening of Mad Monster Party (Oct 31)
Location: Pasadena
Admission: Free
For Kids: Yes
2014 Dates: October 31

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Healthy Halloween Treats

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 27th October 2014

What a great opportunity to eat candy and go on a week long sugar high. However The Frugal Diva is going to step in and offer you some healthy options.

Check out Eat Well for great party recipes and treats that have a bit less sugar and a bit more nutrition.

Lindsay Olives has gone overboard on their Pinterest Page with cute ideas for scary snacks.

The Food Network always come through with party ideas and yummy recipes.

Have fun and post some pictures on my Facebook page in your costumes!

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Cheap Theater Tickets

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 8th October 2014

Now Divas occasionally we may have to pay for tickets however there are websites for theaters that make is easy to save on entertainment.

Goldstar has an amazing selection of tickets to theater, sporting events, wine tastings, and even some trade shows. They are in several cities so plan ahead when you are traveling.  I have used this website many times and always got good seats in the promised section and they keep a record of your transactions in case you want to recommend a production. Now in every major city.

Theater tickets for a year with a subscription to Theater Extras. Good for tickets in Los Angeles and New York City.

Gift Certificates to these sites also make wonderful presents for birthdays and the upcoming holidays. You pick the amount and send it in a Holiday card.  All the time avoiding traffic and parking hassles. That’s how divas do it.

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Los Angeles Free Museum Day

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 22nd January 2014

In a joint effort to present the arts and culture to the diverse and myriad communities in Southern California, SoCal Museums (previously the Museum Marketing Roundtable) announces the ninth annual “Museums Free-For-All” Saturday, January 25, 2014. The museums–presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science–will open doors and invite visitors free of charge. This offer is for general museum admission only and may not apply to special ticketed exhibitions. Regular parking fees apply; consult individual museum websites for hours and other visitor information.

Participated museums are as follows:

Annenberg Space for Photography
Armory Center for the Arts
The Autry National Center of the American West
California African American Museum
California Science Center
Fowler Museum at UCLA
The Getty Center
The Getty Villa (Timed tickets are required. Visit http://www.getty.edu.)
Hammer Museum
Japanese American National Museum
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles Fire Department Museum and Memorial (Hollywood and San Pedro)
The Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Latin American Art
Orange County Museum of Art
Pacific Asia Museum
The Paley Center for Media
Pasadena Museum of California Art
Santa Monica Museum of Art
Skirball Cultural Center

SoCal Museums unites the diverse museums of Southern California in joint marketing and communication efforts to increase visitation and membership in museums in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. SoCal Museums leverages the museums’ collective strengths, working together to reach current and potential museum goers.

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Green Halloween Costume Swap

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 9th October 2013

The Green Halloween program has a great way for you to save money and resources, build community, and take steps toward a greener Halloween: costume swaps!

Green Americans in 37 states and the District of Columbia (and two provinces in Canada) have organized community events for this weekend, October 12.

Check out the more-than-150 events that are already on the schedule, and find out how the event nearest to you is organized. Some events require prior drop-off of your old costume, others offer a more direct swap, and many are combined with other events like raffles, scavenger hunts, craft fairs, or other community events.

Inspired to host your own event? There’s still time to register a Green Halloween costume swap for National Costume Swap Day here. There’s no need to spend money on a brand-new costume every year while old costumes languish in the closet. Share that old costume with somebody else, and get a great costume in return.

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4th of July Savings

Posted by The Frugal Diva on 26th June 2013

The Fourth of July is all about red, white and blue… so why does it end up costing so much green?  From patriotic clothing to yummy picnic treats to parking fees, there are hidden expenses around every corner.  BeFrugal.com has some great ideas.

1.    Take advantage of free summer outdoor activities to have fun. Some ideas include face paint, sidewalk chalk, hula hooping, running through the sprinkler, having a water balloon toss, and tossing the ball around at your nearby neighborhood park or school field.

2.    Attend a free event. Listen for activities held at parks and attractions near you. Some cities have free concerts and many have public fireworks displays.

3.    Instead of buying new clothes with patriotic colors, shop your closet. Look for anything starred, striped or red, white & blue.

4.    Don’t give into buying unnecessary items. Often at public firework displays there are goodies for sale like food and glow-in-the-dark necklaces. Pack the kids’ favorite treats and toys instead of purchasing new stuff.

5.    To keep the costs of entertaining down, hold a pot luck meal and ask guests to bring their own beverages if you are hosting a gathering. Buy items like plastic cutlery and paper plates online to take advantage of free shipping offers plus use online promo codes and earn cash back – all on the same transaction. Also look at your nearby grocery store’s weekly ads to see the sales and prepare your coupons before going to the grocery store.

Stay safe and have a great 4th!

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