Free Fun in L.A.

Free Fun in L.A.

It is hot in the Valley, and we are looking for some cheap but (literally and figuratively) cool things to do around town that will get us out of the house, so we a) aren’t bored out of our skulls, b) aren’t running the air-conditioner, t.v., computers, video games, etc. all day long and c) aren’t spending tons of money.

The other day, we used our KidsBowlFree coupons, and that was a good way to get out of the heat, but we did still spend $12 on shoe rental for the four of us.   Not bad, but not totally free, either.  Remembering my old MomsClub days, when we had searched out all of the Museum Free Days in town, I decided to do a quick internet search.

That’s right: FREE DAYS.   I don’t know about you, but we cannot afford to pay admission to all of the museums we would like to see all of the time.  I miss going to museums.  I grew up in the D.C. area, going to the museums on the Mall for free all the time.  I guess I was spoiled.  When I moved to Los Angeles, had kids of my own, and decided to take them to the museums, I was shocked at the cost.  I mean, I understand the cost, but I can’t always afford it…and I want my kids to grow up with that experience of frequenting museums.  I think it’s good for them.  Luckily for us, many, many museums have monthly “free days,” when they are, as the name implies, admission-free.  Many other museums are free year-round.  I just can’t seem to remember which ones are free on which days.

So, when I found this link, I decided to save it, and maybe even to print it up, for future reference.  I thought some of you might find it useful, too.

In fact, now that I have the list, I am planning to take the kids to the Natural History Museum on Tuesday (when it will be free).  Now, to decide what we should do today.

(Oh, and just in case you can’t tell, that red print at the top is the link.  Click on that, and you will find a list of museum “free days” in the Los Angeles Area.)

The Best Things in Life Are Free

Hugs and kisses, the sound of a child’s laughter, those adorable chairs you find on the side of the road…

Yeah, I’m a scavenger.  This goes way back to my early days, when, after the school year was over, my friends and I would check the big dumpster outside our school and reclaim all of the perfectly good construction paper and other supplies that had been tossed out.  When someone is going to throw something out, I am the first to say, “Wait a minute.  Let me see what I can do with that.”  I am the one most likely to cut, patch, restyle and repurpose almost anything rather than toss it into a landfill.

So, if you know me, It will probably come as no surprise that a number of items in my home have been saved from certain doom, refurbished, if needed, and given a place of honour.  Over the years, I have rescued shelves, chairs, tables, even a large dresser and a bed frame.  I check it all for signs of anything yucky or dangerous, clean it well, then let it stand outside to air out for a while before I decided to actually bring it into the house.  Some things are not salvageable.  I can usually tell at the curb, and will leave those for the garbage man.  Sometimes, you get lucky, and find some really great items that people just didn’t want or couldn’t take with them.  If you want to know where your free stuff comes from, try or  I do that a lot.  In fact, when  I need something for the house, I tend to check first to see if anyone is offering it for free.  If not, I will check craigslist for deals on used items.  If I still don’t find what I’m looking for, I will broaden my search to include sales and/or coupons for new items.  I hate paying full price.  It’s against my nature.

I would recommend, even if you are skeptical, that you start keeping your eyes peeled when you are out and about.  That perfectly good lattice, wood fencing, chair that just needs a little love and attention…do you need them?  Were you gonna buy them, anyway? Well, if someone else is throwing them away, why not save a little space in the landfill, save yourself a little money, and save a perfectly good whatever-it-is from obsolescence?  Sometimes, you get really lucky, and find something fabulous ~ something you could never have afforded to buy.  Like these awesome chairs Hallie and I saw sitting on the curb with a bunch of other junk on the way home from school one day.  Sure, the red one will need to be reupholstered someday, but, other than that, they are in perfect shape.  Sturdy, cute, and perfectly suited to our parlour.

And they were free.

Sometimes, it really pays to be a cheapskate.