Cheap + Summer + Fun
It's summer. Even with little to no budget, the fun must continue. In my quest for cheap summer funtime, I've had to do a some research and get a little creative, but I can attest that there is inexpensive fun to be had in this overpriced city (Los Angeles).The obvious outlets for summer free/cheap enjoyment that many people have already discovered are days at the beach (only $1/hour parking south of the Santa Monica Pier), hikes in the Los Angeles hills (beautiful views of the city in hills top parks in Laurel Canyon and Hollywood area), and relaxation in city parks (there are a fair number of large parks throughout the San Fernando Valley and Santa Monica). To add to that list, here's a few of my other personal favorites:1. Free concerts at local museums.The Armand Hammer Museum in Westwood offers free Thursday night concert series starting at 8pm. For July, the Also I Like To Rock series includes mostly alternative rock artists and in August, a variety of contemporary jazz artists are featured in the museum's JazzPop series.http://hammer.ucla.edu/calendarSimilarly, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LAMCA) in Mid-Wilshire area hosts free Friday Night Jazz from 6pm-8pm all summer and through September. There's a wide variety of artists, most of whom are prominent local Los Angeles musicians. http://www.lacma.org/programs/FridayNightJazz.aspx2. Bike ExcursionsExperiencing the city from a bike allows you take in places usually overlooked by car while being freed from the frustrations of the ever-worsening Los Angeles traffic. Planning out a weekend of visiting different sites and staying with various friends around the city is a mini-vacation without any travel costs and at your own pace.Massive night rides throughout the city are another great adventure. It's a little more intense than the weekend mini-vacation, riding with hundreds of other bikers through the city at night, but incredibly fun none the less. Check out www.midnightriddaz.com for more info.3. Communal Cooking + FeastingGathering friends together to take part in a proper feast has been around forever, but many people miss out on the most fun part--cooking together. Potlucks where people bring something cooked (alone) at home or god-forbid, paying exorbitant amounts of money to have a meal catered takes a vital part away from the feasting experience. Preparing appealing appetizers, eloquent entrees, and delectable desserts with good friends allows everyone to spend more quality time together and take part in the excited anticipation of an incredible meal. When everyone finally sits down to eat, they share in the ever-so rewarding experience of enjoying your personalized food creations. In keeping costs low, everyone can chip in $10-$20 for a night spent with friends, enjoying great food. The more people the better (and cheaper)!These are some of my summer-time favorites that are a part of the ongoing quest for fun and cheap experiences. There's plenty of others out there, so give it some thought, try some different things out, and share ideas with the rest of us.