The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Cheap Fun in Hard Times

Going out with friends or on a date on the weekend can be one of the biggest costs in a students’ weekly budget.

It is easy to spend $100 or more for a dinner and a night of drinking.

By being smart and knowing where to look one can find much cheap or free stuff to do. There are annual festivals like the crawdad festival in Isleton held in June. Most museums offer one free day a month as well as student discounts. There are even weekly events that can be found.

One great tool in finding cheap, or even free, events is They conveniently categorize events so they can be searched by date, price, event type, location, and more.  It has everything from parties and festivals, to offers by different restaurants.

The internet is a great resource in searching for events and if you are looking at a specific location it can be very helpful, but it is certainly not the only way. Ask your friends, often times they will be able to recommend cheap restaurants, a cool movie theater or a nice park. Also ask people who work or live in the area you seek to go out in, they will know more than any website or newspaper can tell you.

Living in the Bay we have access to many beautiful city, regional, and even state parks just a short drive away.

Even people-watching in Berkeley or San Francisco can provide endless hours of entertainment.

A bottle of two-buck-chuck, a loaf of french bread, a wedge of cheese, a little imagination and the right company is all you need for a great day in the Bay Area.

A day at the races: If you like to bet on the ponies, Dollar Day at Golden Gate Fields is for you. Every sunday at the Berkeley horse track, admission, parking, programs, hotdogs, beer and soda, cost $1 each. You can even place $1 bets. The first race begins at 12:45 p.m. Who knows, you might even go home with more money than you came with.

All the science you can handle: If you are looking to kill a Wednesday but are short on cash, the California Academy of Sciences offers free admission the third Wednesday of every month, and with the Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium, Kimball Natural History Museum, and world “all under one living roof,” there is plenty to see and do without spending a dime! If that’s not enough to satisfy your thirst for knowledge free of charge, the first Wednesday of the month the Exploratorium waives its admission fee.

Night at the Museum: If you like a little science with your cocktails then check out the California Academy Sciences Thursday nights. Catering to a more adult friendly crowd, the museum opens its doors and plays host to a myriad of performers, lecturers and planetarium shows. Mix, mingle and wax scientific but buy your tickets early because at $10 a pop they are a steal and they sell out frequently.

Baseball on a budget: In this tough economy season passes aren’t really an option for most baseball fans, but just because you don’t have the scratch doesn’t mean that you can’t catch the game! The Oakland A’s offer $2 Wednesdays, where tickets are a mere two bucks and hotdogs are wallet friendly $1. So grab some friends, hop on BART and take yourself out to the ballgame.

Be a Kingpin on the cheap: Bowling is one of life’s guiltiest pleasures but for pre-worn footwear those rental shoes aren’t cheap! Fortunately that is not always the case, both Diablo Lanes in Concord and Padddock Bowl in Pacheco host discount nights, sure to fit any budget. Head to Diablo Lanes for $2 Tuesdays where games, shoe rentals, sodas and beer are only $2 a pop. Sunday night check out Paddock Bowl’s Sunday Night Dollar Delight where a $5 cover charge will grant you access to $1 games, shoes, sodas and beer!

Stay in front of the financial eight-ball: If rental shoes aren’t your thing, or perhaps you’ve just seen The Color of Money one too many times and you are craving a game of nine-ball, Masses Billards and Sports Bar may be the answer. Sunday’s and Monday’s they offer unlimited free pool and discounted booze for the over 21 set.

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Cheap Fun in Hard Times