Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Ponies

So, this option isn't exactly anything out of the ordinary, but it is one that many of us tend to forget about...the race track! Santa Anita (Arcadia) is open from December through April and Hollywood Park (Inglewood) is open from April to July. There are also autumn dates, but they haven't been announced yet. I personally prefer the Santa Anita race track.
It is always great to go to the track with a group of friends and enjoy the races, food and a few drinks, of course. The parks always have some type of promotion going on, so check the park's promotion calendar online and you may benefit from free admission, or a free towel.

Admission for Santa Anita ranges from $3.50 to $20.00 and parking is as little as $4! For more info visit: http://www.santaanita.com/

Admission for Hollywood Park ranges from $7.00 to $20.00 and parking is only $3. For more info, visit: http://www.hollywoodpark.com/

SoCal Savings - For a limited time, Santa Anita race track is offering free admission on Fridays. On Fridays, guests can also get $1 hot dogs, $1 sodas, $1 popcorn & $1 beer. Not so, shabby, huh? The outting can definitely be inexpensive, the key is not to go overboard with the betting!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Murder Mystery Dinners

Several years ago, I participated in a murder mystery dinner in West L.A. I have to admit, it was cheesy, but definitely "different."

Recently, I came across a murder mystery dinner option, except that instead of taking place in a restaurant, this one takes place on a train in Fillmore (Yes, I know, you're probably wondering, where the hell is Fillmore? It is in Ventura County...about 50 miles from Los Angeles).

For approximately $89 per person, you get a 3 course meal and entertainment aboard a train. Interesting, huh? For more info, visit: http://www.fwry.com/

As you'll notice, this company does not just limit their product offering to murder mystery dinners, they offer everything from Margarita Madness Trains to North Pole Express Trains among others. Sounds like LOTS of fun...if you go with the right people!

SoCal Savings - If you're tired of going to the same dive bar for happy hour, I came across a website that you may be interested in checking out: http://alexatucla.tripod.com/cheapdrinks.html. Seems like Alex at UCLA did some research and I don't think we should let it go to waste. The site lists over 50 places in the Los Angeles area where you can get a cheap drink. Cheers! Salud! Kanpai! Proost! Cin cin!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Gondolas in Southern California

When you think gondolas, you probably think Italy, right? Well, guess what? There are gondolas in Long Beach and Newport Beach, too! Yeah, I know, its not the same thing, but with this economy, do you really want to go to Europe where your dollar is worth even less? Hell, with this economy, can you really afford to go anywhere?

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, a gondola ride may be a nice, romantic thing to do with your significant other (if you haven't made any plans...and if it doesn't rain). Check it out!

Long Beach - http://www.gondolagetawayinc.com/

Newport Beach - http://www.gondolas.com/; http://www.gondolacruises.com/

SoCal Savings -If you happen to be in Long Beach, you may want to drop by and visit the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) http://www.molaa.com/. On Sundays, thanks to Target, visitors are admitted for free to the museum (oh yes, and parking is free, too!). For more info, visit: http://molaaprograms.wordpress.com/target-free-sundays-molaa/

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Big Screen

There is a great selection of Academy Award nominated films out right now, but if you've seen them all, there are a few different movies & theaters you may be interested in checking out.

IMAX - Yeah, yeah, I know you're probably thinking, 'eh, big deal,' but they do actually have some amazing documentaries at some of the locations. Presently, at the California Science Center near USC, you can catch Wild Ocean 3-D or Sea Monsters 3-D. You can park for free behind the Coliseum (regular street parking) for up to 2 hours or drop about $8 to park in one of the lots. Parking enforcement is very strict about the 2 hour street parking zones, so I don't recommend you take a chance. http://www.imax.com/

EL CAPITAN - Okay, so this one is geared more towards kids, but I finally went last summer and I liked it. You can park across the street at Hollywood & Highland for up to 4 hours for just $2, just don't forget to validate your ticket at one of the Hollywood & Highland shops (the Nestle Cafe and Auntie Anne's Pretzels are probably your cheapest options if you're watching your wallet). http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/el_capitan/

FAIRFAX SILENT MOVIE THEATER - This one is interesting. 'Built in 1942 by John and Dorothy Hampton, The Silent Movie Theatre ran for decades as the only fully functioning silent movie theatre in the country. It has been fully restored to its original, vintage 1940s art deco design, along with a brand new screen and sound system, to help a new generation enjoy the pleasures of cinema in a beautiful theatre.'

Don't let the name fool you, it isn't just about silent movies at this theater. The theater has an obscure selection of movies on the calendar. If you're interested, they also offer various membership packages starting as low as $25 a month (and there is plenty of street parking available). http://www.silentmovietheatre.com/index.html

LAST REMAINING SEATS and CINESPIA CEMETERY SCREENINGS - These two unique "big screen" options are only available during the summer, so I'll be sure to write about them then.

SoCal Savings -
If you're thinking about going to Magic Mountain DON'T buy your tickets at the park! Instead buy them online and print them at home and you'll save $20 per ticket. Regular admission is $59.99 per adult, but if you plan ahead & get your tickets on the Six Flags website, you can get each adult ticket for only $39.99 and each child ticket for $29.99. For more info, visit: http://www.sixflags.com/magicmountain/tickets/index.aspx