Forget the five-star restaurant. Heck, even dinner and a movie can cost as much as a week's worth of groceries. But Friday night fun doesn't have to mean breaking the bank. Here are some entertainment alternatives that won't cost you a single penny.
Rent a Free Movie. According to the National Association of Theater Owners, taking in the latest blockbuster costs an average of $6.88 per ticket in 2007. That means even before buying some buttery popcorn and an ice cold Coke, a movie will set a family of four back nearly $30. But have you thought about checking out your local library? They've got hundreds, maybe even thousands, of movies you can watch for free, including new releases. If you haven't visited your local library since your school days, it may be worth another trip.
Plan a Game Night. One way to break boredom is to break out the board games. Chances are you've got a few stashed in the closet. Gather a group of friends and play the night away. Ask others to bring a few from their game collections so everyone can try something new.
Volunteer as an Usher. Your local theater likely needs volunteers to serve as ushers during performances. In return, you'll get to take in some free theater. This is a great way to soak in some culture without emptying out your wallet.
Visit the Bookstore. It's already a popular Friday night destination- your local bookstore. Flip through glossy magazines or the latest best-sellers. Peruse the bargain bin or the CD racks. It's a nice, relaxing place to spend an evening.
Search for Free Events. Chances are your community offers free options for Friday night entertainment- especially during the summer months. There are concerts to listen to, parks to play in, and events to visit. Pick up a local entertainment newspaper or do a quick online search. The key is free.
By Alison Storm
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