Free and Frugal Things to Do in Los Angeles

The 2009 Entertainment® Book - Great Savings on Dining, Shopping, Travel, Attractions, Movie Tickets & More!Madoline and I lived in Los Angeles (in the San Fernando Valley) for a year and a half, during which time we went through a shopaholic phase followed by a phase of extreme frugality (described in Our Family Financial History). When we decided to be frugal, I learned a lot about free and low cost activities in the area. Here we will share some suggestions for free and frugal things to do in the Los Angeles area. Note that I have not been to all the places listed here, but many are things I remember hearing or reading about while living there there and others have been gathered from online sources.

All activities listed below are FREE of admission charges unless otherwise noted (some activities are free on particular days or at particular times of day). Those that are not free cost $5 or less per person. Parking fees are noted whenever possible. Depending on the distance and number of persons in your group, public transit may or may not be less expensive. Check out an earlier post I wrote on How to Save Gas and Time by Using Google Maps, which includes tips on looking up public transportation directions and fares.

General & Sight-Seeing

The Grove Fountain Photo by r3m3dy
The Grove Fountain Photo credit: r3m3dy

Our favorite frugal activity was walking malls and pretty places to both sight-see and get some exercise. Here are some of our favorite places to walk. Note that even though these include shopping centers, you do not need to shop in order to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere!

  • Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade

    Grab a drink or ice cream cone and just enjoy the scenery and street performers. Check out Santa Monica Pier while you’re there. You don’t have to spend money on the rides, just enjoy the scenery, have a look at the famous carousel built in 1916.

    More information: Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade

  • The Grove

    A very pretty outdoor mall with cute buildings and a park-like setting with fountains and outdoor seating. Includes free events such as Movies in the Park, Girls Night Out, Music in the Park, etc.

    More information: The Grove

  • Farmers Market

    The Farmers Market isn’t only a place to shop for groceries, but they host free events all year round including a Summer Music Series; Family Fun with music, arts & crafts; Fall Festival with marching band, petting zoo, pig races, etc.; Holiday Festivities including music, Menorah lighting, caroling and a toy soldier band; Mardi Gras with Cajun bands, mask making, etc.; and the Gilmore Heritage Auto Show featuring more than 100 vintage and classic cars. (Photo credit: andy castro)

    More information: Farmers Market Events

  • Downtown Burbank

    “Come Out and Dance” with live bands with free dance lessons, fine arts festivals, Halloween trick-or-treat, Holiday Cheer and more in Downtown Burbank.

    More information: Events in Downtown Burbank

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Interesting Reads from Fellow Personal Finance Bloggers #6

When our cousin went home last month after her 3-month visit, I thought I’d be able to spend more time working on this blog and post more often, but I guess plans are made to be broken. If it’s not one thing, it’s another – all three of our dogs catching cold, changing webhosting plans and 2 out of 3 of our websites breaking, which I’m still working on, etc. But anyways, c’est la vie. So on with the roundup. Continue reading

Free Printable Templates: Gingham Mini Carrier Bags

These small bags with pretty gingham pattern are ideal for small gifts or visible storage. Simply click on the template images below and print with printer setting on “Scale to fit page”. Choose landscape paper orientation for larger items. Assembly may take a few tries if you have never done this sort of project, but be patient and you will find it well worth your efforts.

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Gingham Carrier Bags

For carrier bags, regular printer paper is recommended. Directions are provided on image:

  1. Fold down top of bag.
  2. Crease on lines to make rectangular shape and glue into a tube.
  3. Fold bottom of bag end as if gift wrapping a box.
  4. Use yarn, ribbon or string for handles and make a crease down each side as you have seen on paper bags.

Click on the small images to enlarge and print.

Yellow Gingham Bag

Yellow Gingham Bag

Violet Gingham Carrier Bag

Violet Gingham Bag

Spring Green Gingham Carrier Bag

Spring Green Gingham Bag

Red Gingham Carrier Bag

Red Gingham Bag

Blue Gingham Carrier Bag

Blue Gingham Bag

Pink Gingham Carrier Bag

Pink Gingham Bag

Orange Gingham Carrier Bag

Orange Gingham Bag

Green Gingham Carrier Bag

Green Gingham Bag

Brown Gingham Carrier Bag

Brown Gingham Bag

For more original free printable templates by Madoline Hatter, visit our Freebies section.