Broadening your cultural horizons is an exciting and rewarding pursuit—but it can also be a costly one.
Particularly in LA, the newest art scenes can often show up with a fancy bougie price-tag, and a weekend of soaking in the world around you can results in some bruises and heartache in your budget later on.
Use the following tips as your savings guidebook when making spendy social plans:
- Dinner and a Show? Find a Happy Hour
It’s the perfect date-night or night-out solution, but dinner and drinks for two people in this city can add up quickly. You can cut your costs by 20 percent — or sometimes completely in half — by scoping out great happy hours in your area.
Whether you’re seeking deep discounts on specialty cocktails, half-priced appetizer plates, margaritas to fulfil your Taco Tuesday dreams, or $1 West-Coast oysters, you’ll find happy hours aplenty in North Hollywood.
- Take an Art Walk
NoHo is home to a huge art gallery scene, and you can see them for yourself on the NoHo Art Walk. This community event showcases the best of North Hollywood artists and local businesses, and is free to the public.
If you’re more of a DIY-type, you can tour the neighborhood galleries on your own time for a culturally-immersive and low-cost afternoon.
- Explore the Comedy Scene
LA has one of the largest concentrations of stand-up-comedians in the country—take advantage! Acts such as Power Violence, Motherland, Upright Citizens Brigade, Sleepaway Camp and more host free comedy shows on a weekly or monthly basis, and it’s easy to stop by for a few minutes of free laughs between drinks. You might even be able to score free dinner, and that’s always a win.
- Hunt for Discounts
If you’re scraping the bottom of your budget barrel, try scoping out great savings online before you set one foot out the door. Sites like Savings.com use their coupon experts to browse all the leading entertainment sites for you – sites like LivingSocial, StubHub, and Entertainment.com – to gather all the best discounts in one easy-to-browse location. It’s a great way to experience your city for less.
- Find Free Concerts
At all times of year, but especially in the summer when schedules are lighter, you can find a host of free musical performances to attend for some budget-friendly entertainment.
If you’re lucky, you can even attend free concerts in world-famous venues: the Hollywood Bowl, for example, hosts free-to-attend rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from July – September. Just call ahead, skip the crowds, and enjoy.
Can’t find anything for free? It’s also easy to scope out discounted tickets and still manage to save a few dollars.
- Experience Nature in the City
Sometimes, the best art comes from Mother Nature herself. Los Angeles is home to some beautiful landscapes, and you can enjoy the natural California beauty at multiple nature parks around the city.
Check out the nearby Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge for a lovely botanical garden visit, or the Japanese Garden in Van Nuys to be transported to another location, if only for an afternoon.