Monday, July 9, 2012

FREE in Scottsdale.

As I am looking for deals here in Scottsdale here, and trying to find fun activities, I have stumbled upon a lot of interesting sites. One I was just looking at is titled "100 Days, 100 Ways to Save: Summer in Scottsdale". Some of my favorite tips for freebies or cheapies from this site:
  • If you're an Arizona resident, ask about a Locals' Discount when making summer reservations at Scottsdale resorts, golf courses, spas and other establishments.
  • The Scottsdale Public Library presents fun, informative and free programs and events! You can check out the details at the library site here:
  • The Scottsdale ArtWalk takes place every Thursday from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. along Main Street and Marshall Way in the downtown Arts District. The galleries open their doors and show off works by some of the Southwest’s most outstanding artists. The process is simple - proceed at your own pace, browse the galleries that catch your eye, and enjoy the many outdoor sculptures that are part of Scottsdale's Public Art Program.
  • The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa offers free Native American cultural performances every Friday at 5 p.m.
  • Want to explore the Desert Botanical Garden? Or maybe you'd like to discover your inner geek at the Arizona Science Center? Now you can - for free! Valley library card holders can check out the Culture Pass for free admission for two people to participating arts and cultural institutions.
  • The free Kierland Commons Summer Concert Series takes place every Saturday evening in the Center Plaza.
  • The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) offers free admission every Thursday from 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • The Penske Racing Museum showcases and amazing collection of cars, trophies and racing memorabilia chronicling the career of one of the most successful dynasties in all of sports. The Penske team has more than 40 years of racing experience and over 300 major wins highlighted by 15 Indianapolis 500-mile victories. Admission is free.
  • Enjoy free concerts every Sunday evening from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Bring a blanket or folding chair, then relax on the lawn and listen to your favorite local bands. Train and carousel rides are $2.00 each.
  • Discover the beauty of desert plants at Desert Botanical Garden with docent-guided tours, family activities, events, an outdoor cafĂ© and gift shop. The Garden offers free admission every Tuesday from 1 p.m. - 8 p.m..
  • Although Scottsdale is most well-known for its Sonoran Desert scenery, the area is also filled with lakes and rivers that are brimming with action in the summer. Canyon, Apache, Saguaro, Pleasant and Roosevelt lakes are all within a 40-mile drive of Scottsdale and have public beaches available for picnicking, swimming and fishing.
  • The Phoenix Art Museum, the Southwest's premier destination for world-class visual art, hosts major changing exhibitions alongside a permanent collection of more than 18,000 works. Enjoy the museum for free every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on the first Friday of the month from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Dust off your picnic basket and head over to Chaparral Park and Community Center, where you'll have a 100 acres to play. You'll find a 10-acre lake for boating and fishing, a playground, ball fields, swimming pool and a four-acre, off-leash dog park. Don't forget your blanket and Frisbee!
  • Running through the center of the city, the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt is an interconnected string of lush urban parks. Featuring lighted walking and recreation paths, fishing ponds, athletic fields, tennis courts, a skate park and see-and-be-seen dog park, this popular 11-mile urban playground is perfect for walking, riding your bike or spending the day.
  • The air-conditioned downtown Scottsdale Trolley is free and runs year-round. Hop on and off as many times as you'd like as you explore the Arts District, Old Town, Fifth Avenue Shops, Scottsdale Fashion Square and more. You'll be delighted at the myriad options you find in downtown, including 100+ galleries, 80 restaurants and nightclubs, and shopping that will test the skills of even the savviest retail browser. Daily: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; additional hours on Thursdays until 9 p.m.
  • For more than 30 years, Harkins Theatres has brought back some of Hollywood's best family films to keep kids entertained and cool during the summer. Kids can enjoy a movie a week for 10 weeks, for less than $1 per film.
So, there are a lot of FREE activities for us to try out!! I am excited to get started on this list!


FREE family fun is Scottsdale: Splash Pads!!!!

When we started telling people we were moving to Scottsdale, AZ, lots of people laughed and asked how a deals blogger would live in Scottsdale. Apparently Scottsdale is generally a well off area. It is more "Tiffany and Co" than "Walmart" kind of people (in general). Honestly, the Walmart is pretty far from where I live as is the Target. BUT in just 2 short weeks living here, I have started to find the deals.

The first thing Wes and I googled and tried to find in Scottsdale was FREE, fun family activities. I should mention that Scottsdale is a suburb of Phoenix in the North East part of the valley. Phoenix is a huge sprawling metropolitan area and there is a lot of Phoenix information for me to wade through still, but Scottsdale itself, and nearby areas (like Fountain Hill) are somewhat lacking in Free family fun. At least at first glance. We have had to look for activities one at a time.

The first thing I wanted to find was a cheap or free way to cool off. Most homes here have pools int he back yard. The one we are renting does not. We have friends and neighbors here already that have offered us use of their pools, but I have as yet not taken anyone up on that offer (it's hard to take 5 kids to someones house to swim when you hardly know the people and the kids only kind of swim...) I found water parks and pools (looks like I need to figure out how to get discounts on some of those) and they were fairly pricey, so I began my search for Splash parks!

Right off I found one not too far from my house in Fountain Hill: Fountain Park, 12925 N. Saguaro Blvd. (Pictured above) We have been there like 5 times already. The kids love it, and the bonus for us is that there is also a Disc Golf course there around the lake (long time readers and friends will know that my husband, Wes LOVES to disc golf!). We played disc golf on the 4th of July. Had a blast, but lost 2 discs in the lake...might need a course further from water for future games... The splash pad there is really fun with lots of different water features. I recommend it as a great free, fun, wet, cooling family activity in Scottsdale.

There is only one other splash pad we have been to, and that one was at a shopping center: Scottsdale Quarter, 15279 N. Scottsdale Road. The kids loved that one because we went in the evening after Wes got home and after we ate dinner. It was Friday night and as it starts to get dark they have colorful lights that go on in the water area. The kids adored it. From my viewpoint, at first I was taken a back a little because Scottsdale Quarter is a little ritzy. And the splash area is basically right by the valet parking. So all the fancy dressed date night couples go to the valet to drop off their car, then they have to pass the water pad to get to the restaurant or club of their choice. At first I was a little antsy there (felt pretty under dressed), but then I just sat back and started to enjoy the pure people watching entertainment! WOW! I think I may need a bedazzler to fit in here! BUT, I Loved it!! People watching is awesome...Also a great FREE activity (Free if you can resist all the shops and restaurants).

And, I just found a great list of other splash pads in Scottsdale on (which is think is maybe the news?). I guess I have a few more places to check out now...


Omaha: Family Fun-RAILROAD DAYS!!!! This weekend

Omaha's Railroad Days are coming up this weekend!!!

Railroad Days is an annual Omaha event that is a lot of fun! And for a family (especially one my size), it is a great deal!! On Railroad days, you can buy a $15 family pass (good for 2 adults and the kiddos) that allows admission to and transportation between six of the area’s best attractions for families. (A $5 pass is also available for one additional adult with the purchase of a family pass.) The 6 attractions are Lauritzen Garden, The Durham Museum, Union Pacific's Railroad Museum, Joslyn Art Museum, RailsWest Museum, and the Historic General Dodge house. All are really fun places and they have special activities and fun for the family going on during Railroad days.

This is a GREAT way for a family to explore some of the great sites in Omaha for a low price! As mentioned, Railroad days is the weekend, July 14-15, 2012. Check out this website for more info! I hope a lot of your readers are able to take advantage of this fun, cheap family event! Wish I was there to enjoy it with you!!!


Omaha reader: Where to find local grocery deals!!

First things first. I told my Omaha fans/friends that I would post some links to blogs that are local Omaha blogs. Here are some:

I mentioned the other day that I knew of one Omaha blog where the writer, Nicole, posts her favorite Omaha grocery deals each week. That blog is Mom Saves Money. She used to just post a few weekly faves, but it looks like she is posting more these days and it is more like what I do for weekly grocery deals. To give you an example of her weekly grocery deal posts, check out this one from last week. (Can I throw in a "WOW" you had some great prices this past week, and it looks like you still have through tomorrow to get these prices!!!).

Another local deals blog that I love is actually written by a friend (she was kindergarten teacher to my 2 oldest kids before she quit teaching to stay home with her little girl). Sarah writes a great deals blog called Becoming Sensible. You will find lots of great local deal there!

One more, I have actually never even seen this blog until today, but I googled Omaha deals blogs, and stumbled upon the Omaha Deal Diva blog. She obviously has a focus on grocery deals and matches the coupons you can use to the weekly deals. Great blog for finding the local grocery deals!!!

I will continue to post events and activities and freebies that are Omaha delas just as I post Utah deals because I know much of my readership is in Omaha and Salt Lake area. But I will not be posting Omaha grocery deals anymore, as I will now be posting the grocery deals in Scottsdale. Thanks for reading and I hope you will continue to read through my frugal journey in Scottsdale!