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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Free Things This Thursday and Friday

It's Thursday and I am pinch hitting again for Michelle at Psalm 104:24 for her wonderful carnival: Three Things This Thursday. If you read my last post you know Free works for me. For today's post I will tell you of three free things I have done or will do this week.

1. Lincoln Park Zoo/Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL

I love zoos. I have been to zoos in four countries on three continents. The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the few free zoos in the United States. Located off of Lake Shore Drive in Chicago it is just across the street from Lake Michigan. We generally visit the zoo and then spend some time at the beach. This is exactly what we did this Monday. I have been going to that zoo for over 35 years and I still can't get over how I can be looking at a lion, look up and see the Sears Tower.

We packed our own lunch so the total cost of our afternoon at the zoo/beach was money for gas and $4.00 for parking. It did take us around 10 minutes to find a meter, but well worth it.
Now as I have said very few zoos are free, many however, have free days. I have been to free days at zoos in Springfield and Milwaukee in the past year. Check your local zoo's websites to see if they have any free days.

2. Six Flags Great America - Gurnee, IL

Now Six Flags Great America is not technically free. If they were, it might explain their latest financial woes. My two oldest children did earn free tickets to the park in a reading program this past year. I love Great America and was hoping to be able to afford to take the kids there this year. Their free tickets paved the way. I bought a seasons pass which has 4 free ticket vouchers (two are already expired). I will be able to go again twice this year just for the price of parking (twenty five dollars for close to the park, fifteen dollars for far from the park.) Note: you can save much money by bringing food with you and eating in the car. However if you park far from the park, this can be time and energy consuming. Also, Great America will not readmit people after 7 p.m., SO bringing your food will work great for lunch, but make sure you check your watch if you plan to do the same for dinner. We had a late lunch, only going back to the car once.
The water park was also included in the kids' free tickets and my annual pass so we hit that as well. We had a great time on rides like Jester's Wild Ride (sound's an awful lot like a Disney World ride, hmmmm?), Bumper Cars and the Home Town Fun Machine (Video Below). I plan on going at least twice more and using my free vouchers so my next trips should only cost gas and parking. By my math that's 7 people at Great America for the cost of one season's pass ($60.00) and 3 times parking in the cheap seats (45.00) all made possible by kids who love to read!

3. Baseball Game at U.S. Cellular Field. Chicago, IL

I have mentioned in previous posts how I am able to go to take my kids to White Sox games at just the cost of transportation and parking due to their kids club program. The tickets you get are generally on the upper deck and while I firmly believe there are no bad seats at the Cell (The old Comiskey Park had seats directly behind poles), sitting that far away from the action can hinder the ball park experience a little. Especially when your son is keen on catching foul balls.

This Friday, The White Sox are hosting the second annual Double Duty Classic at the Cell. The games are an homage to the old negro leagues and feature an all star game from high school baseball players from inner cities around the U.S. The game is free to the public and free parking is available as well. Charlie and I will be there when gates open at noon and look forward to having a great day and learning more about the negro leagues. Maybe we will even catch a foul ball.

So that's it for me. Those are the free things for this week. Now it's your turn. Blog about three free things (or any three things at all) and click on Mr. Linky. Nobody participated last week, and while we all want Michelle back and running this, we also want her to think that the carnival is in capable hands (she doesn't have to know the truth). If you have any trouble with Se├▒or Linky, let me know and He and I will get things squared away!
It is now friday and I am double dipping at Frugal Fridays. If you want to see what other tips are out there go to Life as Mom. Also, if any of your tips are free things (3 or any other amount) feel free to link it here.

Next Time: An Award for me?

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