A Recessionista’s Guide to Entertainment by Raz


Ed. Note: The following post was written by Raz.  You’ll always know if a contributor wrote the post from the title.

Entertainment is a tricky area to be thrifty in. A night out on the town always involves some form of spending. Here are some of my ideas for fun activities that are free or inexpensive.

  1. Movie Nights. With Netflix and the Red Box at Giant, there are numerous inexpensive ways to rent DVDs. Grab a movie, invite friends over, and have a movie night.
  2. Beer/Wine Tasting Event. Similar to a potluck, invite a bunch of friends for a beer or wine tasting. Have everyone bring a different type of beer or wine. As the host, provide note cards so people can write about what they like, and provide a few snacks.
  3. Game Night. My friends and I do these, and they are always a lot of fun. You actually don’t even need to buy games to host a game night. My friends just did one where they did Pictionary with a white board. Everyone wrote down something to draw on a piece of paper and put it in a hat. People then chose a slip out of the hat and drew it on the white board. I missed out on the event because I was sick, but apparently it was pretty hilarious with the ideas people contributed and the drawings they attempted. Other game favorites are cards, Apples to Apples, Catchphrase and Jenga. Continues after the jump.
  4. Read More. If you want a quiet evening in, and don’t feel like zoning out in front of the TV, reading is always a great thing. I am a believer in the library, as opposed to buying books. You just need proof of DC residence to set up an account at the library. You can put holds on books you want online, and you get an email when the book is ready for pick up.
  5. Dinner Parties. Casual dinner parties are a fun time. Have a few people over, and cook dinner together. Ask your guests to bring drinks, dessert or a side dish, and cook the main meal together.
  6. Museums. We are so lucky here in DC that we have all these great museums that are free to visit. Instead of going shopping on the weekend, go check out a new exhibit. Some of the museums have evening events on Thursdays and Fridays too.
  7. Join Promoter Lists. If you are into the club scene, you can avoid cover charges and get drink specials by joining promoter lists. A lot of them use Facebook these days. Search for the club you want to go to on Google or Facebook, and put yourself on the list. You usually need to do this by 9pm the night you plan on going there. (I am not a huge club person, and I’m guessing most of this readership is not either, but sometimes it’s a fun change of pace.)
  8. Keep Your Eyes/Ears Open. I always hear of free and inexpensive events around town by reading DC blogs (DCist, DCBlogs.com, Washington Post’s Going Out Gurus, etc.) and subscribing to e-newsletters (DailyCandy, Washingtonian, etc.). And of course, PoP features events as well. When you are bored at work, poke around online and see what is out there.

4 Comment

  • To add to number 8, I run a blog called DistrictBeat, where I write about inexpensive arts and culture in the District. If people are looking to go to shows, concerts, plays, exhibits, and the like for free and cheap, then they might be interested in my blog. I post deals when I hear of them and reveiw the work that I make it to.


  • DC’s Shakespeare Theatre also offers $10 tickets for folks who are under 35 . I take advantage of this as much as possible! http://www.shakespearetheatre.org/20_10.aspx

  • Vonstallin

    Me and my God knows i got number 1 (Movie Night) down pack….
    man…I hate winter. Its the only time im in the house and suffering…..

    I should have another spaghetti party…

  • You want to know what the best free entertainment is? Good sex…or bad sex. Oh yeah, it’s not always free either. Sometimes you have to buy an expensive dinner to get the whole deal. Unless you’re into hookers. In which case you just have to do a little haggling.

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