10 Super Cheap Things to do In the Triangle


Living in the Triangle has its moments. Proximity to Raleigh, Durham and Cary means that there are choices galore of things to do.  The choices however are easily narrowed down when one factor’s in cost. Cost is prohibitive, if like me money or lack thereof plays a role in determining your family entertainment.  Since I am determined to get out with my family, I have been working hard to find free family entertainment that is not cost prohibitive.  This week’s list of 10 things is based on all free activities that I found to attend with family and friends. Well, almost free but which is as close as one can get  in our great Capitalist society.

  1. Occupy Raleigh or Occupy Durham– We wanted to attend this free event, but stopped short when we realized that we didn’t really relish the idea of getting arrested and then having to ante up precious $$ to get out. So in the spirit of free speech and down with Corporate greed , I say “ Go Occupiers! Go Occupiers! If I wasn’t a jobless immigrant scared of getting arrested, I’d be out there with you!”  Watch this video as arrests are made in Raleigh http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d44nW5yQhaw
  2. State Fair– I am glad we went to this almost free event. I refuse to feel guilty about what I ate there. The funnel cakes were amazing…and that was only desert.  We lumbered down the maze of paths stopping frequently for an endless variety of entertainment. Great job NC State fair!
  3. Diwali Festival– We decided to be Indian for a day and went to the local Diwali Festival. The Indian culture was vibrant in this absolutely free festival that celebrated Indian New Year. Festivities included an Indian Dancing Group from Russia (huh?) who performed in authentic Indian costumes and kept the crowd enthralled with their fancy footwork and constant twirls.  I wonder……would anyone notice if I bought one of those outfits and wore them in the street? The event culminate with an amazing firework display.
  4. Halloween Festival in Cary– Cary did not disappoint. Friends and family came out for the Cary fest at the Herb Young Community Center. As with any free event of this magnitude, we (the parents) spent majority of our time lining up and administering veiled threats to keep kids in place. At least we were rewarded with a hayride through down town Cary.
  5. Trick or Treating at the Cary Town Mall– Greatest idea ever! All in one place. One stop shop. Although a wee bit too crowded, this was a wonderful idea considering it had been raining outside.  Some of the stores like ‘The Children’s Place’ managed to stay true to the economic times by tricking the kids and treating the parents. In true corporate fashion, they didn’t buy candy but opted for the lame discount coupons that they handed out with a sticker stapled on the back of it. I will never forget the  dismayed expression of my son who somehow managed  a hollow “thank you” and scuttled for other hopeful prospects.
  6. The trails in Apex- Apex Community Park has a gorgeous 50 acre lake surrounded with trails. All free for family entertainment.  Running in these trails puts you in a peaceful state of mind that sets the tone for your day. I highly recommend this free activity. Next stop fishing.
  7. Great for Picnicking Walnut Street ParkRecently upgraded the playground offers padded surfaces for little tykes to tumble safely and approximately 1 mile of mulched trail. It looks nice and new. Great for Picnicking while taking in the fall colors.
  8. MeetUp– Its getting colder and a great way to get of the house is to figure out what it is you are interested in and go meet others like you who have the same interest. The Triangle has a lot of meetup groups. It has so many in fact, that I have to find time to sort through the sheer volumes of spam that I now get as a result of joining them.  It looks like there are hundreds of people in the Triangle, wanting to meet and not go broke doing so.
  9. A Good Book never led you astray– The libraries in Wake County have been proving to be full of surprises. With lots of workshops, seminars and guest talks, we have found plenty to keep us busy on the odd evening when we just want to get out for an hour or so without too much prep work involved. I have my favorites but for different reasons. The Eva Perry Library is grand and gives that  libary’ish feel, the Cary Library is great for my son because all the kids books are in one area that is easily accessible and Cameron Village Library serves a dual purpose for when I should be working but want to buy coffee and people watch at the same time.
  10. Volunteering– I can’t say enough on this topic. I volunteer quite a bit and feel that the best way to be a critic of anything is to actually get involved in the process of changing the ‘thing’ that you want to see change in the first place. So get out and volunteer If you can. Make your mark in the world.

There is plenty of inexpensive things to do.  I know that members of the Diaspora have tremendous challenges to face while trying to adjust in the society they have found themselves and I hope  that will list of 10 Super Cheap Things to do, you too can find a way to get out into the community and be part of it without feeling like there is a financial barrier.


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