Category Archives: Frugal Fun

Frugal Fun: 11/30 – 12/6

**This will be my last “Frugal Fun” post for a while. Instead, for the month of December I’ll be focusing on holiday themed posts to help you get through a month of gifts and parties without completely draining your bank account. 

 

A list of free or low-cost events happening around Brooklyn and NYC this week. As always, if you know of any other fun events that won’t break the bank, please feel free to contact me!

MONDAY 11/30

  • MOBILE MONDAYS – FREE

mobile mondays

Dance away a case of ‘the Mondays‘ with Mobile Mondays “New York City’s Premiere 45’s night for vinyl music lovers.” Each week is often themed (this week is FUNK), but according to the website, the genre doesn’t define the party. Listed as a Time Out New York critic’s pickMobile Mondays is sure to make the worst day of the week just a little bit better.

Located at The Bowery Electric (327 Bowery Street, New York NY), show starts at 10pm.

  • BIG PONY SHOW – FREE

Dancing not your thing? Start the week off with some laughs at the BIG Pony Show. It’s a FREE weekly comedy show located at Leftfield Bar in the LES (87 Ludlow Street, New York NY). Show starts at 8p.

TUESDAY 12/1

  • TRIVIA NIGHT AT BERG’N – FREE

Every Tuesday is Trivia Night at Berg’n Beer Hall. Show off your knowledge of random trivia while drinking from a great selection of beer and munching on food from a rotating list of food vendors. There is no cover to get in and it’s a really spacious location with a chill vibe, so even if you don’t want to participate in the trivia, you can go have a drink and marvel at how much useless information a person’s brain can hold. Located at 899 Berg’n Street, Brooklyn NY.

WEDNESDAY 12/2

  • BRYANT PARK SKATE-TACULAR – FREE

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Head to Bryant Park for their Tree Lighting Skate-tacular and the premiere of the holiday tale The Lights Before Christmas. The story was written specifically for the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park by award winning playwright Jon Caren and will star world-famous skaters including Nancy Kerrigan and Brian Boitano! The event is FREE and starts at 6pm. Head there early and enjoy dinner at a Winter Village restaurantt, or some holiday shopping at one of their over 125 boutique-like shops. Located at 41 W 40th street (behind the NY Public Library)

 

From the blog: As this year’s Tree Lighting SKATE-tacular coincides with Giving Tuesday and World AIDS Day; Bank of America partner, VISA, is contributing $.30 to (RED) for every purchase made at participating Winter Village merchants with a Bank of America credit or debit card, helping us sustain the season of giving at Bryant Park and spotlighting (RED) and the impact of their efforts to eradicate AIDS.

FRIDAY 12/4 – SATURDAY 12/5

  • BAMcafe LIVE SERIES – FREE

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Every Friday and Saturday night, BAM has free live music and performances as part of their BAMcafe Live series. The performances are different every night and have been a mix of all different styles of music, including rock, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, world music, and more. It’s located in the bar and lounge area on the top floor of the Peter Jay Sharp Building. Performances start at 9p*, but there is limited seating, so it might be worth it to get there early.

*Show starts at 9:30 this weekend

FRIDAY – Matt Darriau’s Paradox Trio 

(From the BAM website) Intoxicating Romany rhythms meet thrilling jazz improvisation in the boundary-pushing sounds of Paradox Trio. World music woodwind virtuoso Matt Darriau (of Grammy-winning ensemble the Klezmatics) leads the outfit, performing intricate, shape-shifting melodic lines on the traditional gaida, a Bulgarian bagpipe; the flute-like kaval; and the driving Balkan beats of the dumbek.

SATURDAY – American Candy 

(From the BAM website) Part sketch comedy spectacular, part raucous musical satire, AMERICAN CANDY, created by Hollie Harper, is a Brooklyn-based troupe that irreverently skewers the absurd side of American pop culture. Taking inspiration from groundbreaking series like In Living Color and The Carol Burnett Show, AMERICAN CANDY brings together a diverse group of comedians for a special performance to celebrate their tight, naughty grasp on musical comedy.

SATURDAY 12/5

  • PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999: ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MARIAH EDITION – FREE

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Get into the holiday spirit by dancing to the best hits from one of the greatest Christmas albums of the 90’s (or ever really). DJ’s will play the best songs from Mariah’s Merry Christmas album and some of her other hits, as well as the best pop, rock, R&B and Hip-Hop from the 90’s. Starts at 10p. Located at 149 7th Street, Brooklyn NY.

 

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Frugal Fun: 11/23 – 11/29

A list of free or low-cost events happening around Brooklyn and NYC this week. As always, if you know of any other fun events that won’t break the bank, please feel free to contact me!

MONDAY 11/23

  • MOBILE MONDAYS – FREE

mobile mondays

Dance away a case of ‘the Mondays‘ with Mobile Mondays “New York City’s Premiere 45’s night for vinyl music lovers.” Each week is often themed (this week is FUNK), but according to the website, the genre doesn’t define the party. Listed as a Time Out New York critic’s pickMobile Mondays is sure to make the worst day of the week just a little bit better.

Located at The Bowery Electric (327 Bowery Street, New York NY), show starts at 10pm.

  • BIG PONY SHOW – FREE

Dancing not your thing? Start the week off with some laughs at the BIG Pony Show. It’s a FREE weekly comedy show located at Leftfield Bar in the LES (87 Ludlow Street, New York NY). Show starts at 8p.

TUESDAY 11/24

  • TRIVIA NIGHT AT BERG’N – FREE

Every Tuesday is Trivia Night at Berg’n Beer Hall. Show off your knowledge of random trivia while drinking from a great selection of beer and munching on food from a rotating list of food vendors. There is no cover to get in and it’s a really spacious location with a chill vibe, so even if you don’t want to participate in the trivia, you can go have a drink and marvel at how much useless information a person’s brain can hold. Located at 899 Berg’n Street, Brooklyn NY.

FRIDAY 11/27 – 11/28

  • BAMcafe LIVE SERIES – FREE

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Every Friday and Saturday night, BAM has free live music and performances as part of their BAMcafe Live series. The performances are different every night and have been a mix of all different styles of music, including rock, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, world music, and more. It’s located in the bar and lounge area on the top floor of the Peter Jay Sharp Building. Performances start at 9p, but there is limited seating, so it might be worth it to get there early. As an added incentive to show up early, they occasionally have happy hour between 6p and 8p – and this Friday and Saturday happen to be two of those occasions.

Akim Funk Buddha will be performing on both nights this week. “A dancer, a beatboxer” and an “all around hip-hop visionary, Akim Funk Buddha has performed at Central Park Center Stage, and appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman.

SATURDAY 11/28

  • THE RUB – $10 before Midnight ($15 after)

The Rub is a dance party held every last Saturday of the month at The Bell House in Brooklyn. It started in 2009 a party with “great dance music mixed well, affordable drinks, and real people; no dress code, no bottle service, and no celebrity DJs.” The Village Voice has called it the “best party in Brooklyn to dance sweatily to smart music.” Cover charge is $10 at the door before midnight and $15 dollars after. Located 149 7th Street, Brooklyn NY.

Frugal Fun: 11/16 – 11/22

A list of free or low-cost events happening around Brooklyn and NYC this week. As always, if you know of any other fun events that won’t break the bank, please feel free to contact me!

MONDAY 11/16 – SATURDAY 11/21

  • COLD WEATHER BIKE RIDING AND MAINTENANCE CLASSES – FREE

Just because the weather is getting colder doesn’t mean our bikes have to go into hibernation. The Get Women Cycling (GWC) program, Citi Bike, Ride Brooklyn, and Mr. C’s Cycles are hosting free classes on bike maintenance and cold weather riding at various locations through out Brooklyn.

MONDAY 11/16

  • MOBILE MONDAYS – FREE

mobile mondays

Dance away a case of ‘the Mondays‘ with Mobile Mondays “New York City’s Premiere 45’s night for vinyl music lovers.” Each week is often themed (this week is FUNK), but according to the website, the genre doesn’t define the party. Listed as a Time Out New York critic’s pickMobile Mondays is sure to make the worst day of the week just a little bit better.

Located at The Bowery Electric (327 Bowery Street, New York NY), show starts at 10pm.

  • BIG PONY SHOW – FREE

Dancing not your thing? Start the week off with some laughs at the BIG Pony Show. It’s a FREE weekly comedy show located at Leftfield Bar in the LES (87 Ludlow Street, New York NY). Show starts at 8p.

TUESDAY 11/17 – THURSDAY 11/19

  • ICE SKATING IN BRYANT PARK – FREE ADMISSION / $15 SKATE RENTAL

Ice skating at Bryant Park always free to get in, but up through Thursday, November 19th, skate rentals are only $15. After that, the cost of rentals go up to $19 through the peak season (which still isn’t bad). Make sure to bring your own locks to keep your things safe otherwise you’ll have to pay to rent one. (Rink is closed on Monday 11/16). Located at Bryant Park

TUESDAY 11/17

  • TRIVIA NIGHT AT BERG’N – FREE

Every Tuesday is Trivia Night at Berg’n Beer Hall. Show off your knowledge of random trivia while drinking from a great selection of beer and munching on food from a rotating list of food vendors. There is no cover to get in and it’s a really spacious location with a chill vibe, so even if you don’t want to participate in the trivia, you can go have a drink and marvel at how much useless information a person’s brain can hold. Located at 899 Berg’n Street, Brooklyn NY.

THURSDAY 11/19

  • SCAVENGER HUNT AT THE HOLIDAYS SHOPS – FREE

Bryant Park is having its fifth year of scavenger hunts at the Bank of America Winter Village Holiday shops. They give you the clues and the first person to find all 10 items wins. While only one person can win the grand prize, but all participants are able to spin the prize wheel for a consolation prize (while supplies last). Sign up for the scavenger hunt is at the Park Shop and Info Kiosk, and the event takes place from 6p-8p.

FRIDAY 11/20 – SATURDAY 11/21

  • BAMcafe LIVE SERIES – FREE

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Every Friday and Saturday night, BAM has free live music and performances as part of their BAMcafe Live series. The performances are different every night and have been a mix of all different styles of music, including rock, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, world music, and more. It’s located in the bar and lounge area on the top floor of the Peter Jay Sharp Building. Performances start at 9p, but there is limited seating, so it might be worth it to get there early. As an added incentive to show up early, they occasionally have happy hour between 6p and 8p – and this Saturday happens to be one of those occasions.

FRIDAY – Awesome Tapes From Africa

Brian Shimkovitz, writer of the blog Awesome Tapes From Africa (so popular, it has become a record label of sorts) will be spinning “some of the best of the folkloric pop, left-field dance-floor gems, and hip-hop bangers from his massive collection of ultra-rare African cassette tape finds

SATURDAY – Gato Loco

(From the BAM website) Gato Loco fuses Latin mambo and modern rock firepower for a bold, exuberant sound. Saxophonist Stefan Zeniuk (of New York Howl) leads the brass and bass-heavy ensemble through rousing reworkings of classic genres, updating the traditional Cuban Son with dashes of salsa, 70s punk, and avant-garde jazz. The result is a fist-pumping, celebratory explosion of Latin ballroom music at its most raucous.

I mean…the name means Crazy Cat, so it’s bound to be great time.

Designer frames on a dollar store budget

City apartments might be tiny, but decorating them can put a big hole in your bank account. When it comes to decorating your walls, you can save money on expensive picture frames by making your own! Just buy some cheap frames from a dollar store and paint them to match your decor. It takes a little time to complete (this project took a few hours total), but you can make the most of your time and get some errands done while you’re waiting for the coats of paint to dry.

First, find some frames that are the shape and size that you want. The colors and designs don’t matter since you’ll be painting over them anyway.

You don’t want to lose your deposit by getting paint all over your floors or rugs, so you’ll want to put something down to protect them. I use a garbage bag (cut down the middle). You can also use a cheap tablecloth or shower curtain.

You’ll need some primer to make sure that the paint sticks regardless of the material the frames are made out of. This also helps you get the truest color of the paint you choose.

Primer is really important. I’ve skipped this step before and had to repaint them because the paint kept peeling off.

Save money on paint by buying sample sizes of the colors you want instead of buying the larger containers. These small sample sizes last a long time and will definitely be enough to paint picture frames – and you can save the left overs for your next DIY project!

You’ll also need paint brushes. Stores like Ikea, Target, and Amazon all have some really cheap options. If you’re thinking of doing some patterns or designs you might need some painter’s tape.

Tape off any designs you want on the frames and start priming! I used two coats of primer and waited about an hour in-between each one. Read the directions on your particular brand of primer for a more accurate wait time.

If you’re planning on doing this over the course of several days, you can save time cleaning brushes by wrapping the used brush in plastic wrap and putting it in a ziplock bag. This will keep it from drying out until you’re all done with the project.

Once the last coat of primer is dry you can start painting your frames! Keep them on the plastic until they are completely dry. There’s nothing worse than spending hours on something only to have it ruined by impatience – and I’m saying that from experience!

And that’s it! Create beautiful expensive looking picture frames for a fraction of the price.

Frugal Fun: 11/9 – 11/15

A list of free or low-cost events happening around Brooklyn and NYC this week. As always, if you know of any other fun events that won’t break the bank, please feel free to contact me!

MONDAY 11/9

  • MOBILE MONDAYS – FREE

mobile mondays

Dance away a case of ‘the Mondays‘ with Mobile Mondays “New York City’s Premiere 45’s night for vinyl music lovers.” Each week is often themed (this week is FUNK), but according to the website, the genre doesn’t define the party. Listed as a Time Out New York critic’s pick, Mobile Mondays is sure to make the worst day of the week just a little bit better.

Located at The Bowery Electric (327 Bowery Street, New York NY), show starts at 10pm.

  • BIG PONY SHOW – FREE

Dancing not your thing? Start the week off with some laughs at the BIG Pony Show. It’s a FREE weekly comedy show located at Leftfield Bar in the LES (87 Ludlow Street, New York NY). Show starts at 8p.

TUESDAY 11/10

  • TRIVIA NIGHT AT BERG’N – FREE

Every Tuesday is Trivia Night at Berg’n Beer Hall. Show off your knowledge of random trivia while drinking from a great selection of beer and munching on food from a rotating list of food vendors. There is no cover to get in and it’s a really spacious location with a chill vibe, so even if you don’t want to participate in the trivia, you can go have a drink and marvel at how much useless information a person’s brain can hold. Located at 899 Berg’n Street, Brooklyn NY.

  • BAD DATE THEATER – $5

Enjoy a little improv on Tuesday with Bad Date Theater. It sounds hilarious and tickets are only 5 bucks! Located at The PIT Underground -123 E24th Street, New York NY. Show starts at 9p.

From the website: You’ve had your share of bad dates. But did you ever think they could have gone worse? Welcome to Bad Date Theater. Our storytellers and improvisors will show you just had horribly a date can go. We take a bad date and make it worse. And you’ll be ready to give Tinder another try.

  • COMICS TO WATCH – $16.50

Comics to Watch is part of the New York Comedy Festival, and is a live comedy show featuring the best up and coming comedians from around the country. Located at Carolines on Broadway 1626 Broadway, New York, NY. Show starts at 8pm.

  • DISNEY ON ICE (Tuesday 11/10 – Sunday 11/15) – $15+ 

For those of you with children (or those of us who will always be a child at heart) Disney on Ice is making its way to Brooklyn! The show is coming to the Barclays Center from Tuesday 11/10 – Sunday 11/15. There are various showtimes to choose from, and tickets start at 15 bucks. Ticket prices are subject to change as the demand goes up, so you might want to lock ’em in now.

WEDNESDAY 11/11

  • TIME OUT NEW YORK’s WOMEN OF COMEDY 2015 – $20

Another event that is part of the New York Comedy Festival, Time Out New York is celebrating female comedians with Women of Comedy, featuring some of the funniest ladies in the biz. The only shows that are available are the 12am show (hey, this IS the city that never sleeps, right?), and the lineup includes: Casey Balsham (hosting), Annie LedermanSubhah Agarwal, Luchana GaticaChloe Hilliard, and Megan Gailey. Tickets are 20 bucks and the show is located at  The Stand (239 3rd Avenue, New York NY). Doors for the third show open at 10:45p.

FRIDAY 11/13

  • GODDAMN COMEDY JAM – $25

The Goddamn Comedy Jam is also part of New York Comedy Festival. This comedy show will be like no other! Comedians (including Hannibal Buress, Bill Burr, Matteo Lane, Big Jay Oakerson and Iliza Schlesinger) will do a stand-up set – and then perform their favorite cover song unrehearsed with a professional band. At 25 bucks a ticket it’s the most expensive on the list, but I’m willing to bet it will be worth every penny! Located at the Gramercy Theatre (127 E23rd Street, New York NY). Show starts at 10:30p

SATURDAY 11/14

  • BAMcafe LIVE SERIES – FREE

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Every Friday and Saturday night, BAM has free live music and performances as part of their BAMcafe Live series. The performances are different every night and have been a mix of all different styles of music, including rock, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, world music, and more. It’s located in the bar and lounge area on the top floor of the Peter Jay Sharp Building. Performances start at 9p, but there is limited seating, so it might be worth it to get there early. As an added incentive to show up early, they occasionally have happy hour between 6p and 8p – and this Saturday happens to be one of those occasions.

Burnt Sugar Arkestra will be performing, who Rolling Stone described as “A multiracial jam army that freestyles with cool telekinesis between the lustrous menace of Miles Davis’ On The Corner, the slash-and-om of 1970s King Crimson, and Jimi Hendrix’ moonwalk across side three of Electric Ladyland.”