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Fun doesn’t have to break the budget

Brittany Lawrence
Staff Writer

Being a college student often means living on a tight budget, which can be challenging when almost everything fun costs more money than the budget allows.

The key to unlocking the door to fun is knowing where to look for cheap entertainment. Students who are not from the area may not know of places near La Verne that offer some affordable fun.

“Fun does not always have to be expensive,” Kristin Harper, senior child development major said.“I like to go to concerts in the park, ice blocking at parks, and the local street fairs.”

Looking for an alternative to many of the overpriced theaters such as AMC and Edwards Cinemas? The Mission Tiki Drive-In Theater in Montclair is only $7 for a double feature.

It is often surprising how much fun you can have outside.

Hiking is not only fun and healthy, but also free. La Verne is close to the local mountains like Mount Baldy, which makes hiking or biking extremely accessible.

“I like to go hiking up at Mount Baldy,” Anastasia Lomas, senior psychology major, said. “It is like a mini adventure, you can get lost, see new things, and when with friends, create memories.”

About 15 minutes away in Rancho Cucamonga, lie the Cucamonga Canyons. One can hike up to explore the canyons’ waterfalls and enjoy the fresh air. It is a fairly lengthy hike that can be fun, however be safe and do not go alone.

“Hiking is close but is so different from the streets and everyday life,” Lomas said. “It is like a short vacation and nature is super peaceful.”

The Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park is also just a very short distance away from the University. Although it can cost money, rentals for bikes, canoes, paddleboats and more are inexpensive.

Even simply going to the local parks with friends to walk around, have lunch and have a day off would be better than just sitting around on the University campus.

With winter right around the corner, snow is on its way to the local mountains.

One of the best parts of being in Southern California is the fact that everything is so close. Mount Baldy and Mountain High are not too far away and are totally worth the short treck to bundle up and go sledding.

This is an activity that is free. All that is needed is a sled and a way to get to the mountain. After sledding, going back home and having some hot chocolate and a movie is ideal. Ice-skating is also fun and inexpensive.

There are a couple of ice rinks in Ontario, the Ontario Ice Skating Center and Center Ice Arena, where it is only about $10 including rental skates.

For less active winter entertainment, again just about 10 minutes away in Rancho Cucamonga, is an amazing Christmas light display off the streets of Sapphire and Thoroughbred, just east of the North Campus Avenue exit.

This light display is extremely popular and has a huge line of cars waiting to drive through almost every night. To make the outing more fun, park the car and walk through the lighted neighborhood. Many people will be doing the same and some houses even sell hot chocolate and apple cider.

For something different, try laser tagging at Laser Island in Upland. Less than $20 can buy three Laser Tag Adventures. Going with a group of friends would make for a fun event.

Inexpensive dessert is always entertaining.

“I love to go tot Yogurtland and hang out with my friends,” Megan McDevitt, sophomore history major, said. “I only spend at most $4 and I get a huge cup of frozen yogurt that is to die for.”

These are just a few of the many local activities that are accessible to a college student’s budget. There are many fun and affordable things to do, it just takes a little creativity and thinking outside the incredibly tight budget the budget.

Brittany Lawrence can be reached at

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