Five ways to live it up this summer on the cheap

When the temperature hits triple digits and you and your friends get bored of watching fans oscillate, try these five local, easy and relatively cheap ways to entertain yourselves.

1. The American River
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the beauty of the American River. The easiest and cheapest river activity is walking the bike trails that run all along it or bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy out on the banks. While some parks require a fee for parking, there are plenty of parks that offer free parking within the designated hours. And if being on land isn’t your idea of a good time, rafting is an exhilarating experience and quite possibly the best opportunity to tan, but be warned – it’s not for the faint of heart.

2. Bingo
When it’s 100 degrees outside and you just want a cheap, fun, and cool place to pass the long, hot hours, check out local bingo halls, such as Madison Mall Bingo off Madison and Hazel avenues or Charity Bingo Hall off Fulton and Marconi avenues. For just $20 you can get up to four or five hours of entertainment in an air-conditioned building. Contrary to popular belief, it is anything but boring. The stakes are high, with some prizes amounting to $250, so don’t forget to bring your lucky charms.

3. Free concerts
Concerts are always a good time, but when you spend precious money for your tickets, chances are you already know and love the band you’re about to see. Free concerts, however, are a whole new experience. Who knows what musical gems you might find when looking for a way to enjoy a beautiful summer day. One quick Google search could get you numerous results, including a list by Yahoo of free outdoor concerts in the Sacramento area.

4. Pool parties
If you think pool parties stopped being cool when you turned 16, you’re absolutely wrong. When it’s hot outside there’s nothing better than hanging out by the pool with your friends, a cooler full of sodas, little sandwiches cut into triangles, and a stereo. If none of your friends have a pool in their own backyard, there are always local public pools you can visit for no more than $2.50 a person, such as Cottage Pool on Cottage Way or Antelope Community Park off Palmerson Drive and Elverta Road.

5. Arcades
An arcade is a good destination if you’re looking for entertainment for a whole group of friends. Ten dollars a person can buy you a decent amount of time playing the games, from skee-ball to air hockey. Golfland Sunsplash in Roseville has a large arcade with a variety of games, complete with a well-stocked prize counter. And, an added bonus, if you get too warm there’s a water park right out the. back doors.

[email protected]