Nicole Lapin: Saving On Summer Fun - New York News

Nicole Lapin: Saving On Summer Fun

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Financial expert Nicole Lapin was here with tips on how you can save a bundle on your favorite local summer activities.

Biking: Jonesing for a ride in the sunshine but you don't actually own a bike? Spinlister is the sit that lets you rent bikes from people in your area. The company verifies details and photos for quality, price, and accuracy, and then prospective bikers can search by location, bike size, and type to get a list of available bikes. Once the request is approved, both parties meet at an agreed-upon time and location to meet the exchange...and you're off! It's a great way to cruise down the beach in Santa Monica on the cheap.

Beach Reads: Don't spend $20 on a paperback that's just going to get covered in sand. Instead, borrow an e-book! If your library is one of 18,000 branches linked with Overdrive, you can check out titles virtually using your library card number. Been meaning to catch up on the classics? Project Gutenberg, which lets you indulge in titles by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens--for free.

Movies: The secret to scoring on box office hits this summer is to beat the crowds (and the heat) by going early. AMC offers tickets for up to half price nationwide before noon, or you can save by pre-buying your tickets at Costco or other warehouse clubs. Know you're going to be catching a lot of flicks this summer? Most of the major theater chains (including AMC, Cinemark, and Regal) offer discounts on bulk orders of 25 tickets or more.

Parks: What if I told you that for $80, you can get access to 58 national parks all over the country--for a full year. No, it's not a gimmick--it's just the National Park Service helping you to see the best our country has to offer! In addition to hiking and biking, many parks also offer camping, white-water rafting, and horseback riding. California boasts 32 national parks and monuments, but if you're an LA resident, I'd head to Channel Islands or Joshua Tree National Park--both great day trips from the city. Check out NPS.GOV for a full listing of parks.

Baseball: Dodger Stadium--it's hard to argue with the magic of this legendary stadium. But for a fraction of the price (and a fraction of the headache) why not catch a local minor league baseball game? You get all of the benefits: the sunshine, the heckling, and--oh yeah--the baseball--with shorter concession lines and easier parking. Plus you can scope out future all-stars for the Dodgers and Angels. Both the Inland Empire 66ers and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes are under an hour's drive from LA. Find a nearby team at MLB.COM.

Amusement Parks: Forget going away on vacation: enjoy a staycation as a tourist in your own city. Citypass, which is now available in 10 cities nationwide, offers discounts on admission to popular venues like amusement parks and aquariums right here in Southern California. Prices start at $279--I know it sounds steep, but listen: it includes a 3-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Ticket as well as up to 50% off combined prices to must-see attractions like Seaworld and Universal Studios. In fact, you can save more than $100 per person with Citypass. Start mapping out your itinerary now!

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