Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Years Eve New York City Time Square 2013

New Year’s Eve 2013 - New York City

Nothing like ringing in the New Year in the Big Apple, New York City, USA. There are large number of places to ring in the New Year in NYC, so we are just going to concentrate on a few to help you brainstorm and get an idea of what you would like to do.

Each of the following New Year’s Eve party tickets will provide access to the Times Square zone. You must have ticket in hand along with a valid id in order to enter this area.

Just a few steps away from the fabulous Ball Drop, in Times Square on 42nd Street, AMC has general admission party passes that start as low as $25 all the way up to “Best View of the Ball Drop Live” Ultra VIP passes for $1900. The passes include everything from basic admission, open bar, to premier terrace views of the ball drop live. There will be a world-renowned DJ and PG-13 movies playing throughout the night. Your AMC ticket also gives you access to Times Square on New Year’s Eve!

Dave and Buster’s is also on 42nd Street. General Admission tickets start at $65 for minors and $85 for adults.

Aspen Social has a Premier Open Bar New Year’s Eve Party for 5 hours, from 9pm to 2am on New Year’s. There will be a live do playing a variety of music including: hip hop, dance, 80’s Top 40 and rock. Festive party favors and a champagne toast at midnight are also included. Tickets priced as low as $95 include the Premier Open Bar!

New Years Eve 2013 Nashville

New Year’s Eve 2013 - Nashville

Music City New Year’s Eve Bash on Broadway offers free admission. Live bands include: The Fray, Sixpence None the Richer, Love and Theft, and Striking Matches. Count down to midnight for the Music Note Drop®, fireworks, and confetti cannons!

Opryland has a couple of different theme parties going on this New Year’s Eve. The first is a Vegas Style New Year’s Eve Party, with a DJ and the Les Richardson Band. On another note, and more in Opryland style, is their New Year’s Eve Celebration 2012! - A Southern Gospel Festival.

Ring in the New Year at World Famous Tootsies Orchid Lounge! Party starts at 7pm. Tickets start at $50 and include:

Buffet - pulled pork, chicken, baked beans & coleslaw (7pm - 10pm)

Party Favors

Midnight toast

Miller Lite Live Presents: NYE Funk N’ Soul Ball at the Exit/In. Join The Dynamites and Space Capone for the most unique and fun NYE show in town! Early bird tickets are only $20, while general admission prices are $30/$40 the day of the show.

For a more family oriented New Year’s Celebration in Nashville, celebrate at noon, at the Adventure Science Center, Nashville. As stated on their site “A fun way for families with younger children to celebrate together, make some memories and do a little science!“ Many activities including making your own noise maker and a party hat. Learn how noises are made, New Year’s Resolution Wall, a Balloon Drop and more.

Other places to consider in Nashville for New Year’s Eve are:

Wildhorse Saloon - Admission $15

Nashville Palace - $30 includes a buffet

The Bluebird Café - $45 show starts at 7pm

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Year's Eve 2013 Chicago

New Year’s 2013 Chicago

Bass Drop New Year’s Eve at the historic Portage Theatre. Music at this venue will includes live bands and DJs, with a variety from Electro, Funk, Rock, Hip-Hop and more!

Timothy O’Toole’s downtown Chicago has a budget friendly party with a DJ, Champagne (or a Miller High Life Tall Boy), party favors and more. The cover charge is only $10! They’ll be open until 4:00am New Year’s morning.

For the Ultimate New Year’s Eve celebration, check out one of the Excalibur’s package deals. General admission is $100 per person in advance/$125 regular admission. The NYE package includes 3 rooms of music, 4 hours premium hosted bar. New hours for this years bar are 9pm to 1am. Much better. Other packages available.

New Year’s Eve at Navy Pier includes a number of ways to celebrate. At 7:00pm there will be Family Fireworks and then more lakefront Fireworks at Midnight. Chicago’s Resolution Ball will be held in the Navy Pier Grand Ball Room, doors open at 9:00pm. This is a black tie affair, and considered Chicago’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration. The Scene and Be Seen New Year’s Eve Party will be held in the Crystal Gardens and includes DJs, an open bar, a champagne toast and more!  

Also at Navy Pier, you might consider taking a lake cruise to watch the fireworks.  Packages start as low as $19 for the family show at 7:00 which includes lunch, and $29 for the fireworks show at midnight.  Restaurants at Navy Pier that are having celebrations include Harry Caray's and the Riva Crab House,

The cover charge at Blue Chicago on Clark is only $20.  This includes New Year's Eve Party with Charlie Smith, party favors and champagne toast at midnight.  The doors open at 8:00 and the music starts at 9:00.  First come, first serve basis, as they do not take reservations.

For additional event information, visit each venues web site.

New Year's 2013 Pocono Mountains

New Year’s 2013 - Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

Ring in the New Year’s in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

The Fernwood Winter Fun Center will be ringing in New Year’s family style with DJ Entertainment, fireworks, a winter barbeque, snowtubing, and more at the Wintergreens Patio Grill and their Winter Fun Center. Purchase a combination package which includes snowtubing, hats, noisemakers, a food certificate for the Wintergreens Barbeque and more.

Cove Pocono Resorts offers an all-inclusive package for Couples only. The all-inclusive package includes: admission to three couples only resorts, a midnight buffet, champagne, party favors, noise-makers, rooms that include in-suite pools and whirlpool baths, breakfast in bed or in their restaurant, discounts on shopping and ultimate adventures and more!

Enjoy a winter carnival, campfire, caroling, hayrides and more on Monday, at The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. Then in the evening, experience dinner and a champagne toast at midnight. Also included are accommodations and breakfast the next day.

For more information visit the resorts' web sites.

Budget Travel to Chicago

Chicago, also known as the 'Second City' or the 'Windy City', is one of the best cities to travel on a budget.  There are probably more free things to do and see in Chicago than most any other city.

Navy Pier is a definite must see attraction for anyone visiting Chicago for the first time.  Walk to the end of the pier, and you will feel why they call it the 'Windy City'.  The pier offers free live entertainment throughout the year in the Family Pavilion.  You will see live acts perform singing, juggling, magic and more.  Also, weather permitting, the Bud Light Stage, offers free live music, for those who are over 21 years of age.  A couple of my favorite free attractions to visit at Navy Pier are the Smith Museum of Stained Glass, which is open year round and the Crystal Gardens, which is a botanical garden located on the second floor.  The Crystal Gardens may be closed from time to time, for weddings and other events.

Lincoln Park Zoo offers free admission throughout the year.  Visit during the holiday season to view the ZooLights, their beautiful holiday display.  Other popular attractions offer free admission on 'free days' throughout the year.  Note:  These free days used to include everyone, but some have recently been switched to include only Illinois residents.  A list of these includes:  the Chicago Children's Museum, the Adler Planetarium, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Garfield Park Conservatory.  Please check their web sites for exact dates.

Looking for a way to get around in the busy city without driving thru the busy traffic?  Check out Navy Pier's free trolley!  The trolley has stops on:  State Street, Rush Street, Michigan Avenue, St. Clair Street, Columbus Drive, McClury Court, Pestigo Court and Navy Pier, all near popular destinations.

A great way to save when traveling to Chicago, is to plan your trip around one of the city's many festivals.  Some of the free festivals of Chicago include:  Chicago SummerDance, the Chicago Country Music Festival, the Taste of Chicago and the Grant Park Music Festival.  A number of other festivals in the city include:  the Blues Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, World Music Festival Chicago and the Chicago Gospel Music Festival.

A number of Chicago's sites and museums offer free admission on a daily basis.  Here is a list for you:
Busy Beaver Button Co. Museum
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Sports Museum
City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower
DePaul Art Museum
Eden Place Nature Center
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Museum
Hyde Park Art Center
Museum of Contemporary Photography
National Museum of Mexican Art
Oriental Institute Museum
Smart Museum of Art

And finally, while you are visiting Chicago on a budget, don't forget to visit some of the unique shops, to see just what this city has in store for you!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Gettysburg on a Budget

One of my favorite historic trips of all time, was to Gettysburg, PA.  It was actually probably one of the least expensive trips that I have been, in which I had to travel such a distance.

I enjoyed the fact that most everything we wanted to visit was within a pretty small radius.  The most driving we did on our trip was along the self-guided auto tour.  And even then, we were stopping so often, that it did not seem like we had traveled much of a distance at all.

When you are on the auto tour, be sure and stop and see all of the sites.  There are few that have a very, very small hike.  The view and sites are well worth the trek.

Dinner at Mamma Ventura was simply delicious.  It is a casual Italian restaurant and very well priced.  The atmosphere is extremely down to earth, and did I say the food was delicious!  I consider myself an Italian restaurant connoisseur, and this one tops the charts!

Here's my article on Thrifter,, which gives quite a bit more detail about the free things to see and do while you are visiting Gettysburg. 

If you only travel to one historical town in your lifetime, Gettysburg is the place to go.

Friday, June 1, 2012

New Orleans on a Budget

Traveling to New Orleans is probably on 80 percent of Americans bucket list. Fortunately a trip there can be as inexpensive as any town, if you set your mind to it.

Consider staying in the outskirts in Metairie, or another area, instead of downtown or the French Quarter. Hotels will have lower rates, and might even be twice as nice. Visit things that are free to see, like the sculpture park, which could entertain anyone for hours. You might also like to see the graves in the above ground cemetery dating back to the 1700's. Take a ride on the street car, for only $1.25. This is a great way to see the city. Map out your own walking tour, to see all of the great architecture downtown, in the French Quarter, or in the Garden District. And, of course, if you are planning your trip around a holiday, or one pf their many festivals, there a number of free things to see. Don't forget to check out the fireworks on the Mississippi River if you are traveling on the 4th of July or New Years Eve! May all your travels be, lots of fun and mostly free.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

American Horticultural Society

Do you like Botanical Gardens.  For only $35 you can join the American Horticultural Society. The $35 membership fee allows you free admission to 270 public gardens across the United States.  Here is a link to their membership page if you would like more information.

Keep in mind, there are a number of Botanical Gardens across the country that offer free admission, without the membership, like Chicago and Fort Worth.  Also, others that offer admission with donation like the River Farm, in Alexandria, VA.

Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Walking Tour

Just beginning to plan my next vacation. As I was searching for things to do, I decided why not plan my own walking tour.
I can read up on the area, and even save some notes. I'll map it all out and tada, a free walking tour.
I can't wait to see where I get to go!