10 things to do in O.C. for just $1
Even if you don't want to spend much money, there are lots of things to do in Orange County that won't cost you an arm and a leg.
Check out our slideshow for some ideas for fun things in Orange County that will cost you only a buck.
1. Historic Balboa Island Ferry
The four-minute trip across Newport Harbor transports you from the mainland to charming Balboa Island, a pleasant place to walk, shop or hang out. You can enjoy the ocean breezes as the ferry takes you slowly across the inner harbor. It runs every day from 6:30 a.m. to midnight, and until 2 a.m. on weekends. Fares are $1 each way, 50 cents for children and free for kids under 5. Cars and bikes cost slightly more. Address: 410 S. Bayfront, Newport Beach. Go here to learn more: www.balboaislandferry .com
2. Huntington Beach dog beach
Bring four quarters for the parking meters along Pacific Coast Highway, which will buy you 20 minutes of heaven for your pooch at the famous dog beach.
3. Santa Ana Artists Village
You can visit the galleries in this charming district in downtown Santa Ana for free; parking costs $1, whether it's at a meter or one of the city parking garages. Attractions include the Grand Central Arts Center, the Orange County Center of Contemporary Art, the Spurgeon Art Studios and the Santora Arts Building, which is full of studios and other interesting spaces.
There's an evening art walk every first Saturday of the month with open galleries and other events.
Several theaters offer this deal. In Irvine, check out the Starplex Cinemas, also known as the Woodbridge Movies 5, where you can see a movie for $1 on Tuesdays and $2 at other times. The cinemas are at 4626 Barranca Parkway. And there's the Starplex Cinemas La Mirada Movies 7. This small complex near La Mirada City Hall is pretty nice and also sells $1 hot dogs. Movies are $1 on Tuesdays and $2 other times. Additional fee for 3D movies. It is at 15296 Rosecrans Ave. In Santa Ana, the Discount Picture Show at MainPlace has movies for $1 on Tuesdays. Check out the mall food court for dinner, and look at the map guides inside the mall to see if any food vendors offer discounts. MainPlace is at 2800 N. Main St.
5. Fullerton Arboretum
Stuff a $1 bill into the donation box as you enter this lovely botanical garden and enjoy the peace and serenity as you get your exercise walking around.
6. Orange County Market Place
If you use the coupon on our OC Deals blog (ocdeals.ocregister.com), you can get into the Orange County Market Place in Costa Mesa for free all year (it's closed during the OC Fair). While you're there, spend a buck on a pin, a hair ornament or maybe a cup of coffee. And check out the free events, which often include concerts or other performances.
7. Batting cages
Most batting cages charge $1 for a token that will let you hit numerous balls. You can pretend it's your obnoxious boss. The Home Run Batting Cages in Anaheim have the best deal I know about, offering you 12 pitches for a $1 token. They're at 711 S. Beach Blvd., near Ball Road.
8. Disc golf at Huntington Beach Central Park
Do you think you're a whiz with a flying disc? Head over to Huntington Beach's Central Park, where you can play the 18-hole course for $1 on weekdays ($2 weekends). Take the Goldenwest exit from the 405 freeway, then head south 4 miles and enter the parking lot on the right just south of Talbert Street.
9. Buy some water, and then ride your bike in Santiago Canyon
You can get to the Santiago Truck Trail from Santiago Canyon Road, a mile and a quarter north of Cook's Corner. The address is 28000 Modjeska Grade Road in Portola Hills, in the Cleveland National Forest.
10. Carousel at
South Coast Plaza
There's not much at South Coast Plaza that is this economical, but if your kids love carousels, take them on over. Rides are $1 for about three minutes. Children who are too small to ride unaccompanied can have their parents ride for free. Hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sundays.