Never underestimate the determination of a kid who is time rich and cash poor. – Doctorow

August 4, 2008

We can learn a lot from children. They can find endless entertainment in watching an anthill. To them, ice cream is a food group. The colors that matter can be found in a crayon box. Fantasy rules large, and reality is the domain of grown ups. Nothing is better than the day someone gets a new refrigerator and that box hits the curb…a box that becomes a castle, a spaceship, a “secret hideout” where icky boys are not allowed.

Then we grow up. We have jobs, car payments, homes, and the bills that go along with all that. Ants call for Raid. Ice cream is forbidden unless you do another 40 minutes on the treadmill. (And that 40 minutes on the treadmill is so we look good as boys aren’t quite so “icky” any more!) The childlike freedom of going outside the lines and instinctively reaching for the brightest color in front of us has been replaced with blue painter’s tape and swatches of off-white. That refrigerator box is a source of concern for us as we need to be “green” and recycle it (what could be more green than making it into a source of entertainment for a whole neighborhood of children?). We lose our grip on the things that made childhood so special. This entry is all about Cheap Dates that have the potential of making us feel like kids again…

Scary Movies!
Cinema Arts Centre presents its “Theatre of the Wild” with an outdoor viewing (at Heckscher Park, Huntington) of the original Phantom of the Opera (yes, the Lon Chaney one!) with orchestral accompaniment this Thursday, August 7. FREE ADMISSION!!!!

Cinema Arts’ Summer Camp Series will also be showing Blade and Blade II on Saturday, August 9 at 11PM. $9 per person for two flicks? C’mon…it’s a bargain! If 11PM is too late for you (or you’re afraid it’s too close to bedtime and will have nightmares), Wednesday, August 6th at 7:30PM will be a showing of Maniac, with the opportunity to meet the director (William B. Lustig) after the show.

Of course, scary movies may not be your thing. Brookhaven Amphitheatre will be hosting Shrek the Third on August 6, admission is only $5 per carload!

Eisenhower Park in East Meadow will be hosting an outdoor viewing of Grease on August 7. Bring a lawn chair!

Wanna play Cowboys and Indians?
The Paumanauke Indian Powwow is being held at Tanner Park this weekend, August 9 and 10 and it’s only $8 to get in! See traditional Indian dances, eat Indian food, listen to music!

Want to learn some more about Indians? The Shinnecock Nation Cultural Center and Museum has interactive tours and hands on displays. $8 per person to get in.

It may not be a campfire serenade, but Matty T’s has a karaoke night that would please any cowboy. With $3 Jager shots and $3 Killians, it would be very easy to drink enough to make anyone sound good…don’t forget to designate a driver!

Animal Crackers
Most petting zoos charge a small fortune to get into. Miss Chris has made it her business to feed her love of animals big and small and stay within Cheap Date’s guidelines. The Holtsville Ecology Center has a small zoo worth checking out…plus they offer classes and information on all sorts of things we can do to be good to the environment and reduce our carbon footprint. Admission is FREE, but please make a small donation for a good cause!

Sometimes one of your friends might get into a bit of a funk. Nothing gets people laughing more quickly than the tickle of a sheep’s mouth on their palm. The Sayville Garden Center is a hidden gem located right at 229 North Main Street (Montauk Highway). With pheasant, sheep, ducks, and other fauna coexisting with the flora, this is a Cheap Date fave!

All American…
Burgers, that is! One of Miss Chris’ absolute favorite places in the world is All-American Burger. Located by Rt. 107 and Merrick Road, this is a 50’s style burger joint that defies explanation. Just go there!

For a good cause…
Briarcliffe College is hosting “The Light of Hope”, a Relay for Life Luminary Ceremony to help fight cancer on August 6th from 7-11PM. Join the American Cancer Society and your community in the fight against cancer. For more information, log on to www.bcl.edu/hope.

Twist and shout!
Alive After 5 is back this Friday night. Five stages, five bands, great food, and a big block party atmosphere make this one of the can’t miss events of the summer. The Live in the Lobby stage will feature performances by Jay Scott and the Grand Case Scenario, Johnny Cuomo, Iridesense and more performers bringing you some of the best original live music around, courtesy of Long Island’s hot indie label, Paradiddle Records. This week looks to be a great one for all you Deadheads out there as well…the Reckoning will be appearing by the Blue Point beer tent. Grab your tie dye, Birkenstocks, and hula hoops (Hula hoops? Ummmm, yeah, just trust me on this one…) and come on down.

Jay Scott and the Grand Case Scenario will also be playing Shorefront Park with guests The Corduroy Sky on Saturday, August 9. If you have never heard Jay Scott sing, you are truly missing out. Bring a blanket or chair, kick your shoes off, feel the breeze coming off the bay and the grass between your toes while listening to one of the most soulful voices around. FREE ADMISSION!

Toby Walker will be playing at Bayard Cutting Arboretum Sunday, August 10th. ‘Nuff said!

And even though this does not meet Cheap Date’s guidelines, I just wanted to put it out there that Ticket to Ride is playing at the Patchogue Theatre for a limited engagement. Tickets start at $30, but there are discount tickets available in Newsday for $10 off, so you would only be $10 over budget for two people in the cheap seats (and there are NO bad seats at the Patchogue Theatre!).

All for now! If you have an event you’d like posted or have something to add, comment on, what have you…email me at cheap.date.long.island@gmail.com!

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