Affordable Events for the Budget Smart Student

Jess Oakley, Reporter

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Who doesn’t love to try new things and go on a bit of an adventure? Maybe you want to go do something on the weekend but don’t have the money to go very far. Or, you could just be wondering what is going on near Lake Land College. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered in this article. I will tell you about things going on this fall that you can do under $20 and within 20 miles.
The closest and cheapest thing you can do is join a club on campus. Lake Land College has over 30 active clubs on campus, and every Wednesday there is an activity period to meet with your clubs. Student Activity Board or SAB also hold events every Wednesday during activity period you can attend for free. If you are on campus, the library apparently has the best and cheapest coffee in town, courtesy of 50 cents and no lid.
Charleston also has free things to do during the week. On Wednesdays, our very own reading and english instructor, Amy Graziano, hosts a poetry club at Bob’s Used Books. On Thursdays, there is a free open mic at the Jackson Avenue Coffeehouse, also known lovingly as ‘The Jac.’ You can sing, play an instrument, read poetry, tell jokes or really any other family friendly stage act you can think of. On the first and third Tuesday of every month there is also an Irish folk music circle.
6 miles from Mattoon in Lerna, which boasts the world’s fastest pop machine. For only 75 cents a can, it is an experience worth having at least once. The machine only takes quarters, but it drops a soda in an average of 2 seconds. Outside Mattoon is the very small town of Gays, Ill., which has a historical two-story outhouse. Mattoon’s very own Douglas-Hart Nature Center is a great place for picnics and exploring the outdoors, and it is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Students can get tickets to Doudna Fine Arts events at a discounted price, between $5 and $10. The Tarble Arts Center has free admission and parking for most of its exhibits.

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