Friday Five (Spring Happenings in Baltimore)

Friday is finally here and I am so ready for the weekend! It has been quite a week at work and I am looking forward to brunch with family on Saturday and an Oscars party on Sunday. The weather is supposed to be absolutely fantastic so a long walk around the city is also on the agenda. I’m confident in saying that I’m not the only one excited about the weather getting warmer – as springtime comes to Baltimore there are a lot of great events coming up:

  1. Light City Baltimore – March 28 – April 3. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m pretty stinking excited for Light City. Performers, musicians and light installations will be taking over downtown but that’s not all, there are also a series of innovation conferences focusing on social change, sustainability, health technology and more.
  2. Spring Bocce Season – Bocce is baaack. Jeanette got the old team back together and we are pumped to spend time outside throwing balls and throwing back beers. Today is the LAST day to get the early bird discount when you sign up for spring season with Baltimore social sports.
  3. St. Patrick’s Day 5k – Jeanette and I are running the race and plan on sporting some fun St. Paddy’s gear. Also fun? The after party at Power Plant Live.orioles baltimore
  4. Baltimore Orioles Opening Day – The O’s return to Birdland April 4th to kick off baseball season. I’m too cheap to spring for opening day tickets, but I already have a few games circled in my calendar like canvas tote giveaway day on May 7. If you’re heading to a game, be sure to check out Jeanette’s tips on how to save money at Camden Yards.
  5. Maryland Primary Election – Woohoo civic duty! This year’s primary is double duty – not only it is a presidential election year, but there’s also a highly contested mayoral race. Since Baltimore is predominately democratic, the democratic primary is extra important (one could argue even more important than the general election). So make sure you’re registered to vote and show up at the polls April 26. And do your research on the candidates so you’re an educated voter!

And that’s all I’ve got for today, bring on the weekend!

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Almost the Weekend!

Happy Thursday – you’ve almost made it to the weekend! Thursdays are for Thinking Out Loud so here’s what I’m thinking about today:

Thinking-Out-Loud

I feel like I’m still recovering from my busy week in sports last week…

My week started with an O’s game as the Braves were in town. Adam proudly applauded Nick Markakis on his return to Oriole Park and my cousin who grew up in Georgia came up from DC for the game.

Orioles

I went on a work outing to Virginia for the Quicken Loans National golf tournament. It was brutally hot and a rain delay (see those dark skies?) prevented us from seeing too much golf, but we still had a good time. My family is really into golf and the last time I was at this course was for the President’s Cup in 2005 on my 18th birthday!

Quicken Loans Abby at RTJ

I also went to two Kastles matches including the league finals on Sunday where the Kastles won their 5th straight championship. #TennisDynasty. The match was at 11:30am so they served breakfast burritos and mimosas which was awesome. I could get used to more morning sporting events…I guess this is what living on the west coast is like during football season! They also had tennis ball cake pops which were absolutely necessary.

Kastles - Brit Kastles Finals

I should have capped off my week by attending the Ravens open practice on Monday, but I just didn’t have the strength. Did anyone go?

I’m also looking ahead to several fun events to soak up the end of summer…

  • Flicks from the Hill tonight at the AVAM is Awakenings. Check out Jeanette’s post on why it’s awesome.
  • Next weekend’s Kegs and Corks Festival in Annapolis. I got a LivingSocial deal for two admissions for only $35 that includes a souvenir glass and samples of beer and wine. It seems like it will be a great afternoon of drinking and live music with friends.
  • And because in the summer there is nothing better than drinking and live music outside, I also plan on checking out the Summer Social in West Shore Park (in the Harbor) on Friday the 21st to see New Romance and 80’s tribute band. Event is from 5-8pm with food and drink available from Dooby’s.

 

What are you thinking about today? Any fun events you’re looking forward to? 

Also Bronycon (aka the My Little Pony fan convention) begins today in Baltimore! Be on the lookout for some awesome bronies!

Friday Five (ways to save at Camden Yards)

I read a City Paper story a couple of months ago called “The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Baltimore Baseball.” Since I’ll be watching the O’s fireworks night from a nearby rooftop (the ultimate cheap bastard move), I thought I’d share the guide as well as some of my favorite tips to save a few bucks. These tips are Baltimore-specific, but can easily be applied to other ballparks around the country.

1. Get discounted tickets.

If you’re not tied to a specific date or game, look around to see what discounts are available. If you work for a big Baltimore employer, you might find that you can get an employee discount. If you’re going with a large group, call the ticket office and ask for “group sales” (you’ll even get your group’s name on the Jumbotron–oh, the possibilities!). For Ollie’s Bargain Nights on Tuesdays, all Upper Reserve seats are $10 when purchased in advance. And if you’ve still got a valid student ID hanging around, every Friday, you can score Left Field Upper Reserve seats for $7 at the box office.

2. Carpool or call in a favor for parking.

The cost of parking near Camden Yards isn’t that astronomical–you’ll find lots for $8-$10–but you might be able to minimize even that cost. If you know someone who lives near the park, they may have guest parking passes you can use for free. Otherwise, consider carpooling to split the cost.

3. Minimize drink purchases in the park. 

I won’t go so far as to say that you should avoid drinking during the game entirely; there’s something about the combination of beer and baseball that’s sacred. But definitely take advantage of the nearby bars (Pickles, of course, but also Sliders, Pratt Street Ale House, etc.) for cheaper drinks than you’ll find in the stadium. I’ve seen Boh tallboys for around $3. Some Federal Hill bars run pre-game specials and offer golf cart rides to the game.

4. BYOF.

As a rule, I pretty much never buy food in the park. Camden Yards has a really great food-and-drink policy that lets you bring in your own food as well as sealed, nonalcoholic drinks. Freeze a couple water bottles ahead of time and either bring lunch or pick something up from one of the vendors outside Pickles. If you do get hungry inside the ballpark, there’s a concession stand on the upper deck that offers kids’ hotdogs (don’t worry–available to anyone) for $1.50. Just ask any ballpark worker and they’ll direct you.

5. For the love of God, don’t buy any merch.

I am always shocked to see people buying jerseys and T-shirts at Camden Yards when stores like Target, Kohls and Old Navy sell licensed gear for a fraction of the price. I’ve found really cheap stuff on clearance at those stores toward the end of the season. Abby is also all about promo nights, where you’ll get stuff like a Buck Showalter garden gnome or an Orioles trucker hat.

What about you? Any tips for saving at the ballpark?

And if baseball’s not your fave (but who am I kidding, it’s not called America’s pastime for nothing), check out the other Friday Favorites in the blogosphere at Heather’s linkup and Clare‘s!