Free camping, symphony, cheap Dodgers and more deals for May 7-13

Hi, it’s me, Marla Jo, your columnist and deals maven. If you know a great deal, let me know at mfisher@scng.com. You can also find me at Deals Diva on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget to read my humor columns on Wednesdays in the Register.

FREE CAMPING

You can camp for free at the scenic Cuyamaca Rancho State Park if you’re willing to help clear vegetation and do trail maintenance from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sat. May 20. This is a beautiful park in San Diego County that I think is highly underrated. You must preregister to Michele.Hernandez@parks.ca.gov. Teens 14 and up are welcome with guardian. This is part of the Park Champions program run by the state parks foundation. Learn more: Calparks.org/help/park-champions/.

FREE SYMPHONY

Like music? You can get free tickets to three different Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra season finale shows May 20-21 concert at Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, but you must order tickets online. These always go fast, so plan ahead. To reserve, call 714-755-5799 or go to PacificSymphony.org, where you can also learn more about the programs. Note that parking costs $10, though some people park at the South Coast Plaza and walk over, which is frowned upon.

MAMMOTH DEAL

From now until the end of the ski season, lift tickets for kids 12 and under are free at Mammoth Mountain, which will be open at least for two more months – through July 4 – and possibly longer. Seriously, my friends were just up there for spring break and it snowed! Warmer spring temps make it a perfect opportunity to get the little ones going. No cold fingers and toes, no lift lines, a much more laid back vibe and plenty of additional discounts on rentals/ lodging etc. No other purchase necessary, just visit a ticket window to obtain a free ticket for chairlift access!

COSTCO DEALS

Are you a Costco member? Use their online service and shop for mom without tromping around that massive warehouse. Did you know you can even order flowers or fruit baskets for delivery?. Learn more here: Costco.com/mothers-day.html

DODGERS DEAL

Get 2-for-1 Dodgers tickets, just for buying gas at participating Southern California 76 stations. If you fill up with at least eight gallons of 76 gas and get a promo card from inside the station, you can take it to the website at Dodgers.com/76 and buy two tickets for the price of one. Just follow the instructions, enter the access code, choose the home game date you wish from the list of available ones and buy the tickets. You can only get the promo cards until June 30, 2017. You must redeem all promo cards by Sept. 21. Not all games are available for this special offer.

JOIN THE CLUB

If you love the cool-but-pricey Restoration Hardware, maybe you should consider forking out $100 to join their loyalty club. Yes, it’s pricey, but….you get 25 percent off all regularly priced merchandise, special advance notice of clearance sales, extra 20 percent off on sale items, free interior design services and concierge service on your orders. No, I have no idea what that means, but it sounds cool. Learn more here: restorationhardware.com

GIFT CARD DEAL

If you like P.F. Chang’s, you’ll like this: Buy at least $50 in gift cards between now and June 18, and they’ll give you a $10 bonus card. Spend the $50 cards on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or any day at all, and then use the bonus card between June  19 and July 31. Learn  more here: pfchangs.com/info/bonuscardoffer

PROM TIME

If you’re as stunned as I was at the price of prom dresses, check out the Windsor stores in your local mall. They have a wide selection in all sizes this time of year, they’re affordable, and the girls like them. Some of the dresses don’t even look like Vegas lounge singers would wear them. Accessories are inexpensive, too. There are Windsor stores all over, probably on the moon. You can also buy online, if you dare.  I bought both of my daughter’s prom dresses there for under $100, and she loved them. Learn more: windsorstore.com

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Deal of the week: Cheap fun at Six Flags Magic Mountain

MagicMountainGeorgia Scorcher-2 (1)What are you doing on Friday, May 12? This one’s definitely a keeper if you like thrill rides.  AAA members pay only $38 per person to get into Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Member-Exclusive Night. Enjoy the park from 10:30 a.m. to midnight. A ticket that includes the all-you-can-eat buffet dinner is only $49.50. Parking is free if you arrive after 5 p.m. otherwise $20.  Buy in advance at this site: AAA.com/SixFlags. Location: 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia.

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This week’s best deals: Flea market discounts, ski equipment closeouts, Yellowstone lodging

The interior of the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park, which served as inspiration for the Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World.//// ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The inspiration for many Disney theme park hotels and rides come from towns and parks across the nation - Date of photo: 06/09/16 - disney.nilescolumn.0612 -- Photo by: COURTESY, ROBERT NILES
You can book lodging at Yellowstone National Park for 2018 beginning May 1. (Photo courtesy of Robert Niles)

Hi, it’s me, Marla Jo, your columnist and deals maven.  If you know a great deal, let me know at mfisher@scng.com. You can also find me at Deals Diva on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget to read my humor columns on Wednesdays in the Register.

GET FLEAS

If you like the Sunday flea market at Long Beach City College, sign up for the event’s emails and you’ll receive coupons good for 50 cents off the regular admission of $6. Or, you can download the 50-cent-off coupon from the website. These markets run most third Sundays from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and also on fifth Sundays, when they occur. Location: Veterans Stadium parking lot, 4901 E Conant Street Long Beach. Learn more at Longbeachantiquemarket.com/

FREE CLASS

Want to learn more about your family? Take a free beginning genealogy class taught by the Orange County Genealogical Society at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 1. Learn how to research your family history, use census records to trace ancestors, use genealogy software and more. Meets in the Balboa Room at the Huntington Beach Central Library. Class is held most first Mondays of the month. Location: 7111 Talbert Ave. Huntington Beach Learn more: occgs.com

LAST DAYS

There’s still plenty of snow up at Mammoth Mountain, but Sunday, April 30, is the last day you can shop for great deals this season at Ski and Snowboard Outlet, until 5 p.m. Then, the store will be closed until October. If you want to find marked-down and clearance apparel and equipment, stop by the store, just off the freeway in Santa Ana.There’s also a location in San Gabriel. Location: 1406 S. Village Way, (off the McFadden exit of the 55) Santa Ana. 714-647-9400. These are the same folks who used to be on Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa. Learn more: skiandsnowlc.com

RUBIO’S DEAL

If you like to eat at Rubio’s Coastal Grill, you can download two coupons right now, one that will give you $4 off any two entrees, good until May 14. Another will give you a free kid’s meal with adult paid meal, good until May 16. If you like learning about these kinds of deals, sign up for the loyalty club and get a free taco, too. Learn more here: rubios.com/coupons/share-love-offers

WAREHOUSE SALE

Drive on up to Vernon for the Classic Home warehouse sale Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6. You can score 70 percent off quality, upscale furnishings, bedroom décor, rugs and more. 4505 Bandini Blvd. (near the Citadel Outlets). Cash and credit. All sales final. Hours: Noon-7 p.m. May 5, 8 a.m-3 p.m. May 6. Learn more: ClassicHomeOutlet.com

FREE VISIT

Interested in seeing the famous Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino? It’s free to visit every first Thursday of the month 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., but you must order tickets a month in advance, at 9 a.m. on the first day of each month preceding the month you wish to visit. Be online right at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 1 to snatch tickets for the June 1 free day  – they go fast. See a Gutenberg Bible, Pinky and Blue Boy paintings and gorgeous gardens. Regular admission is $25. Location: 1151 Oxford Road San Marino. Learn more here: Huntington.org/freeday

CAMPING DEAL

For Mother’s Day weekend, if you pay for one night, Friday, May 12, at a participating KOA campground, you get the Saturday night of May 13 for only $10. You’ll also get the chance to donate to KOA Care Camps, which sends kids with cancer and their siblings to camp. The Avila Beach, Santa Margarita, Palm Springs KOA are among those participating, and lots of other California campgrounds, too. Reserve now. Learn more at KOA.com/national-events/care-camps-big-weekend/.

GO TO YELLOWSTONE

Did you know that you can make reservations for Yellowstone National Park’s historic lodges for 2018, starting on Monday, May 1? This means you can score the most affordable rooms in the Old Faithful Inn or the basic Roughrider Cabins at the Roosevelt Lodge, for example, before they get quickly booked up. The park says it expects high call volumes and website usage that morning, so it’s suggested you  try n the afternoon, or calling 866-439-7375. You have to put down a first night’s deposit, and there’s a $15 fee if you cancel. If you’re willing to share a bathroom, you can stay at one of the historic lodges for only around $100 a night, compared to $200-300 for other types of accommodations. The Roughrider Cabins are a good choice for families with active kids. yellowstonenationalparklodges.com

BASEBALL DEAL

Like blue? Save up to 30 percent on select Dodgers game tickets courtesy of Denny’s restaurants. Learn more here: m.mlb.com/dodgers/tickets/special-events/dennys

FREE TOURS

Got a science geek in your family? Did you know that you can sign up for free public tours of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena? Yes, this is cool. You’ll learn about space. Public tours are generally conducted on a Monday or Wednesday and you must sign up far in advance. Maybe a good thing to do with out-of-town guests this summer? I just signed up for a day tour in July. You can register as many as 10 people in advance, and they’ll be thoroughly vetted in advance. JPL also has occasional public open houses, but the upcoming one is sold out. On May 1, they’ll open up dates for October tours. Learn more: jpl.nasa.gov/events/tours/views

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5 free things to do this week (April 30-May 6)

Railroad Days return to Fullerton on May 6 and 7. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Railroad Days return to Fullerton on May 6 and 7. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Why sit home because you don’t want to spend any money? Here are five things you can do that cost nothing at all!

Today, April 30

Enjoy Fiesta Days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in San Juan Capistrano, including crafts, live performances, exhibits and more, including tortilla making, piñatas, shell bracelets, whaling memorabilia, 1890 chore table, and 19th-century games. Ballet Folklorico will perform at noon in colorful costumes. Throughout the day Frances Rios will play 19th century music in the Leck House. At 12:30 p.m. local mariachis will perform at the Historical Society. The Montanez Adobe will be open and docents will be available to answer questions.  At 1 p.m. a docent will talk about the Rios Adobe in front of the building. Location: Historical Society, 31831 Los Rios Street. Los Rios Street is the oldest residential street in California.

Enjoy Family Science Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.in the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve. Free activities in the Muth Interpretive Center classroom are presented once a month, each with a different educational theme to explore. The activities are self guided and may include hands-on exhibits, outside hikes, crafts and more. Recommended for ages 2-10. Phone 949-923-2290.  Location: 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach. Website: ocparks.com/parks/newport/

Saturday, May 6

Enjoy a free Latin Music Festival from 1 to 7 p.m. at MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana. This is to celebrate the mall’s 30th anniversary, and they say it’s the “biggest music festival in OC.” Tickets are free but you must order them in advance. Learn more here: shopmainplacemall.com/event

Want to learn how to grow a giant pumpkin? Yeah, c’mon. Sure you do. There will be a free growers’ forum at Irvine Park Railroad from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. where you can learn to grow a giant pumpkin from seed to harvest, including how to start the seeds, take care of the plants and then get your massive pumpkin to the official weigh-off in September.  And the first 30 families to sign in will get free giant pumpkin seedlings, too.  Last year’s winner, Chris Dunn, whose pumpkin weighed 1,452 pounds, will also talk about how to grow giant tomatoes. The event, in Irvine Park Railroad’s Miner’s Meadow, is free but it costs $5 to get into the park. Learn more: IrvineParkRailroad.com. Location: Irvine Regional Pk, 1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange.

Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7

Head over to the annual Railroad Days in Fullerton. It’s lots of fun for the family, including trains such as the Disneyland C.K. Holliday Locomotive #1, other vintage locomotives and cabooses, model train layouts and more. Location: Fullerton Train Station. Learn more at FullertonTrainMuseum.org

 

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Deal of the week: Free Comic Book Day

Kirk Kushin, 45, gathers video of costumed comic fans during Free Comic Book Day at 4 Color Fantasies in Rancho Cucamonga, on Saturday, April 7, 2016.
Kirk Kushin, 45, gathers video of costumed comic fans during Free Comic Book Day at 4 Color Fantasies in Rancho Cucamonga, on Saturday, April 7, 2016.

You can get one of numerous free titles of comic books at the annual Free Comic Book Day, the first Saturday in May (this year May 6). Stop by a participating store to pick up your freebie–you don’t have to buy anything. Some stores have special events like the chance to meet comic creators. Learn more at freecomicbookday.com. Some local participants (not a complete list): Comics Toons N Toys, 13542 Newport Ave.,Tustin, 714-730-2117; Big Red Comics, 162 N Glassell,Orange, 714-650-0813; JNJ Comics, 11765 Edinger Ave. Fountain Valley, 714-839-5424; POP! 203 W. Center St. Promenada, Anaheim, 800- 521-9975; Comics Unlimited, 16344 Beach Blvd. Westminster, 714-841-6646.

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This week’s best deals: ASICS Warehouse and Urban Kids sales, free pretzels and more

bite.p1206.jd.jpgAuntie Anne's assorted pretzels. Photo: Jenna De Mattia
The Aunt Annie’s pretzel chain is offering a free pretzel to customers who download its My Pretzel Perks app. (File photo by Jenna De Mattia, contributing photographer)

Hi, it’s me, Marla Jo, your columnist and deals maven. Check out my Cheapo Travel column in the Sunday Travel section. If you know a great deal, let me know at mfisher@scng.com. You can also find me at Deals Diva on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget to read my humor columns on Wednesdays in the Register.

WAREHOUSE SALE

Visit the ACICS Warehouse Sale, where you can save 50-75 percent on men’s, women’s kid’s workout and sporty clothing, shoes and accessories. Today, April 23, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Location: 17822 Gillette Ave. Irvine.

KIDS CONSIGNMENT SALE

Got kids? Head to the Urban Kids four-day consignment sale from Thursday, May 4 to Sunday May 7. Four times a year, this pop-up event draws thousands of families looking for gently-used kids clothing, shoes, toys, baby gear and more.  Deadline to sign up to sell your stuff on consignment is April 30. Buy an early pass to shop Thursday, or Shop Friday-Sunday for free. Sunday has a 50 percent off clearance sale. Location: 6905 Warner Ave. Huntington Beach, next to Big Lots. Learn more: UrbanKidsConsignment.com

SEWING SALE

Stop by the American Sewing Guild Annual Yard Sale on Saturday April 29, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to score some fantastic deals on fabric, notions, yarn, lace, trims, books, magazines, and everything else sewing related. Yeah, you want to go. Fabric’s only $1 a yard, so be careful out there. Location: Fount Church, 18225 Bushard St., Fountain Valley.

FREE ANCESTORS

Want to learn how to find out about your ancestors? Come to the Yorba Linda Public Library at 7 p.m. Monday, April 24, and get expert help with all of your genealogy questions. Skilled volunteers from the Genealogical Society of North Orange County California (GSNOCC) will help answer your questions. Drop in on the second and fourth Mondays of each month from 7-8:30 p.m.

FREE PRETZEL

Like pretzels? Auntie Anne’s pretzel chain is celebrating National Pretzel Day (yes, that’s a thing) with a free original or cinnamon sugar pretzel for people who download their My Pretzel Perks smartphone app before 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26. Then, you can get your pretzel between Wednesday, April 26 and Sunday, April 30 at participating locations. If you have the app, you also get a free pretzel on your birthday and loyalty points.

KIDS RIDE FREE

Like trains? Well, this is fun:

If you get tickets in advance, your kids ages 12 and under can ride Amtrak for free with a paying adult to the downtown Fullerton Railroad Days event coming up May 6-7. (File photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)//// ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Fullerton Railroad Days held at the train station in Fullerton, includes model railroads, a Disneyland Railroad engine, a steam locomotive and more. - Date of photo: 04/30/16 - fullertonrrdays -- Photo by: MARK EADES, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
If you get tickets in advance, your kids ages 12 and under can ride Amtrak for free with a paying adult to the downtown Fullerton Railroad Days event coming up May 6-7. (File photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

It celebrates train travel in America. The event is free and the kids ride free on the Pacific Surfliner, so why wouldn’t you go? To get the free ticket, you must visit Amtrak.com and use the promo code V315 to reserve your trip to and from Fullerton for the event. Adults, sorry, you’ll have to pay. Buy now through May 7.  If you can’t take the train, you can still go to the event at no cost, Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and see trains such as the Disneyland C.K. Holliday Locomotive #1, other vintage locomotives and cabooses, model train layouts and more. Learn more at FullertonTrainMuseum.org.

AUCTION SITE

If you have something to buy or sell, check out South Coast Auction. Each Wednesday, they sell mountains of items from antiques to jewelry to appliances to pianos to ratty old office furniture. It’s fun just to look, too. 2202 S. Main St., Santa Ana. You can drop by and preview items before the Wednesday afternoon sales, when everything in the place is auctioned off, except the moose head over the bidding window. Or consign items to be sold. You can also see photos of items for sale on their website at Southcoastauction.net.

FREE PREVIEW

Check out the free preview of HBO and Cinemax underway now from April 21-24 on most cable and satellite networks. It’s a good chance to watch movies without commercials, and ponder whether you want to subscribe. This is courtesy of FreePreview.TV.

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