Sara Pauff: Inexpensive weekend events

November 12, 2011 

Sometimes saving up for Christmas shopping can mean foregoing expensive weekend plans.

You may have to cut back on Saturday afternoons at the movies or trips to Atlanta if you want to afford gifts for everyone on your list.

But even if you can’t afford concert and movie tickets or and out-of-town weekend right now, you don’t have to spend your Saturday at home in front of the television. There are still plenty of cheap (or free) activities going on around town.

Here are some family events this weekend that are cost no more than $5.

Veterans Day Parade: Start your Saturday morning by honoring local veterans. This parade through downtown Columbus and Phenix City will feature veterans, several bands, JROTC units and military vehicles. It begins at 10 a.m. in Phenix City at Broad Street and Dillingham Street. It will travel north on Broad Street to 13th Street, then east on 13th Street, over the bridge to Broadway in Columbus, before ending on Ninth Street. It’s free.

Family Art Affair: If you’re feeling artsy this weekend, check out this program at the Columbus Museum. From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. today you can drop by the studio and make a dreamscape window. The program is free. While you’re there, explore the museum’s collections. There’s currently an exhibition on the history of the Springer Opera House and theatre in Columbus, as well as a collection of photographs of Barbour County, Ala., from photographer D.L. Hightower. For more information, call 706-748-2562.

Hay Rides and a potluck dinner at FDR: Enjoy a picnic outside, then go on a hay ride at F.D. Roosevelt State Park on Saturday. This 9,049-acre park in Pine Mountain is Georgia’s largest state park and boasts more than 40 miles of hiking trails. The potluck dinner will be at 5 p.m. in the pavilion by the trading post. Bring a dish to share. When you’ve finished eating, take a harvest hay ride around the park. Hay rides are offered from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays until November 19. Meet at the campground trading post. Parking at F.D. Roosevelt State Park is $5 and donations are welcome for the hay ride. For more information, call 706-663-4858.

Second Sunday at Oxbow Meadows: Now that the hot summer days have past, it’s a good season to plant trees. If you want some tips on tree-planting, come out to this program at Oxbow Meadows on Sunday at 2 p.m. The experts from Trees Columbus will show you what to consider when planting at tree and answer all of your arboreal questions. Everyone attending will receive a free seedling. While you’re there, explore the center’s animal exhibits or the natural history center. General admission to the Second Sunday program is $3; it’s free for kids 3 and younger. For more information, call 706-507-8553.

--Contact Sara Pauff at 706-320-4469 or For more commentary, read her 20-something blog

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