7 free (or almost free) things to do in Eugene this spring

The Banff Mountain Film Festival takes place at the McDonald Theater April 16-17. People can indulge their wild sides as a variety of different-outdoor videos are presented to a huge audience. Tickets are $15 and REI student tickets are $11. (Photo courtesy of The Banff Mountain Film Festival)

Think outside the box this spring. The options once you venture beyond 13th Avenue are endless, especially as the April showers finally begin to cease.

Next time you have the urge to get out of the house and go on a new adventure, don’t let your empty bank account stop you. Here are some free (or almost free) things to do this spring.

1. Open mic nights for the comedians: OpenMikes.org provides a detailed calendar of when and where you can find the best amateur stand-up in all of Oregon. Featured on its calendar are three to four nights a week of stand-up at many of Eugene’s local bars, pubs and even hot wing shops.

2. Eugene Saturday Market: This market features more than 200 local artisans every week, selling everything from hand-crafted jewelry to honey harvested right from their backyard. Additionally, there are 15 food booths and live music to listen to as you eat and browse. The market is located downtown on 8th Avenue and Oak Street every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. The Lane County Farmer’s Market is also conveniently located across the street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

3. Sights for the trail blazers: If you are up for a very short drive, the Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest brings about 40 acres of colorful tulips to your very eyes. The farm also features its own garden, hay rides and wine tasting. $5 admission.

4. For the aspiring yogis: REI is offering free outdoor yoga instruction on April 30 at its Eugene store to provide a basic introduction to yoga. Spots are filling quickly. Register on REI’s website.

5. For the movie buffs and adrenaline junkies: The Banff Mountain Film Festival will be taking place at the McDonald Theatre April 16-17. Indulge your wild side as a variety of outdoor films are presented to a huge audience. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $11 for UO students.

6. For the foodies: The Grilled Cheese Experience event will kick off May 1 and run until May 10, as restaurants all over Eugene compete against one another to see who can put the best spin on the classic grilled cheese. Try them all for yourself at each of the participating restaurants and part of the proceeds will go towards FOOD for Lane County. Join the Facebook event here.

7. For the history buffs: The University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History is offering various exhibits this spring, which you can view Tuesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Current and future exhibits can be found on its website. Admission to the museum is always free to students with ID, and general admission is $5. 

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