Surviving Summer When You’re Broke and Have Lavish Tastes

Since I need all the money I can scrouge up for my J.Crew obsession…I’m thankful that summer in Rhode Island provides me with so many fun free (or almost free) things to keep me entertained.

Tazza Cafe in Providence also hosts Movies on the Block starting in mid-June. A (once again) FREE movie is shown outside, on the corner of Westminster Street and Union Street. They show a wide variey of classics, cult hits, local films, and popular movies every Thursday night at dusk. In the past, they’ve screened The Maltese Falcon, Shaun of the Dead, Blues Brother, and Kill Bill, vol. 1.If the movie isn’t to my liking and I’m still looking for something to do on Thursday, just down the street at Perishable Theatre on Empire St. I can find RI’s top notch improv group, Improv Jones- they pack more hilarity into an hour than humanly possible (maybe they’re aliens?) for only $5 every Thursday and Saturday night at 10 pm. Thursday night activities: check.


Went to a Portugal. The Man concert for dirt cheap a fews ago in Pawtucket…just a stone’s throw away from my humble abode. And speaking of concerts, WBRU, a local radio station hosts a series of free outdoor concerts every Friday starting in mid-June going until mid-August. Last year I saw OK GO in the heart of downtown Providence along with some other lesser known bands. This year, The Wandas, Sleeper Agent, and Young the Giant are all slated to make appearances. The Providence Roots Accoustic Festival will also be held for the first time. Friday night activies: check.


One of my favorite summer time events in Providence is WaterFire which combines performance art, urban festivities, and art installations into one beautiful event. It happens almost every other Saturday and I make it a point to go several times per summer.


The annual Providence Art Festival was last Saturday with tons of music, food, art, crafts, etc. for purchase and enjoyment. Westminster Street is closed to traffic and the good times roll from morning until night.


Saturday activities: check.

I’ll fill out the remainder of my time seeing movies at the Cable Car Cinema and the Avon Theatre, which show documentaries, indie, and foreign films for pennies. Well…not pennies. But less than the regular movies. While I’m at the Avon, I’ll bum around Thayer Street, near Brown where there are tons of shops and bookstores where I can browse. I’ll do an inexpensive lunch at Antonio’s or Nice Slice (you can’t go wrong with either). A vegan ice cream truck, Like No Udder, also roams in the area with some of the best (coconut) milk shakes around.

I could easily lose an afternoon or two at the RISD Museum of Art, which is free for students. They have both contemporary and classical art, in addition to several temporary instalations. I’ll probably check out Cocktail Culture, Building Blocks, and Collision while I have the chance.

The Barn at RWU is also putting on two plays as part of their Summer Playhouse, Far Away by Carol Churchill and Doubt by John Patrick Shanley, two of my favorites. And tickets are only five bucks!

It’s good to know there’s so much stuff to do in such a small state.

I couldn’t imagine summer without the Bristol Fourth of July Parade (the oldest in the country!) and all of the events that surround it. But, it deserves its own blog post. Look forward to it in July…

Stay cool,


Leave a Reply