Downtown St Petersburg
Photo by City of St. Petersburg

Downtown St. Pete is known to be the cool part of the Tampa Bay Area. It’s a vibrant city full of culture, where there is always something to do…but that goes out the window if you’re short on cash, right?

Nope!

Getting outdoors doesn’t cost a thing, and this is the perfect time of year to get your butt outside. We’ve finally hit that sweet spot when you don’t need a coat, but think twice before going outside in your standard uniform of shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops. Here are six ways to have wallet-conscious fun in the Burg this month.

1) Picnic! We tend to forget how lovely it is to have an old-fashioned picnic in the park on a beautifully crisp day. Just bring a blanket, some goodies, a few friends, maybe even some games. Remember the joy of playing charades or Monopoly when you were a kid? It is no less fun as a grown-up! A picnic can be a great, intimate, thoughtful date, too. Prepare a basket of your darling’s favorite food n’ drink, bring a small speaker to play their favorite band, overlook the water or people watch, and you can talk for hours. North Straub Park is my choice picnic spot.

2) Walk! Take a stroll by the water, or in a lovely neighborhood you’ve yet to explore like, say, Historic Roser Park. You might hoof it around DTSP with a mural map to admire the street art, or just walk along Central ’til you find a restaurant, bar, tea or coffee shop you’ve never been to. Of course you could saunter around popping into galleries, or do it up in style at ArtWalk on the second Saturday of the month!

3) Museums & galleries! Thursday evenings are not to be missed for the culture cat looking to pinch pennies. Every Thursday, the Museum of Fine Arts offers $5 tickets after 5, but the Dali Museum’s pay-what-you-can night is a particular treat in these temperate months. Explore the galleries, grab a glass of wine & sit outside in the garden overlooking the bay, then head out for cheaper drinks.

All night on Thursdays, you can head up to hit Red Mesa for half-price pitchers of margaritas and sangria, or The Lure for $20 pitchers of Moscow mules. See next month’s article for a comprehensive day-by-day listing of the best food and/or drink specials in town!

4) Movies! Sure, all St. Pete residents know about $5 movies at the Sundial on Tuesdays, but the ultimate hack is to purchase MoviePass and go on a Wednesday. Start your evening at Farmtable for their complimentary wine and cheese tasting from 5-7, then nab a table on their lovely patio and enjoy a half-priced bottle of wine.

MoviePass is your golden ticket, deal hunters. For $9.95 you see an many movies you want at any theater that accepts debit cards (so basically any movie theater). This is the real deal. The hubs & I have been using it for a couple months now and it is awesome. Think you don’t go to movies enough to make it worth it? Consider the fact that $9.95 is less than one measly ticket. Going once means you made your money’s worth. I never used to see movies more than once every month or so – but now it’s the price of Netflix. Have an extra couple hours? Why not embrace your inner film geek? Trust me, just do it.

5) Groupon! Not sure what to do? Let deal sites be your guide. I’m partial to the ol’ faithful Groupon, but there are also Yelp Deals, Living Social, etc. At the moment, you can grab major discounts on paddle boarding or kayaking at the Lottoboat Club, flights of beer at the St. Pete Brewing Company, tickets or a membership to Sunken Gardens, and a plethora of escape rooms.

6) Outdoor Markets! Need I say more? We all love the Saturday Morning Market, but keep an eye on local listings like marketmafia.com to see what other markets, festivals, and events are popping up. Ilovetheburg.com is another great resource. I like to take a peek at least once a week, as there’s always something fun in the works.

‘Tis the season to be outdoors, and a little bit of planning and creativity is all it takes to stretch a buck and thoroughly enjoy a day in beautiful downtown St. Pete. Make the most of your money and live it up, Burg-ers!

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  1. Operation Finale: The Capture & Trial of Adolf Eichmann

    February 10 @ 10:00 am - July 15 @ 5:00 pm
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    February 20 @ 8:00 am - February 23 @ 5:00 pm
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