Encino, CA (Los Angeles)
I happen to live in a lovely part of Los Angeles — ungodly hot in the summer, but fantastic weather the rest of the year. That means I can pretty much count on decent weather for an outdoor excursion on the weekends.
Right around the corner from me is the stunning Balboa Park. From my house, I can hop on my bike, get onto a bike path and cycle for about 10 miles through and around the park and Balboa Lake. To spend my $5, I stop, with my daughter, at the ice cream trucks dotted around the park and for $1 we can each enjoy a Superfudge and a SnoCone. If we’re starving, we can find a hotdog vendor, which will top us up to our $5!
Another great local place is “The Stand”. Every Monday night, hotdogs are free (or $1), and every Thursday night is free jazz in their outdoor patio. For $4 or $5 we can have a hotdog or mac’n’cheese and listen to some jazz in the great outdoors.
Last one — throughout the summer, the Skirball Center has free jazz concerts in their outdoor hall. You can bring your dinner with you and eat out while listening to the sweet sounds of the multinational talent that comes in to tantalize the audience with their music.