Free Birthday Ideas
September 22, 2008 9:46 PM   Subscribe

The Spousal Unit knows I like to be made a fuss of on my birthday and is happy to oblige, but this year we're low on cash, and he's a little lost. I'm trying to compile a list of fun, cash-free (or very cheap) things to do, so he can pick a couple and run with it. We are in Portland, Oregon, and mostly homebodies. I'm a voracious reader, and lover of all things spooky, and general ideas are great.
posted by frykitty to Human Relations (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A haunted house / scavanger hunt?
posted by youcancallmeal at 10:02 PM on September 22, 2008

Maybe take a look through Fight Club author and Portland resident Chuck Palahniuk's Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk Through Portland for inspiration?

It's reputed to reveal the places, people, and legends of Portland that have long been known only to locals, and many of which were off the radar of some of the Portland locals I've known!
posted by Roach at 10:15 PM on September 22, 2008 [2 favorites]

Hmm, ever try roleplaying something dark and spooky? Or recreate a particularly lurid scene from Byron/Wolstencroft/Shelly?
posted by porpoise at 10:18 PM on September 22, 2008

Voodoo Doughnut
posted by kuppajava at 10:44 PM on September 22, 2008

Hopefully you're not so low on cash that your SO can't afford $10.

If he can, ask him to buy you The Best of HP Lovecraft from Amazon.

Cheap and ever, so ever spooky...
posted by Mephisto at 11:46 PM on September 22, 2008

Midnight picnic in a graveyard. Book of short ghost stories to read to each other.
posted by kjs4 at 11:59 PM on September 22, 2008

Set a budget ($10?) and head over to Powell's. (The big store -- not the one on Hawthorn.) Spend an evening trawling the shelves, looking for cheap gems. Look outside your normal corners. (I always check sci-fi and comic strips, for example -- for me, maybe I'd look in philosophy or art.) You should be able to find a couple books that become little treasures.
posted by jdroth at 8:30 AM on September 23, 2008

i do not know if it is the right kind of spooky but going to the portland memorial mausoleum would be a neat thing to do.

also seconding scoring a copy of fugitives and refugees and/or going to voodoo donut. also, voodoo has a donut-eating contest at midnight the first friday of every month and you can score free donuts by joining said contest. it's a pretty hilarious scene in addition to being freeeeeeee.
posted by beefetish at 8:44 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

These are great ideas so far! Beefetish--I don't think I could lie to get into the Mausoleum, which really ticks me off because I didn't know about it! Sounds like a wonderful place.

Keep 'em coming. I think this thread will be really helpful.
posted by frykitty at 9:41 AM on September 23, 2008

Ideas? got none... but,

this 'Internet Unit' sends a multitude of good wishes for a Happy Birthday!

*waves at Spousal Unit* ....any ideas come to mind here?
posted by mightshould at 10:00 AM on September 23, 2008

frykitty - i know they are open to the public from time to time.

also, the grotto is a great place to spend an afternoon. and free.
posted by beefetish at 11:07 AM on September 23, 2008

How about taking a day off from work and happy-hour hopping? After you have perused the stacks at Powells and flipped through the selections at Jackpot you could always find a few dozen places for a happy hour hop. Have you thought of a Tri-Met adventure?
Although not free, two of my favorite places this time of the year in Portland are the Japanese Gardens and the Chinese Garden; in that vein the Hoyt Arboretum is another place not to miss.
Happy Birthday!
posted by TomSophieIvy at 11:39 AM on September 23, 2008

Could you do an in-home or in-yard campout or slumber party? Get cheap beverages and snacks, light a fire (or a bunch of candles), throw a pile of pillows and blankets on the floor and watch scary DVDs, or read/tell scary stories.
posted by pointystick at 1:00 PM on September 23, 2008

In case anyone else comes looking for ideas in this thread, this is from my own searching: has dozens of romantic ideas, many of them free.

This idea was also sweet.
posted by frykitty at 1:32 PM on September 23, 2008

I'm combining a couple of ideas upthread with something I did myself for a spouse: scavenger hunt, but try it at Powell's. Visit the store earlier in the day, and bury slips of paper with clues into the books, maybe even clues referring to private in-jokes or past dates. And each clue can lead your spouse to another book (preferably in a whole 'nother "color" of the store), and so on and so on. Sure, there's always the chance that someone will buy that book between the time you hide the clue and the time you come back with the spouse, but it'd still be fun!
posted by polyester.lumberjack at 3:57 PM on September 23, 2008

« Older Follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail.   |   Red light special Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.