Your calendar is marked for June 21 – 26, 2012. You’re going to ALA Annual in Anaheim!… Now what?

Just because you’re trying to save money doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! There are plenty of fun things to do near Anaheim without having to break out the big bucks (sorry Disneyland!). Check out some of the free (or almost free) things to do in Orange County:

Orange County Great Park Located south of Anaheim in the city of Irvine, this park- formerly a Marine base built as a wartime air station in 1942- offers free carousel rides and hot-air balloon rides, as well as an art gallery and children’s playground.

Great Park Balloon Rides One of the largest tethered helium balloons in the U.S., this ride soars 400 feet in the air, is safe, and free!

Ride the Balboa Island Ferry Experience historic charm while enjoying the scenic crossing between Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula.’ You can ride the ferry on foot, bicycle, or in your vehicle.’ Prices range from free-$2.

Downtown Disney Enjoy a mini-Disney experience without having to pay the admission (or parking) fee. The Downtown Disney District features unique sights and shops.

Fullerton Arboretum A beautiful place to walk on the campus of Cal State Fullerton. Please remember your sunscreen, water and hat! Check their website for hours before you go.

Anaheim Public Library That’s right!’ Visit the local library; they’ll probably be expecting you!

Huntington Beach Pier Stroll the beach or enjoy the shops and restaurants, Huntington Beach Pier and Main Street has plenty to keep you occupied. Check out the International Surfing museum; admission is free!

Angel Stadium Tour If you’re a baseball fan, don’t miss the Angel Stadium behind-the-scenes tour. The complete tour includes areas that are usually off-limits to the public: the Press Box, Press Conference Room, Clubhouse, and Dugout. Advanced registrations are required, so check out their site!

Farmer’s Markets Support local artists and farmers! There’s a market almost every day of the week.’  Some markets offer live music entertainment.

OC Parks Relax and take a stroll at the park.’  Also check out their calendar for upcoming events and programs.

OC Beaches If you like beaches, Orange County will certainly not disappoint.’  And how convenient is it that ALA Annual falls on the first week of summer?

Queen Mary and the Port of Los Angeles About 20 minutes away from the Anaheim Convention Center, drive over to Long Beach and look at the Queen Mary, the coastline, and the Port of Los Angeles. You can ride the AquaBus or AquaLink for cheap.

*List compiled from the YALSA Wiki and Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau.

Finally, after your fun-filled week, don’t forget to stop by the post office for flat rate boxes to send back all of those fabulous ARCs you’re bound to pick up.’  Books are heavy, so shipping by weight can cost 3-4 times more than shipping in a flat rate box.’  As long as it fits in the box, it’s one flat rate.’  So grab plenty of these from the local post office.’  If you plan early, you can also have these delivered to your hotel room.’  Check out the U.S. Postal Service for more info.

See you in Anaheim!

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