Cheap Entertainment

March 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
These days, families are trying to find ways to entertain themselves without having to spend a lot of money."Oh, it has things like sound, name that sound."

A family outing for Maria Perez and her two kids is often spent at the downtown Fresno library.

"We just get to spend a little time together and um even though we don't go and spend any money, we just you know get some books, get some movies or something."

Perez is part of a growing trend.

This year, the 35 branches within Fresno County are expected to check out three-and-a-half million items, compared with just three-million last year.

One reason for the increase, it's free.

"It's probably not that well known that we have a career center at our library, so in addition to the books and DVDs and the music cds, we have people coming in for resume help and interview help because it's such a big need right now with the unemployment rate."

Also seeing a boom are Fresno city parks.

Between Woodward Park, Roeding Park, and the Regional Sports Complex, park officials say there have been 14-thousand more cars coming in this fiscal year, compared to last.

Angie Toy of Fresno said, "We just try and find stuff to do that we've already paid for with our tax money."

It's not just places that don't charge who have seen a big increase; places who do charge have seen the same thing. Here at the zoo, a family of four can come all day for about 20 bucks.

In January, the zoo had 65-percent more visitors than the same time last year.

Leann Pedigo of Visalia said, "Very reasonable, very reasonable and its fun. This is goona be all afternoon, so it's going to take up a whole day and the kids love it."

And so do parents, who are saving money, all while sharing some quality time. "Whoa, look it."

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