H2Whoa Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter + Giveaway + Discounts

lewis ginter gardenfest 2015
Dominion GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter returns this Friday (Nov 27) and runs through January 11, 2016. I have a chance for you to win tickets at the bottom of this post!

    Nov. 27, 2015 – Jan. 11, 2016. (Closed Dec. 24 & 25) Nightly 5 – 10 p.m.

    “A holiday tradition featuring more than half-a-million twinkling lights, hand-crafted botanical decorations, model trains, holiday dinners, firepit with s’mores and hot chocolate (for purchase); nightly family activities & more. The region’s ultimate holiday extravaganza!

    This year’s “H2Whoa” theme showcases water in all its forms. Experience a dazzling 30-acre light and botanical display highlighting some of the many ways water surrounds us and shapes the world in which we live. Explore magical, whimsical re-imaginings of everyday water events. Stroll through twinkling “rainstorms” as crystal rain drops and fluffy storm clouds float overhead. Participate in a thunderstorm of lights! As the storm clears walk through a 75-foot rainbow of light to the warm yellow Rose Garden where our peacock dries its feathers. Dive into deep blue pools surrounded by glowing ocean life. Enjoy a dinner in the Tea House surrounded by a snow covered landscape dripping with ice. Make your way down the Rainbow Road beside a river of light. Dry off at the Warming Fire as you treat yourself to hot chocolate and s’mores, and then find your way through our maze of lights.

    Indoors you can follow fish in a river to learn more about water and how to help improve our own waterways. Experience gorgeous botanical exhibits inspired by bog gardens and ocean life and enjoy multiple train displays. Step into the Conservatory to explore the ocean’s floor, discover a wintry wonderland, find rainstorms and rainbows, and visit a tropical rainforest.”

The Grand Illumination takes place this Friday, November 27, 2015, with a 5:30 p.m. countdown to flipping the switch on more than half-a-million twinkling lights.

Gardenfest ticket prices: $12 adults, $11 seniors (age 55+), $8 children (ages 3 – 12), Free for children under age 3


    Member Nights (free admission for members) are November 30, December 1 & 2, 2015 and January 11, 2016.

    Richmond Times-Dispatch Press Pass; Buy One, Get One Free admission on select Sundays – Publishes on Thursdays in the Weekend Section; coupon must be presented at the Garden’s Visitors Center for discount, no photocopies accepted, no other discounts apply, one free admission per coupon.
    - Publishes Nov. 19 and 26: good for Sunday, Nov. 29
    - Publishes Dec. 3: good for Sunday, Dec. 6
    - Publishes Dec. 31: good for Sunday, Jan. 3
    - Publishes Jan. 7: good for Sunday, Jan. 10

    Richmond Valpak Coupon; $3 off one GardenFest ticket (Valpak is mailed to Richmond-area residences; offer valid with coupon only. One coupon per person. May not be combined with other discounts including member discount. No photocopies accepted. Coupon valid December 4 – 10 and January 4 – 7 ONLY)

Lots more information about the lights and special events is available here.

Here’s your chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Dominion GardenFest of Lights – just enter your name and email in the giveaway widget below (Enter your name and email first, then click on “click to enter” and enter your email again):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(If you can’t see the widget, click the link above to the Rafflecopter site to enter.)

Giveaway ends November 27, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST. One entry per person. I only collect your email address so that I can contact the winner. One winner will be selected at random to receive four tickets to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Winner will be contacted via email and have 48 hours to respond.

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Posted in Contests & Giveaways

Free Ice Skating at Stony Point Fashion Park

stony point mall ice skating

At Stony Point Fashion Park’s mini rink this weekend: Kick-off the holiday weekend and enjoy free skating beginning Friday, November 27th – Sunday, November 29th.

    “Complimentary sessions begin every hour on the hour. Each one hour session consist of 45 minutes of skating with 15 minutes in-between sessions to condition the surface.

    Capacity of rink is 30 individuals per session. Skaters must have a wrist band prior to entering the rink. All participants skate at their own risk. In the event of inclement weather during free skating weekend, Stony Point Fashion Park will distribute 100 free skating passes per day at the Center’s discretion.”

Friday – Saturday hours are 11 am to 7 pm and Sunday 12 noon to 6 pm. Regular admission of $5 includes skate rental.

There are also animated light shows at the Christmas Tree in the evenings beginning at 5pm.

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Posted in Free & Cheap Events

RVA on Ice Grand Opening Celebration

rva on ice discount

The RVA on Ice outdoor skating rink opens this Wednesday with ceremony and festivities starting at 6pm featuring Rayvon Owen, Richmond Boys Choir, and members of Cirque du Soleil’s TORUK. The first 100 people in attendance will get a RVA On Ice blue and white Santa hat.

The graphic promotes “Free Admission” which I interpret to mean free skating rink admission, but it’s not crystal clear. (Updated: skating is free; skate rentals will be regular price of $5) Regular admission is $5 and skate rental is $5.

    Skate under the skyline on our 60′ x 150′ frozen ice rink this season on Broad Street. Bring your own skates or rent them at the rink. RVA On Ice is open to the public daily from November 25 – January 3, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! Spectators can watch all the action from the climate-controlled warming tent adjacent to the ice rink. Tickets for RVA On Ice can be purchased in person only at the Carpenter Theatre Box Office. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted.

Other promotions this 2015 RVA on Ice season:

    Mondays are for Giving
    Every Monday, receive one complimentary admission by bringing an item to donate to a local non-profit. Consider nonperishable food items/canned goods for FeedMore, gently used coats for Coats for Kids or household necessities for the Ronald McDonald House. We’ll feature a specific non-profit each week, but any of these items are always welcome.

    TTT: Toys for Tots Tuesday
    Every Tuesday, receive one complimentary admission by bringing a Toy to benefit Toys for Tots through December 15th. All toys must be new and unwrapped in order to be accepted.

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Posted in Free & Cheap Events

Maymont Memberships 30% Off

At the Japanese Garden last week

Love Maymont? Through November 22, you can purchase a membership to Maymont for 30% off, making it $42 for a family for one year, or $72 for a family for two years. This gets you some discounts to programs and free admission to the Nature Center.

When we had a membership, our boys especially loved the free tram rides that came with it (tram runs seasonally on weekends and helps you make it to the far corners of the park with little ones!

Not to mention supporting a great Richmond institution!


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Posted in Miscellaneous

Half-Price Shakes at Arby’s in the afternoon

arbys shakes deal
From 3-5 p.m. everyday, Richmond area Arby’s restaurants are offering half-price milkshakes (no end date mentioned)

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Posted in Dining Out

The F.R.E.E. List November 20-22

westchester tree lighting
F.R.E.E. = Frugal Richmond Events for Everyone! All events have free admission unless noted.

Bring on the weekend – Grand Holiday Illumination at Historic Polegreen Church, Magical Santa Tree Lighting at Westchester Commons, Olde Time Holiday Parade in Ashland, Santa’s arrival at Regency Square Mall, Global Sounds concert at University of Richmond, and “Come & Play” performance with Richmond Symphony at the Siegel Center.

Note: no F.R.E.E. List next week because of a holiday weekend lack of events. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

If you can’t view the calendar, try visiting the actual post here or the dedicated calendar page here.

Posted in Free & Cheap Events

Busch Gardens Christmas Town Deal: $14 Twinkle Ticket

bgw christmas town 2015 promo code
Folks have been asking about 2015 Christmas Town discounts: *Starting now* Busch Gardens Williamsburg is offering discounted Christmas Town tickets online for $14. Limited time sale. Ticket valid select dates only.

    The brightest sale of the season is approaching this Friday, Nov. 13 with our Twinkle Ticket! Get a ticket to Christmas Town for only $14. This is the ABSOLUTE best deal of the season. The ticket is valid on the following dates only: Nov. 29; Dec. 4, 6, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 24, 30, 31; and Jan. 1 and 3.

busch gardens christmas town deal
“Regular” price is $35 each; you can purchase a Fun Card for the Christmas Town season for $35. There is an option to purchase $24 single day tickets valid any day.

affiliate link used

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Posted in theme parks

Groupon: $10 for a $15 Starbucks Card eGift

starbucks groupon 2015
Groupon is offering a Starbucks deal: $10 for a $15 Starbucks eGift Card.

Promotional value expires May 31, 2016. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person. Valid within the U.S. only. Starbucks Card eGift can be used in any participating Starbucks store. Must redeem voucher by expiration date.

affiliate link used

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Posted in daily deals, Dining Out

The F.R.E.E. November 13-15

inlight richmond 2015

F.R.E.E. = Frugal Richmond Events for Everyone! All events have free admission unless noted.

Coming up this November weekend… InLight Richmond at VMFA, Holly Jolly Christmas in Lakeside, Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra performance at the Carpenter Theatre, Reel to Reel: Lincoln at Henrico Theatre ($1), Mini Greek Festival at Malvern, Santa’s Arrival and Grand Illumination at Short Pump Town Center, and Community Tree Lighting at Stony Point Fashion Park. Plus, the Richmond Marathon runs around town Saturday morning.

If you can’t view the calendar, try visiting the actual post here or the dedicated calendar page here.

Posted in Free & Cheap Events

H&M Chesterfield and L.L. Bean Short Pump Grand Openings

when will llbean short pump store open?
H&M opens a location at Chesterfield Towne Center tomorrow, November 5th:

    Join us on November 5th at noon for the launch of our brand new store at Chesterfield Towne Center in Richmond, VA.

    If you’re one of the first 200 shoppers in line, you’ll receive an all-access fashion pass with a mystery amount of store credit up to $300! Treat yourself to something during opening day, on us.

    Bring in old garments to be recycled before the store opens at noon for 15% off your next purchase and the chance to win an H&M gift card valued between $50 and $250.

    Get ready to do some serious shopping to our in-store DJ spinning all the latest hits!

And on Friday, November 6, at 9 a.m., L.L. Bean will open a retail location at Short Pump Town Center. The first 200 customers in line receive a gift card worth at least $10. There will be other events and activities all weekend – see this brochure for details.

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Posted in Retail Store Discounts/Sales
Do you live in Richmond, Va and like saving money? You've come to the right place! I'm Alison, and I blog about local free events, store sales, restaurant coupons, and second-hand shopping. Stick around !

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