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Cheap Trick Thursday: free or frugal entertainment options

You may have heard about Free Fall Baltimore, a month of chances to catch dance, theater, visual art and musical performance all for the low low price of nothing. Use the "search" function of your browser on this Free Fall Baltimore schedule if you've got a specific date in mind and sign up for tickets early ... wonder which events are going to sell out (reserve out?) first!

If you're entertaining some of the younger set or you're just into kid stuff like cartoons and comics, check out the October offerings over at the Kids Month in downtown Baltimore Web site, sponsored by the Downtown Partnership. WARNING: the Web site has sound, so be sure to mute your computer if you're reading Consuming Interests somewhere where you'd like to maintain your dignity.

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On Saturday, see Harry Potter movies at Geppi's Entertainment Museum and Maryland Science Center; pick pumpkins at the Harvest Festival at West Shore Park (in the Inner Harbor) featuring a petting zoo, hay rides and more; or learn about big trucks at Heavy Metal: Big Truck Day at the Baltimore Public Works Museum.

But there are other free or frugal opportunities to enjoy a little culture all year round:

1. Both the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum are free every day;

2. Sign up for the Baltimore Fun Guide, sponsored by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, to get e-mailed newsletters with discount codes and tricks to score half-price tickets to shows and concerts at venues such as the Creative Alliance at the Patterson, Single Carrot Theater and An die Musik Live.

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