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August 23, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Honest Abe doesn’t get enough credit these days. His $5 bill might not get you much more than a gallon of gas, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to have a good time. Columbia offers a variety of activities for $5 or less, perfect for when the wallet isn’t feeling so generous.
See how candy is made
When: Mon. to Fri., 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: The Candy Factory, 701 E. Cherry St.
Step into real-life Candy Land at the Candy Factory, and from the viewing room watch Columbia confectioners at work. Afterward, there’s a good chance you’ll be tempted to pick out some of your favorite sweets in the store, such as chocolate for $1 an ounce.
Rockin’ and rollin’
When: Tue. to Thurs., Noon-3 p.m.; Wed., 6:30-8:30 p.m.; Thurs., 9 p.m.-midnight
Where: Empire Roller Rink, 1305 Business Loop 70 East
Although it might appear the days of roller skating are a thing of the ’80s, it’s still hip. Empire Roller Rink offers skate sessions throughout the week. Go on the weekdays
to save a few bucks. For the full effect, wrestle into some spandex, strap on a sweat band, and slip into some leg warmers.
Build your own pizza pie
Cost: $1.25 for an 8-inch dough ball, plus the cost of toppings
When: Sun. to Thurs., 11 a.m.–10 p.m.;
Fri. to Sat., 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
Where: Shakespeare’s Pizza, 225 S. Ninth St., 3304 W. Broadway, 3911 Peachtree Drive
For a truly Columbia-inspired kitchen craft, pick up some dough from Shakespeare’s to make “homemade” a little easier. Toss together a pizza with Great Value brand ingredients from Walmart, such as 14 ounces of pizza sauce for $1 and 8 ounces of shredded cheese for $2.18.
Practice your golf swing
When: 8 a.m.–dark
Where: A.L. Gustin Golf Course, 18 Stadium Blvd.
Take a bunch of swings at the driving range with a small bucket of golf balls. Then, if your arms aren’t tired yet, head on over to the putting green for free practice. The golf is cheap, and if you don’t have clubs, the staff can provide you with some for free.
Get a fro-yo fix
Cost: $0.45 per ounce
When: Sun. to Thurs., 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri. to Sat., 11:30 a.m.–midnight
Where: Yogoluv, 201 S. Ninth St.
Turn dessert into a game, and treat your taste buds by experimenting with your favorite frozen yogurt flavors. Bring your friends along, and add some toppings to your cup to see who creates the best concoction. Make sure to keep it just under 11 ounces, though.
Join a dog party
When: Every third Thurs., 5–7 p.m.
Where: Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market, 503 E. Nifong Blvd.
Stop by Yappy Hour after work for a free social that welcomes dogs and provides treats for both man and sometimes his best friend. If you have a pup 6 months or younger, head to Puppy Play Hour every other Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m.
Catch some fish
When: Sat. and Sun., 12-4 p.m. until
Where: Bass Pro Shops, 3101 Bass Pro Drive
Young anglers can catch and release catfish, bluegill and crappie off the deck behind Bass Pro Shops. The shop provides all equipment and staff assistance for the fishing affair. Before you ready your reel, stop inside and grab a mesh Bass Pro Shops cap in your favorite color for $2.99.
Go all in for fun
When: Thurs., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Where: Tiger Zou Pub and Grill, 320 Penn Terrace Suite 121
For a competitive evening, put on your poker face for a game of Texas Hold ’em at the Missouri Legends Poker Series. Players compete for prizes, including cash and a trip to the World Series of Poker Circuit Event in Tunica, Miss., but the main goal of the evening is to have fun. The facilitators ask that you remember to support the host by purchasing food or drinks, but you can still keep the event under $5.
Take a swanky sip
When: Every day, 5–8 p.m.
Where: The Vault, 23 S. Eighth St.
The Tiger Hotel’s speakeasy lounge offers martinis during happy hour. The dim lights and candles create a chic atmosphere perfect for an intimate date or an easy hangout.