Griffith Observatory hosts monthly "Public Star Parties". Amateur astronomers bring their gargantuan telescopes (and their passion) to share with the public on one Saturday per month from 2-10 PM. I recommend going right before sunset to see the contrast between the sun, moon, planets, and stars. There are plenty of grassy areas to have a nice picnic. Admission to the Observatory and parking are free, while $7 pp to see a show at the planetarium theater (dome-like screen in the ceiling). If you're lucky, you might be able to capture an image of the planet Saturn and it's rings with your digital camera peeking through a telescope! In case you can't make it this Saturday, check out the calendar online for the next one because it's usually one Saturday per month.
UPDATE 01/14/10: The 2010 Schedule for the FREE Public Star Parties is now posted online (click HERE): 1/23, 2/20, 3/20, 4/24, 5/22, 6/19, 7/16, 9/18, 10/16, 11/13, 12/11.
UPDATE 02/16/10: Rain is expected on Saturday, 02/20/10, so it will be an "indoor" Star Party (BYOB = Bring your own binoculars). I did receive an email that The Observatory is asking for $20 for non-member admission.
Approximate cost of creative date idea = FREE.
Actual value of the cheap date idea = Priceless and out of this world.
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