BEYOND THE MIDWAY: Costa Mesa welcomes one of California's biggest fair's each July, meaning that a lot of people will be making for the city for maybe the only time that year. It's too bad if that's the case; there's lots to do beyond the fairgrounds, and while the OC Fair has plenty to fill up a day, there are events to consider elsewhere. Let us add to that thought that we're talking *free* events; you'll be spending your dough to win an etched mirror with a rose on it or an over-sized stuffed teddy bear, right? So you'll want to save money where you can. Here are a few free things going on this summer that are, if not fairground-adjacent, then just a short drive away.
FREE FOR ALL MOVIE MONDAYS: It's a warm-weather nighttime favorite that's back for another year at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. "Billy Elliot" opened the screenings on Monday, July 9, with "An American in Paris," "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Yentl," and "The Music Man" just ahead on the Mondays to come. We're also liking park concerts, which happen on Tuesdays through July 31. It's worth noting that the OC Fair, which opened on Friday, July 13, is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so this gives people a bargain outing when the Ferris wheel is dark. For more spend-no-cash picks, check out this list (and a big thanks to the visitors bureau people at OC/Anaheim).