Exploring El Paso on a budget.

Yesterday I had coffee with a friend and she was telling me about all the things to do and see here in El Paso. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised as this is a big city (500,000+) with a very unique mix of culture and heritage. I just didn’t know where to find all these fun things to do!

This morning, since I didn’t have to work, we went grocery shopping early at the commissary. It was a good time to go, as we went when they opened and it’s not the weekend after payday. We got everything on our list for $85! We would have spent probably $120+ had we gone to Albertsons or Big 8.

After settling all the food in its new home, we went to a thrift shop that my friend told us about. It wasn’t a bad place at all! We got two paperbacks for 35 cents each.

Then we went to the Museum of Archaeology, at the base of the Franklin Mountains. There was a nature trail walk, and admission was free to the museum itself. I guess I didn’t realize how many cultures are represented in this mecca… Native American, Mexican, Spanish… the list goes on. I should have taken pictures, but didn’t even think about it.

We picked up a free guide called “El Paso Scene” which  lists all the cultural, musical, art, basically anything-you’re-interested-in events in El Paso and the surrounding area. I got out a piece of paper, wrote down all the weekends from this one to the end of October and perused to see what we could go to on a budget.

Tomorrow (September 25):

Red and Green Chile War Fiesta in San Elizario, a short drive east from El Paso. Admission: free.

Socorro Mission Bazaar in Socorro, on our way back from San Elizario. Admission: free.

Next Saturday (October 1):

La Union Corn Maze in La Union, New Mexico, only a short drive northwest. I love that we’re so close to another state! Admission: $10, but $2 discount with military ID. We’ll try to get a group of people to go.

Weekend of October 7: (our “stay-cation”)

El Paso Zoo, downtown El Paso. Admission: $7.50 with military ID (normally $10).

Bodies Human Exhibit, El Paso. This one is a little pricier with military admission of $15. It’s a traveling exhibit, though, so I definitely want to see it!

Weekend of October 14

Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso. Finally hiking to the top of North Franklin Mountain. The park charges $4 per person to get in.

El Paso Chopin Music Festival, Chamizal National Memorial Theater, El Paso. Admission: free! 

Weekend of October 21

UTEP Football Homecoming game, Sun Bowl. Admission: $15.

Israel Houghton, Harvest Christian Center (our church!). Admission: not sure.

Weekend of October 28

Wine tasting at southern New Mexico wineries. Not sure yet which winery we’ll go to.

We’ve been spending quite a bit of money eating out. If we cut back on that, then going to these events won’t be an extra expense.

El Paso is our home for the next few years, and to make it worthwhile, it only makes sense to get out there and see what it has to offer!

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