Saving Money while Having Fun

Sometime living on a budget means cutting back on entertainment expenses. Budget templates generally include some funds devoted to wants (as opposed to needs or savings). Entertainment falls into that category. To stretch your entertainment dollar, here are just a few of the free, discount, and low-cost options in Grinnell, Des Moines, and Iowa City.

If you know of a great deal for students, please email and we’ll add your contribution to this list.

Art & History


  • Dining Dollars may be used at McNally’s, Jay’s Deli, Saint’s Rest, and Dari Barn
  • Prairie Canary: 20% discount for Grinnell College students Tuesday, Wednesday,


  • Second Mile & Rummaging Around: Selection of craft items
  • Stew Makerspace: free for students

Free Clothes

Live Theater & Music



  • A quick reminder that Amazon and Spotify offer student-sized prices.


For a complete list of outdoor facilities in and around town, visit the city’s website. Here are just a few:

Head out of town a little further to:

Gear Up

By Robin Bourjaily
Robin Bourjaily Assistant Director, Exploratory Career Community