Even when the economic walls are closing in, it's nice to know that there are ways to get out and enjoy yourself without putting any strain whatsoever on your finances.
In fact, you can easily get an entire week's worth of fun and entertainment without ever burning a cent.
Monday: Trivia Night at The Old Toad
Do you know the capital of Nigeria? Or which Marvel character was King of Atlantis? Or where you can find the Robotic Hall of Fame? If so, stop by the Old Toad on Alexander St. at 9:30 p.m. on Monday nights and put some of that otherwise useless knowledge to work.
Bring a few of your friends along and work together to answer 20 multiple-choice questions. If you get a high enough score you can win some bar merchandise, but the greatest prize is finding out how much smarter you are than your friends.
The Old Toad
277 Alexander St., Rochester
Tuesday: "Urban Assault Rides" Sponsored by Full Moon Vista
Ever feel like you're missing out on some of the sights, sounds and perhaps even smells of Rochester? Here's a chance to experience some of those missed sensations and get in a little exercise at the same time. Every Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. (until March,) Full Moon Vista Bike & Sport operates a group bike ride through the city. The route changes every week, but always launches from the Adams Street Center in Corn Hill. Haul your old mountain bike out of the garage and explore your city. You never know what you might discover.
Full Moon Vista Address: 180 Saint Paul St., Rochester
Wednesday: Comedy Underground at The Mez
Everyone loves a good laugh, but why pay to get into a comedy club when you can check out the Comedy Underground for free at the Mez? Every Wednesday from 8 to 11 p.m., a rotating group of up-and-coming local comedians will have you rolling in the aisles (or between the tables, anyway.) Best of all, every show is open to amateur and wannabe comedians. Watch your friends and neighbors humiliate themselves or, if you're feeling really bold, get up on stage yourself and try out those jokes you wrote about useless Aquaman was.
The House of Hamez
389 Gregory St., Rochester
Thursday: Art and Live Music at the Little Cafe
The Little Theater is one of Rochester's great institutions, but if you don't feel like springing for a movie ticket you might want to check out the cafe next door, where talking about movies (or any other subject, for that matter,) is free. While you're there, you can sample the works of local artists and, starting at 7:30, live music from a different local band every month. It's an easy way to have a nice, quiet, intellectual kind of evening amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown Rochester.
The Little Cafe
240 East Ave., Rochester
Friday: Karaoke with the "Karaoke King" at Jeremiah's Tavern
Unless you're too drunk to know the difference, getting up and trying karaoke can be a little intimidating. And if you’re sober, you can only listen to so many off-duty accountants screech out Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" before starting to think that you, too, will inevitably sound like a cat being kicked down a flight of stairs. Fortunately, Jeremiah's Tavern on Monroe Avenue has hit upon a solution: bring in a professional.
Every Friday night at 11 p.m. the "Karaoke King" will be in residence, giving tips to newbie and experienced pros alike to help you sound like a rock god. Prove yourself worthy and you could win prizes or even get to sing in a radio commercial.
1104 Monroe Ave., Rochester
Saturday: Live DJ's at Taylor's Disco Niteclub
Let's be honest with ourselves: disco was simplistic, repetitive, and more than a little vacuous ... but it was also silly, fun, and really, really easy. Sure, it didn't carry any kind of deep social message, but you could shake your booty to it all night long. Taylor's Disco Niteclub in Pittsford understands your love-hate relationship with disco, and graciously gives you the music that you can't admit you want.
From 8 p.m. until 2 a.m., Taylor's resident DJ's spin "Disco Inferno," "Disco Duck," and many other songs with "disco" in the title, as well as all your favorite songs from the 60's and even a few modern dance hits. And remember, if your friends give you a strange look because you know all the words to "Stayin' Alive," it just means they're jealous.
Taylor's Disco Niteclub
3300 Monroe Ave., Pittsford
Sunday: Jazz Night at the Lovin' Cup
Your week of free entertainment is finally coming to an end, and after an entire night disco dancing, you’re probably pretty desperate to re-establish how hip you are before it's too late. The Lovin' Cup at RIT's Park Point has a quick solution: a relaxing evening of jazz. Come in at 7 p.m., sit down, relax and snap your fingers to the smooth beats as you think back on all the free stuff you've taken advantage of in past week and brace yourself for another Monday morning.
The Lovin' Cup
300 Park Point Drive, Henrietta