You’ve hear that old saying, “The best things in life are free…” and it’s true! Some of our favorite attractions and most treasured resources here on Oregon’s South Coast are completely free of charge or very inexpensive to enjoy. From free festivals and outdoor concerts to movies and screenings, there is something for everyone.
So if you are ready to explore and unwind while giving your savings account a much needed break, check out these ideas for cheap or free entertainment in Coos Bay, North Bend, and Charleston Oregon.
Shop, Stroll and Eat your way through the Coos Bay Downtown Farmer’s Market where you will enjoy entertainment, fresh food, local produce, plants, and unique treasures. The Coos Bay Farmers’ Market is located in the heart of the Marshfield District, on Central Avenue between Highway 101 South and 4th Avenue, and runs every Wednesday from 9 AM to 3 PM through October 28, 2015 and every Sunday 9 AM to 3 PM through October 24, 2015. The Coos Bay Farmers’ Market is a joy for thousands of tourists who visit downtown Coos Bay every year, and a favorite of locals too. coosbaydowntown.org
Every Friday at noon through Aug. 28 there will be Live Music on the Corner at Fourth and Anderson. Get downtown a little early to get lunch to-go or bring your own and you can set up your lawn chair or picnic blanket. coosbaydowntown.org
Downtown Coos Bay and North Bend offers a wide range of unique antique stores, retail shops, restaurants, art and so much more. Spend an afternoon getting to know our wonderful and friendly merchants while browsing through their shops. You never know what treasures you will find.
Frugal moviegoers can expect to pay anywhere from $2- $5 to enjoy a night out at the movies (a huge savings over regular movie theater tickets). The newly restored and historical Egyptian features classic movies and live entertainment throughout the year. Located in the heart of downtown Coos Bay, this destination is fun for the whole family. 229 S BROADWAY ST, Coos Bay, Oregon 97420 egyptiantheatreoregon.com
In the mood to laugh out loud? Come to Warehouse 101, inside the Mill Casino Hotel for Comedy Night every Wednesday! The Mill Casino features new comedians who are sure to make you laugh in addition to serving great food and drinks. Two FREE hilarious shows start at 6pm and 8pm every Wednesday evening. www.themillcasino.com
Come to Mingus Park every Tuesday evening through September 15th for a free outdoor concert the whole family can enjoy. Musicians range from the harmonizing songwriting trio, T Sisters to one of New York City’s favorite horn-powered Jazz/Rock band, The Rad Trads! Concerts are every Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. for 5 weeks in August and September! Dancing in designated area, food & beverages available. B.Y.O picnic, this is a non-smoking event. Free Shuttles available from Blossom Gulch School, Coos Art Museum and Old City Hall. *If it rains, the concerts will be moved to Egyptian Theatre located at 299 S. Broadway (Hwy 101), Coos Bay musiconthebayoregon.com
Held the 2nd Friday of the month and free to the public. Refreshments served. Many of these films are not rated and parental discretion is advised. Subtitled for English-speaking audiences 525 Anderson Ave Coos Bay, OR 97420 oregonsadventurecoast.com
Warehouse 101 goes live every Friday and Saturday night starting at 9pm! Dance the night away and rock out with some of our favorite regional bands while enjoying some great food and drinks! Shows 9pm-1am. www.themillcasino.com
Visit various downtown businesses from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm to wine taste and shop on the First Friday of every month. Commemorative wine glasses and maps will be sold for $10 each at the Coos Bay Visitor Center 50 Central Ave Coos Bay, OR 97420. For more information, contact Cindy Rawlings at 541-844-9494
The South Coast Striders is a hiking group which plans and delivers free hikes in cooperation with the Bay Area Hospital, and the Coos County Women’s Health Coalition. Visitors are always welcome and encouraged to come! For information or to receive notification of upcoming hikes – send email to Don Luce at [email protected] Short hikes have an average pace of 2mph and last 2.5 -3.5 hrs while long hikes average 2-3mph pace and can last 3-6 hours. Bring lunch and water and rain gear, dress in layers, and wear sturdy waterproof boots. www.coostrails.com
The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (South Slough NERR) is a 5,000 acre natural area located in the Coos estuary on the south coast of Oregon. The center encompasses a mixture of open water channels, tidal and freshwater wetlands, riparian areas, and forested uplands. The Interpretive Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am until 4:30 pm (Closed on State holidays). Trails are open from dawn to dusk everyday. Many of their educational and outdoor programs are free or offered at a low cost to cover materials. South Slough NERR is located 4 miles south of Charleston on Seven Devils Road. www.oregon.gov
Satisfy that sweet tooth with a trip to Cranberry Sweets, a candy manufacturer/retailer with stores in Bandon and Coos Bay, Oregon. It’s a favorite among locals and visitors. Visitors to their store are often rewarded with a variety of irresistible in store samples. We like them so much here at the visitor center, we set out a tray of samples that refills daily (or more often). cranberrysweets.com
One of the oldest continuously working Myrtlewood Factories on the Southern Oregon Coast, The Oregon Connection welcomes visitors to browse the many unique creations in their store along with a free view of their woodworking shop. Located right off Highway 101 at the South end of Coos Bay, it’s a must see for first time visitors. Tip: Ask about their baseball memorabilia and ask to sample their fudge before making a purchase selection. www.oregonconnection.com
On the Oregon Coast, many of the beaches are state parks and our area is no exception. Along the 8 mile Cape Arago Loop in Charleston you’ll find a trifecta of State Parks including Oregon Coast’s crown jewel, Shore Acres State Park, Sunset Bay State Park and Cape Arago State Park. If you head inland, you’ll find Golden and Silver Falls, a hidden gem in the dense coastal forests. Hidden trails wind through all our state parks providing opportunities for hiking, sightseeing, photography and wildlife viewing. In addition, the John Topits Park and Empire lakes features paved trails, a small swimming beach and a lake stocked with fish annually. WARNING: Never turn your back to the Ocean. Always watch for sneaker waves. oregonsadventurecoast.com
Head for Charleston and explore the scenery, boats, unique merchants, fishing markets and restaurants located on the Charleston Marina. The friendly residents and merchants in this distinctive fishing village will do everything possible to make your visit memorable and fun! www.charlestonmarina.com
Established in 1950, the Coos art Museum is the third oldest Art museum in Oregon. The museum features rotating exhibits and the Steve Prefontaine Memorial Gallery. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for students, seniors, free to Members of CAM. Tip: Check to see if they have an opening reception coming up. They are sometimes free and open to the public. You may also want to ask about other offers such as a senior special or kids offer). Open Tuesday – Friday 10 am to 4 pm and Saturday: 1 pm to 4 pm. CLOSED Sun-Mon and all major holidays 235 Anderson Avenue Coos Bay, OR 9742 www.coosart.org
The Marshfield Sun Printing Museum is a unique printing museum located at the north end of Front Street on Coos Bay’s historic waterfront. The Marshfield Sun was a working newspaper office and print shop from 1891 to 1944 and is today essentially as it was left in 1944, with additional exhibits upstairs and on the walls. Volunteers are always on hand during Museum open hours to interpret and demonstrate the Marshfield Sun’s presses and other printing equipment, as well as to answer questions about the Museum’s exhibits on printing and office technology, and on local history. Open Tuesday through Saturday 1pm-4pm Memorial Day through Labor Day. Admission is free but donations are encouraged. /listings/marshfield-sun-printing-museum-2/
Contra dancing is an energetic couples line dance rooted in old English country dancing and performed with live music to the instructions of a caller. This is an easy-to-learn and forgiving dance form suitable for ages 9 to 90, offered in a spirit of community. Instruction for beginners starts at 7:00 PM. The main dancing is from 7:30 to 10:30, and all dances are taught. For more information contact Stacy at 541-808-1002. South Coast Folk Society holds a contra dance on the 2nd Saturday of each month (Sept – May) at 7:00 at the Greenacres Grange between Coos Bay and Coquille. Admission $7, seniors/students $6, SCFS members $5, under 6 free. No partner or experience needed. The South Coast Folk Society also hosts International Folk Dancing every 4th Friday (Sept – May); Admission is $4. Learn More: www.facebook.com
Our events calendar is packed full of festivals and celebrations year round; many of them are free or very inexpensive. We’ve listed a few happening in the next months:
Blackberry Arts Festival August 22-23, 2015
A must see. With so many beautiful paintings, breathtaking photography shots, and even phenomenal woodworking pieces, you’ll get lost in the beauty of the art while also enjoying some of the live entertainment and blackberry treats offered at the festival! For more information, call (541) 269-0215
Mill-Luck Salmon Celebration September 12-13, 2015
The Mill Luck Salmon celebration is a popular celebration of Native American traditions and culture. The festival is free and features a plethora of activities and exhibitions for the whole family. For more information, visit www.millcasino.com.
Bay Area Fun Festival September 19-20, 2015
The 2015 Bay Area Fun Festival in Coos Bay is a weekend you won’t want to miss! Loads of entertainment booked, plenty of vendors scheduled to appear with unique wares, and even a parade scheduled to march through downtown Coos Bay! This event runs in conjunction with the Prefontaine Memorial Run on September 19th. For more information, call 800-824-8486 or visit www.bayareafunfestival.com
Octoberfish October 2nd-4th
This growing festival is a celebration of Coos Culture the first weekend in October at the Charleston Marina. Enjoy Food, Spirits, Art and Lots of MUSIC. Admission is $1/person or 3 cans of food is encouraged. Projected Tuna Guy meal prices are $10/person or $25/family. www.facebook.com/octoberfish
For a complete listing and details, be sure to check our events calendar.