The first day of winter is here and that means a lot of winter activities and holiday traditions are about to make a comeback. So before we let it snow, let's take a look at some things to do or buy in Farmingdale for $20 or less.
Find a oldie: A musical oldie, that is, and on vinyl in a store right out of "High Fidelity.' Visit for a truly unique shopping excursion and see why their motto is "vinyl is not finyl." Even if you do not buy anything, you will never forget the experience. Prices vary, the fun is free.
Learn a fairytale: The hosts "Fairytale Bingo" for children of all ages accompanied by a parent. Reread a classic fairytale or hear one you never heard while trying to be the first one to yell "bingo." Free, Dec. 28.
Merry Christmas Charlie Brown: Help celebrate the 45th anniversary of the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Pick up a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, complete with its one red ornament, at for $14.99. At , you can get a Peanuts Nativity Set for $19.99. in Airport Plaza has several ornaments, wrapping paper and gift bags featuring the famous gang, plus an interactive book with sound version of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," all under $20 each.
Enjoy a great burger: Sure you can do this all year round, but there is something especially comforting about a great burger off the grill in the winter. Try one at . Prices vary, depending on toppings and sides.
Become a student of history: The Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society welcomes students at a reduced rate of $10. Some of the upcoming events the Society has planned include the National Treasure: Carriage Collection on Saturday, January 23 and Nine U.S. First Ladies from NY State on Sunday, Feb. 27.
Meet the Little Fockers: Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller are back with a third installment in the "Meet the Parents" franchise. Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand reprise their roles as Stiller's parents so with two sets of grandparents visiting two little Fockers, you can almost hear yourself laughing before the movie even starts. Opens Dec. 22. Farmingdale Multiplex $11 general admission, $8 children, seniors or bargain matinée (before 2pm).
Have a knocking New Year's Eve: Knock down some pins at during their New Year's Eve Bowling Bash. You and nine of your friends and family can have your own lane for $15 each for unlimited bowling, free shoes, a hot and cold buffet with drinks, not to mention door prizes, party favors and a chance to win bowling prizes.
See vintage planes: Visit the squadron of vintage aircraft at the American Airpower Museum. Open Thursday to Sunday. $10, adults, $6, Veterans, $5 children.
Watch football: Do it at the and you will get $3 Miller Lites and wings for .25 cents. If you more a fan of their sliders, go during Monday night football when they are .50 cents each beginning at 7 p.m. (Wednesday nights also). If you cannot make it there for a game, go on a Karaoke Tuesdays when there is a live DJ, an open bar from 9pm-10pm and.25 cent wings from 7 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Get a pet: A Pillow Pet. If Santa doesn't bring you a real pet, console yourself with a Pillow Pet. , CVS, and Target all carry a nice selection of them. $19.99 each.
Days of wine: Stew Leonard's top five wine picks of the season include three under $20: Bear Print Chardonnay $13.99, Vento Vermentino $15.99 and Gran Ducale Chianti Classico Riserva $19.99. The store also hosts free wine tastings every Friday from 4-7 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
Donate regularly: Not just during the holiday season. Remember those less fortunate throughout the winter season by making regular donations to the food pantry at St. Kilian's Parish Outreach or dropping off unwanted, gently used items to a thrift store like Pretty New Thrift or New To You Shoppe. Free and tax deductable.
Have a snowman: No snow to build one with? Head over to Carvel and pick up a snowman cake, complete with scarf and hat. $18.95.
Get an A: The Wild West Saloon is offering any kid under 12 years old a free kid's dine in meal just by bringing in a test, report card, quiz or paper with a grade of A on it. Let Mom or Dad know if they bring you there any night of the week between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., there's free wings in it for them.
Slack off: At the Crazy Donkey with the Slackers on Saturday, Feb. 19. Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 on the day of the show. Bayside will be there on Friday, Jan. 21. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 on the day of the show.
Plan a party: A Superbowl party may cost more than $20, but planning it is free. Get ideas for great party appetizers by flipping through a few cook books at Borders or the library. If you are going to a party as a guest, then make or pick up something for $20 or less. Try Target or BJ's Wholesale for the biggest bang for your buck on hot wings and other finger food, guacamole and chips, pretzels, nuts and don't forget dessert. Pick up a sheet cake or two dozen cupcakes which you can display in the shape of a football for free.
Eat in front of the fire: If you do not have a fireplace of your own, visit the dining rooms which have a total of seven of them. Go for lunch starting at 11:30 a.m. and treat yourself to a bowl of their famous Beer Cheese Soup or the Roasted Tomato Soup ($4.95 each). If sandwiches are more your style, try the Turkey Croissant ($7.95), the Grilled Vegetable Wrap ($8.95) or the Classic Reuben ($9.95).
Organize: With a new year come new resolutions, and if one of yours is to finally organize your desk at home or work, do it in style. Black Wire Mesh Desk Accessory line combines function with style. File holders and sorters start at $9.99 for a small holder to $19.99 for a super sorter. The stackable letter tray is $12.99, a small "doodad" cup is $4.29 and the large is $4.99. For taller supplies like markers and scissors, there's the small pencil holder for $3.99 or $5.99 for the super size one.
Meet an author: Rhett C. Bruno will sign copies and read from the first book in his planned trilogy of fantasy novels, "Fallen Dagger" at Borders on Jan. 12 at 12 p.m. Free admission, $19.99 for purchase of book, which is optional. Also, don't miss Storytime Saturdays at 11 a.m. every week. The store welcomes children and accompanying adults for an hour to hear the most recent stories for youngsters followed by cookies and drinks. Free.
Be a nut for the new year: The Nutty Irishman hosts their Nutty New Year's Party 2011 with an open bar from 9 p.m. to midnight with live music from Peat Moss and the Fertilizers and DJ Rumer. Advance tickets are $20, at the door $25.