Save Cash at SoCal's Play Destinations

Theme parks, the beach, Dodger Stadium -- discover what you'll spend to have a fun day out.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    For families looking to save while having fun, planning ahead and using the web are key to making quality family time affordable. Vikki Vargas reports from Laguna Canyon for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 19, 2014. (Published Monday, May 19, 2014)

    Can you smell the cocoa butter? Summer's nearly here, or the unofficial summer season, anyway.

    Which means that ticket prices heading upwards at some of the region's most popular destinations is in the air. Disneyland announced over the weekend that tickets have gone up (a single-day, single-park admission ticket for visitors 10 and older increased by four bucks, from $92 to $96).

    Where will you and the family head to wile away the day once school is out, and maybe save a few bucks along the way?

    The beach: Parking for a full day spend near the Pacific Ocean shouldn't test a day-out budget. Huntington Beach carries a $15 maximum for a day's parking, or you can go the $1.50 an hour route. Going nearly daily during the hotter weather? There's a parking pass for that.

    Knott's Berry Farm: The Buena Park theme park has a page of options, including dining deals and fast passes, by early birds who know they'll be headed for a ride on The Sierra Sidewinder should purchase in advance. At least three days in advance: Do that and your ticket in is $39.

    LEGOLAND California: Kids dig Carlsbad's colorful block-laden hotspot -- the "Star Wars" area continues to be a popular draw -- and there's a way to score savings ahead of time. In fact, the further ahead you buy, the more you might save. Want to see how it works? A calendar'll tell you if you can save $3.50 or $7 by the date you pick.

    Dodger Stadium: Ever been to the Top Deck? Deals aplenty are to be found. Deals so sweet that for some games you can get in for just a tenner. Check out the full pricing grid and score a spot to eye the diamond (and stow some cash for peanuts).

    Universal Hollywood: The "Buy a Day, Get 2014 Free" slogan is one that's familiar to any SoCaler who has driven by a billboard, but have you ever looked into it? If you've hit the Jurassic-iest Parkian playplace in all the land more than twice in a year, you probably should. Here's where to start.

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