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Best Free Entertainment Option

1st Place: Sounds Like Summer Concert Series
2nd Place: Irvine Park Zoo
3rd Place: Chalkfest

When French explorers first happened upon the confluence of what would be named the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers, they commented, “Look! The water is so clear!” Then they said, “Dude, hosting live, open air concerts right along this bank would be KILLER!” Two-hundred-ish years later, there are free concerts on the river courtesy of the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series, and those Frenchmen were totally right. In second place, the Irvine Park Zoo has animals, like real animals, not just a few opossums and a couple of deer, and you can see them for nothing. In third, Chalkfest, now hosted on the UW-Eau Claire campus, is a great free way to prove you will never be as creative as pretty much everyone else. —Eric Rasmussen