At Travelzoo, we’re lucky enough to have a wealth of travel knowhow at our fingertips, from over 250 Deal Experts in 28 locations across the globe. Each week, we combine that knowledge to bring you our top weekend tips for some of our favourite cities -- and what’s more, most of the events are free (or, as you’d expect, represent terrific value).
Singapore is rightly famous for its unique and delectable hawker food, so foodies the world over would be well-advised to mark this Saturday on their calendars for Ultimate Hawker Fest 2012. Conceived by Asia’s most popular food blogger, Dr Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost.sg, this one-off food festival marries Singapore’s most famous hawker dishes -- including chicken rice, laksa and satay -- with world-class ingredients like Wagyu beef, abalone, New England lobster and free-range chicken. Many of Singapore’s most famous (and popular) hawker vendors will be taking part. Tickets start at £26 (SGD$50) per person, with all proceeds going to Singapore’s TOUCH Community Services network. The festival is from 5pm-10pm and will be held in the lobby of Millennia Walk (Promenade Station on the Circle Line).
This Saturday and Sunday, A Carefully Planned Festival returns to Manchester for a second year of heart-pounding live music. Over 100 bands will descend on six independent venues across the city -- including The Castle, Gullivers, Kraak, Nexus, Soup Kitchen and 2022NQ -- all of them intent on showing the crowd what real music sounds like. As well as the army of live bands there will also be art exhibitions held at 2022NQ and Nexus, plus a selection of after parties hosted by DJs including Now Wave and Red Deer Club. And at just £12.50 for a weekend ticket or £7 for a day ticket, the event works out at less than 20p per band.
In-between the festival excitement, take advantage of this 3-course Italian lunch for two at Manchester’s upmarket Stock Restaurant for £29 -- that’s a saving of 42%.
Film buffs and filmmakers alike are in town for the Chicago International Film Festival. In addition to 150 screenings of movies from 50 countries, attendees can attend panels held by writers, directors and more in addition to a slew of after parties and related events. All screenings are being held at the AMC River East 21 on East Illinois Street in the Streeterville neighbourhood. Actors Joan Allen, Viola Davis and Helen Hunt will be on hand as they are honoured with the Silver Hugo for their contributions to the arts.
This weekend, head to the area made famous by literary greats like Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant for a free 3-day festival across Bloomsbury. The Foundling Museum, Bedford Square and Russell Square will host most of the events, including food markets, a cinema programme and "Write Away", a chance to create your own retro-style postcards.
Continue your cultural journey at a performance of acclaimed play "Bully Boy", written by broadcaster and comedienne Sandi Toksvig and starring BAFTA winner Anthony Andrews. Top tickets for the show at the St James Theatre are now just £15.
Toast the changing season at CBS New York's "Best Champagne Bar". Flûte Bar & Lounge brings “a sexy, speakeasy vibe to its Gramercy location”, says our New York office: this Local Deal combines a bottle of sparkling wine with two small plates such as french fries dusted with truffle salt, or Vietnamese fusion spring rolls, for £31 (US$49). During the day, join the glitterati at the Fashion District Arts Festival. Tickets are free and there are 100 gallery exhibits, workshops and concerts to choose from.
In LA, the streets are lined with ghosts, goblins and witches the weekend before Halloween. Take part in the fun at the Loews Santa Monica Halloween Bash with discounted tickets for £31 (US$49) per person. That’s a 55% saving -- and you get food, drinks and live music.
Deal Experts Kate McFarlane (Singapore), Luke Doyle (Manchester), Hilary Solan (Chicago), Victoria Murden (London), Elisabeth Barker (New York) and Blaire Constantinou (LA) contributed to this post.