- poker-lots of bars participate in poker leagues. some are regional or even just local. one such in my area is the american restaurant poker league. some are national such as the world tavern poker league and the national pub poker league. all of them should be free to play. they usually have prizes for winners and sometimes runners up which can vary from cash to t-shirts to gift certificates to poker paraphenalia.
- open mic nights both for stand up comedians and musicians
- bars are having free or reduced billards nights
- bar trivia like ntn trivia
- many local bands are dirt cheap often with as little as a $5 cover, but remember this usually goes to the band. in my mind, it's worth it to shell out a few bucks to support local musicians.
remember even if just drinking a soda, still tip your server or bartender. the general rule of thumb is to tip at least a dollar a drink. in these hard times, they are still trying to earn a living.