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Carmageddon Countdown Finally Ends: Take Advantage of Overblown 405 Closure With Parties, Cheap Stuff Across L.A.

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Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 5:30 PM
click to enlarge Partytime. - HOT WHEELS
  • Hot Wheels
  • Partytime.

Really, really sorry we even have to use the word "Carmageddon" again, but -- as we pointed out in our FAQ section -- once that thing gained SEO power, there was no stopping it.

On the final day of the countdown to this weekend's 405 closure, we bring you perhaps our most useful Carmageddon post yet: a coupon book of sorts, hinging on the publicity power of the big event. Because even if you're sick to death of hearing about L.A.'s pending traffic jam to end all traffic jams, you might as well take advantage of the side-effects of such an overblown PR storm.

We've sifted through literally hundreds of promotions -- from restaurants, hotels, airlines and nightclubs to some regular-old naked people looking to party -- and selected our 10 favorites, whether due to good bargain rating or sheer hilarity. (Promise no one's paying us. Though that'd be nice.)

No matter what happens this weekend, be sure to enjoy. Here's your soundtrack. Here's your cookbook. Now go:

10. Six different YogaWorks locations across the city are hosting "bring a friend for free" days on July 16 and July 17. Yoga or pilates classes at Body Wellness on Wilshire are free for everyone. Also, By Your Side Dance Studio is offering free lessons from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Sexy! (P.S. If you drive there, you suck.)

9. For mall rats, Westfield Fashion Square and Westfield Century City have free valet parking, and once you're there, you can enter to win the "I Survived the 405" package -- "a $500 gas card, free valet for the rest of the year and a car wash once a month for the rest of the year." Kind of defeats the whole anti-car crusade we're supposed to be on this weekend, but whatever. More mall shit: Westfield Culver City is having a "tailgate party" (the very corporate, non-Jummy Buffet concert kind, we imagine). Adorably, there will be tricycle races and an "I Survived the 405"-themed photo booth.

8. A slightly more street block party (though we'd really just recommend having your own) will be held outside Showbiz Store & Cafe on Sepulveda (face-painting, free samples, etc). Also, a bunch of Santa Monica bars are also offering cheap car-themed drinks for happy hour. (Or you could just work something out with the Redditers.) At night, Rush Street in Culver City is actually having sand shoveled onto their upstairs patio, and Crown Bar in West Hollywood seems to think it's got a pretty rad theme party going on, too. Tip: When in doubt, just walk into the nearest bar and say, "I'll have the Carmageddon special, stat."

7. Ride one of those super dorky Venice Boardwalk bicycle-elliptical thingies (guess they're called Street Riders) for only $8 per hour, instead of $40. So you can say you've done it, and because who would ever pay $40 for that crap.

6. This one's especially awesome. Valley residents who can prove they live in the Valley (bring something official-looking with a zip code on it) can get unlimited free rides at the Santa Monica Pier carnival from July 15 to 18. In the words of the park's genius PR guy: "If guests can make their way to Pacific Park through the detours and stifling traffic, we want to recognize their efforts with a free unlimited ride pass."

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