Volunteer for a worthy 501(c)(3) year round, many charitable organizations sponsor very cool (and very fun) fundraisers that you'll be invited to. You can also volunteer at the event.
Volunteer for one of your local theatre companies. Surely you have some unique talent they will happily take advantage of =D
Volunteer as an usher; you'll see concerts, plays, and other events that others only dream of attending. And oftentimes, you get backstage access.
If you are planning a large outing to a art museum, science museum or other type of place that offers free admission for a yearly membership, it can be a great deal. You usually have to only go two or three times to pay back your investment. There are also usually bonus tickets for special members only events, discounts on the gift shop or services that aren't included in the membership, special events around the holidays and more. This is especially nice if you have kids because you don't have to feel like you are wasting money if you have to leave sooner than you would have liked due to behavior, illness or weather changes.
Purchase an activities ticket from your local community college. Activities tickets are good for the entire semester and will save you a great deal on the college's theatre productions, lectures, sporting events, etc.
See if your library has season passes to museums, zoos and other cultural institutions. Keep in mind that they often are snatched up early in the day so check their policies to find the best way to use them. Also, many institutions have low cost or free days throughout the year. For example, the Portland Museum of Art has no admission fees on public holidays, such as Memorial Day or Labor Day. A little planning can save you a lot.
We love the live music concerts, but can't afford the $80 season tickets. I offered to write reviews for our local paper after each concert in exchange for a pair of season tickets and they agreed! We're in our fourth year of great concerts.
Instead of automatically buying the tickets on Ticketmaster or another Ticket distributer, call the venue directly and see if you can buy them directly at the box office. Ticketmaster was charge over 25 dollars in service fees for a recent concert I went to (3 tickets). The box office was only charging $1 per ticket.
Your city or community often will have several events that are free or very cheap for residents. There are Tree Lightings at Christmas, community performances, First Thursday art walks, New Business Open Houses, Founder's Day celebrations and more. Summertime is an especially great time for free events: street fairs, parades and festivals are going on all summer long. Free outdoor movies are a growing trend across the U.S. If there isn't something in your area, there might be in the next town over. Read your local paper or community newsletter to keep in touch with what is going on in your area.
There are also savings on tix online. Here in L.A. we have Gold Coast - for 1/2 price tix - and the L.A. Theatre Alliance has discount tix, too. I also get invites to movie screenings via the internet. P.S. - Also watch for FREE days at local museums!
If you have an AAA membership you can buy discount movie tickets from them. Here in our area, you have to buy a book of 4 tickets. Each is the price of a matinee but you can use them in the evening. They say they are "restricted" but the only time it's ever enforced is the first week of a really big movie that is a complete sell out. That's pretty rare.
Also getting free tix to the Geffen Theatre in L.A. through my theatre class!
if you have Providence Health Insurance you can go to their web site and purchase movie ticket for $7.00 each. They send them to you thru the mail, you don't have to use them any specific date, time or movie!
We just returned from a ski trip to Heavenly in South Lake Tahoe. I was able to buy two vouchers for lift tickets (regularly $82) for $26 each. I always check Craigslist.org and ebay.com for tickets for the area we will be visiting as well as for our hometown. I rarely pay full price for baseball tickets and usually get really good seats.
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