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.
Take Advantage Of A Yearly Membership
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.
Community College Activities Ticket
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.
Check Your Local Library
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.
Write Reviews For Free Tickets
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.
Buy At The Box Office
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.
Take Advantage Of Free Community Events
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.
Several Ways To Save
- Movies: Matinees offer reduced fees for all movies. Our local movie theatre offers all shows for $5 on Tuesdays. However, we rent most of our movies FREE from the library as nothing irks me more than to pay $7-9 dollars to see a mediocre movie.
- Sporting Events: We attend Louisville Women's basketball games and a season ticket for a family of 4 is only $90. We are also able to get FREE tickets from the athletic department by just ASKING for them (we used this for our Girl Scout Troop activity) and they usually have free give-aways at these games (we have gotten backpacks, t-shirts, fleece blankets, lighted pom-poms and free passes for Volley ball). Don't knock it if you haven't enjoyed Women's sports. We have Men's ticket but and the women are just as exciting and MUCH more accessible, which is great for your young athletes!
- Church Events: Check out your local church for fantastic FREE music event, youth talent shows, etc, egg hunts and the like.
- Local Theatres: Volunteer to USHER and you get to see the performance for FREE (my parents do this)
- Volunteer: Local museums always need volunteers. My parents volunteer at the local science museum. They get to see all the IMAX for free as well as the exhibits. Their volunteer hours "EARN" Them free passes (which they give to us for free parking and viewings of the IMAX.
- High School Plays and Events:
Our high school has one play and one musical every year. The price of the tickets is about $5 and it is always great entertainment. Every one I have seen was well worth seeing. Support your local schools and budding artists.
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.