How My Family Experiences the Best Entertainment and Culture our City has to Offer on the Cheap
One of the reasons I love living in Los Angeles is that there is always something to do. We have tons of museums, art galleries, theatrical performances and entertainment centers within miles of our house. Of course, the big downside of living in Los Angeles – or any major city – is the cost of living!
I don’t let the expense of living in a city stop us from experiencing the best in entertainment and culture. I just find ways to experience my city’s culture at a discounted rate. It isn’t brain surgery and it doesn’t take tons of time to find discounts on culture and entertainment in your town, you just need to know where to look! In fact, if you sign up for the websites below, the deals are delivered to your inbox daily.
Entertainment Discount Sites
There are several sites that sell tickets to entertainment, culture and sporting events for a discounted price. If you don’t want to get a ton of spam in your email in box, you can set up a free Google email just for these daily emails – just don’t forget to check it since sometimes there are only a limited amount of tickets.
The other thing to remember when buying tickets to local entertainment venues, spas or play places is to put the expiration date on your calendar. I have either scrambled to use a deal before it expired or lost a deal entirely because I forgot about it. Don’t be me.
Also, my favorite travel saving tip is to check out these sites for discounts in the city you’re visiting. You can get great deals on entertainment that your family was planning to do anyway.
*Affiliate links – If you use my link I may get a referral bonus at no cost to you (you can refer friends too for a referral bonus)
- Groupon: I have been using Groupon since 2011 and have bought Groupons for everything from Gymboree classes for the kids to spa treatments, car washes and even Dunkin Donuts. There are currently Groupons in my city for restaurants I have tried and liked, fitness classes, spas and wellness and even a local amusement park. If you thought Groupon was for businesses that are failing, think again!
- Living Social: I’ve been using Living Social since 2011 as well. My most favorite Living Social deal is their San Diego Zoo and Safari Park voucher. My husband and I get it every time they have it to save about $25 on an adult ticket. I’ve also purchased vouchers for Whole Foods, Starbucks, Shutterfly and tons of restaurants and events in my city.
- Goldstar Events: I think Goldstar Events is so under-rated! Most people have never heard of it but it is a great source for theater and local entertainment event tickets. I have bought tickets to the Broadway plays “Rent” and “Wicked,” as well as tickets to local amusement parks, including Knott’s Berry Farm. Living Social also usually has tickets to food festivals, sports and music events. I take my mom to the theater for her Mother’s Day gift since she doesn’t really “need” anything anymore and I always get our tickets on Goldstar. We have always had great seats at premium venues.
- Costco: Surprise! I bet you weren’t expecting that one! Did you know Costco sells movie tickets? They also have travel packages and tickets to entertainment venues and amusement parks. We went to LegoLand for three days for $80 each with tickets purchased at Costco! We also used Costco travel for our honeymoon to Aruba. Definitely check out Costco before you buy tickets to an amusement park or travel to a new city.
- TravelZoo: Every week, TravelZoo sends out 20 travel deals, usually for hotel and air travel. However, they also include entertainment activities and spa discounts. We have gotten some fantastic discounts on hotels – even local hotels for staycations – so I highly recommend this site. I have also purchased spa deals at local hotels that include pool time. I use them whenever I need some me time. I actually discovered my favorite hotel spa thanks to a TravelZoo perk – in case you’re wondering, Hotel Intercontinental Century City has a wonderful spa and pool!
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on entertainment and culture if you look in the right places. Even visiting your destination’s website can save you money. Over Christmas break we went to Knott’s Berry Farm. Before going, we checked the website because we had two free tickets and wanted to figure out what the rest of the tickets would cost. It turned out, if you bought your tickets online, they were significantly cheaper than if you bought them at the gate – even on the same day!
Doing a bit of homework can save you money on local entertainment. You can also check out local community newspapers for free movies, concerts or plays in your community. During the summer, there are a ton of free concerts all over the Los Angeles area. It’s a great way to introduce our kids to culture without spending any money.
When we travel, I check the local newspapers for wherever we’re traveling to see if there are free entertainment events during our stay. I also check out the city’s website since they sometimes offer travel discounts to entertainment venues. And finally, I check Groupon and Living Social for restaurant deals in the city we’re visiting. I love to travel, but we don’t have a huge budget so we look to save money wherever we can!
Do you have any tips for saving money on entertainment and culture?