- Personal Finance»
- Frugal Living
Save Money on Movies, Amusement Parks and Sports Events
May, June and July. The 3 months out of the year that every kid yearns for! Nothing is better than summertime and vacation. For parents, though, the reality is that a summer vacation can be expensive. Here are some ideas on how to have a high level of fun while keeping costs low.
What is your favorite family entertainment?
Spend Less on Movies
Who doesn't love going to the movies? The chance to see that brand new movie that everyone's talking about in the theater with a bucket of popcorn and a drink is fun for just about everyone. If you're not careful, though, a trip to the movies for a family of 4 can cost $100 or more
One strategy of saving money on going to the movies is to go to an afternoon matinee. Our family has a tradition of seeing a movie together during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. When 5-7 of us get together for a movie, the cost of admission can be astronomical! So, we usually go to a matinee which can save as much as $5 per ticket.
Another way to save on movie costs and still get the "going to the movies" feeling is to go to your local discount movie theater. These theaters show movies released within the last few months at a discount price of $2-3 per person. Concessions are usually discounted, too.
If you are fond of enjoying great movies in your own living or home theater room subscribing to a service like Netflix that delivers movies on demand via the internet to your computer or television can be a great value. For a charge of less than $10 per month you can have access to unlimited movie entertainment at home. By watching current movies at home you eliminate the cost of gasoline to get to the movie theater, wear and tear on your car, and the cost of concessions that can many times cost more than admission to the movies!
Watching movies at home needn't be less than the experience at the movie theater. Plan to make a night of it! Pop some popcorn and top it with butter or your favorite flavored topping and grab a drink from the fridge. Let everyone cozy up in their pj's and enjoy the show!
Spend Less on Amusement and Water Parks
Amusement and water parks are always a great source of entertainment for families. But, the price of admission can be high. With a little planning and sharp eye for discounts you can spend a lot less on admission to these parks.
Years ago when my children were small I took advantage of season passes to amusement parks that included a season parking pass. We committed to making this our summer entertainment plan and made several trips to each park. We were able to visit the amusement and water parks as often as we wanted and also put a cap on our costs.
You can save even more money going to amusement and water parks by:
- Packing a cooler for lunch and exiting the park at lunchtime to eat.
- Buy refillable park drink cups that save you money when you need more to drink. Bring the bottle(s) with you each time you visit the park.
- Budget how much money you want to spend on your day trip to the amusement park. Consider the costs of gasoline, hotel, food and souvenirs.
- Look for deals on admission discounts on the parks websites, through your bank or credit union, or through club memberships.
How to Save on Sporting Events
Take me out to the ball game. We all love to go to a live game no matter what the sport. Seeing a professional game can be pricey. So, do your homework and take advantage of any discounts available.
You may be able to save on going to sporting events by:
- visiting your favorite team's website and checking for discounts;
- buying a family pack of tickets that includes hot dogs and drinks for a family of 4;
- eating before going to the game either at home or at a tailgate party to avoid having to buy expensive concessions;
- make plans not to eat out after the game by packing an post game snack or sandwich; and
- checking out your local bank, credit union or shopping club for discount admission tickets.
Save what you can on admission and have a budget for what you plan to spend inside for concessions which, again, may cost more than the cost of admission!
How to Get Free Admission to Major Attractions
Write Entertainment Reviews to Get Free Admission to Events and Major Attractions
One very innovative idea that can be used to gain free admission to events and attractions is to offer to write a review of the attraction after you and your family have visited. Many organizations will send you tickets to attend their event or visit their location if you write to them beforehand and offer to write a review of your experience.
Too good to be true? Not so! The best advertising has always been word of mouth. If you have a facebook page you can write and post a review. Further, you can post your written review to your own personal blog or yelp. This is a great idea for anyone looking for individual or family vacation savings!