Attractions

FREE museum admission for Bank of America & Merrill Lynch cardholders

Do you have a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch debit or credit card? If so, you’re in luck! Score FREE admission to select museums nationwide by showing your card. Each cardholder gets one free ticket to over 150 museums nationwide.

Find a list of participating museums here. Date restrictions apply. Check their online calendar before planning your museum outing.

© Jessica Leigh Rosier 2013

The Mill City Museum in Minneapolis is one of 150 institutions nationwide offering free admission to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders. Remember, date restrictions apply.

The Mill City Museum in Minneapolis is one of 150 institutions nationwide offering free admission to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders. Remember, date restrictions apply.

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Categories: Attractions, Money-saving tips, Museums | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FREE admission to your National Parks – April 22-26, 2013

My husband and I share a love for America’s beautiful and unique national parks. The National Park Service manages 401 (and counting) parks all over the US. These places range from flagship parks such as Yellowstone and Great Smoky Mountains to gems such as Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas – the smallest national park in the system!

While a handful of National Park Service properties are free, most charge admission. I’ve paid anything from a few dollars up to $25 at Yellowstone. Great news for fellow park enthusiasts – admission fees to all parks will be waived from April 22-26, 2013 in honor of National Park Week.

Find your national parks at: http://www.nps.gov/

© Jessica Leigh Rosier 2013

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park will offer free admission from April 22-26, 2013 as part of National Parks Week.

Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park in Hawai’i will offer free admission from April 22-26, 2013 as part of National Parks Week.

Categories: Attractions, Money-saving tips, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FREE Disney Vacation Planning DVD

Is your family planning a trip to a Disney park this summer? Order a free Disney Vacation Planning DVD through their website. The DVD will help you assess different lodging options and ticketing packages so you can get the best deals.

Any theme park, including Disney, can be expensive. To save costs, pre-plan your meals choosing more affordable dining options or simply bring a backpack with a picnic lunch. Equipping the family with refillable water bottles will save countless dollars at vending machines too!

What other ways do you save money when taking the family to a theme park?

© Jessica Leigh Rosier 2013

Planning a family trip this summer? Order your free Disney Vacation Planning DVD.

Planning a family trip this summer? Order your free Disney Vacation Planning DVD.

Categories: Attractions, Money-saving tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Free museum tickets on 9/29/12!

Admission to top-notch museums can be pricey. Luckily, Smithsonian magazine is offering to foot the bill for you and a friend! Museums nationwide will be participating in the promotion. Read on for more details:

When: Saturday, September 29, 2012

Where: Click here to view an interactive map of participating museums near you.

Why: Because everyone should have a fun, educational day out!

How: Receive two complimentary museum tickets via email by signing up here.

Here are a few examples of participating institutions:

The Adler Planetarium (Chicago)

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

National Constitution Center (Philadelphia)

The New York City Fire Museum

Seattle Art Museum

California Science Center

…and many, many more!

Which museum will you visit with your free tickets?

© Jessica Leigh Rosier 2012

Get two free tickets to a museum near you! Image courtesy of Smithsonian magazine.

Get two free tickets to a museum near you! Image courtesy of Smithsonian magazine.

Categories: Attractions, Money-saving tips, Museums | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free admission to 397 national parks with active duty military ID

Great news for active duty military! The National Park Service has just announced plans to waive admission fees to properties nationwide for active duty military personnel and their dependents.

Who qualifies for the free pass?

All active duty military personnel and dependents with a proper ID (CAC Card or DD Form 1173) can take advantage of this great offer.

Why is this a good deal?

While some parks are free of admission, many of them charge fees ranging from a free-will donation to upwards of $25. Not only is the pass valid at all 397 national parks, it’s good at Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation sites.

Where can I obtain the free pass?

You can pick up the pass at all Federal recreation sites that charge admission – just show the proper ID (CAC Card or DD Form 1173).

Learn more about the free pass here.

© Jessica Leigh Rosier 2012

Active duty military personnel and dependents can receive free admission to parks including Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

Active duty military personnel and dependents can receive free admission to parks including Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

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Live in the Gopher State? Enjoy free admission to select museums this weekend

A few of my favorite museums in Minnesota are offering free admission this weekend. Read on.

Free Family Day – Saturday, May 12, 2012 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Enjoy special events at St. Paul’s Minnesota History Center themed around their latest exhibit about the US Constitution (a savings of $33 for a family of four).

Mother’s Day Weekend – Mothers enjoy free admission all weekend (May 12-13, 2012) at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm in Elk River (a savings of $9).

Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 13, 2012 from noon – 5 p.m. Moms receive free admission at Minneapolis’s Mill City Museum and St. Paul’s Minnesota History Center (a savings of $11 each).

© Jessica Leigh Rosier 2012

The Mill City Museum in Minneapolis is offering free admission from May 12-13, 2012 in honor of Mother's Day

The Mill City Museum in Minneapolis is offering free admission for moms on May 13, 2012 in honor of Mother’s Day.

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Kill seats: theater tickets for $5

During my undergraduate schooling, I interned with a large performing arts theater. They continue to host many fantastic Broadway-style productions. Although I interned in a tourism/marketing role, I got to know the box office staff pretty well. I’m going to let you in on a little-known secret concerning ticket prices – call the box office directly and ask if they offer “kill seats.” You’ll save a bundle of money.

What are kill seats?

Concerning the theater I interned at, kill seats are basically the same as obstructed view seats. Their kill seats are located in the first row of the balcony. If you’re the wrong height, you’ll have a handrail bar cutting through your line of vision. This really wasn’t a problem for  me and my husband, though. He was tall enough to see over the bar; I was short enough to see under the bar.

You can commonly purchase obstructed view seats on any theater’s website for a discounted price. For some reason, this theater saw their kill seats as being separate from their obstructed view seats so they were not made available for online purchase. They could be bought by calling the box office directly and asking for the best deal, a.k.a. kill seats.

Why are kill seats a good deal?

In my case, I was able to purchase kill seats to many top-notch productions including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Chicago,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and more for only $5. Normally, tickets to the productions ran from $18-22 so this was a real savings. Prices will vary from venue to venue, though.

How to buy kill seats

Call your local theater directly to inquire about kill seats; they are generally not advertised online. Remember, kill seats may not be available at all venues and they may have a different name.

© Jessica Leigh Rosier 2012

I purchased kill seats to "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," for $5. Photo courtesy of www.ordway.org.

I purchased kill seats to "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" for $5. Photo courtesy of http://www.ordway.org.

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Free admission to your national parks, April 21-29, 2012

My husband and I share a love for America’s beautiful and unique national parks. The National Park Service manages 397 (and counting) parks all over the US. These places range from flagship parks such as Yellowstone and Great Smoky Mountains to lesser known gems including Pipestone National Monument (MN) and Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park (HI).

While a handful of National Park Service properties are free, most charge admission. I’ve paid anything from a few dollars up to $25 at Yellowstone. Great news for fellow park enthusiasts – admission fees to all parks will be waived from April 21-29, 2012 in honor of National Park Week.

Find your national parks at: http://www.nps.gov/

© Jessica Leigh Rosier 2012

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park will offer free admission from April 21-29, 2012 as part of National Parks Week.

Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park will offer free admission from April 21-29, 2012 as part of National Park Week.

Categories: Attractions, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free/reduced admission to museums nationwide with Time Travelers

My husband and I are big history nerds. We love to visit local historical societies as well as sites of national significance. It hasn’t been easy on our pocketbook, though, since most of these places charge an admission fee. We’ve paid a variety of prices – from a goodwill donation to upwards of $30 a person at Chicago’s Field Museum. In this post, I will share how we’ve saved money on museum admission, nationwide, through the Time Travelers program.

What is Time Travelers?

Time Travelers is a nationwide reciprocal benefits program in which museums, historical societies, and research centers can choose to participate. As of 2012, over 270 sites in 41 states are represented.

What are the benefits of Time Travelers?

Each site offers different benefits, including:

-Discounted admission
-Free admission
-Gift shop discount
-Free parking
-Restaurant discount
-Free or discounted tour(s)

Where can I use my Time Travelers pass?

Take a look at this list, courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society. It details the benefits of each participating site. The key at the top of the list will tell you the benefits each site offers. http://sites.mnhs.org/support/sites/sites.mnhs.org.support/files/Time_Travelers_10_10_version_with_MHS.pdf

The pass can also be used anywhere you see this logo:

The Time Travelers benefits program offers free or reduced admission to many museums nationwide. Image courtesy of Time Travelers.

The Time Travelers benefits program offers free or reduced admission to many museums nationwide. Image courtesy of Time Travelers.

Where can I purchase a Time Travelers pass?  Why is it a good value?

Passes are not purchased directly through Time Travelers; they are purchased through a participating institution. My pass is through the Minnesota Historical Society and is valid for one year. My $75 Household Membership gets me into all 26 historic sites managed by the Minnesota Historical Society for free, plus offers a gift shop discount. Additionally, I reap all the benefits of the Time Travelers program. Since receiving my pass last fall I have visited these participating institutions:

-The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park (the benefit was 2-for-1 tickets)

The Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio in Oak Park, IL participates in the Time Travelers program.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio in Oak Park, IL participates in the Time Travelers program.

-The Rookery (managed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust) in Chicago’s Loop (2-for-1 tickets)

The Rookery in Chicago participates in the Time Travelers program.

The Rookery in Chicago participates in the Time Travelers program.

-La Porte County Historical Society (IN) offers free admission to Time Travelers members.

The La Porte County Historical Society (IN) participates in the Time Travelers program. Photo courtesy of La Porte County Historical Society.

The La Porte County Historical Society (IN) participates in the Time Travelers program. Photo courtesy of La Porte County Historical Society.

Consider contacting your favorite museum to see if they participate in the Time Travelers program.

©Jessica Leigh Rosier 2012

Categories: Attractions, Museums | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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