We are all looking to cut expenses, especially in this economy! Here are some ways we have discovered to save money while still going on family adventures.
5 Ways to Save Money at Attractions
There are membership programs in place that give you discounted - or sometimes FREE - admission to similar institutions in other cities. For us, we have a membership to the Ontario Science Centre (in Toronto, ON, Canada) and with this membership we received free admission to The Field Museum (in Chicago, IL, USA) and The Adler Planetarium (in Chicago, IL, USA). We also have a membership to The Strong National Museum of Play (in Rochester, NY, USA) and we received half priced admission to Chicago Children's Museum (in Chicago, IL, USA).
Get a membership to your favourite museum, science centres, aquariums & zoos.
Check out these websites to learn more about these programs:
ASTC Travel Passport Program for Science Centres & Museums: https://www.astc.org/membership/find-an-astc-member/passport
Reciprocal Network for Children's Museums: https://findachildrensmuseum.org
Reciprocal Admissions Program: https://www.aza.org/reciprocity
Visit your local library.
Did you know that some libraries have passes to attractions? Check with your local library to see what options are available in your area!
Examples in the Greater Toronto Area, ON, Canada:
Examples in USA
Check for free admission dates.
It might sound too good to be true and this does require a bit of research and planning, but many attractions have certain free days throughout the year. It could be part of an event like Doors Open, or come with certain restrictions like being a local resident, or it could just take place on certain days.
Doors Open Events can be found in many cities like Toronto or Minneapolis (https://www.doorsopenminneapolis.org)
Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, ON, Canada is free every third Tuesday night of each month: https://www.rom.on.ca/en/third-tuesday-nights-free
Free Museum Days for Illinois Residents: https://www.choosechicago.com/articles/museums-art/free-museum-days-in-chicago
Do a web search.
This one might seem obvious, but a good Google search sometimes can come up with amazing discounts.
Also, check out tourism websites, for example in Ontario, Canada, check out: https://attractionsontario.ca/coupons
If you plan on visiting a few attractions within a short time period, then you may want to consider getting a CityPass which can give you discounted ticket packages. For Toronto, the package includes admissions to CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Casa Loma, Royal Ontario Museum, and the Toronto Zoo OR Ontario Science Centre.
Check out their website to see which cities have a CityPass: https://www.citypass.com