museums http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3124/all en-US 11 Things You Can Do in Philadelphia That You Can't Do Anywhere Else http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-you-can-do-in-philadelphia-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-things-you-can-do-in-philadelphia-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/independence-hall-4822654577_de365c1009_z.jpg" alt="independence hall" title="independence hall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Philadelphia is nestled snugly between the nation's capital and New York City, the largest city in the U.S. Like a middle sibling that's often overshadowed by its other siblings, it's no wonder the city of brotherly love is often overlooked or &mdash; even worse &mdash; gets a bad rap.</p> <p>Despite the fame and illustriousness of its east coast neighbors, this surprisingly large city (it's the fifth largest in the nation) has plenty to boast about. If you're looking to spend a day (or five) in town, check out these 11 things you can only do in Philadelphia. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Recreate Rocky Balboa's Run Up the Steps</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/rocky-steps-6308164330_c0321870ab_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Join the tens of thousands of visitors who trek up the 72 steps to the entrance of the world class <a href="http://www.philamuseum.org">Philadelphia Museum of Art</a>. From the top step, you can enjoy one of the most breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline. It's no wonder this gorgeous landmark that has been named the <a href="http://www.uwishunu.com/2011/01/the-philadelphia-museum-of-arts-rocky-steps-named-the-second-most-famous-movie-location-in-the-entire-world/%20">second most famous movie location in the entire world</a>. Once inside, enjoy more than 300,000 works of art, including those from the Renaissance, American, Impressionist, and Modern eras. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fun-and-affordable-vacation-ideas?ref=seealso">9 Fun and Affordable Vacation Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>2. Hang Where the Country's Forefathers Once Dined</h2> <p>Tour a hidden piece of Philadelphia history at <a href="http://woodlandsphila.org/hamilton-mansion/">Hamilton's Mansion</a>, a forgotten treasure tucked away inside the Woodlands Cemetery in University City.</p> <p>Constructed in 1770, the house boasts what may have been one of the finest neoclassical interior spaces of its time, along with sophisticated servant's quarters that were among the first of their kind. &quot;When touring the home,&quot; says Marla McDermott, Chief Experience Officer and Lifestyle Concierge for <a href="http://www.iheartphl.com/">Iheartphl.com</a>, &quot;it's surreal to think that you're standing on the same original wood plank floors where guests like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin once dined. You just can't do that anywhere else.&quot;</p> <h2>3. See the Strangest Medical Oddities Ever</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/mutter-musuem-177439530_6b64c34d46_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>If you've ever wanted to see what a jar of pickled human skin looks like, well, now you can. At the <a href="http://muttermuseum.org/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/">Mütter Museum of Medical Oddities</a> at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia you can see this and more, including a display of 139 skulls that were collected by a Viennese anatomist in the 1800s; 1300 jars of bottled body parts, cysts, and tumors; and even small slices of Albert Einstein's brain, carefully preserved in glass slides.</p> <h2>4. Visit One of the World's Finest Collections of Impressionist Art</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.barnesfoundation.org">Barnes Foundation</a> houses the vast private art collection of self-made millionaire Albert Barnes. From 1912 until his death in 1951, Barnes collected 19th and 20th century French masterpieces from the most daring artists of the time, including Cézanne, Renoir, Monet, Picasso, and van Gogh. &quot;If you're going to check out only one museum in Philadelphia,&quot; says McDermott, &quot;the Barnes Foundation is a can't miss.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Walk Through the Inside of a Giant Beating Heart</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/franklin-institute-6307641429_f275553e68_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Inside the Franklin Institute Science Museum you can walk through a <a href="https://www.fi.edu/exhibit/giant-heart">beating model heart</a> that's large enough for a person the height of the Statue of Liberty. Also explore a host of permanent and rotating exhibits, including Circus! Science Under the Big Top, 101 Inventions that Changed the World, and a rooftop observatory.</p> <h2>6. Get Spooked at the World's First True Penitentiary</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/eastern-penintentary-9001558044_648f346b20_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>(And yes, it's haunted.)</p> <p>The now vacant <a href="http://www.easternstate.org">Eastern State Penitentiary</a> revolutionized the penal system in 1829 with this imposing prison built to house criminals in solitary confinement. &quot;It's design was so innovative for it's time that it was the inspiration for Alcatraz,&quot; says McDermott. &quot;The prison also once housed famous criminals like Al Capone and Willie Sutton.&quot; Closed since 1971, the prison is now open to tour, year-round. If you really want to get scared, visit in October for <a href="http://www.easternstate.org/halloween">Terror Behind the Walls</a>, one of the most terrifying annual haunted houses you'll ever visit.</p> <h2>7. Take a Stroll Down America's Oldest Residential Street</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Elfreths-Alley-4353709000_3f0162e460_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>People have been living on <a href="http://www.elfrethsalley.org">Elfreth's Alley</a> in Old City since 1728, making it the oldest continually inhabited residential street in the nation. The National Historic Landmark consists of one cobblestone-lined alley that is flanked by Georgian and Federal-style homes and provides a glimpse at how the 18th Century working class smiths, glassblowers, and furniture builders once lived.</p> <h2>8. Eat the World's Best Cheesesteak</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/cheesesteak-3587342833_356fc5907c_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Philly is famous for loading up a freshly baked hoagie roll (See? Where else will you get a hoagie roll but in this fine city?) with thinly sliced rib eye steak and then smothering it with heaps of fried onions and, depending on where you dine, either cheese whiz or melted provolone. Like all fine things, you'll find variations on the original, but this is the gist. <a href="http://dalessandros.com">Dalessandro's</a> in Roxborough is a favorite but explore for yourself with this list of <a href="http://www.visitphilly.com/articles/philadelphia/top-10-spots-for-authentic-philly-cheesesteaks/">top cheesesteak shops</a> in the city. Resistance is futile so come prepared with an elastic waistband. You've been warned.</p> <h2>9. Visit the Nation's First Zoo</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/philadelphia-zoo-3330522255_7345b0565d_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.philadelphiazoo.org/">Philadelphia Zoo</a>, opened in 1874, sits on 42 acres in the middle of the city and is home to 1,300 animals, including many that are rare or endangered. The zoo features a 2.5 acre primate preserve; Big Cat Falls, where visitors can stand eye-to-eye with 12 endangered big cats, separated only by a pane of glass; and a miniature African plain featuring white rhinos, reticulated giraffes, zebras, hippos, and gazelles. Throughout the zoo are statues of endangered animals, constructed completely out of legos. Peacocks and Peahens also roam the zoo freely.</p> <h2>10. See the Birthplace of Our Nation</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/independence-hall-4855689546_9c7a6ce8d8_z.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Philadelphia served as the backdrop for much of our country's battle for independence, and we have the <a href="http://www.visitphilly.com/historic-philadelphia/attractions-in-historic-philadelphia/">landmarks</a> to prove it. Visit Independence Hall, where the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were created. The first continental congress met at Carpenter's Hall and the American flag was sewn at the Betsy Ross House.</p> <h2>11. Get In Touch With Nature</h2> <p>It's a little known secret to city outsiders but Philadelphia is home to the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairmount_Park">largest landscaped urban park</a> in the world. There are 9,200 acres of nature across 63 parks, making it easy to access from almost anywhere in the city. You can go for a stroll, pack a family picnic, or grab your fishing rod for a day in the stocked creek. &quot;Few things beat spending a beautiful afternoon riding along the scenic Schuylkill River Trail, then looping around to Martin Luther King Drive,&quot; says McDermott, &quot;Especially on weekends from April through October, when the road is closed to auto traffic.&quot; <a href="http://www.wheelfunrentals.com/locations/philadelphia">Rent a bike or segway</a> and start exploring.</p> <p><em>Do you know and love Philadelphia? We want to know your favorite spots! Share the love in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-you-can-do-in-philadelphia-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else" class="sharethis-link" title="11 Things You Can Do in Philadelphia That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-you-can-do-in-philadelphia-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/housesit-on-your-next-vacation">Housesit on Your Next Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-publish-your-travel-stories">Where to Publish Your Travel Stories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disneyland-on-the-sort-of-cheap">Disneyland on the (Sort of) Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Travel Art and Leisure cheap fun history museums parks philadelphia Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1157690 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Visit Museums for Free http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-visit-museums-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/museum2.jpg" alt="People at a museum" title="People at a museum" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="162" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re into art or archeology, spacecrafts or handicrafts, there&rsquo;s a museum for you &mdash; and you may be able to visit a museum that interests you for free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-frugal-vacation-and-still-treat-yourself">How to Have a Frugal Vacation and Still Treat Yourself</a>)</p> <p>Some museums are always free, including some of the most popular museums in the country, such as the <a href="http://www.si.edu/">Smithsonian's</a> National Museum of Natural History, National Air and Space Museum, and National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. In fact, most of the Smithsonian&rsquo;s 19 museums and the National Zoo are free.</p> <p>If you don&rsquo;t live near the nation&rsquo;s capital or aren&rsquo;t planning a visit, don't worry. Chances are good that a museum near you has at least certain days or times when admission is free.</p> <h3>Search for a Free Museum Near You</h3> <p>A quick internet search is one of the easiest ways to find free museums in your area. Search &quot;free museums in&hellip;&rdquo; and then the name of your city. When I did that for Chicago, which is close to where we live, I found several blogs and other sites that had comprehensive lists of museums that have free days.</p> <p>Here are the best sites I found for the scoop on museum free-days in the five largest cities in the country.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ny.com/museums/free.html">New York</a></li> <li><a href="http://golosangeles.about.com/od/losangelesmuseums/a/MuseumFreeDays.htm">Los Angeles</a></li> <li><a href="http://explorechicago.org/city/en/supporting_narrative/events___special_events/special_events/tourism/Museum_Free_Days.html">Chicago</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.houstonmuseumdistrict.org/default.asp?id=146">Houston</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/view-all/">Philadelphia</a> (No listing of free museum days could be found, but this site shows you all of the city&rsquo;s museums and their websites, so you can check for free offers.)</li> </ul> <p>While searching for these, I also found these popular kids museums that offer free or deeply discounted admission on certain days and times.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.childrensmuseum.org/free-and-special-days">Children&rsquo;s Museum of Indianapolis</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.cmhouston.org/hours/">Children&rsquo;s Museum of Houston</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.bostonkids.org/plan/hours.html">Boston Children&rsquo;s Museum</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.brooklynkids.org/index.php/visit/visitorinformation">Brooklyn Children&rsquo;s Museum</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.mcm.org/visitor-information/admission/target-free-3rd-sundays/">Minnesota Children&rsquo;s Museum</a> (St. Paul)</li> </ul> <p>The <a href="http://www.childrensmuseums.org/visit/us_members.htm">Association for Children&rsquo;s Museums</a> can help you find children&rsquo;s museums in other cities.</p> <p>You could also start by finding out what museums are near you by searching for the name of your city and &ldquo;museums.&rdquo; After finding a museum that interests you, go to its website and find its &ldquo;Admission&rdquo; page. If the museum offers free days, you&rsquo;ll usually find the info there.</p> <h3>Free Museum Visits in Your Wallet</h3> <p>Many libraries offer card holders free passes to nearby museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and more. Check at your local library so see if this option is available.</p> <p>If you have a Bank of America credit or debit card, the company&rsquo;s <a href="http://museums.bankofamerica.com/">Museums on Us</a> program gives you free access to many museums, zoos, and more on the first full weekend of each month.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re a member of a museum, check to see if it has a reciprocity agreement with other museums. Premium members of the Art Institute of Chicago, for example, have free access to 16 other museums in the U.S. and Canada.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re on active duty with the military, National Guard, or Reserve, a proper ID card will grant you and up to five family members free entry to your choice of more than 1,000 museums around the country through Labor Day via a National Endowment for the Arts program called the <a href="http://www.arts.gov/national/bluestarmuseums/index2011.php">Blue Star Museums Initiative</a>.</p> <h3>&quot;Visit&quot; Museums for Free</h3> <p>One final free option for those who love art museums doesn&rsquo;t even require leaving the comfort of your home. Google&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.googleartproject.com/">Art Project</a> provides no-cost online access to some of the world&rsquo;s finest art museums, including New York&rsquo;s Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Frick Collection; London&rsquo;s National Gallery and Tate Britain; the Uffizi in Florence; Amsterdam&rsquo;s Van Gogh Museum; and more.</p> <h3>The Price of Free</h3> <p>Keep in mind that free admission doesn&rsquo;t mean you won&rsquo;t spend anything on your visit. At most museums, you&rsquo;ll pay plenty for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/skills-that-can-save-you-money-part-1-parallel-parking">parking</a>, special exhibits, audio tours, and food.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s also best to check with the museum directly before you go just to be sure their free offers are still available.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Visit Museums for Free" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-visit-museums-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-rein-in-your-spending-without-sacrificing-fun">Easy Ways to Rein in Your Spending Without Sacrificing Fun</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-money-making-hobbies">10 Awesome Money-Making Hobbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-entertain-your-child-for-free-or-cheap">25 Ways to Entertain Your Child for Free or Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Entertainment free things museums things to do Fri, 29 Jul 2011 10:36:22 +0000 Matt Bell 629786 at http://www.wisebread.com Get More Bang for Your Membership Buck! http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-bang-for-your-membership-buck <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-more-bang-for-your-membership-buck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3633903316_684c8b08df.jpg" alt="members only chair" title="members only chair" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="377" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are looking for a way to get out of the house, and do something without breaking the bank, it may seem your options are limited, but using these simple tricks, you will be able to get out of the house without going broke.</p> <h2>Free Days</h2> <p>Many museums offer days of the year, or hours during the week, where you can get in for free or reap deep discounts. For instance, here is a fantastic list on NY.com of <a title="a fantastic list on NY.com" href="http://www.ny.com/museums/free.html">museums in New York City that are free</a>, take only donations, or offer free times every week.</p> <p>Scout your local area's websites, and call your local museums/attractions, to find out if and when they offer any free or pay-as-you-wish times.</p> <p>Another option is to volunteer! If you volunteer you may get a free membership, or at the very least use of the museum or attraction after you are done helping out. Volunteering is also a fantastic way to meet people who share common interests.</p> <h2>It Pays to Be a Member</h2> <p>Purchasing a membership is the key to consistently going places on a budget. By being a &quot;member,&quot; you can take advantage of reciprocal memberships. Reciprocal memberships are memberships that give you the benefit of admission to similar attractions.</p> <p>By digging around on your chosen attraction's website, you can usually find any associations and rules for using your membership at other places. For instance, by using the <a title="the American Horticultural Society's website" href="http://www.ahs.org/events/reciprocal_events_online_directory.htm">American Horticultural Society's website</a>, I was able to find a local garden membership at nearly half the cost of the garden I was considering joining.</p> <p>You may find a membership at a vacation spot or in your hometown that is a less expensive option to your local attraction to stretch your dollar even further. This can be a boon when there are rules about how far away you have to be from your &quot;home&quot; museum or site.</p> <p>Aren't sure you want to purchase a membership without visiting first? Ask if you can buy one that same day if you change your mind. In my experience, many places offer this benefit because it's a win-win. Just be sure to hold onto your receipt, and usually the membership office can deduct that day's fees.</p> <h2>Best Family Memberships</h2> <p>Look for a membership to one of the museums who belong to <a title="the Association of Children's Museums" href="http://www.childrensmuseums.org/visit/reciprocal.htm">the Association of Children's Museums</a>, which touts it &quot;was rated by Real Simple, Nick Jr. Family Magazine, and others as the best value for families.&quot;</p> <p>In my area, a membership to ACM affiliate <a title="The Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia" href="http://www.pleasetouchmuseum.org/">The Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia</a> is a fantastic deal. It saves you the $5 parking fee at every visit, and includes a number of free carousel rides.</p> <h2>Kid-Free Households</h2> <p>No kids? No problem! There are memberships to gardens, botanical centers, science centers, etc. that have the same benefits. Whatever your taste, you are sure to find some kind of museum or attraction that offers admission to other local, national or worldwide places. It may take longer to pay back your membership, but if you have a favorite place, it's well worth it.</p> <h2>Other Discounts on Memberships</h2> <p>Students should always make sure to take along your ID, as many museums offer student discounts.</p> <p>Seniors also get discounts at a variety of venues.</p> <p>Check with AAA, your workplace, and even your local government &mdash; you may find an extra discount, or discounted tickets.</p> <h2>Vacation and Memberships</h2> <p>When visiting another area for vacation or to visit family, you can leverage your memberships to see the local sights. You may find your memberships don't extend to that area, or your memberships don't extend to the attractions you want to see. In major metropolitan areas, look for multi-passes to several attractions.</p> <p>In San Francisco, for example, you can choose <a title="the CityPass" href="http://www.citypass.com/city/sanfrancisco.html">the CityPass</a>, which includes a muni/cable car pass and admission to:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>the California Academy of Sciences<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>to Aquarium of the Bay<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>San Francisco MoMA<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>the Exploratorium or the deYoung/Legion of Honor art institutes<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>a cruise on the Blue/Gold Fleet</li> </ul> <p>Just be sure you want to visit ALL the attractions, or you may end up spending more than you need to. When my husband and I visited San Francisco in June, we purchased a Muni/Cable Car pass only. It enabled us to take the cable cars multiple times ($5 for one way), the streetcars (my favorite), and Muni all over the city.</p> <p>Another example, my family (6 of us) traveled to Baltimore 2 years ago, and thanks to our memberships, we went to the Children's Museum and the Science Center for FREE! We saved over $200 in admission fees.</p> <p>Keep in mind that you can also plan ahead by using guidebooks and websites to find free or discounted admission times at various venues. Just be sure to call ahead, so you don't end up spending $100 without intending to!</p> <h2>Do the Math</h2> <p><strong>My family has used memberships to save over $1,000 in the last 3 years.</strong> That's a lot of bang for our membership buck!</p> <p>With a family of 6 a membership usually pays for itself pretty quickly. A few months ago we purchased a family membership to the Philadelphia Zoo. We would have paid $106 plus parking, but instead I bought and printed out our membership for $99 which included free parking. We only saved $7 on the first trip, but each additional trip adds another $106 to our savings total!</p> <p>You may not have quite as large a brood, so here is a simple equation to figure out how many trips it will take to make membership worth your money:</p> <p><strong>Step 1: Cost of tickets x # of people = cost for 1 visit</strong><br /> <em>Example: $15 x 4 = $60</em></p> <p><strong>Step 2: Cost of membership / Cost for 1 visit = # of visits to pay for membership (round up)</strong><br /> <em>Example: $100 / $60 = 2 (rounded up)</em></p> <p>In our example, it would take only 2 visits for a membership to be worth it!</p> <p>My favorite part of using these memberships, however, is not saving money. It is the time well spent with your family or friends in a carefully and lovingly cared-for environment. Whether it's a science museum, an estate turned garden, a historic ship, or a children's museum we often find a renewed sense of wonder with each visit!</p> <p><em>This post was included in the lastest edition of the <a href="http://www.thefinancialblogger.com/festival-of-frugality-%E2%80%93-my-best-purchases%E2%80%99-edition/">Festival of Frugality</a>.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-bang-for-your-membership-buck" class="sharethis-link" title="Get More Bang for Your Membership Buck!" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><i>This is a guest post by Kelly Whalen who blogs about paying off debt, organizing family life, and personal finance on <a mce_href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/" href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/">The &cent;entsible Life</a>:</i></p> <ul type="disc"> <li><i><a mce_href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/2009/08/12/the-one-car-experiment/" href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/2009/08/12/the-one-car-experiment/">The One Car Experiment</a></i></li> <li><i><a mce_href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/2009/08/18/how-to-get-vacation-ready/" href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/2009/08/18/how-to-get-vacation-ready/">How to Get Vacation-Ready</a></i></li> <li><i><a mce_href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/2009/07/30/5-a-day-to-keep-the-clutter-away/" href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/2009/07/30/5-a-day-to-keep-the-clutter-away/">5/day Clutter Challenge</a></i></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-whalen">Kelly Whalen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-more-bang-for-your-membership-buck">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-26000-in-5-years-or-less">How to Save $26,000 in 5 Years or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-pricey-things-you-shouldnt-buy-and-what-to-get-instead">14 Pricey Things You Shouldn&#039;t Buy (And What to Get Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budgeting-for-your-next-vacation-yaycations">Budgeting for Your Next Vacation: Yaycations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting Art and Leisure discounts membership museums Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:00:02 +0000 Kelly Whalen 3841 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Tips for Sightseeing on the Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-sightseeing-on-the-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-tips-for-sightseeing-on-the-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sightseeing-church-177497215-small.jpg" alt="sightseeing church" title="sightseeing church" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you&rsquo;re traveling, half the fun is seeing the sights &mdash; museums, historical locations, that sort of thing. But more and more of those sights are trying to make money off of tourists: they charge entry fees, mark up gift-shop items and offer outrageously priced cafeterias. There are ways to keep your sightseeing on the inexpensive side, especially if you have an opportunity to plan your itinerary ahead of time.</p> <h2>Look for Nationally-Controlled Sights</h2> <p>Museums are one of my favorite touristy sights &mdash; a national museum brings together a wide variety of exhibits that can show large portions of the country that you&rsquo;d never get to see otherwise. Consider the Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C. They&rsquo;re run by the U.S. government, in a round about way, so entry to the museums is free, just like visiting the local monuments. There are more exhibits than you can go through in the average trip, too. Compare that to Mount Vernon, a popular tourist destination just outside of D.C. &mdash; there&rsquo;s perhaps a couple of hours of entertainment, and an adult ticket costs $13.</p> <h2>Go Off the Beaten Path</h2> <p>If you aren&rsquo;t visiting something that a lot of tourists aim for, you&rsquo;re more likely to avoid those costly entry fees and gift shops. I learned this rule young, hiking in the Garden of the Gods. While entry to the park is free, the commonly used trails practically lead inside of the Visitor&rsquo;s Center and its gift shop. Instead, heading on to the less popular trails offer more opportunities to explore and climb, and you&rsquo;ll wind up with just as good of a view of the park.</p> <h2>Check the Local Tourism Board</h2> <p>Those organizations in charge of bringing tourists to an area can be your best bet to find coupons and special deals. In Ireland, the local tourism offices in each town can often connect you with a deal for just about anything &mdash; I was with a group of students traveling around and they managed to call ahead and get a group rate fifteen minutes before we were planning to show up at an attraction. Tourism boards are often at their best when they&rsquo;re trying to convince you to visit their area &mdash; they can arrange special deals, notify you of upcoming events, and do other things to make sure their area gets your business.</p> <h2>Try Public Transportation</h2> <p>I think half the cities in the world have those hop-on-hop-off tour buses these days, and I really don&rsquo;t think they&rsquo;re the great deal they&rsquo;re made out to be. When touring Cardiff, a friend and I snagged a copy of their map and hopped on a public bus that went to basically the same places. Our tour cost literally a tenth of theirs and we didn&rsquo;t have to figure out what some squawking intercom was saying.</p> <h2>Go to Church</h2> <p>Many churches and other religious sites are considered amazing tourist attractions, such as Paris&rsquo; Notre-Dame, but are free. Architectural buffs, take h<span id="1410555635975E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>eed: you can see some of the best-preserved buildings just by visiting religious sites during your sightseeing. Cemeteries can also be worth a visit, though you might not think of them at first. But if you&rsquo;re particularly interested in a particular historical figure, look up where they&rsquo;re interred: most cemeteries have some beautiful sculpture and can give you a great introduction to an area&rsquo;s history.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-sightseeing-on-the-cheap" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Tips for Sightseeing on the Cheap" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-sightseeing-on-the-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel">Volunteer to Travel: 11 Opportunities for Free or Very Cheap Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-amazing-and-undiscovered-vacation-destinations">5 Cheap, Amazing, and Undiscovered Vacation Destinations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Lifestyle Travel museums sightseeing Thu, 21 Feb 2008 18:47:50 +0000 Thursday Bram 1826 at http://www.wisebread.com