Sunday, April 28, 2013

Looking for Family Entertainment Deals in New York City? Check out These 11 Websites

New York City is one of the most amazing--and expensive--cities in the world, but deals abound if you know where to look. (Times Square in New York City, photo: Terabass)


A friend of mine from overseas will be coming to the New York City area with her family for summer vacation. We talked about it over Facetime (gotta love how Facetime can connect you with family and friends who are far away), and she told me her family wants to have a genuinely American experience. She mentioned seeing an auto race as an example.

She also said she wanted to see a Broadway show. Then we both said in unison, “But they're so expensive!”

And it’s true, they are.

But there are great deals out there if you know where to look.

For example, one year I bought tickets for the family to see Ovo by Cirque du Soleil, which is a great Cirque show. We sat only four rows from the stage, and the tickets only cost us $40 each.

Today I bought tickets for Rebounderz in Edison, New Jersey. This is an amazing indoor trampoline park that my family loves. Two tickets good for 90 minutes each were just $23. That’s $11.50 per person! Not bad.

I've also bought coupons good for discounted merchandise from some cool stores, discounted movie tickets, tickets to off-Broadway shows, like Stomp, and more.

So I compiled this list of places to look for good entertainment deals in the NYC area for my friend and her family, and I thought I’d share them here with you. 

After all, the only thing better than having a good time is having a good time at a great price. (If you're coming from overseas, be aware that you might need an American credit card to take advantage of many of these deals.)

Here's a short list of websites you should check out if you looking for entertainment deals in the New York City area:

1. Groupon

Groupon works with Expedia to bring you travel deals based on location. I bought those tickets to Rebounderz here, as well as movie tickets. It's best to subscribe a couple of months in advance, because you never know what you’re going to find.

 2. Goldstar 

Goldstar offers an eclectic list of events, some of them FREE, and many of them half or more off. Current examples are the Blue Man Group: Worldwide Theatre Sensation at Astor Place Theatre for $43.00-56.60 instead of $85.00 and Cirque du Soleil’s Totem for $37.00-$78.00 instead of $55.00-115.00. We've bought tickets to off-Broadway shows from Goldstar. You have to join the club to take advantage of offers, but it's free, so why wouldn't you?


3. Living Social

Living Social deals are . . . interesting, and even more eclectic than Goldstar's. They're worth checking, though, because you never know what you're going to find: rock-climbing in Brooklyn for the kids or a pirate boat cruise for adults, who knows? It could be fun.


4. Amazon Local

Did you know Amazon offers local deals? Well, now you do. There are deals for local services, activities, and products. For example, right now you can save 60% off a New York City ghost tour . . . if you dare. I wonder if my friend’s family would like that?


5. School Tix

How does taking in a Broadway or off-Broadway show at a decent price sound?

School Tix has a nice selection of shows at discount prices, and you generally don't have to come with a school-age child to get these deals. Right now, for example, it’s offering Annie for $45.00-$85.00; Chicago for $49.50-$88.00; and Peter and the Starcatcher for $49-$69.


6. Theater Mania

Theater Mania also offers tickets to a nice selection of shows, on and off Broadway, at reduced prices.


7. Your Broadway Genius

Your Broadway Genius has discount tickets for Broadway and off-Broadway shows, too. The selection is small, but interesting. And I was surprised to see reduced tickets for The Ride: $50 instead of $69 (not including tips). I've always wanted to take The Ride, which is part bus tour and part musical-variety show. You sit facing the windows, while actors and entertainers perform on the sidewalks of New York City in front of your eyes. Now I’m even more tempted.  


8. DealCatcher

No matter what you're looking for, DealCatcher is a great place to check prices first. I usually go there to look for deals on products, but they offer activities too. I’d be particularly tempted by the Improv and comedy club offerings they have going now. (I love, love, love Improv and stand-up comedy.) DealCatcher catches deals from other websites, so if you find something you like, you might want to follow the link to the other site to see what else they have to offer.


9. SlickDeals

SlickDeals is a lot like DealCatcher, but not all of their deals are the same. They're worth checking out too. And you might want to subscribe to both newsletters so that you can be aware of new deals before they're sold out.


10. TravelZoo

And finally, one of my favorite travel deal aggregators, TravelZoo, also offers entertainment deals by area. Of course, their New York City entertainment deals include Broadway, off-Broadway, and so much more, including unusual tours of the city, sport events, and activities on the water. TravelZoo is also a good place to look for travel deals near and not so near New York City.


Oh, and I should include this one last website just for the locals . . .

11. New York City Patch

I don't know if these exist around the country, but in this area, most communities have a Patch website with local information, such as news updates, classes, events, and much more. Here's a list of family events in the New York City area over the next few days, and most of them are free:


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I hope this helps my friend make the most of her family trip, and I hope it helps you too.

This isn't a complete list by any means, so try searching on your own. And let me know what you find. I always love learning about great deals, particularly ones my family can enjoy close to home.

ADD ON: I realized after I wrote this that I completely forgot about AAA. If you have a membership--and you should if only for the roadside assistance should your car break down in the middle of nowhere for whatever reason--you're entitled to some great discounts at theme parks, restaurants, the movies, and lots more. Here's a link that should work if you can enter the site with your membership card: http://midatlantic.aaa.com/Store/Travel/AttractionandMovieTickets For example, Hersheypark tickets, which usually cost $58.80 are just $38.00 when preordered online and shipped to you (at no additional charge).

2 comments:

JargonTalk said...

This is an excellent list of links and tips, Shevi. Bookmarking it to pass on to visitors.

Shevi Arnold said...

Thanks!