Do you need some ways to enjoy culture without spending too much cash? We don't all have the resources to go to expensive plays and concerts, but that doesn't mean that we can't enjoy cultural outings. There are plenty of free or cheap concerts and exhibitions. So if you're a culture buff who's strapped for cash, try these ways to enjoy culture on the cheap …
1. City Events
One of the ways to enjoy culture on the cheap is to attend events put on by your city or town council. These tend to be seasonal, but you may also find indoor events. Because the council is subsidising the cost, these events are usually free. You'll be able to enjoy concerts, theater, dance, talks and classes; look on local websites for information and keep an eye out for flyers and posters.
2. Student Discounts
If you're a student, always have your student ID handy, as it entitles you to a variety of great discounts. Theaters often offer massive discounts (as a student in London, I used to see the best shows at low prices). If you're not a student, but are under 25 or 30, there may also be great discounts. For example, London's famous Barbican Theatre offers tickets for £5-15 (barbican.org.uk).
If you have a favorite cultural venue, look at their membership page to see if they offer subscriptions. Some venues offer discounts if you buy tickets for several events during the season. You may also be able to buy a subscription that gives you unlimited entry to events and shows. This can be a real bargain if you want to attend a lot of shows.
There are lots of websites that list free or cheap events in your area, such as cultureonthecheap.com for residents of New York, or timeout.com for people in London. If you fancy sharing cultural activities with likeminded people, join a Meetup group like this one in Chicago meetup.com .
If you can't afford to attend live performances, some may be broadcast in cinemas or even put online for free. Radio stations may also make plays and concerts available on catch-up via their websites. You can also find sites with podcasts like this one classicalpodcasts.com to listen to classical music.
Your local art gallery may have free entry. As well as viewing the paintings and artworks, you can also attend talks or even movie showings related to exhibitions. You can also look around commercial art galleries to see their works for free, if you are interested in contemporary art.
Major theaters often offer cheap standby tickets, which are a real bargain if you don't mind taking the chance of the play being sold out. Get there early enough to stand the best chance of getting a seat. Previews and midweek performances are often sold at discounted rates as well. And check out amateur performances - these can actually be of very high quality.
So culture vultures without much spare cash can still enjoy the culture experience. Take a chance and try something new; you might discover an interesting new (to you) experience. Culture isn't just for the highbrow, so even if you don't think you're into classical music or art, try it - you may find something you love. Do you know a great cultural website that you can recommend?