The Deal of the Arts: 18-plus Ways to Save on Family Arts in Greater Seattle
To help you squeeze in more arts this year, we’ve rounded up reader-tested tips on local arts deals. We’d love to add to the list — email firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions. And see our Fall Arts Preview 2012 for ideas on must-see events of the season.
1. Subscribe to a season of family theater or music at one of your favorite arts organizations, which cuts costs per show and helps you plan ahead. Check for early-bird subscription specials (for example, PNB waives services fees on ticket buys until August 10).
2. The Seattle Symphony’s new Family Connections Program offers two free tickets for kids ages 8–18, with the purchase of just one adult ticket, for concerts that are part of the Wyckoff Masterworks series.
3. Most museums have a good kids' discount. For example, kids ages 12 and younger are always free at the Seattle Art Museum and the Seattle Asian Art Museum. The Henry Art Gallery is free for kids younger than 13. The Frye Art Museum is always free for everyone. Bellevue Arts Museum offers a $25 family ticket.
4. Kids ages 12 and younger are free at Town Hall Seattle’s Family Concert series, which brings in nationally known musicians, such as Elizabeth Mitchell. (Accompanying adults only pay $5.)
5. Seattle Public Theater’s student productions, held several times a season, are always free to everyone (though donations are welcome).
6. For every adult ticket purchased to the UW World Series President’s Piano or Chamber Music series, you can add two free youth tickets (ages 5–17).
7. A great way to give your kids some hands-on experience with classical music and instruments is to visit Soundbridge, the music discovery center at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. Many programs are $5-$10 per child, and Fridays are pay-as-you-can day, with a free musical story time at 1:45 p.m.
9. Seattle Center’s Teen Tix program allows teens to get $5 tickets to participating theaters and museums; on Sundays (for shows) and Thursdays (for museums), Teen Tix tickets are two for $10, so your teen can bring you along.
10. Look for the preview or pay-what-you-will shows that (usually) happen early in a theater run, and short previews at local libraries. Pacific Northwest Ballet, for example, hosts library previews, $10 previews, and affordable dress rehearsals. SecondStory Repertory's children's shows include a cheap Sunday matinees for very young kids. Many theaters also offer day-of rush tickets for a significantly lower cost.
11. Organize a group outing to a show and get a discount as well as the fun of a shared arts experience.
12. Sign up for the email newsletters or “like” the Facebook pages of arts organizations, which is where they often advertise giveaways and discounts.
14. Many museums now have multiple free days per month. See ParentMap's Free Museum Days list.
15. If you’re a member of a museum, check for reciprocal membership privileges available to you at other museums. (Thanks to a ParentMap reader for this tip.)
16. Seattle Opera will offer a “Family Day matinee” ticket for its next two operas -- La Cerentola on January 20 and La Boheme on March 3 ($15/ticket when purchased with a full priced adult ticket; maximum four student tickets with each adult ticket purchased.)
17. Bring the kids to a concert or show at a local high school, or a student production of a professional theater, whose productions are often very good and very affordable.
18. Local coffeeshops, libraries, farmers markets and festivals often have a live music line-up, and are a fantastic way to expose your kids to new kinds of rhythms and songs.
19. ParentMap’s online calendar lists hundreds of events a month and allows you to search for those that are “free.” Find more affordable events and giveaways by signing up for ParentMap’s weekly enews and “liking” our Facebook page.