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 email@example.com with suggestions. And see our list of outdoor summer entertainment 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. Many subscriptions provide steep discounts, free or discounted parking, and flexible options for exchanging tickets.
2. The Seattle Symphony’s 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 (including free parking). Bellevue Arts Museum offers a $25 family ticket and is free for children under age 6.
4. Kids ages 12 and younger are free at Town Hall Seattle’s Family Concert series, which brings in well-known musicians, such as Caspar Babypants. (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.
8. Seattle Public Library, the Pierce County Library System and the King County Library System allow patrons to check out passes to
select museums as they would a book.Just added to the Seattle Public Library's museum pass list: The Seattle Aquarium!
9. Seattle Center’s Teen Tix program allows teens to get $5 tickets at over 40 Seattle-area arts venues; 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.
16. Seattle Opera offers a “Family Day matinee” for only $15 per seat as well as free family-oriented open houses.
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.
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.