Today’s photo in Nancie at Budgettravelerssandbox’s Travel Photo Thursday is a scene from the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. It was taken in June 2010 during the “Top of the Rock” tour, which I highly recommend. It is a photographer’s dream to get such a breathtaking view of the city’s skyline. As you can see its pretty well populated; so much so that they only way to for the city to grow is vertically. It was pretty windy which didn’t bode well for videotaping, but it was virtually impossible not to get a great shot.
Whenever I travel (or stay at home for that matter), I like to attend live theater events. Whether it’s a local adaptation of a broadway show, improv or live music….I love to immerse myself in the local arts community. Especially after a day of sight seeing, it’s nice to be able to sit and allow yourself to be entertained.
Usually, the price of admission is manageable unless you happen to be in major cities like NYC, Las Vegas or Atlanta, then it can really put a dent in the old wallet. However, with careful planning, you can really stretch your budget by purchasing discount tickets via local clearinghouses.
If you have never experienced a live broadway show, make a resolution to do it today. There is nothing like the excitement and vibrancy of live entertainment, treat yourself to something grand and different. You deserve it! You can always check with the following clearinghouses if you happen to visit their city:
AtlanTix Ticket services is a discount broadway ticket service operated by the Atlanta Coalition of the Performing Arts. It operates a same day and advance sale half-price ticket booth at Underground Atlanta and a virtual booth online at http://atix.tix.com. ACPA’s ticket services are the largest single resource of earned income for the overall nonprofit performing arts industry of Georgia, and are operated in partnership with the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. This would be a great way to support the arts which are usually the first to be affected when state and federal budgets are cut.
AtlanTIX is located in the Visitors Center at the corner of Upper Alabama & Pryor Streets, only one block from the Five Points MARTA Stati0n . $1 off parking for Underground Atlanta garages – Martin Luther King Dr & Pryor St, one block from the Visitor’s Center – with validation at time of AtlanTIX purchase. Their hours of operation are Tues–Sat: 11:00am to 6:00pm & Sunday: Noon to 4:00pm.
You can click here for savings on other cultural attractions: http://www.atlantaperforms.com/Discount-Tickets/Cultural-Attractions.html
Bostix has same day, half priced, cash only tickets for music, theater and dance shows. Their booths are located in Copley Square and Faneuil Hall. Their selections and pricing change daily and booths open at 10 am (11 am on Sundays). These half price tickets have service fees ranging from $3.50 to $5.50 attached and depends on the price of the full price ticket.
Hot Tix is a consortium of 200 local theaters known as the League of Chicago Theaters. They sell half price tickets to various shows like plays, comedy, dance, concerts and performance art.
Tix 4 Tonight not only sells half price tickets to the major Las Vegas shows, but can also sell difficult to get/sold out tickets at a small discount which is subject to availability. They find out only thirty minutes before they open for business what tickets are available, so it will be to your advantage to show up at the box office early to get the best tickets, there are no phone or internet orders taken. Tickets are sold on a strict first come, first serve basis. There are ten locations situated throughout the Las Vegas Strip and doors open at 10 a.m. For more information (not orders) call 1-877-849-4868.
Last Minute Theater Tickets is a UK based ticketing agency that offers a wide variety of broadway blockbusters, classics and concerts for up to 50% off. Be sure to check out their 2 for 1 deals too.
L.A. Stage Alliance has served the greater Los Angeles area since 1975. You can select half-priced shows by sorting by venue, organization, dates, location and genre.
New York City
The Theater Development Fund is a 42 year old non-profit that “was created with the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured.” To that end, they have made it their mission to offer affordable ticket prices in the hopes of encouraging a diverse audience to attend their live shows. They provide three venues for buying discounted tickets:
1. The Times Square Booth sells day-of-performance tickets only.
2. The South Street Seaport Booth sells tickets to evening performances on the day of the performance, and matinee tickets the day before.
3. The Downtown Brooklyn Booth sells tickets to evening performances on the day of the performance, and matinee tickets the day before as well tickets to Brooklyn performing arts events.
Matinee tickets are sold on the day before the performance at TKTS Downtown Brooklyn and TKTS South Street. NO tickets are sold for the matinee ON THE DAY OF the performance at these locations!
All locations sell tickets at 50%, 40%, 30% and 20% off full-price (plus a $4.00 per ticket service charge, which helps support other TDF services and programs. Be prepared to stand in long lines and know that the most popular shows are unlikely to be available. Most days, people start queuing up several hours before TKTS opens.
Tix Bay Area – You can buy discount theater tickets in person at the Tix Bay Area pavilion on Union Square. They are located on Powell Street, between Geary Street and Post Street. They sell half-price tickets beginning at 11:00 a.m., local time, for productions in the area.
To get the best tickets to the show of your choice, be at Tix Bay Area about 30 minutes before they open. Some theaters require that the half-price tickets be used the day that they are purchased; other theaters allow a few days’ half-price pre-purchase. For example, you may be able to buy tickets on Tuesday for use on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. To get the list of available tickets, check their website. All tickets are non-refundable.
TheaterMania is a national discounter that operates in fourteen venues. You must register for free and tickets can usually be bought up to three months in advance:
BroadwayBox is not a broadway vendor, they simply provide free coupon codes that the show producer gives them for their respective shows. To order, you will be redirected to the proper ticket ordering site. BroadwayBox is a community site. No ticket sales. No membership fees. No cost to the patron. As of this writing, is currently offering 168 codes to 142 New York Broadway and off Broadway shows.
The Frugal Theatergoer can often find theater discounts when others can’t. While the site hasn’t been updated recently, it still has a veritable compendium of knowledge regarding discounts to NY area theaters. It’s a great insider’s view into every aspect of the New York City entertainment scene.
Seat Karma is literally a live entertainment search engine that serves Canada and the USA. It searches over 200 venues for the sports, concert and theater shows you want to see. You can view the seating charts of available venues to select your seating. Once you have made your selections, you may key in the number of tickets desired and will be taken directly to that venue’s broker to place your order. They do not claim to find you the best tickets for that event, just the best available seats, which is rightfully a major concern to any patron.
New York City is bigger than life itself. When I think of Manhattan, I envision constant movement, not one of confusion (though it may seem that way at first) but one of dogged and deliberate certainty. New Yorkers are a focused lot; each stride has a sense of purpose, of self-assuredness. Its people are what make this city come alive.
As a tourist, you can feel the excitement through every pore; the anticipation that something special is going to happen to you in this city….and you won’t be disappointed. One of the most exciting things that has happened in the city in the past year is that Broadway on Times Square is permanently closed to traffic. It is now a haven for pedestrians who generally like to bring their folding chairs, sit and take in the view.
The cosmopolitan menu that is offered by the numerous street vendors is a foodie’s definition of nirvana. There’s Broadway and Off Broadway if you are so inclined to take in its famous cultural offerings. The best view of the city is from the top floor of 30 Rockefeller Center and you’ll get your best photo of Lady Liberty from the deck of a tour boat on the Hudson River.
Be generous with your time and check out the other four boroughs they have their own unique contribution to that varied mosaic that comprises one of the most vibrant and colorful cities in the Northeast corner of the USA, New York City, NY!
This is the second in a series of infrequent articles that feature spa deals for the budget traveler.
While doing my research for my NYC trip, I decided that it would be cool to do something fun and different like getting my eyebrows threaded at City Brows. Never too satisfied with only one quirky experience, I decided to check out what else I could get into in the big apple. While checking out Time Out New York online, I came across a bar that took “Girls Night Out” to a whole ‘nother level. Every night, without fail, they have a “Martinis and Manicure” special that only costs $10.00!
One side of the Beauty Bar (which boasts itself as the “Original Manicure Happy Hour”) is truly a blast from the past. It is decked out like a 1950’s salon on one side and the other is your typical ‘belly up at the bar’ saloon. To get started, just hand a tenner to the bartender and he will give you a wait number in exchange. Everything is done right proper, every lady had to wait her turn. Next, place your order……you can choose from several cleverly-named alcoholic beverages: The Prell, Platinum Blond, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Pink Blush, Conditioner, Blue Rinse and Shampoo. Or if you are not as adventurous, you can have a Cosmopolitan, Beer or Martini….you name it….the bartender will fix it right up for you.The hours are Monday through Friday from 6pm to 11pm and Saturday & Sunday 7pm-11pm.
In short order, the two manicurists on duty will begin by calling the first customer and they continue until everyone has been served. They were very warm conversationalists and eager to learn about the person that they were serving and at the same time were very efficient and managed to serve their 15th satisfied customer before 9 pm.
The drill is pretty much the same as it in the more ritzy nail salons. The only glaring difference is that you do not get to soak in Palmolive liquid the way Madge the manicurist lets you. They go right to the clipping, shaping then they apply cuticle remover before allowing to you pick your fave OPI or Zoya nail polish. So far, there are other locations throughout the US in the following cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin, Las Vegas, Portland, Brooklyn, Denver and Chicago.
They were considering Atlanta once upon a time, but nothing yet. If they’ve changed their mind, I really hope that they reconsider. I would be one of their best customers! If you happen to find yourself in one of the cities that I mentioned, be sure to look them up. Everyone deserves a little fun every now and then….just remember to tip those hard working guys and gals while you’re there!
Last week, I was fortunate enough to be in New York City for a travel blogging convention (Go #TBEX!). I’m not the girliest of girls, but I decided a little pampering couldn’t hurt. I said “Self, this is a great opportunity to do something that you rarely get to do at home!” Since I had a dangerously good chance of winning a unibrow contest, I figured something along that line was in order. I was very happy to come across the aptly named “City Brows” which was located a block from the hotel that I was staying at off Broadway and between 78th and 79th streets.
This spa, owned by the Anitra family, specializes in brow threading but also offers facials, manicures, waxing and henna tattoos (if you are so inclined). I’d heard about threading but never had the opportunity (nor the desire) to try it. It’s a centuries old process used mostly in middle eastern countries and India. The clinician uses her teeth to anchor the (sewing) thread and both hands to grasp several strands of the unwanted hair and a quick tug pulls them out. The process lasts for up to two to six weeks, about as long as tweezing, but more hairs are pulled which shortens the threading session.
I will admit to some reticence as I was offered a chair. Let’s ‘face’ it, if they screw this up, it will make me mourn for that wretched unibrow. My daughter, Carisa actually got started before I did, so when I heard a few polite ‘ows’, I began to question my decision. But the 95 pound esthetician had me exactly where she wanted me and began gliding the thread ever so carefully over my face. It wasn’t as painful as I had imagined. At first, I thought I was being sliced because the feeling was so different from anything that I had felt before. I quickly became acclimated to that feeling and within five minutes, she was done. She asked if I wanted aloe vera rubbed over the brows and I said ‘YES!’ Please make sure that you do this because it allows the sting to quickly subside.
Now, the moment of truth…..the mirror’s point of view. I leaned forward and was astonished. My brows were a set of perfectly contoured arches that would put the St. Louis arch to shame. They looked like they fit my face….it was not outlandish or too thin or clownish looking. We were both very pleased with the outcome. The cost of this excursion into cosmetic bliss? $8.00!! They even offer a deal where you get your tenth threading for free. Are you listening, New Yorkers? This price was beyond reasonable and for both brows no less! If you find yourself in the neighborhood take a chance and try something new. I mean isn’t that one of the main reasons for traveling anyway and if you happen to live there, so much the better! The Anitra family was very professional, courteous and knowledgeable. I highly recommend them.
Now, it’s your turn. What little known, hidden treasure have you discovered during your travels (or at home)? What made your experience special? Did you get a great deal?