I live in New York City, and when I retired from teaching recently I found that I finally had more time to enjoy all the many wonderful free and sometimes-costly events in New York City. I began to look for free and discounted events and while searching found more than I expected. I want to share two great resources that have helped me enjoy New York City more at a low cost or free- Club Free Time and Goldstar.
I first joined Club Free Time for a month for $2.95 rather than commit to their one-year membership for $19.95 because I wasn’t sure that they offered what I’d like or would want to go to, however, I began to attend events both free and at minimal cost, and I soon joined for the year. Some events are Off Off Broadway. I’ve attended one Broadway play that was offered when the play first opened, and before it became very popular. I had a front mezzanine seat Originally priced at $127 and I paid $4.50. I know that sounds impossible, but that’s Club Free Time. I’ve gone to events at Lincoln Center for around the same price.
- Frequent E mails to alert members of their offerings
- Easy to use web site with a menu outlining events in museums, fairs/festivals, walk/tours, hikes, talks
- Details totally free events in the New York City libraries, churches, universities
- Low annual fee for membership (in addition to weekly, monthly and quarterly membership.)
- Adventurous and unusual plays and music events Off, Off Broadway and off the beaten path.
- Most events offered are under $5.00!!
- Great seats to events
- Events only available for New York City
- Very few Broadway shows
- No sports events
- Relatively small selection
- Sometimes you have short notice to buy tickets before their allocation runs out.
- You won’t know in advance where in the theaters your seats are
Goldstar is very similar to Club Free time in many ways except their membership is free. They have a wider variety of events. They are more of a discount ticket broker, and unlike Club Free Time, I’ve never been offered a Broadway show for under $5.00 as I was with Club Free Time. For instance, Goldstar has been offering Spiderman tickets in the Flying Circle for $97.50 total. On Ticketmaster, tickets for this show in the Flying Circle are $314 total.
- Free membership
- Easy to use site
- Frequent e-mail alerts
- Offers sports events and boating events
- In addition to New York, offers events in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Orange County, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Washington, D.C.
- Broadway and Off Broadway Shows
- Tickets offered for the same events as Club Free Time are more expensive at GoldStar.
- You are not told where your seats are.
Both Club Free Time and Goldstar are worth joining. They both offer great discounts. It’s a matter of what you want to see, how adventurous you are willing to be to try new venues and how much you want to spend.