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Tickets to NYC’s shows and museums can come cheap if you’re young

From Carnegie Hall to Lincoln Center, NYC’s institutions have discounts for younger residents.

Tickets to see shows don't have to break

Tickets to see shows don't have to break the bank. Many theaters and organizations offer discounted tickets to those 30 and under. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Dropping a wad of cash to see an opera, the philharmonic or a new museum exhibit is a big deal if you’re young and living in the city.

Chances are, money’s tight. You work hard to pay rent that’s “too damn high,” so you’ve missed the cultural highlights that can only be found here.

But take heart — it can be done on a budget. If you do your research, you can find out ways to get in on the cheap, using your age to your advantage.

We know the struggle, so we’ve gathered a list of museums that offer cheaper admission to students and ticketing programs geared toward those younger than 30. Of course, there are some stipulations and rules (like having proof of your age), but in all of these cases, your youth actually benefits you.

Theater tickets

Let’s face it. Tickets to see a musical or play, especially on Broadway, can be sickeningly high (we’re looking at you “Hamilton” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”), but if you are under 30 or 35, there are programs you can join to get a seat for cheap:

Musical performances

Going to the opera or the New York Philharmonic sounds pricey, but it doesn’t have to be. You can be as cultured as the next person with the following programs:

  • Lincoln Center Theater’s LincTix, includes discounted tickets for Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Presents, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Theater, The New York City Ballet, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the New York Philharmonic.
  • The Chamber Music Society’s Chamber Music 360
  • Symphony Space Under 30 discount
  • The New York Philharmonic’s MyPhil subscription
  • Carnegie Hall’s Notables Membership

Museum admission

The city’s museums are chock full of art, artifacts and knowledge, which is worth every penny, but sometimes, it’s just too cost-prohibitive to make the trek for a couple of hours. Most museums have lower admission prices for students (usually a few bucks cheaper) like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney, the Museum of Modern Art and others, but the definition of “student” is up to each one.

While these discounts help, there are some ways to save more:

  • The Whitney offers free entry to those 18 and under;
  • The Museum of the City of New York lets those 19 and under in for free;
  • The Brooklyn Museum is free to those 19 and under.

You can always become a member at these institutions, too. The fees vary, but they come with a lot of perks, including unlimited admission in some cases. For example, The Museum of the City of New York has a $60 membership, which includes unlimited admission, discounts on public programs, discounts in its shop and cafe and more. Some museums, like The Jewish Museum, offer discounted memberships for students specifically.There are also a handful of museums that offer free admission on Friday evenings, like the Whitney, The Frick and The Asia Society.

If you’ve been missing out, there’s no reason to with these methods available, and your wallet will thank you.

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