1. Check out national parks and museums
Many national parks and museums are free to the public. You can donate any amount you wish to help support the museum or park, but what you pay, or even if you pay at all, is up to you.
Out of 397 national parks, 264 for them never charge a fee. The others offer “free admission days” to visitors. The same goes for private museums. Take a look at the websites for your favorite public attractions and make note of any free days or other promotions.
2. Look for free factory tours
A free factory tour can be a lot of fun, and it often includes free product samples. You can tour everything from potato chip factories to breweries, factories that make cars and factories that make toys.
These tours often have limited hours, so make sure that you schedule your tour in advance.
3. Trade on an existing membership
If you do have an existing membership to a zoo, park, museum or other attraction, you may be able to leverage that membership for free admission somewhere else. Many site have reciprocal relationships that will allow their members to visit multiple places for free. For example, if you have a membership to the Philadelphia Zoo, you can leverage your membership to many other zoos across the country.
If you are a member of a conservation, nature, horticultural, musical or other society, you may also find that it includes free admission to local attractions. Some credit card companies or banks, such as Bank of America also offer free admission to attractions.
4. Ask if you can do a review
Contact the attraction and tell them that you would be willing to write up a review that they could include on their website or promotional advertisements in return for free admission. It helps if you can write, but many places would be happy for short testimonials from average families.
5. Borrow passes from the library
Many libraries invest in special membership passes to local attractions that can be borrowed by library patrons for a day or two. Because these passes are so sought out they aren’t often advertised. Find out if one of the libraries in your area does this. If not, go ahead and make a request.
6. Scout out free concerts
Free festivals and concerts are yours for the taking, if you do a little research to find them. You can spend the entire day at a free jazz festival, or explore the local area and cap it off with a free evening listening to classical music under the stars. There are plenty of Making Music and other kid-friendly concerts, too. Sometimes, these events also include free food.