Anything other than a Citypass for NYC?

Old Nov 30th, 2006, 10:39 AM
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Anything other than a Citypass for NYC?

I want to attend the Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Empire State Building, and maybe the Guggenheim museum.

The city pass doesn't look like such a good dea l since I will only be using two of the items.

Any other good coupon books out there for travel? And could I pick up a coupon book once I am there?
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 11:10 AM
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The museums on your list rely on admissions to stay open & serve the public. Please pay what's requested, if not more.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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No, there's no other alternative, but coupons aren't necessary to save money at some city museums. The Museum of Nat. History and the Metropolitcan Museum can only require you to make a donation (any donation ... even $1) not pay the full price. You may get some dirty looks, but if you say you want the kids price or even 1$, you can just pay it---and they can't do anything. For special exhibits and the planetarium at the Natural History Museum, you do have to pay the price. I'd skip the Empire State Bldg in favor of Top of the Rock; it's not cheaper, but the lines aren't nearly as long and the view is spectacular. I'd also skip the Guggenheim entirely unless you're a huge fan of Spanish art (the special exhibit right now). Just walk in, look at the atrium, and walk out. Go instead to the Frick, the best small museum in NYC or to MoMA.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 11:19 AM
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While I agree that museums of worthy of support (and I am a member of several) there's nothing wrong with asking how to save money on visits!
The sites you list generally do not have discount coupons in tourist booklets. The Met and the Museum of Natural History are actually "suggested admission" places, so if you need to give less than the full amount posted at the entrance, you can (But for the Natural History, that policy applies only to the regular exhibits, not any special ones)
If you have a membership with AAA, check the Tourbook or ask about those discounts. Of course many most museums also have discounted rates for kids, students,and senior citizens
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 11:28 AM
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I do have AAA membership. Can I just show them my card? Or should I go to the AAA office and get the book you recommended?

I do have a college id...but it is a bit old.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 12:55 PM
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Doug is correct, of course -- you are not required to pay the suggested admission fee at certain museums.

But, please, unless you're truly destitute and paying will present a hardship, pay full admission, if not more. New York's museums provide remarkable services to NYC's underprivileged schoolchildren, for example. For someone who can afford to pay to voluntarily choose not to just to save a buck or "get a deal" is insulting.

The institutions deserve our respect and, if we can afford it, they certainly deserve our dollars.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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"You may get some dirty looks, but if you say you want the kids price or even 1$, you can just pay it---and they can't do anything. "

I am absolutely appalled to read this on this board, and doubly so since it's from a Fodors staff member.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Anon--why be appalled? Some people are on a budget (and no, that should not prohibit them from being able to visit a museum) and if the museum says that it accepts donations, but recommends another price, then there is no harm in donating what you can afford to donate.

It would be something completely different if the listed price was XX amount and a person tried to pay a different price that they did not qualify for.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 01:10 PM
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But surely you can afford to donate what the museums have calculated they need from visitors to stay open?

If you truly can not, by all means, pay less. But don't let a "budget" get in the way of common decency.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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ilovetotravel29, if you get the AAA guidebook for NY state (free to members) you will see which places give the AAA discount, but you don't need to actually have the book to get the discounts. You may be able to see the list on the AAA website.I don't know if the places you are going to offer that discount, but you can always just ask.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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Decency?

It is all subjective, I suppose. Each person's budget is relative to their own reality and situation.

Nyer--thank you for the info on AAA. I will check it out!
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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A related question:
I got the CityPass for our trip. Is it proper to make donations to the museums in addition to using the tickets in the booklet, or is just using the tickets alright? (We'll also be paying a bit extra at a couple of places to see the special exhibits.)
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 01:41 PM
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Absolutely! Museums rely on the generosity of visitors and members to fund their operating budget.

If you can afford to offer "more," please do.


And yes, it is "indecent" for a person who can afford to pay full price to stiff a museum.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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I completely agree with you Gekko. I also completely disagree with Mr. Stallings' statement: You may get some dirty looks, but if you say you want the kids price or even 1$, you can just pay it---and they can't do anything. I'm very surprised he would advocate that.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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I think the editor was right in the information he gave---the museum is on a donation basis. The special exhibits have a set price.

Since we don't know each other's incomes, wouldn't it be incorrect to assume that a person can pay for something?
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 02:01 PM
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I work for a very large company in Manhattan that contributes millions of dollars each year to these museums, and also underwrites many large exhibits. Because of my company's relationship to these foundations, all employees are "corporate members". Corporate members typically receive free admission for up to 5 guests at museums such as MOMA. When I take advantage of this memberhip, I do not feel compelled to give additional money. In the case of Citypass, you've already "paid" for the tickets, so no, I wouldn't feel compelled to give extra money.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 02:30 PM
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Agree that it's only fair to pay the proper price for museums - unless you're truly impoversihed - in which case how can you afford hotels and meals?

I never understand people that will shell out $60 plus to take a family to the latest (often ghastly and forgettable Hollywood swill - with no redeeming value) but are loath to spend even less to take the family to see a maginficent institution of western culture that could at a minimum enhance their learning/sophistication and possibly expose them to something that could change their life.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 02:35 PM
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Also some of the museums have a day where there is no fee required, and if you check the websites, that info is probably listed.

Also the Met is open later on Friday and Sat evening and Friday there is live music up on the balcony, and you can get a glass of wine and soak up the atmosphere.
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Old Nov 30th, 2006, 02:42 PM
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I think the thing that offended the poster "anonymous" was the fact that a Fodor's editor would say you would get a "dirty look" if you just donated a dollar. It's a donation not a shakedown and would find it hard to believe that the cashier would give a "dirty look" for a small donation.
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