The Value of Affordable Entertainment

I had the wonderful benefit of attending a high school choir concert last night, which was something that I typically would not have done. However, it happened to be the alma mater of my wife, the event looked promising, and the cost was a mere $10 which also went toward benefiting the school’s programs directly. Regardless of the outcome, I would have considered the night pretty much a win-win. What resulted instead was one of the most beautiful and touching concert performances I have ever been to. Truly. I witnessed the power of the high school arts programs, including the unfiltered and unbiased energy, passion, intensity, pride, and joy that these kids had singing for us. They had no outside motivation other than the pride of their relatives and friends, their own drive for success, and the personal feeling of having accomplished something great.

On the drive home, I couldn’t help but remark to my wife what an incredible value the performance was. For $10 each, we were able to enjoy over two hours of beautiful music and singing, and leave feeling energized, refreshed, and thoroughly entertained. It got me to think about what other events we could attend that could have the same kind of benefits for an affordable price.

Looking for Good Entertainment Values

One idea that comes to mind is the importance of staying local. Local events are designed to be enjoyed by the city or neighborhood they serve, and they often don’t have very large overhead budgets (or any at all). Much of your admission goes simply toward paying for the venue, or in the case of our concert – toward supporting an educational institution and the arts.

My other suggestion would be to avoid going pro. Why go to a major-league baseball game, when you can attend a minor league game for $15 and sit 25 feet from the field? Or simply go to your local park and watch a team of teenagers play softball. I can tell you from personal experience it’s as mesmerizing, if not more so, than watching a pro sports event. If you truly enjoy a sport, there’s no reason to attend expensive events consistently. At a local event, you are closer to the action, and the passion and intensity of the players is incredible. The case was the same with last night’s concert. I could have easily spent hundreds of dollars to hear the same songs at Carnegie Hall (plus the airfare, of course, but just pretend I live in NY). But the local concert was extremely enjoyable at a mere fraction of the cost.

Have you found events that are affordable in your area? Have ideas about how to save on performances? What alternatives (free or low-cost) do you use in your own life for entertainment? Please share them here.

4 thoughts on “The Value of Affordable Entertainment

  1. Kudos on going to a local high school event…I think that the arts are such an important part in children’s lives and should be experienced or they should have the opportunity to experience it! What a great post…I too am curious on other types of entertainment that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg seeing as we can’t really spare those in this economy! anybody else have any more ideas?….

  2. I had something similar happen to me. I was dragged to a Shakespearean play at a community college. 1) I’m not a fan of Shakespeare, and 2) wasn’t expecting anything great from the community college.

    Boy was I proven wrong. Entertaining, funny, and very affordable!

  3. agreed! going to local events is more than awesome 🙂 esp the price tag. plus it gives you that feeling of supporting your community. glad you enjoyed it!

  4. @Mark – Agreed, for some reason it’s always the most unassuming things that will surprise you the most. Maybe it’s lowered expectations?

    @J.Money – I think the fact that she could support the program was the most important thing for my wife, besides the actual performance. It’s great that we can perpetuate the gift of the arts for these kids.

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