The specific promotions described in this article have now passed, but it remains online so that the resources named will be of future use to travelers.
Even for big-time city attractions, paying retail may be a thing of the past. For events and major sites in nine of the biggest cities in the world, thank the folks at CityPass (tel. 888/330-5008; www.citypass.com) who have made it easier and less expensive for you to enjoy some of the world's greatest museums and city sites. Now, with a Winter Extension good in New York, Hollywood, Philadelphia and Seattle, the typically nine-day discount pass lasts from December 15, 2005 to March 31, 2006. In Boston, CityPass lasts all year round.
How does it work? Currently available in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Hollywood, San Francisco, Southern California and Toronto, CityPass is an actual ticket book containing admission tickets to major attractions, sites, museums, and buildings. In addition to paying significantly less for entrance fees (in New York, save $52 for adults and $41 for children), you also get to skip most entrance lines and enter the attraction in the area usually reserved for members and patrons of the institution. If you're on the road as we speak, you can buy a CityPass at any of the participating venues, all listed by individual city on the CityPass website (http://citypass.com/where.html). You can also buy the pass at the website.
Cost of the package for each city varies depending on sites and attractions, ranging in price from $38 in Toronto to $185 in Southern California (but you get admission to Disney World and the San Diego Zoo). Most of the passes don't exceed $55 and include admission and savings to at least five different attractions in each location.
In Philadelphia, venues include the Philadelphia Zoo, the Franklin Institute Science Museum, and the Independent Seaport Museum. Cost of the pass comes to $39 dollars for adults and $24 for children, a savings of more than fifty percent off normal admission prices. In New York City, locations include American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Empire State Building Observatory Deck, the Circle Line Sightseeing Boat Tour around the New York Harbor, and the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum. In Hollywood, save up to $33 for adults and $20 for children visiting the Starlines Tour of Hollywood, a guided tour of the Kodak Theatre, and the Hollywood Entertainment Museum. In Chicago, reduced admission is good to the Hancock Observatory, The Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry. See the website for details on the city of your choice. If the winter extensions don't apply to your city, the tickets are good for nine days after visiting the first attraction, except in Southern California where tickets are good for 14 days.
In addition to tickets to top sites, CityPass includes maps to each venue. The website also contains significant savings on public transportation around each city, details on the price savings, and options on purchasing programs for group travel. These deals are so good, even locals take advantage of the savings.