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Vacation Fun on a Budget

Believe it or not, the excitement of Christmas will be over in just a few days. Sure, the kids will enjoy playing with some of their new toys, games and gadgets for a few minutes, maybe hours, but you’ll soon find yourself looking for something fun to do with them during the vacation. If there aren’t children in the house, hopefully you’ll take a few days to relax and unwind after the holidays … but you might find yourself going stir crazy after a couple of days!

Your MTA card gets you discounts to many attractions, museums and other recreational activities in New England. Here are a few fun things you can do over Christmas vacation that require very little planning, whether you’re on your own or have kids in tow.

Skiing discounts

Vacation week is a great time for skiing, whether you make it a day trip or stay for a couple of days. A number of locations throughout Massachusetts and the rest of New England offer MTA discounts. Be sure to read the discount information before you head there – some require advance purchase. Berkshire East Ski Area in Charlemont offers a $5 discount to both the member and family with a valid MTA card. In Great Barrington, Ski Butternut offers members great savings on lift tickets. Members, spouses and children over the age of 7 pay $40 on weekends and holidays and $20 Monday through Friday (non-holiday). Additional discounts are available for children younger than 7, as well as discounted group lessons and equipment rentals. Members and their families save $15 per ticket at Catamount Ski Area in South Egremont. Wachusett Mountain in Princeton offers $5 off each lift ticket; tickets must be purchased online in advance. Or, try something different – cross country skiing or snowshoeing – at Maple Corner Farm in Granville. Members and family save $1 per ticket.

Head north to New Hampshire where you’ll find discounts to Attitash Mountain in Bartlett and Wildcat Mountain in Gorham. Tickets must be purchased in advance for these locations. Discounts are available at the ticket counter at Pats Peak Ski Area, Black Mountain and Bretton Woods. In Vermont, members can save at Killington Resort/Pico Mountain by purchasing through the MTA-specific link on our website.

Great for kids

Weather permitting, there are several great outdoor discount locations that are still open during the winter. Animal lovers take note: Franklin Park Zoo in Boston and Stone Zoo in Stoneham offer 50% off admission and Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon gives members $2 off their ticket. You still have a few days to catch the Christmas Festival of Lights at Edaville Family Theme Park. They’re open every day through January 1, 2019, when they’ll close for the season. Members pay $31 admission.

There are a number of children’s museums in the area where you can save. You’ll receive ½ price admission at Cape Cod Children’s Museum in Mashpee as well as at the Children’s Museum at Holyoke. Free admission is available for members at the Children’s Museum in Easton, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and Discovery Museum in Acton. In Somerville, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston offers a $5 discount per ticket (5 ticket max).

If you have older children, then a trip to Carousel Family Fun Center in Fairhaven or Whitman may be right for you. Members receive 2-for-1 skating admission! Interskate 91 Family Fun Center in Wilbraham also offers buy one, get one free skating admission (morning or afternoon only). Rock Spot Climbing, with 2 locations in Boston, is a great place to burn off some energy for all ages! Members pay $18 for a day pass with gear.

So many museums, so little time

By far, museum discounts make up the greatest percentage of our discount offers. No matter where you live in Massachusetts, there are great museum discounts available to you within a short drive. We’ll start with Boston, with the highest concentration of museum discounts. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, The Mary Baker Eddy Library and Harvard Art Museums offer members FREE admission! Choose from ½ off a single admission or 2-for-1 admission at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and save $7 on general admission at The Institute of Contemporary Art.

South of Boston you’ll find many great museums. Battleship Cove and the New Bedford Whaling Museum both offer free admission to members with a valid MTA ID. Patriots fans will love this one. Use your MTA card at The Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon and you’ll get in free there too! The Cape Cod Museum of Art offers $1 off your admission and the RISD Museum of Art offers half off your admission price.

North of the city is home to many wonderful museums. For example, both the Peabody Essex Museum and the Cape Ann Museum offer members free admission, and the Wenham Museum will give you 30% off your admission.

The Fruitlands Museum in Harvard and the Worcester Historical Museum both allow members free admission. At the Worcester Art Museum, bring a friend along for the 2-for-1 admission offer. If you or someone you know is a basketball fan, take them to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Members and up to 8 adult family members receive a $2 admission discount.

In the western part of the state, you’ll find the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. They offer members free admission. At the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, you’ll save $2 on your ticket and you’ll save $5 on admission at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.

While we’ve just run through quite a few discounts that you can use over Christmas break, this is a small sample of the hundreds of discounts available to you. Visit the Discount Directory section of this site for a full list!