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Want to save $282 on some of Tampa's most popular attractions? Here's how

Sure, you could pay full price for entertainment at some of Central Florida's finest attractions. But you're not a sucker … are you? Here are just a few of the better ticket deals and discounts offered at some popular Central Florida attractions. Take advantage of these, and watch the savings pile up. — Jay Cridlin and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Disney World

Normal adult price: $79

Cheapskate's price: Free

The catch: You have to go on your birthday. Disney World (or one of its other parks) grants free park admission to anyone with a valid ID on his or her birthday, provided you register online. For details, see tinyurl.com/3ngbbh.

Dinosaur World

Normal adult price: $12.75

Cheapskate's price: Free

Savings: $12.75

The catch: As with Disney World, you have to visit on your birthday. But come on — who wouldn't want to spend their birthday surrounded by fiberglass dinosaurs? For details, see dinoworld.net.

Lowry Park Zoo

Normal adult price: $19.95

Cheapskate's price: $5

The catch: Several times a year, Lowry Park Zoo offers its immensely popular $5 Day at the Zoo. The next one is Sept. 13; be prepared to fight the crowds on your way to see Bindaleer the koala. Not cheap enough for you? You can also get free zoo admission on your birthday.

Pirate's Dinner Adventure

Normal adult price: $58.95 plus tax

Cheapskate's price: Buy one, get one free, so about $29.47

The catch: Thank Florida Blood Services for this one. By donating blood at some of their locations, you can receive a slew of deals, including $10 gift cards to Publix or Wal-Mart. This month's deals include free haircuts, free Chik-Fil-A chicken sandwiches and buy one, get one free tickets to Pirate's Dinner Adventure in Orlando during August and September. On Aug. 22 and 23, they'll be giving away free movie passes at Regal Cinemas theaters (there's another $9 saved). Check flsblood.org often for new deals.

Tampa Bay Rays

Normal adult price: $4 for hot dogs

Cheapskate's price: 50 cents

The catch: The Rays were recently named one of the best deals in sports by ESPN the Magazine, and to celebrate, the team is hosting Even More Affordable Night, with 50-cent hot dogs, on Aug. 19. You can also save on Sunday home games, where the price of a normal ticket ($18 and up) also includes a voucher for a hot dog, drink and snack. rays.mlb.com.

American Stage Theatre

Normal adult price: $39 (on Friday and Saturday nights)

Cheapskate's price: Free

The catch: At least once during each production, American Stage offers a pay-what-you-can night on a Tuesday. Normally, we would never encourage you to pay nothing on a pay-what-you-can night ... but then again, you are a cheapskate, aren't you? We hear that if Doubt is extended one more week (it's currently scheduled to close its run on Aug. 23), there might be a pay-what-you-can night the following Tuesday. Or, you can simply check out one of American Stage's After Hours series, which are always pay-what-you-can.

Salvador Dali Museum

Normal adult price: $17

Cheapskate's price: $5

The catch: The Dali Museum offers deeply discounted admission between 5 and 8 p.m. every Thursday evening — a nice little Happy Hour diversion for anyone on a post-work date.

Live Nation concert tickets

Normal adult price: Depends on the show, but in the case of, say, two reserve tickets to Coldplay Sunday night at the Ford Amphitheatre, $174.65.

Cheapskate's price: For those same Coldplay seats, $82.32.

The catch: All summer, Live Nation has offered big discounts on its "No Service Fees Wednesdays," including buy-one-get-one-free to many shows at the Ford Amphitheatre. This week, Live Nation also dropped service fees on shows at the House of Blues in Orlando. The offer isn't good on all seats, or at all shows — this week's specials included Coldplay, Depeche Mode and Brad Paisley — and, paradoxically, you still have to pay service fees for the Ford Amphitheatre shows. But it's enough of a discount that it's worth your time to buy your concert tickets on a Wednesday. See fordamp.com for details.

Fun for free

These ongoing local entertainment options are always free.

St. Pete Shuffle Snicker if you want to, but there are loads of young hipsters who know that Friday nights on the St. Pete shuffleboard courts are a fun scene. It's like a night of bowling but without the ugly shoes. Pack a cooler with your own drinks and snacks, and the music mix is excellent. It's 7 to 11 p.m. every Friday at 550 Mirror Lake Drive in downtown St. Petersburg.

Rays games at the TradeWinds Want to combine baseball and the beach? Head to the TradeWinds Island Grand on St. Pete Beach, which airs Rays games on the beach on certain Saturdays. The next two are Aug. 30 and Sept. 13.

Yoga lesson Stretch it out every Thursday with a free yoga lesson at the Lotus Room in Tampa. The class is offered from 7 to 8:15 p.m. at 1101 W Kennedy Blvd. Call (813) 254-6777 or visit yogalotusroom.com.

Star gazing Sure, that e-mail telling us Mars will be eye-popping is a hoax. But fall and winter are good times to see the Red Planet and Jupiter. Friday nights at 7 and 8 p.m. starting Aug. 28, the St. Petersburg College Planetarium hosts a free "star theater" as astronomy Professor Craig Joseph gives a talk, followed by telescope viewings. And MOSI's Skywatch hosts free telescope viewing from sundown to 11 p.m. twice a month. Upcoming dates are this Saturday and Aug. 22, Sept. 26 and Oct. 24.

Block parties First Fridays are a popular excuse to throw a party, when Gulfport has an art walk, and St. Pete's Get Downtown throwdown always draws a big crowd for the live music and being seen. Clearwater's Fourth Fridays were picking up steam before rainy summers washed it out. It returns Sept. 24 to kick off the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.

Want to save $282 on some of Tampa's most popular attractions? Here's how 08/06/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 6, 2009 1:47pm]

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