The Best Way to Decimate Your Entertainment Budget: A MAP
Seriously, who doesn’t love LEGOLAND? (Barefoot people don’t count.)
We understand that life without entertainment sucks. We get it! We all occasionally spend money we shouldn’t on things we don’t need, strictly because what we do need is a break — some downtime where we can relax and enjoy something without having to worry about all the things we usually worry about. We’re all human.
But we’re also landlords. And that means that we expect you to pay rent. And while that’s always going to be a sore spot for some people, We’re all about helping our tenants out by finding ways that they can meet their needs without having to miss a rent payment. That’s why today, we’re going to tell you about one of the best-kept not-at-all-a-secrets in Michigan — a way that you can get into an extraordinary number of places cheap or free…and all you need is a library card.
The Michigan Activity Pass, or MAP.
Michigan Activity Passes are free or reduced-cost tickets that can get you into a variety of places in our lovely state. Museums, parks, performing arts centers, national heritage areas, even crazy stuff like LEGOLAND and the SeaLife Michigan Aquarium can be accessed for low or no cost (other than getting there, of course) with this clever program.
Where to Get a MAP
Every public library in the state of Michigan has access to the MAP system. You just have to stroll on down to your library and check them out. Yep! You bring in your library card, you swipe it, you print off the MAP right there at the library’s printer (sometimes a small printing fee applies), and you get to do this once every 7 days…forever!
How to Use a MAP
When you first print off a MAP, you select the place you want to go, and the date you want to go on. The MAP is good for that day, and for 7 days thereafter (or until you use it). You do actually have to bring the printed-off piece of paper with you, so don’t try to scan it in or whatever. But because you can set the date a ways into the future, you can actually use just one library card to get an entire family into the place or event, just by printing off one MAP every 7 days (and planning 1 week ahead per family member).
How Do You Know What is Free and What is Just Cheap?
You can search the directory of available MAPs on this website. Pick a destination, and click the “More Info” button, and you’ll be able to see exactly what deal that particular place has attached to their MAP.
Finding Something Special
In addition to the MAP website above, the MAP Facebook page does a great job of listing special events that are going on at a variety of places that MAPs can get you into. Want to listen to the Philharmonic playing at Belle Island Park? If it’s happening, you can bet it’ll be there. It’s also a great way to get ideas about what kinds of activities and adventures you can have by using the Michigan Activity Pass.
Have fun, get entertained, connect with your family, blow off some steam, and set aside that $30 or whatever toward your next month’s rent — you’ll thank yourself on the 1st!