This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

How to Entertain Your Family for Less

Nearly every form of family entertainment has ascended to luxury status.

At least when it comes to price.

A matinee showing of Dreamworks Animation's Bee Movie, for instance, set us back $50, including tickets for four people and food ($7 per child, plus one adult).

Take the kids to a pro sports game and prepare to hemorrhage more than $400 in about two hours.

A Broadway show? Cough up a stack of Benjamins.

At those prices, it's no wonder so many U.S. families rack up huge credit-card debt.

When my family hits the movies, we pay to have a business try to sell us something else -- from ads on popcorn bags to endless trailers before the show even starts.

I filled up the kids with grilled-cheese sandwiches and potato chips before we caught the Bee Movie showing, hoping to curb their appetites. I've shamelessly ignored the "no outside food" policy for years, lugging extra water and juice in my purse, to quiet pleas for a reload on the $5 soda.

But we ran up our snack bar tab in a flash at an AMC Theater, where a small popcorn and soda cost is $5 a pop. A weak-moment promise of nachos that I made on the way there stung me for $7, raising the total damage to $21.

Bring a child's friend, or go to an evening flick, and the costs skyrocket. The Simpsons Movie, last summer's big-screen edition of the News Corp. (NWS)/Fox Entertainment Group television show, was a $100 affair.

The quality of family entertainment should match the price -- at least in theory -- but that's not often the case. I'll pay to see an animated film from Disney (DIS)'s Pixar or Dreamworks so my children will share a common experience with their classmates -- and because they're usually creative and witty productions (although not necessarily worth $50 for a matinee). But trailers for Sony Pictures Are We There Yet? and Daddy Day Camp practically begged us to wait for the DVDs.

Sticking It to Us

We enjoy a New Jersey Devils hockey game now and then, but always wait for promotions, such as Scout Night, to lessen the otherwise $325 price tag for a five-person family to sit in nose-bleed territory.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs