If you’re in your hometown for the holidays, it can be tempting to stick to your old haunts, or—if you are appropriately college student broke—avoid leaving your house because of lack of funds. However, your city may be a completely different entertainment venue for you now that you have a college ID.

In particular, local museums, theaters, and clubs are likely to have college student discounts or pay what you can nights. These promotions can take most of the bite off of a night out and can expose you to parts of your city that you would not have otherwise seen. Plus, they allow you to avoid hitting up the same coffee shop you’ve been hanging out in since you were 14—win win.

If you’re looking for student discounts, a good place to start is searching for your city’s name and the phrases “student ID,” “college night,” or “pay what you can.” Those will usually turn up the bulk of the discounts available. If you have a specific place in mind that you’d like to visit, go ahead and call them—even if they don’t have an official student discount program, the desk workers may be able to help you find a way to get tickets for cheaper than the normal price. Especially for theater events, you may be able to attend for free by volunteering your time as an usher.

Returning home for the holidays doesn’t have to mean reverting to your high school haunts. The college ID is a valuable tool in helping you avoid that otherwise very boring fate.

Do you have a favorite student discount? Let us know in the comments!

[Image courtesy of Flickr user Kthrn. Licensed under CC BY SA 2.0.]