By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: We were supposed to go to the Macy's Day Parade but missed it due to the poor Canadian dollar and expense. I still wish to visit but don't know if I can because it's so expensive. Is there anything in New York City that is slightly affordable?

A: In an effort to combat a general slump in tourism, many destinations have been offering discount programs. New York City has re-introduced "Paint the Town," its special promotions with savings on hotels, restaurants, Broadway and off-Broadway shows, retail stores, and museums.

You can get Broadway and Off-Broadway tickets for as low as $35 for such shows as Cabaret, Chicago and Forbidden Broadway. There are also free gifts with a purchase at Macy's, J&R Music World, and New Yorkers' favorite discount shopping store, Century 21.

In addition, there are a variety of free events and attractions. The Big Apple Greeter is a free public service run by volunteers and connects travellers with a local New Yorker who shows you the ins and outs of the Metro service, takes you to a neighborhood of your choice and offers amazing stories with some helpful advice on where to eat and shop. Simply contact B.A.G. three weeks before your intended arrival date and provide them with a neighborhood of interest.

Inquiries can be emailed to or visit their web site for more info at To receive a free copy of the Paint the Town discount travel package, call 1.800.NYC.GUIDE.


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All text & photos 2004.