NYC and Boston are within 3 to 4 hours from Amherst, and graduate students often visit the cities for fun. Here are some useful tips and discount coupons for economic graduate student budget.
Travel to NYC
http://www.broadwaybox.com (You usually get about %50 off on Broadway show tickets.)
http://www.metopera.org/weekend (Enter on Mondays the drawings for weekend opera performances at MET only for $25. They are orchestra seats.)
In addition, you can get a parking coupon, which you can combine with your ticket, from here (this coupon will expire at the end of from 2009) or from the following site:
http://www.nytix.com (You can get a coupon for a $10 flat rate for 10 hours.)