Free admission to hundreds of museums
Want to visit museums, zoos, aquariums or science centers? You may have already paid your admission.
If you buy an annual pass to an institution affiliated with the North American Reciprocal Museums program, you'll eligible for free admission to more than 600 others in the United States and Canada.
So if you're a member of, say, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts you can get in free at a huge variety of other institutions, from The Frick Collection in New York City to the Surfing Heritage Foundation in San Clemente, Calif.
Pay once, make multiple visits -- that's quite a deal. And museums are just the beginning.
Three other groups -- the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Association of Children's Museums and the Association of Science and Technology Centers -- also have reciprocal agreements. Depending on the institution, you'll get free or discounted admissions, cheaper tickets to special events like concerts and lectures, and discounts at gift shops.
Finding your options
Some restrictions may apply. For example, a specific level of membership may be required and special attractions may not be included. It's important to call ahead or check websites for specific rules.
Here's the information you need to get started:
- North American Reciprocal Museums. More than 600 institutions in the U.S. and Canada, two in Bermuda, and one each in Mexico and El Salvador.
- Association of Children's Museums. Nearly 200 museums in the U.S. and Canada, many of which offer admission for up to four people from the same household.
- Association of Science and Technology Centers. More than 300 centers, mostly in the U.S. and Canada.
- Association of Zoos and Aquariums. 150 institutions in the U.S. plus one in Canada and one in Mexico.
Be sure to allow enough time to purchase your hometown attraction membership, since you'll need the actual membership card to take advantage of these deals.
More on MSN Money:
i am a member of the st. louis zoo and science center. we saved well over $250 at museums in chicago this spring.
a worker at the stl science center said many chicago citizens buy stl memberships to use in their hometown. if they buy a membership to one museum in chicago it is not reciprocal in chicago, so they buy a membership in stl.
The next time I babysit our 11-year old, I'm taking him either to Harper's Ferry (FREE with $6 parking) to see the John Brown and Civil War city, reenactors, "captured Southern spys," etc. or else to the Smithsonian in D.C. (FREE with FREE parking if you arrive very early - or park for about $4 in the suburbs and take the Metro in and out).
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