childrens museum reciprocity

How to use Children’s Museum Reciprocity to visit Museums for free!

I'm sure you know the power of museums to expand your kid's mind and spark their imagination. You may even have family memberships to your local children or science museum. However, are you aware that there is a way to get access to over 700 museums around the world where up to 6 guests can enter the museum for 100% off! Keep reading to learn about children's museum reciprocity.

What does children's museum reciprocity mean?

Many museums, especially science & children museum's, offer a perk to families that sign up for an annual membership. It's called reciprocity. This essentially means that any museum that is part of the ASTC or ACM will give you either a 50% or 100% discount if you show your membership card.

The ASTC program stands for the Association of Science, Technology Centers. Museums in the ASTC network (which are over 500 WW) will give you free admittance if you show your membership card and a valid ID. The only exclusion is any museums that are within 90 miles of your home or the museum you are a member with. (This distance is measured “as the crow flies,” meaning that it is based on the linear radius, not driving distance.)

To check if a museum participates in the ASTC Passport Program, click HERE.
To see FAQs for the ASTC, click HERE.

The ACM Program stands for the Association of Children's Museums. Over 200 museums participate and will give up six people a 50% discount, as long as they are members of a museum in the ACM network.

To check if a museum participates in the ACM Program, click HERE.

Why do I love this hack?

We love to travel and visit other cities and countries. As part of our travel, we make sure to visit the local children's or science museum. This part of the trip is always memorable for the kids and gives the children an opportunity to get hands-on, play act, and have a good time. With museum admission often adding up to $20-$40 per person, the savings have added up to almost $200 a day at times.

Even though the ASTC program requires a 90-mile distance from our home, we often find that the admissions people honor our membership and let us in for free!

To get started, find a local museum that participates in either ACM or ASTC by clicking the above links. Then sign up for an annual membership that includes reciprocal benefits. Once you get your card in the mail, you are set!

Once you are ready to visit other museums, make sure to:
a) Bring your membership card.
b) Call ahead to confirm your discount.

We've visited dozens of museums around the world and in the US using this awesome benefit. Plus, we get unlimited visits to the local museum we have a membership with. It's win-win-win.

Today, we are members of the Museum of Tech in San Jose. Check out our recent trip to the museum with the Girl Scouts by clicking here.

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