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Museums and other cultural institutions offer reciprocal memberships across the U.S They offer access to nearly 3000 different attractions. Visitors can take advantage of these reciprocal programs by becoming a member at their favorite museum or attraction.

To become a member with reciprocal privileges, members must first visit one specific museum in person and show proof that they are active card-carrying patrons. In this article, we’ll look at the top five reciprocal memberships that can get you access to over 3000 attractions!

ASTC – Association of Science and Technology Centers 

The ASTC is a global network of science and technology centers that share a mission to ignite curiosity, discovery, creativity, and wonder.

Over 260 ASTC member museums in 35 U.S. states and six Canadian provinces participate in the reciprocal program offering free general admission for up to two named adults with proof of current membership at any other ASTC museum.

NARM – North American Reciprocal Museum Association

The NARM is an international museum association whose members enjoy reciprocity or mutual benefits when they visit each other’s institutions. Members include:

  • children’s museums
  • natural history museums
  • art museums
  • community cultural organizations
  • nature centers & science centers
  • historical sites/structures, and
  • zoos & aquariums.

NARM is divided into three regions:

  • Eastern
  • Central
  • Western.

The NARM’s primary goal is to provide a reciprocity program that will benefit the member organizations in terms of increased visitation. In addition, it seeks to promote awareness among its members about new collections, exhibits, and educational programs/services through an organized system for sharing information.

The association also provides access to special events at other institutions within the membership network – such as lectures or performances by visiting artists & performers – which may not be scheduled elsewhere because of costs involved in bringing them from another city.

AZA – Association of Zoos & Aquariums

The AZA – Association of Zoos & Aquariums is an organization that represents more than 230 zoos and aquariums in the U.S. and those throughout 27 countries worldwide.

It works with these institutions to better wildlife and habitats, animal care, education, conservation, science research/studies, etc. By sharing ideas, information and resources, it strives to do so without infringing upon existing contractual arrangements with outside speakers or groups who individual museums have invited.

The association also provides access to special events at other institutions within the membership network – such as lectures or performances by visiting artists & performers.

ACM – Association of Children’s museums

The ACM  – Association of Children’s museums is a non-profit organization established to support children’s pre and primary schools and family members by providing access to the educational resources offered by over fifty member institutions worldwide.

The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) is a collaboration of institutions and individuals worldwide dedicated to the improvement and enrichment of museum experiences for children.

The ACM also hosts conferences & workshops and an annual conference where educators can learn from each other’s best practices!

As part of many museums’ membership packages, some include free or discounted admission to partner attractions (such as zoos, aquariums and science centers). The Association of Children’s Museums has over 385 members in 24 countries worldwide – including public spaces such as national parks that offer FREE entry – which you can access with your benefits package.

Time Travelers

Time Travelers is a reciprocal membership for historical museums, sites, and societies in the U.S. Time travelers is a free membership that offers free or discounted admission to nearly 300 historical sites.

The program was established by the Missouri Historical Society in 1998 so that historians from across the country could get unique benefits and advantages at museums and historical locations around the world.


The possibilities for a museum membership are nearly endless. Reciprocal memberships, museums and attractions across the U.S. offer access to more than 3,000 different locations! These five memberships can get you free or discounted memberships to museums around the world.

If you’re looking for a way to explore regional museums or learn about new art styles in your area, one of these top five museum memberships is right up your alley. They will give you the benefit of multiple places to visit without the added cost of tickets to each one!