If you like visiting museums but find it costly, you may want to check into getting a reciprocal museum membership to save money. What are reciprocal museum memberships, and how do they work?

A reciprocal museum membership is where you pay for a membership to a museum near your home that is part of the reciprocal museum program. Then when you go to other museums in the program, you will be able to get in for the benefits your association entitles you to, such as discounted prices. 

After becoming a member of reciprocal museum membership, you will want to familiarize yourself with what benefits are included and how to access them. To learn more about how a reciprocal museum membership works, read below for more information. 

Choose Which Reciprocal Museum Membership Program for the Most Benefits

There are many different reciprocal museum programs you can join. You will need to see which one will be of the most benefit to your family. Many museums honor multiple reciprocal memberships. Some will cost less than others but may not come with as many benefits. To get the best deal, you will need to do some research to see which one you should get. 

Some specific reciprocal museum programs to check out include:

  • ASTC-Association of Science and Technology
  • NARM-North American Reciprocal Museum
  • ACM-Association of Children’s Museums
  • ROAM-Reciprocal Organization of Associated Museums
  • SERM-Southeastern Reciprocal Museums
  • AZA-Association of Zoos & Aquariums
  • MARP-Museum Alliance Reciprocal Program

Memberships vary in prices and benefits, so it makes sense to check to see which one will give your family the most value before signing up. Some museums offer free admission with membership, while others provide huge discounts. Some even give you discounts in their gift shops. 

How Does Your Reciprocal Museum Membership Work?

Once you decide which reciprocal museum program to join and sign up as a member, you will get a card to prove your membership. Next, plan your trip. You will be provided with a list of participating museums that honor your membership. Call them before your scheduled trip to their area. Calling ahead allows you to see that nothing has changed, such as the hours they are open.

 You may also want to check to see if other local attractions near the museum will honor your membership and let you come to their attraction for free or at a discounted rate.

When you arrive, show your membership and make sure you have your photo ID. Next, enjoy exploring with your family and having fun while you learn. You can get a map with other museums in the area that honor your membership that you can enjoy while in that area. 

What are the Limitations of a Reciprocal Museum Membership?

There are a few limitations you should know about with most reciprocal museum memberships. You should research each one and choose the program that best fits your family’s needs. 

Most memberships do not include museums within ninety miles of your home. They are mainly designed to make traveling to other locations more affordable for your family. Reciprocal museum memberships are an excellent way for families to save money while on vacation. 

Some places do not have free parking, and you will need to consider this expenditure when planning your visit. Other museums may have limited free parking. 

Some memberships have a limited number of people that reciprocal museum benefits are allowed at a time. Most museums cut off free or discounted tickets at six people, but this can still be a considerable saving for big families. If you have more people in your family than six, you may want to check if it would be beneficial to have two memberships.

Call Before Visiting Any Museum 

Always call ahead before visiting any museum to make sure they are still honoring memberships so that you are not shocked if you arrive and they have left the program. Sometimes during special events and special performances, they don’t offer honor memberships.  

Remember to carefully read what is offered so you specifically know what is included in the membership before signing up so that it will give your family the most benefits. 

To Conclude

Getting a reciprocal museum membership is a fantastic way to enjoy museums with your family while traveling. Museums have so much history and are great ways to help educate your family and yourself while traveling across America. Reciprocal Museums Memberships make visiting museums affordable and save families like yours hundreds of dollars each year.