Cultural Memberships: The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Family memberships to area museums, zoos and cultural institutions are an almost perfect present
A family membership to a local museum, zoo, theater or nature center is just the ticket to a year full of meaningful together time. But that’s only one reason why annual admission packages make an almost perfect holiday present for both recipient and giver.
Why families love getting memberships
- Most memberships allow unlimited free visits per year, plus exclusive “members only” benefits like previews of new exhibits, by-invitation parties and exclusive monthly newsletters or magazines.
- Some organizations’ memberships are reciprocal, which means families can use them at similar venues in other cities and states. For example, the Franklin Institute is part of the nationwide Association of Science Centers; therefore, members can parlay their pass to visit science centers 90 miles or more away.
- Members receive discounts at venue gift shops and restaurants as well as on classes, on-site kid birthday parties, special programs, workshops, lectures and summer or school day-off camps.
- For a small fee, many annual memberships allow the option of including two extra guests on the card, so grandparents or buddies can tag along.
- Memberships guarantee a year’s worth of free fun for budget-minded families.
- A venue membership lets family members share different passions and expand each other’s horizons.
Why you’ll love giving memberships
- Family memberships tend to be a bargain, especially given the frequency of use and number of people covered.
- Memberships are usually taxdeductible, resulting in even more savings for the giver.
- Investing in local not-for-profits keeps the venues financially stable, allows them to continue their mission of public education and helps their communities remain culturally vibrant.
- In many instances, membership dollars support the care and display of historically significant artifacts.
- Memberships are quick and easy to purchase. Most local organizations have membership information and downloadable applications on their websites. If you’d rather speak with a real person, dedicated membership representatives can set up the package via phone or on-site.
Sue Henninger is a freelance writer.