It’s no secret that we’re big, big fans of our local children’s museum, the Terre Haute Children’s Museum.
Not only is the museum a great mid-week destination for preschools and parents who are with their caregivers during the day, but the Ropes Course has allowed the museum to “grow up” with upper elementary kids. (Click here to read our review and see pictures!)
But one of my very favorite reason for being a museum member is that your museum membership gets you free reciprocal access into hundreds of other museums all over the country and WORLD.
According to my count, our family has visited twenty different museums with our Terre Haute Children’s Museum pass!
For a full list of participating museums, see the ASTC passport program list on the ASTC Passport Program homepage.
Before you travel:
- Make sure the science center or museum you are visiting is not excluded.
- Review that science center or museum’s family admittance policy. Download the list of participating venues below and call before you visit to confirm your Passport Program benefits.
- Pack your ID (or other proof of residence). Admissions staff reserve the right to request proof of residence for benefits to apply. Science centers and museums requesting proof of residence are marked by (✓IDs).
- Pack your membership card. Participating venues are not required to grant benefits to visitors who forget their cards. There is no universal database with all Passport Program visitors’ member data and expiration dates for admission staff to reference. Some venues will allow you to call the science center or museum you joined to confirm your membership, but they are under no obligation to do so. Lost your card? Please contact the science center or museum which you joined. ASTC does not issue or administer membership cards.
When I mention the reciprocal program to Terre Haute locals, the first thing they often want to know is if the Indianapolis Children’s Museum is included. Sadly, no. The Indy museum is not part of the ASTC passport program, and there are certain geographical exclusions.
These situations are excluded:
- Science centers & museums located within 90 miles* of the science center or museum where you are a member.
- Science centers & museums located within 90 miles* of your residence.
*This distance is measured “as the crow flies”, meaning that it is based on the linear radius, not driving distance.
With that said, we have used our pass in several other Indiana cities (Muncie, for example), Illinois (Chicago), Ohio (COSI is a favorite!), Kentucky, Florida, Arizona, California, New York, Las Vegas, Canada, Michigan, Seattle, and Bermuda! Scroll down for pictures and ideas!
Field Museum in Chicago:
We have an entire post on our website with 7 reasons why families love visiting the Field Museum (for free)! The museum of Science and Industry is included in the ASTC Passport program too!
St. Louis Science Center:
This museum is free, but members get perks like free parking!
COSI in Columbus, Ohio:
COSI is the reason why we joined the Terre Haute Children’s Museum when our oldest daughter was just one month old.
Kentucky Science Center:
Read more in the review from the Louisville expert, Louisville Family Fun.
Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum:
For more details, check out this photo review from Ann Arbor with Kids (the Ann Arbor expert!).
Science City at Union Station in Kansas City
This museum is located in the heart of Union Station, and is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area! Highlights include the bike in the sky and the outdoor playground of simple machines!
US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama:
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) is a Smithsonian Affiliate and the Official Visitor Center for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. They have one of the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia on display anywhere in the world.
Ontario Science Center:
Fun with bubbles! Take a picture of your kiddo and see it “drawn” in bubbles! Do you see the resemblance to my toddler in this one?
Buffalo, New York:
Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana:
Children can explore nearby Yellowstone Park inside the museum!
Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute:
Much like the baby pictured below in 2011, the museum in Bermuda may have changed a bit since we visited. But it is still listed (as of March 2019) as a participant in the ASTC Passport Program.
Museum of Natural History in Las Vegas:
Museum of Flight near Seattle, Washington
Not pictured: our visits to Cincinnati, Mobius (in Spokane), San Diego, and other midwest pit stops that provided fun and exercise during our road trips!
For anyone who ever ventures outside of the city, this reciprocal program makes for wonderful and cheap travel fun.
If you like the idea of cheap travel entertainment, head on over to the Terre Haute Children’s Museum website for details and membership options!