An ASTC Membership Card Cuts Vacation Costs

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exploreumThe Gulf Coast Exploreum, located in Mobile, Alabama, is a children’s museum with hands-on science experiments, an IMAX theater, a preschool play area, and traveling exhibits that change on a regular basis. It is only about 45 minutes from us and it is one of our favorite day trips.

The cost of a Standard Family Membership is $100 and includes free admission to all permanent exhibits, and discounts for many things like the gift shop, IMAX tickets, and birthday room rentals. With each visit to the Exploreum, we stand in line and debate purchasing the family membership. We probably could have purchased two family memberships by now with the number of times we have visited the Exploreum! Two months ago, I had the opportunity to purchase a family membership at 50% off through a local radio station. I jumped on the chance and am so glad that I did! The Gulf Coast Exploreum belongs to the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). By purchasing the membership to the Exploreum, I was purchasing membership to over 270 science and technology centers around the world!

exploreum-528Recently I traveled to Suffolk, Virginia for three weeks to visit my niece and nephew. My daughter and I played tourist and hit all the nearby museums while we were there. We were able to visit the Nauticus, the Virginia Air and Space Center and the Virginia Living Museum for free! When it was our turn to purchase tickets, I just showed my ASTC Passport and we were admitted for free! This saved us almost sixty five dollars!

A few things we have learned throughout the process:

  • Purchase your membership several weeks before you plan on traveling. We went to pick up our Exploreum membership but they do not issue the membership cards immediately. They mail them after the paperwork is processed. I had to have my husband mail the membership cards to me in Virginia after they arrived at our home in Pensacola.
  • The membership only covers permanent exhibits. While at the Nauticus, we wanted to see the Pirates! exhibit so we did have to pay for that separately.
  • Be sure to bring your driver’s license. I was asked by two of the museums to show it so they could verify my address.
  • Don’t forget to bring the membership card! You will not enjoy the benefit if you can’t provide the card!


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