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museum/zoo/etc memberships - what do you have?
Old 01-25-2008, 05:45 AM   #1
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museum/zoo/etc memberships - what do you have?

thinking of buying a few memberships - zoo, aquarium, birding, etc. Thinking its a way to get out of the house when i retire
what memberships do you have and do you use them? did you start them before ER?
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:42 AM   #2
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There are some zoo/museum memberships that allow reciprocity with other facilities around the country for free or reduced entry. When you are RE, if you expect to travel, this is a great way to get into some of the pricier and awesome facilities. Same with federal park passes.

We don't do this now, because we still w*rk and can't use them to their fullest, but will certainly take advantage of these deals when the time comes.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:03 AM   #3
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thinking of buying a few memberships - zoo, aquarium, birding, etc. Thinking its a way to get out of the house when i retire
what memberships do you have and do you use them? did you start them before ER?
I'm not retired yet either, and have no memberships. BUT - - back in the late 1970's, when my daughter was a baby and toddler, I was a stay-at-home mom and my husband was at sea a lot. We lived in San Diego. So, I bought a membership to the San Diego Zoo that allowed me to go to the zoo for free as often as I wished. I would put my daughter in the stroller, and we would spend all day wandering around that beautiful zoo, probably 4-5 days a week. It was wonderful exercise for me, and the animals (and plants!) were fascinating. If you live in San Diego, I would heartily recommend it! They even had one large cage you could go in that was full of hummingbirds, and they had a reptile museum, and my daughter's favorites were the penguins (in a glass pool, diving and playing) and the camels.

Once I retire, I will probably eventually buy memberships to those places that I end up going to a lot. Otherwise, it's usually cheaper to pay each time.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:02 AM   #4
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Membership to the state aquarium. ~$50 for a 1 year family pass. Gives free unlimited admission to approx 180 AZA member zoos and aquariums. Some zoos I think I just get a 50% discount.

I have 2 small kids who like the zoo, and it isn't far from home so we have been 3-4 times in the past year.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:31 AM   #5
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We have a membership to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston....a familly deal...have had it for years. Got admitted to the San Antonio Museum of Art last weekend for free as a reciprocity deal by just asking and showing our membership card.
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:07 AM   #6
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Best deal for old folks is the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass costs something like $20 each and gets you into ALL US National Parks free where fees are charged for LIFE. Also covers all occupants of a single vehicle. Must be 62 (if OP's signon is accurate he may have to wait a while) or older to purchase at any Park facility.
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:07 PM   #7
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I was a member of the Chicago Botanic Gardens, and the American Horticultural Society. I dropped the CBG membership because we seldom got up there, and besides the AHS membership gets me free or discounted admissions to botanic gardens and such nation wide.....including the CBG!
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:13 PM   #8
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I have membership to the Art Museum. I got it when I moved right into the city. It also helps that I now get senior rates.

Senior rates can be a huge help. I can ride buses almost for free.

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Old 01-25-2008, 06:30 PM   #9
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Membership at the art museum two blocks from my office. Every Thursday during lunch hour, they have a 30 minute lecture on one particular piece of art in the collection, which is held in the gallery in front of the work under discussion. It has broadened my horizons, drawing my attention to works that I otherwise might simply pass by. Well worth the money.

The young wife and I also have a subscription at the opera.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:40 PM   #10
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We have the National Parks Pass .
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:39 AM   #11
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many museums have a "free day" one day a week (or part of a day free)
great for FIRE-d people since it have every day off... check that at your local
museums
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:16 AM   #12
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Membership at the art museum two blocks from my office. Every Thursday during lunch hour, they have a 30 minute lecture on one particular piece of art in the collection, which is held in the gallery in front of the work under discussion. It has broadened my horizons, drawing my attention to works that I otherwise might simply pass by. Well worth the money.

The young wife and I also have a subscription at the opera.
OK, these memberships sound like the best ones mentioned so far, to me at least! I wish that all museums would have a great lecture series like that.

I am pretty sure I won't find that sort of thing in the small town where I plan to ER (but maybe I could research individual works on my own, as a poor substitute for the lectures).
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