For members only: Deals at local museums great for families

Sue Arrowsmith
·7 min read

With the cost of admission, parking, activities and food, a typical family outing can easily creep up into the $100s. An annual membership to a local museum or attraction may not seem attainable, but it might actually save you money in the long run.

Memberships provide free admission all year, and many also offer discounted summer camps and special events for members only. A few even include free or discounted admission to museums, zoos and parks in the U.S. and other continents. And many memberships are tax deductible.

Here are some local museums, attractions, parks and historic landmarks with great membership benefits:

Frost Science Museum

1101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

www.frostscience.org

Mirror Maze at Frost Science Museum
Mirror Maze at Frost Science Museum

Memberships: $109 Individual Plus (member + one free guest per visit); $189 Family (2 adults + up to 4 children 18 and under); $229 Family Plus (same as family + two free guests); Family Plus Premier (3 adults + up to 4 children 18 and under + two free guests).

Perks:

Free museum admission + one planetarium show per visit

Free or discounted admission to more than 360 partner science centers via the ASTC Passport Travel Program (exclusions apply, visit astc.org/passport)

First-look of new exhibitions during member previews

Second hour of parking free on every visit

Special evening hours and programming, including sleepovers at the museum

10% discount at Food@Science and the Science Store

20% discount on all laser evening shows

Discounts on classes and camps

Upcoming member events: Engineer This! and a special preview of SUE: The T. rex Experience special exhibition in May

Museum of Discovery and Science

401 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale

www.mods.org

Memberships: Teacher Individual $10; Teacher Family $100 (2 adults + up to 4 children 18 and under; $140 Manatee Family (2 adults + up to 4 children 18 and under); $240 Sea Turtle Membership (2 adults + up to 6 children); $340 Angelfish Family (4 adults + 6 children)

Students explore at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale.
Students explore at the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale.

Perks:

Free daily admission

Special movie screenings + free popcorn

20% discount on camps and birthday parties

Members-only breakfast programming

Discounts on Turtle Walks, Otter Encounters and Discovery After Dark, and more

Free or discounted admission to more than 360 partner science centers via the ASTC Passport Travel Program* (exclusions apply, visit astc.org/passport)

*ASTC Passport Travel Program benefits not applicable to a science center within 90 miles of where you have membership.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables

www.fairchildgarden.org

Chocolate pudding at the Chocolate Garden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables
Chocolate pudding at the Chocolate Garden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables

Memberships: $95 individual; $120 Dual (2 adults); $140 Family (2 adults + children 17 and under); $130 Grandparents (2 adults + grandchildren 17 and under)

Perks:

Free daily admission

Free admission to art exhibitions and other special events, including its annual three-day Chocolate Garden; Mango Festival and new Roar and Explore: Dinosaurs at Fairchild taking place from May – July

Member discount on select events, such as the Valentine’s Day concert Feb. 14

Discounted and priority registrations to classes and seminars

Free or discounted admission at 300 gardens throughout North America and the Cayman Islands through the American Horticultural Society’s Reciprocity Admissions Program (exclusion apply, visit https://ahsgardening.org/wp-content/pdfs/2019_RAP_Members.pdf)

Early admission to the garden

10% off at The Shop at Fairchild

Subscription to The Tropical Garden magazine

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami

www.vizcaya.org

Memberships: $35 student (must show proof of enrollment); $50 individual; $75 dual (can bring different guest each time with “unnamed guest” option); $100 family (2 adults and up to 4 children 17 and under)

A morning yoga class at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.
A morning yoga class at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

Perks:

Free admission to the Main House, gardens and special tours of the Vizcaya Village

Complimentary audio and guided tours

Discounted daily admission for guests

10% discount at the café and shop

Access to exclusive member events, such as yoga and meditation classes

Member discount on community programs and events, such as the Valentine’s Remix on Feb. 14 and Seersucker Social: A 1920s Game Night on March 25

Miami Beach Botanical Garden

200 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach

www.mbgarden.org

Memberships: $50 Individual; $75 Family

Miami Beach Botanical Garden
Miami Beach Botanical Garden

Perks:

Free daily admission

Special member pricing on garden events, such as the 15th Annual Taste of the Garden on Feb. 6 featuring fine wines, cocktails and bites from local restaurants. Proceeds benefit the garden’s cultural arts programs.

10% discount at the Botanical Boutique and Garden Center

Free or discounted admission at more than 300 gardens throughout North America and the Cayman Islands through the American Horticultural Society’s Reciprocal Admissions Program (exclusions apply, visit https://ahsgardening.org/gardening-programs/rap/)

Subscription to Edible South Florida magazine

Native wildflower seed packet

Zoo Miami

12400 SW 152nd St., Miami

www.zoomiami.org

Feeding the giraffes at Zoo Miami
Feeding the giraffes at Zoo Miami

Memberships: $69 Individual (ages 18 – 64); $89 Dual (2 adults, or 1 adult + 1 child, or 1 adult + unnamed guest); $169 Family (2 adults + up to 4 children ages 3 – 17 living in same household); $64 Senior Individual; (65+); $84 Senior Dual (2 adults or 1 adult + 1 child)

Upgrade ticket option: You may present tickets purchased within 14 days and amount paid will be subtracted from annual membership cost.

Perks:

Free daily admission (excluding special events)

Six “Buddy Passes” per visit, valid for $4 off admission for guests accompanying member

20% off education programs, such as Wild Nights and Zoo Camp

10% off food and beverage at select concession

10% off at gift shop

Free or discounted admission to more than 140 zoos, aquariums and wildlife centers in the U.S. and Canada, plus discounted admission at Butterfly World, Everglades Safari Park, Gold Coast Railroad Museum, and Jungle Island Miami as part of the Members Reciprocal agreement. View the complete list at: https://assets.speakcdn.com/assets/2440/2019_reciprocal_list_9172019.pdf.

Deering Estate

16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami

www.deeringestate.org

Memberships: $50 Individual; $75 Dual (2 adults in the same household); $105 Family (2 adults + up to 4 children); $15 Student (ages 18 – 26)

The Deering Estate, the 1920s-era Miami estate of Charles Deering, the Chicago industrialist.
The Deering Estate, the 1920s-era Miami estate of Charles Deering, the Chicago industrialist.

Perks:

Free daily admission

Discounted admission to special events, such as the Moonlight & Music Valentine’s Day concert Friday, Feb. 14.

Free admission to select events, including the annual Deering Seafood Festival on the Bay on March 29, the Vintage Auto Show in November, and Moonrise Viewings throughout the year.

Members-only cocktail reception May 7.

Free access to specialty tours, such as Bird Walks, Butterfly Walks and Night Hike & Campfires

25% discount on Personal Portrait and Scenic Photography

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

1 East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

www.nsuartmuseum.org

Memberships: $80 Individual; $160 Family (2 adults + children ages 13 – 17 in the same household)

Takashi Murakami’s ‘Open Your Hands Wide, Embrace Happiness!’ From the NSU Museum of Art exhibition ‘Happy,’ through July 5, 2020.
Takashi Murakami’s ‘Open Your Hands Wide, Embrace Happiness!’ From the NSU Museum of Art exhibition ‘Happy,’ through July 5, 2020.

Perks:

Free daily admission

Two complimentary museum guest passes

Invitations to members-only opening receptions

Free or discounted admission to museum programs

10% discount at the Museum Store and Café

Free or discounted admission to more than 1,000 museums and cultural institutions across the United States, Canada, Bermuda, El Salvador and Mexico through the North American Reciprocal Museum Association. View a complete list of participating museums at https://narmassociation.org/.

Pérez Art Museum Miami

1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

www.pamm.org

Memberships: $65 Individual; $90 Dual/Family (2 adults + up to 4 children living in the same household + 1 guest pass)

Pérez Art Museum Miami
Pérez Art Museum Miami

Perks:

Free daily admission

Invitations to member-only events, including Fourth of July celebration, breakfast and conversation with PAMM curators and Member Appreciation Weekend

10% discount at PAMM Shop, Verde restaurant and Cucuyó Café

Discounted parking

Free or discounted admission to more than 1,000 museums and cultural institutions across the United States, Canada, Bermuda, El Salvador and Mexico through the North American Reciprocal Museum Association. View a complete list of participating museums at https://narmassociation.org/.

Miami Children’s Museum

980 MacArthur Causeway, Miami

www.miamichildrensmuseum.org

Memberships: $125 Grandparents (2 grandparents + up to 6 children in the same household); $150 Family (2 adults + up to four children in the same household); $175 Family Plus (same as Family + one guest per visit)

A child plays at the Carnival Cruise Upper Deck Exhibit at the Miami Children’s Museum.
A child plays at the Carnival Cruise Upper Deck Exhibit at the Miami Children’s Museum.

Perks:

Free daily admission

Monthly member events and previews

Discounted tickets to special events

Two complimentary one-day guest passes

10% discount at the gift shop

10% discount on classes, camps and birthday parties

25% discount on MiChiMu rock wall passes

50% off admission for up to six at more than 200 children’s museums in the U.S. and Canada through the Association of Children’s Museums (visit www.childrensmuseums.org)

Jungle Island

1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami

www.jungleisland.com

Marine animal trainer, Allison Collins, 46, takes in the view as she waits for the start of a yoga workout at Jungle Island.
Marine animal trainer, Allison Collins, 46, takes in the view as she waits for the start of a yoga workout at Jungle Island.

Annual Pass: “Buy 1 Day, Get the Rest of The Year for FREE.” By purchasing regular park admission, guests will be automatically upgraded to a 2020 Annual Pass, which is valid through Dec. 31, 2020. Admission cost is $49.95 for ages 10 and up; $35.95 for ages 3 - 10.

Perks:

Free admission through Dec. 31, 2020

Access to more than 350 rare animals and birds, and educational exhibits

Two entertaining animal shows: Wing Wonders and Wild Adventures

Australian red kangaroos in the Kangaroo Walkabout

Variety of farm animals at the petting farm

New thematic playground for kids