Friends, lets talk about my FAVORITE x 1,000 kid-related word (besides “phase”…ha!). The R-Word. RECIPROCITY. R-E-C-I-P-R-O-C-I-T-Y. Reciprocity.
What is this magic thing, you ask? Well, if you have a membership/season pass to many of our fine KC kid-related institutions, you probably already have access to this fine benefit.
Reciprocity is when institutions (zoos, science museums, children’s museums, arboretums, etc) form a network. If you have membership at one within the network, then you get FREEEEEEEE access to any of the others in that same network! Each kind of institution has its own network, so you might belong to one or more.
Have a SCIENCE CITY/UNION STATION membership? Use it at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. We JUST used this over spring break, and we saved $70 for our family of four (2 adults, 2 kids). The whole membership only costs $95, so it was a DEAL.
Have a KC ZOO pass? Planning your summer vacation? You can get in HALF-PRICE at the world-class zoo in Omaha! (Save $38 for a family of 4…admission is $38 instead of $76).
What about WONDERSCOPE? Check out the DELIGHTFUL museum in Topeka’s Gage Park (where you can also get half priced admission with your zoo pass at the Topeka Zoo next door). If you have a $150 membership level or higher, you get in free there too!
Overland Park ARBORETUM members? (If you’re not, you should be! We LOOOVE the hikes, train display, and nature playgrounds, and it’s very affordable). Visit the excellent Missouri Botanical Gardens this summer!
Are you planning a bigger trip this summer? Check the museums in the city/state you’re headed to, or consider a leg-stretch at a location along your road trip route! No offense, McDonalds, but running around an amazing science center for a hour ABSOLUTELY beats your PlayPlace. (Sorry-not-sorry).
Don’t have a pass, but planning a trip? Check what your ticket prices would be at any of the museums/zoos you’re planning on hitting up. Are they within the reciprocal network? Does the cost offset the price of the KC-based pass? We actually bought the Union Station/Science City pass this year because we knew we were visiting Chicago and San Francisco within the calendar year. The pass gets us well over $100 worth of admissions (just for the two days of visits to the museums we’re planning to visit in those cities) PLUS we get access to all the great stuff here in KC!
Here are some of our favorite FREE/reduced price places within a few hours of KC (and PLEASE drop your favorites in the comments if we missed some...which I know we did!):
SCIENCE CITY/UNION STATION ($95 for family of 4) gets you into: The List: https://www.astc.org/members/pdf/PassPub05_14.pdf
WONDERSCOPE (must be the $150+ pass level to gain access to the ACM reciprocity program) The List: http://childrensmuseums.org/images/Reciprocal_Brochure_3419.pdf
The OP ARBORETUM ($50 or $75, depending on age of your kids) gives you free access to: The List: https://www.ahsgardening.org/uploads/pdfs/2019_RAP_Members.pdf
TIPS on USING RECIPROCITY: