The ASTC Passport Program literally lets you pay once, then get in hundreds of science centers or museums for free.
Sound too good to be true? It's legit--really. We love this program so much we've been taking advantage of it for the last 12 years.
Here's how it works: Buy a membership at a science center, preferably one near your home so you can visit it several times throughout the year.
This gives you free admission for one year, not only to that museum, but also to 350 science centers and museums around the world.
You can use your passport to save SERIOUS money on family vacations, getaways, and educational field trips for homeschoolers.
For example, I buy a family membership at the Science Museum of Virginia which is located in Richmond. Cost: $130 which includes four free IMAX tickets and four guest tickets (worth well over $125). We visit the museum at no charge a few times a year.
PLUS, we use our membership to visit seven other science museums (here or in other states...California, Florida, New York, you name it) this year for free.
We took a cruise to visit Bermuda one summer, and guess what? Our ASTC Passport Program card got us into a museum (the Bermuda Aquarium) for free there too!
I'm talking about getting into museums for free in all 50 states, as well as countries like Canada, Singapore, the Phillipines, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Mexico...even places like Egypt and the Czech Republic.
Over the course of a year, we could easily save $300 or more by taking advantage of the program. The more museums you visit, and the more times you go, the more you save.
Here are the ASTC Passport Program Museums in Virginia:
Virginia Air & Space Museum - Hampton
Virginia Living Museum - Newport News
Science Museum of Virginia - Richmond
Virginia Aviation Museum - Richmond
Virginia Discovery Museum - Charlottesville
Danville Science Center - Danville
Virginia Museum of Natural History - Martinsville
Science Museum of Western Virginia - Roanoke
Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum - Winchester
To find a participating museum near you, click here.
TIP! To get the best bang for your buck, make sure you buy your membership at a participating museum near where you live. If there are several such museums within a reasonable drive, choose the one with the lowest membership fee.
For example, when we lived in Michigan, we really loved the fantastic science museum in Toledo, whereas the science museum in Detroit was only so-so. But the Toledo museum had a higher membership fee, so we bought our membership at the Detroit museum instead.
Looking for more ways to save money on a Virginia vacation? Check out these pages:
ASTC is not the only passport program that lets you buy a membership at one museum and get in others for free. The ACM Reciprocal Program is a similar program for children's museums that lets you get in more than 200 kids museums for free nationwide.
I have the details on the ACM Reciprocal Program here.
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