By Chelsea Lamp

Our family loves Sioux Falls for the numerous family opportunities and experiences. We use our memberships in town more than once a week, especially in the summer.

My favorite part of belonging to museums and zoos is traveling to different communities to utilize the reciprocity benefits. We often plan our family vacations to places such as Chicago, which offers multiple locations to use our memberships. We navigate our routes to our final destinations through communities with sites we can visit.

Local Memberships Go Far

Purchasing memberships from local locations that are a part of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) or Association of Children’s Museums gets you great reciprocity benefits. Some museums and zoos give you free admission with your membership, and others have a 50% discount rate. There are hundreds of museums, zoos and aquariums in these various associations, which provide multiple options for free or discounted travel adventures. A quick visit to the museum or zoo’s website gives an excellent overview of what you can expect. We like to look at these websites with our children to allow them to decide where they want to go. I always recommend calling ahead of time for guidance regarding cost, the number of available passes, and if a ticket purchase is required.

Support Local and Enjoy More

The best part is this program allows you to enjoy and support our local facilities regularly, like the Great Plains Zoo/Butterfly House & Aquarium and the Washington Pavilion, while saving money while traveling and on vacation to experience new places.

Our family’s favorite destinations:

-Sioux City: LaunchPAD Children’s Museum

-Omaha: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

-Minneapolis: The Bakker Museum

-Chicago: The Adler Planetarium Visit, and to find the reciprocity options for your upcoming family adventure.