Two years ago we moved to the Huntsville area, and one of the first things we did was purchase a membership U.S. Space and Rocket Center membership. I wasn’t sure how often we’d use it, but since one of my twins’ loves space-related subject matter, it was a no-brainer for us to join. What I didn’t realize was the incredible value this membership provides, and how its paid for itself multiple times.
A Membership That Pays For Itself 10x Over
As a U.S. Space and Rocket Center member you can take advantage of the Association of Science – Technology Centers (ASTC) Passport Program museums and the Smithsonian Affiliation (SA) museums, both of which are located across the globe. Locally, we’ve visited four museums that fall into the ASTC program – the Anniston Natural History Museum and the Berman Museum, the McWane Science Center in Birmingham, the Adventure Science Center in Nashville and the USSRC.
Combined we’ve visited all of these museums 17 times, which if we’d paid general admission each time would have cost us $1,208, but because we’re USSRC members (we have the Mars-level membership, $165), we got into all these museums for FREE. That’s a savings of $1,043!
Even if you visit the USSRC just twice in a year, it’s already paid for itself. PLUS, that doesn’t count all the fun, cool places you can visit regionally, nationally and globally, and the member-exclusive events. Earlier this year, my kids met Pete the Cat and his owner (author James Dean) because we’re USSRC members, and it was free!
The ASTC Travel Passport Program
Here’s the breakdown of four regional ASTC museums below. There are several more in Alabama and neighboring states, but I just included the ones within about a 90-minute drive. The links take you to our reviews of these attractions.
- U.S. Space and Rocket Center general admission: $25/adult and $17/kids
- Anniston Natural History Museum (plus the Berman Western Museum) general admission: $12/adults and $8/kids
- McWane Science Center general admission: $15/adult and $12/kids
- Adventure Science Center general admission: $15.95/adult and $11.95/kids
Note: Be aware that the ages for kid tickets varies, so check each individual museum for prices if you’re considering paying general admission.
If a family with two adults and two kids were to visit each of these museums once, it would cost $233.80. But because we have the $165 Mars membership level, we’ve saved more than $68 visiting regional museums, and this includes only going to these places ONCE. We’ve explored the McWane Science Center four times in the past year, Adventure Science Center twice, Anniston Natural History Museum once and the USSRC at least 10 times.
These museums often switch out their exhibits seasonally so there’s something new year-round. If you’ve ever considered a USSRC membership, or one to another museum in the ASTC program, now’s a great time to make the commitment. The museums are air conditioned, offer excellent summer activities for kids, and you can visit any of the more than 200 museums on the ASTC passport program list anytime the kids are on break from school.
You Might Also Like…
Laura Barnard lives in Madison and is mom to a hilarious set of twins. When she's not sitting in car line or waiting for the bus, she's the owner of Sweet Tea Communications, a public relations, graphic design and website design company. Her family loves exploring, traveling, sports, music, and their family dog.