Why you need a Carnegie Science Center Membership...

It's that time of year, summer is over...  Well almost.  I say almost because I'm watching the waves on the Atlantic Ocean over my laptop as I write, so I'm extending summer by just a bit with a vacation to the shore.  For most, the kids have just completed their first day or week of school, so it's official, summer is over for you.  If summer is over, that means that colder temperatures are on the way, which translates into less trips to the park, pool, and backyard to play.  But play doesn't have to end with the end of summer.  In fact, you can play all fall, winter, and spring long indoors at the Carnegie Science Center.  Yes, this is a shameless plug, but when you are bored this winter, don't complain to me!

A membership package at the Carnegie Science Center costs $75 ($50 if you are 65+) for an individual membership, $100 for a dual membership (two adults or one adult plus one child), $150 for a family membership (two adults, four kids and one caregiver) to $250 for a premium membership (two adults, eight guests - adults or children - and one caregiver).  The different tiers of membership all have certain general membership benefits such as, unlimited general admission to the Carnegie Science Center for a year, free admission to the other three Carnegie Museums (Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, The Andy Warhol Museum), free general admission to more than 300 other science centers across the country.  Beyond general admission to over 300 amazing museums, you also get invitations to members-only events, a subscription to Carnegie magazine, discounts on purchases at museum stores, tickets to special events, IMAX films, laser shows, and lectures, and on classes and camps for kids!  Whew.  Oh yeah, and you save $2 on parking each time you go to the Carnegie Science Center.  That's a lot of benefits for a Carnegie Science Center membership!! 

To put it into dollars and cents, if you are a family of five, two parents and three children, twelve, five, and two years old.  It would cost you $59.80 to attend the Carnegie Science Center one time ($17.95 for each adult and $11.95 for your twelve and five year old and your two year old would be free).  If you use your membership 2.5 times, you would break even.  A trip to the Carnegie Science Center three times a year, and you are making out!  That doesn't even include trips to any other Carnegie Museums, a trip to a science center in a new town on a family vacation, and the discounts that you get to the newest IMAX movies, summer camp for your twelve year old, and laser light shows!!  In addition to all the good discounts and free admissions available with a year long membership, you are also able to deduct some portion of the membership on your taxes.  For the individual, dual and family memberships, all but $12 is deductible, and for the premium membership, all but $42 is deductible.  Awesome!!  

Not sure you would go three times to make it worth it?  That's a valid concern, but that's really on you.  You just have to get out the door and go!  On our family membership this year, we have gone to the Carnegie Science Center twice as a family (two adults and one paying child), twice with friends (two adults and two paying child), and once just mom and the kids (one adult and one paying child) and our membership year is only half over!  If you tally up all the costs involved, we have certainly made good use of our membership, and I haven't even made it to another Carnegie Museum yet this year.  Maybe this fall or winter with the kids!  :)
In short, if you are bored this fall or winter, and you are looking for a fun place to get out of the elements, the Carnegie Science Center is one possible solution to your problem.  If you aren't sure if you want a membership, just go for the day.  At the end of the day, if you decide you want to purchase a membership, you can apply the cost of your admission for the day toward your membership and just pay the balance.  Not sure you understand??  Say for your family of five in my earlier example...  They attend for one day, and pay the $59.80 at the door.   At the end of their day, they are so geeked by all the fun exhibits that they visited, but they didn't get to see everything, so they want to go again.  Mom says, let's get a membership, and they apply their $59.80 toward it, and the family membership costs only $90.20 for the rest of the year.  AND on their next trip back to see the rest of the exhibits that they missed, each child can bring a friend.  How cool is that?!  And when tax time comes, mom and dad are writing off $138 as a donation.  Neat!

So now, when boredom hits, you know what to do!! 


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