Alternate Title: How to Get Bounced from a Museum in Under 5 Minutes
Going to a museum with my children is never a boring experience. Occasionally an exhibit may be uninteresting, but my children rarely are. Unfortunately the docents usually do not appreciate my kids' attempt to liven things up.
Just a few of the things my children have done on museum visits over the years:
While I was distracted paying the entrance fee, my children imitated Curious George and tried to climb on the dinosaur exhibit at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. In case you are wondering: yes, there are alarms. And Curious George and the Dinosaur was immediately added to the list of banned books at our house.
No dinosaur was injured on this day. The Los Angeles Museum of Natural History has wisely added an interactive room where you can build a dinosaur. I'd like to think they learned something from their experience with my older children. 🙂
When my oldest son saw his first Rembrandt at the Norton Simon Museum, he shouted excitedly from across the room, “Look Mom, a frilled human”.
At the Point Vicente Interpretive Center's exhibit on Grey Whales my kids started quoting Moby Dick: “What do you do when you see a Whale?”…”You sing out for it”…”What is it you do next?”…”Lower away and after him”…”What tune do ye sing when ye pulling?” …”A dead whale or a stove boat”.
Yeah, we know how to make friends.
And just as my kids could not resist imitating the Degas Sculptures at the Norton Simon, they were not able to resist reenacting the saber-tooth cat attacking the ground sloth at the Page Museum at La Brea Tar Pits:
Since I never know what my children will think of next or how forgiving the museum staff will be, I never know how long our museum visit will last. So it is imperative that I save money on museum entrance fees.
How to Save Money on Museum Entrance Fees:
Go on a Free to the Public Day. Most museums offer one day of the month or a couple days throughout the year when they are free to the public. Visit the museum's website or give them a call and ask when they are offering free admittance.
Buy a membership We buy a family membership to all of our favorite museums. Usually a family membership is equal to the the price of 2 or 3 visits, so if it is a museum we visit frequently it is much more cost effective. It also provides you with an opportunity to do your Schwarzenegger impression and say, “I'll be back” as you are being bounced from a museum.
Purchase a bundle. In some cities, you can buy a bundle that will provide admittance to several different museums for a discounted price over a 1 – 2 week period.
Use Groupon. Occasionally Groupon offers deals on museum entrance fees or memberships. I bought a family membership that was good for several local museums for half price, which was the equivalent of the entrance fees to one of the museums. You can ask for Groupon to send you deals on cities that you are planning on visiting in the future as well as local deals. And you can change your preferences for notifications whenever you wish.
Book a group tour. Usually museums offer a discount if you book a group tour. Visit the museum's web site to see their minimum requirements for a group discount. This has the added the advantage that there is the possibility that your friend's kids will behave worse than yours.
How do you save on museum visits?