Tips to Save Money and Have Fun at Museums

You have over-extended the budget on holiday presents and now you need to be more frugal. What’s a parent to do? Below are suggestions that can help guide you.

Free Days

Start the year by searching the websites of your favorite attractions to find out when their free or discounted days are. The Children’s Museum offers five free days every year. The 2024 free days tentatively include: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15), Presidents Day (Feb. 19), Juneteenth Jamboree (June 1), Fiesta de la Familia (Sept. 15) and Christmas Eve (Dec. 24). Other museums might also offer free days throughout the year. Call ahead to find out when those might be and to confirm dates, which sometimes change.



On the first Thursday of each month, explore five floors of fun at the world’s largest children’s museum with a deeply discounted rate of just $6 per person from 4-8 p.m. Some museums and attractions offer special foster family programs and/or military discounts, as well as senior discounts. Check their websites to find out which ones offer what.


Call ahead to see if there are any special seasonal packages. Attractions often partner with other attractions, hotels or restaurants to give families a discount if they plan ahead. For example, Indy Attractions offers eight attractions at one low price. Choose from a one-day or three-day pass and save up to 50% off buying individual admissions.

Access Pass

Those who receive state assistance can access a wide variety of museums across the state of Indiana at a steep discount, thanks to the Access Pass. Families that meet the requirements can visit all participating locations for just $2 per family member. That’s good for up to two adults and dependent youth living in the household. Visit to learn more about the qualifications and participating museums.


Memberships almost always offer special perks or bonuses. Check your favorite museum to see how much a membership costs. Oftentimes, two visits a year pay for the membership. Some museums and attractions offer member discounts in their store or restaurant. Some send member e-newsletters with behind-the-scenes information or have museum magazines that are sent only to members. Some provide member-only events, early admission or stay late dates. Another perk of membership is freedom to explore when the time is right for you — visitors don’t feel pressured to see the whole place in one visit. Families can return as many times as they desire without paying extra. That comes in handy for those who don’t have a lot of time but want to treat the kiddos to something fun they can do together. Children’s Museum members get unlimited visits to five floors of fun indoors and 12 sports outdoors. They are also eligible for:

  • Member previews: a sneak peek of new exhibits before the public
  • Member Morning Weekends: an hour of early access to the museum before it opens (first combined Saturday and Sunday of the month)
  • Insider news including Extra! magazine and member emails
  • Free carousel rides
  • 20% discount on family programs
  • 10% discount on general guest admission tickets
  • 10% discount on Haunted House tickets
  • 10% discount in The Museum Store (on-site and online)

Other Tips

Don’t forget to ask each destination if they have a concierge, sensory maps, nursing or private/quiet rooms, on-site restaurants, or whether you are able to bring your own food. Ask if there are any “up-charges” for special exhibits or if you have to pay extra for rides. Inquire about the cost of parking (free at The Children’s Museum).

By doing a little bit of homework, parents and caregivers can save a lot of time and money!

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