25 January, 2010

Collecting memberships

One of the features of the socialist bastion of big government (I'm kidding) that is the United Kingdom is that many of our museums and most of the good ones are free to enter. And this makes popping in on a Sunday afternoon for an hour or two a realistic proposition. I used to drop into the National Gallery for half an hour or so if I was early for a film, or meeting a friend (I'm always early). And I even used the British Museum as a short cut from Holborn to UCL, via the Great Court with a quick detour to the Assyrian lions.

Here in the USA, the major museums are not free. I'm guessing the minor ones aren't either. As we're living here but still in tourist mode, we are visiting them regularly but this can get expensive. The Exploratorium (hands-on science museum loved by kids) works out at 50 dollars a visit for our family of four. The SF Museum of Modern Art would be at least 30 dollars. But not any more. SFMoma have introduced a club for the kids called the Mods which gives them free access and also for the adult accompanying them. And membership of the club itself is also free. I put this down to the fact that the Director of Education used to work at Tate Modern and is bringing some of the British approach to town. Whatever, it works for us.

The Exploratorium charges for membership - 90 dollars for a family membership but that will definitely save us money in the long run and if this rain keeps going, will probably save us by the end of the month.


Garden Girl said...

We went to the Exploratorium when we visited SF. It was such a huge fit that when it was time to go our eldest (who was 3 at the time) just lay on the floor and refused to move! I think he would have moved in if he could have.

We were lucky and happened to be there on the 1st Wed of the month, which was a freebie day! You could try and limit your visits to those days? Not much help if they're in school, I guess, but perhaps after school since they get out pretty early? This also depends on how long it takes to get from your house to the Exp.

mountainear said...

Re your short cut through the BM - we've stayed in Bloomsbury many times and it is wonderful just to drop in and be familiar with such wonderful stuff.