The recent partial federal government shutdown was the longest in U.S. history, with 800,000 federal employees furloughed or working without pay. Many ACM members around the country offered discounted and free admission to families affected by the shutdown. This list has been updated as of 11:00 a.m. EST on February 1, 2019.
Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito, CA) – more info here. Says the museum, “We recognize that many furloughed employees are still impacted by the shutdown as they wait for back pay, and so are continuing to offer free admission.”
Museum of Discovery and Science (Fort Lauderdale, FL) – from the museum: “The Museum of Discovery and Science will offer free admission to furloughed federal workers for the duration of the shutdown. Government employees must present a valid government I.D. at the box office. Admission is good for a total of 2 family members. Admission is for exhibits only.”
Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum (Peoria, IL) – from the museum: “The Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum and the Owens Recreation Center invite Federal Employees impacted by the budget shutdown, along with members of their immediate families, to visit the museum and ice rink without paid admission for the duration of the government shutdown.” Said Director Rebecca Shulman Herz, “We recognize that many families in Peoria are impacted by the Federal Government shut down. We are pleased to offer opportunities for free family fun and learning during this difficult time.”
Coastal Children’s Museum (Rockland, ME) – from the museum: “All federal employees and their immediate families are welcome to explore the Museum and leave their stress and worry behind, if only for a few fun-filled hours. A current government ID is all that is required at the front desk for free admission.”
The Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River (Fall River, MA)
Long Island Children’s Museum (Garden City, NY) – through January 31, more info here. Said President Suzanne LeBlanc, “Long Island Children’s Museum is designed to be a place of respite where adults and children can escape everyday concerns, as they learn and play together. We know that many families in our community are facing financial hardships as paychecks are missed, and are grappling with childcare issues. We want to support these families and show our appreciation for the important work that they do for all of us.”
Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum (Poughkeepsie, NY) has been hosting “Pizza and Play” events for furloughed workers. Said Executive Director Lara Litchfield-Kimber, “When we first conceived the idea of hosting our Pizza and Play nights for furloughed workers, we wanted to provide an evening of normalcy for those federal employees impacted by the partial government shutdown.” More info here.
Discovery Place Kids – Huntersville (Huntersville, NC), Discovery Place Kids – Rockingham (Rockingham, NC), Discovery Place Nature (Charlotte, NC), and Discovery Place Science (Charlotte, NC) – more info here.
Portland Children’s Museum (Portland, OR) – through January 31, more info here. Said Executive Director Ruth Shelly, “The partial government shutdown has put an exceptional strain on families with young children. We at Portland Children’s Museum would like to offer a little respite from that stress by offering a free opportunity to come play and learn together.”
Children’s Museum of Brownsville (Brownsville, TX) – more info here. Said Executive Director Felipe Peña III, “We understand that there has been a lot of uncertainty for a lot of these families as of late. Because of that, we’re extending this offer to all affected federal employees in hope that perhaps a day spent with family at the museum can provide at least a little ease and peace of mind.”
Thinkery (Austin, TX) – more info here. Said Thinkery CEO Patricia Young Brown, “Maintaining affordable access for everyone is a top priority for Thinkery. We know the shutdown is putting a financial and emotional strain on workers and their families all over Central Texas. We hope that opening our doors to them until the shutdown ends creates an opportunity for those families to set aside those worries for a while and spend time playing and learning together.”
Creative Discovery Museum (Chattanooga, TN) – more info here. Said Executive Director Henry Schulson, “Creative Discovery Museum is committed to being accessible to all children and families. When situations arise that are difficult for families in our community, we do what we can to support them during that time.”
Children’s Museum of Richmond – including all locations: Children’s Museum Downtown (Richmond, VA), Children’s Museum Short Pump (Richmond, VA), Children’s Museum Chesterfield (Midlothian, VA), and Children’s Museum Fredericksburg (Fredricksburg, VA), more info here.
Spark! Imagination and Science Center (Morgantown, WV) – from the museum: “The free admission offer is good for up to four people per federal employee from Friday, January 25, until the end of the partial government shutdown. Any federal employee currently not being paid because of the government shutdown (both furloughed, and those required to work without a paycheck) are eligible for this discount. To take advantage of this offer, guests must provide any form of federal employee ID.”
Madison Children’s Museum (Madison, WI) – $1 admission, more info here. Said President and CEO Deb Gilpin, “We want to do our part to make the museum accessible to these families during a stressful time. We know we can be a haven for families. If parents are now home with the kids unexpectedly and money is tight, we hope this helps them get out of the house to enjoy a day at the museum.”
Jackson Hole Children’s Museum (Jackson, WY)
Children’s museums have a long history of stepping up to support their communities in times of need. For families dealing with the stress of the shutdown, they offer a retreat for playful learning.
If we have missed your museum in our roundup in error, please do not hesitate to get in touch! And if you’re a federal employee looking to visit one of these museums, please call the museum ahead of time for more complete information.