Reciprocal Network Benefits

Welcome families!

reciprocal network sticker

Did you know by supporting your local children’s museum by purchasing a membership of at least $125 in value with ACM Reciprocal Network benefits, you get 50% off general admission for up to six (6) people at museums participating in the network?

About the ACM Reciprocal Network

The ACM Reciprocal Network is a voluntary group of ACM member museums open across the U.S. and Canada that reciprocate discounted admission to one another’s members that hold memberships of at least $125 in value.

200 museums participate in the network and reciprocate 50% off general admission for up to six (6) people. Card holder must be present.

Note: The list of museums participating in the network may change, so please call the museum you plan to visit ahead of time and to verify their participation in the ACM Reciprocal Network.

rbuttonOn ACM’s Find a Children’s Museum online search pages, you will see that some museums have a red R button on the same parallel line as their name listing—this symbol indicates that the institution participates in the ACM Reciprocal Network.

Museums without the red R symbol on the same parallel line as their name listing means that families who visit that institution will be asked to pay full daily admission or purchase a museum membership.

If your family would like to purchase a museum membership with ACM Reciprocal Network benefits, call or visit your hometown children's museum. In addition to ACM Reciprocal Network benefits, joining your local children’s museum may offer many other benefits such as:

  • Unlimited admission for the entire family to the museum all year
  • Invitations to members’ events, exhibit openings, and special events
  • Discounts on education programs, activities, and field trips
  • Discounts at the museum store
  • Free or reduced parking
  • Free subscriptions to the museum newsletter and more

Admissions Policies

Families must present a valid Membership Card with ACM Reciprocal Network benefits (indicated by the program logo) to receive discounted admission at museums participating in the ACM Reciprocal Network. Participants in the network are subject to change. Please call ahead to verify reciprocal admission.

Please Keep in Mind:

  • Museums participating in the Reciprocal Network offer 50% off general admission for up to six (6) people. Additional visitors in your group will be asked to pay full admission.
  • The membership cardholder must be one of the six (6) people. ID may be required.
  • Reciprocal admission privileges do extend to special exhibits.
  • Reciprocal privileges do not extend to discounts for gift shop or café purchases, parking, museum special events, programs, summer camps or birthday parties.

A valid Family Membership Card with ACM Reciprocal Network benefits should include:

  • The ACM Reciprocal Membership logo in color.
  • An expiration date on the card that has not passed.
  • The name of at least one adult on premium family membership card.

Questions about your Family Museum Membership?

Please call the membership department of the museum where you purchased your family membership.

ACM as Program Administrator

As administrator of the program, ACM staff works with the ACM Board of Directors to develop and disseminate program policies, keeps the record of participating museums and monitors their compliance with program policies. ACM serves families that want to visit participating museums and/or purchase a membership with Reciprocal benefits by making every attempt to keep the list of participating museums current.

  • ACM does not sell family memberships with Reciprocal benefits to any of its children's museums.
  • ACM does not issue membership or admission refunds to individuals or families.
  • ACM does not collect any portion of the daily museum admission fees nor any portion of a premium family museum membership with ACM Reciprocal Network benefits.

Now: Uniform Reciprocal Benefits—No Local Restrictions

Effective April 1, 2013, the Reciprocal Network admission benefit is 50% off general admission for up to six (6) people, with no local restrictions.

Prior to April 1, 2013, there were numerous museums with admission restrictions and some of these restrictions were quite complicated. In an effort to simplify the program for both families and museum staff, ACM undertook an extensive review of the program.

When the ACM Reciprocal Program launched twenty years ago, it was intended to provide families loyal to their local children’s museum with the extra benefit of free admission to an affiliated children’s museum when traveling on vacation or visiting an out of town relative. The idea was simple, affiliated museums would reciprocate an admission benefit for their most loyal members.

As the number of children’s museums continues to grow, so grows the number of museums participating in the Reciprocal program. Today there are almost 200 museums participating in the program, many within close geographical proximity to one another. Since all museums that participate in the Program are nonprofit organizations and depend on the support of the public to continue their missions of providing safe places for children to learn through play in spaces designed solely for them and their families, the program in its current form has become unsustainable for many.

After careful consideration, ACM and its Board of Directors concluded a need to restore the program to its founding spirit: affliated museums will reciprocate an admission benefit for their most loyal members. However, the admission benefit would evolve from a 100 percent discount to a 50 percent discount. The program policy change is intended to restore equity in the program both now and as more museums join the program. The new policies eliminate local restrictions and create one admission policy at every museum participating in the program.