Reciprocal admissions programs

Did you know that purchasing an annual membership at one facility might earn you free admission at hundreds of others? Below is a list of Reciprocal Admissions Programs that Botanical Gardens, National Parks, Zoos, Aquariums, and Museums all over the country (or continent!) participate in. Guidelines and discounts vary by program.

“Local Members” are located within the metropolitan Huntsville, Alabama region. “Regional Members” are located within approximately two hours of Huntsville, with select additional institutions within 5-6 hours listed, as shown by the driving distance outlines on the map here.  While annual membership costs vary by facility, purchasing a membership at your local institution keeps money in your community, and goes towards the maintenance and operations of these wonderful assets. Many institutions also check ID’s upon entrance to verify your address and discount eligibility.

 

 

Botanical Gardens


 

Federal Lands, Parks, Monuments, Historic Sites


DETAILS
  • National Park and Federal Recreational Land Pass
  • 2000+ Federal Recreation Sites
  • Free Admission covers Day Use (entry) Fees for up to 4 adults and unlimited children. Camping & Activities extra.
  • Current military members and dependents eligible for free pass. Seniors (> age 62) may purchase a heavily discounted lifetime pass.  Permanently disabled individuals are eligible for a free lifetime “Access pass”. 4th graders are eligible for a free pass through the Every Kid in a Park program.
  • Off 400+ national park sites, ~120 charge an entrance fee ($3 – $30 / vehicle for up to a week). 31 Wildlife Refuges charge a fee (ranging from $3 – 8 per vehicle). Under the Federal Recreation Lands Enhancement Act, 80% of all fees collected stay at the site at which they were collected to fund critical projects and protect natural and cultural resources.
  • Also see the websites: Find Your Park, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, U.S. Forest Service, Recreation.Gov
LOCAL MEMBER
REGIONAL MEMBERS 
  • Russell Cave National Monument (Bridgeport, AL)
  • Little River Canyon National Preserve (Mentone, AL)
  • Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park (Ft. Oglethorpe, GA)
  • Stones River National Battlefield  (Murfreesboro, TN)
  • Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (Oneida, TN)
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park (eastern TN / Western NC)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site (Atlanta, GA)
  • Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (Atlanta, GA)
  • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (Kennesaw, GA)
  • Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area (Lithonia, GA)

 

State Parks and historic sites


 

DETAILS
  • Unfortunately, Alabama does not have a state park pass program, as individual parks are supported by their own admission fees and individual season passes. However, some neighboring states have annual statewide park and/or historic site passes.
  • More info here

 

Zoos & Aquariums


DETAILS
  • American Zoological Association (AZA)
  • 200+ members 
  • 50-100% discount on Admission, depending on participating location
  • Many aquariums and zoos that do not participate in the national AZA reciprocity program do have local reciprocity agreements with a select handful of other nearby organizations. Check facility websites for details.
REGIONAL MEMBERS 
  • Birmingham Zoo (AL)
  • Nashville Zoo (TN)
  • Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park (TN)
  • Zoo Atlanta (GA)
  • Memphis Zoo (TN)
  • Western NC Nature Center (Asheville, NC)
  • Zoo Knoxville (TN)
  • Louisville Zoological Garden (KY)

 

Children’s Museums


Science Museums


 

Southeastern US Museums


Alexander Calder mobile

DETAILS
  • SouthEastern Reciprocal Membership Program (SERM) 
  • 200+ Members 
  • Multiple types of institutions, the majority being art museums, history museums, environmental centers, and botanical gardens
  • Free General Admission, some have additional discounts for special events, educational programs, tours, and gift shops

 

North American Museums


Vulcan Park

DETAILS
  • North American Reciprocal Museum Association (NARM)
  • 900+ Members 
  • Free General Admission if you have a membership at least $100 in value
  • NARM and SERM participants overlap quite a bit, but NARM reciprocity requires a higher membership level, and covers facilities in the entire continent

 

Smithsonian Museums


Details
  • Smithsonian Affiliate Reciprocal Admission
  • 50+ Members 
  • Free General Admission for up to two people. Some affiliates have additional discounts for special events, educational programs, tours, and gift shops

  

Historical Museums, sites, and societies


Details
REGIONAL MEMBERS 
  • Berman Museum of World History (Anniston, AL)
  • Chieftains Museum and Major Ridge Home (Rome, GA)
  • Tennessee State Museum (Nashville, TN)
  • Customs House Museum and Cultural Center (Clarksville, TN)
  • Union County Heritage Museum (New Albany, MS)
  • Marietta Museum of History (Marietta, GA)
  • Atlanta History Center (Atlanta, GA)
  • William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum (Atlanta, GA)
  • American Baptist Historical Society (Atlanta, GA)
  • Environmental and Heritage Center (Buford, GA)
  • The Columbus Museum (Columbus, GA)
  • Thronateeska Heritage Center (Albany, GA)

 

Other Ways to Save Money


By Age or Employer
  • Various discounts are often available for active and veteran military members and their families, first responders, educators, students, retirees, disabled individuals, and employees of the government or certain companies. Just ask or review the membership brochures at whatever facility you visit.  
Private Clubs and Organizations
  • Various private institutions such as YMCA’s, health clubs, buying clubs, religious organizations, and alumni clubs have reciprocity or discounts for members at affiliated locations across the region or country. Be sure to check your benefits guides for any memberships you might hold.
General Public – Free Admission Days
  • Many facilities offer “free” days to the general public one or more times per year. Check the event calendars when planning your visit!