Museum memberships are often an amazing value for families planning to spend a lot of time at a favorite local institution. But when you travel, you want to explore a new-to-you destination! Consider an ASTC (Association of Science and Technology Centers) Travel Passport to enjoy the same value you get with a local membership at a variety of museums across the country.
The ASTC Travel Passport Program allows members of certain museums to enjoy free and discounted admission to many museums and science centers that are 90 miles or more away from their local museum and their home address. Don’t forget to bring your membership card with you anywhere you travel, because you can use it all around the country and even internationally.
Central Indiana ASTC Travel Passport Program Museums
These museums in our area participate in the ASTC Travel Passport Program. Choose one you’ll enjoy visiting over and over again and purchase a membership. Then, take advantage of free admission to hundreds of museums and science centers around the country when you travel! You can use your benefits at Indiana museums, provided they are at least 90 miles from the museum where you purchase a membership and your home address.
Membership rates are accurate at the time of publishing but are subject to change. Please verify current prices directly with the institution.
Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites
650 W Washington St, Indianapolis
Family Membership: $100
The Indiana State Museum focuses on celebrating Indiana’s rich history. Discover Indiana’s first inhabitants with a display of sea creatures from the ancient seas, then learn about prehistoric animals in the natural history gallery. Other permanent exhibits educate guests on various parts of Indiana’s past. Find out which Native American tribes have historically called Indiana home, how Hoosier pioneers lived, when Indiana became a state, and how Indiana continues to influence the world.
Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County
222 S Washington St, Crawfordsville
Family Membership: $30
The museum teaches about the history of Montgomery County. Learn about famous residents of Montgomery County, important local businesses and industries, and about the area’s natural history and cultural significance.
600 N 4th St, Lafayette
Family Membership: $120
Imagination Station encourages STEM learning through hands-on activities geared towards children 12 years and younger. Children are engaged in the two floors of exhibits filled with interactive exhibits and educational programs where science, technology, engineering, and math concepts are the focus.
Minnetrista Museum & Gardens
1200 N Minnetrista Pkwy, Muncie
Family Membership: $75
Minnetrista is known for its beautiful gardens. There are also six gallery spaces hosting rotating exhibits that feature public interests, art, history, and interactive experiences. In The Bob Ross Experience, you can see where the Joy of Painting was filmed. The immersive experience teaches about his legacy and how he would turn “mistakes” on the canvas into wonderful accidents. We love Minnetrista’s annual Faeries, Sprites, and Lights festival as well!
Muncie Children’s Museum
515 S High St, Muncie
Family Membership: $80
At Muncie Children’s Museum, kids can engage in STEM learning through exhibits like Discovery Park, the Water Works water play area, and a Ball Wall. Children will learn through dramatic play at different themed areas around the museum. Learn about nutrition by shopping at the Marsh Market and then preparing a healthy meal at the Nutrition Kitchen. Explore agriculture and farm animals in the Barnyard, pretend you are a doctor in either the veterinary or doctor’s office, imagine you are a teacher in the Schoolhouse, and create your own story or song at the Make Believe Theater.
Terre Haute Children’s Museum
727 Wabash Ave, Terre Haute
Family Membership: $125
At the Terre Haute Children’s Museum, children can explore three floors of exhibits. Here, they will learn about health and wellness through physical activities at the Fit Gym, discover food and healthy eating choices at the Fresh and Fit Market and kitchen play areas, learn about anatomy and physiology at the Health Zone, and take care of animals at the Vet Clinic. Some other science-focused play areas include a dino dig area, a water play station and bubble ring, and separate exhibits that teach about physics and kinetic energy.
WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology
308 W 4th Street, Bloomington
Family Membership: $148.
The WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology is an award-winning museum that features an outside “Wondergarden” and two full floors of exhibits. Learn about different animals and ecosystems through Wonder Under the Waves Saltwater Aquarium exhibits and The Hidden Life of Deserts. Experience music, sound, and vibration through different instruments and sensory experiences. You can also engage in an augmented reality sandbox and a water play area.
ASTC Travel Passport Program Museums 90+ Miles from Indy
There are plenty of prominent Midwest museums where you can take advantage of free admission with your ASTC museum membership. We can’t possibly highlight them all, so this list is just the beginning! Please note that depending on where you live and purchase your home museum membership, you may not qualify for benefits at these institutions if they are less than 90 miles away.
1950 North Clinton Street, Fort Wayne
This former City Light and Power plant is now a 35,000-square-foot space that encourages STEAM learning and features unique exhibits and experiences. This includes Science on a Sphere, a suspended 50-pound carbon-fiber sphere illuminated by four projectors. You can also ride the Skybike on a track 26 feet above the floor. Other unique features at Science Central include a large replica model of Fred, the perfectly preserved 11,000-year-old Mastodon found locally in Fort Wayne, a climbing play structure, a two-story slide, and a fossil swap.
Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science
411 SE Riverside Dr, Evansville
The Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science features a permanent collection of art as well as the Welborn Baptist Hands-On Science Center. The Science Center has interactive experiences spanning a variety of scientific disciplines. You can also learn about history through exhibits about President Lincoln and river town Evansville’s past. Finally, the Koch Immersive Theater and Planetarium allows you to surround yourself with a one-of-a-kind experience.
1300 S DuSable Lk Shr Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
Learn about our universe and space exploration through a variety of exhibits and hands-on activities. There is also a children’s section that is really fun and interactive.
1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
The Field Museum is a world-renowned natural history museum. One of this museum’s best-known exhibits is its dinosaur fossil collection which includes Sue the T-Rex. There is an ancient Egypt collection with mummies, a gem collection, and an interactive play lab for children.
The Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S DuSable Lk Shr Dr, Chicago, IL 60637
There is so much to see and do at the Museum of Science and Industry. A human body exhibit lets you learn all about anatomy and physiology. An exhibit dedicated to weather creates a tornado inside the building. There is also a train section with model trains on display, a space exhibit, a section dedicated to genetics with a chick hatchery, and you can even go in a World War II German Submarine.
The Cincinnati Museum Center
1301 Western Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45203
This museum has everything! They have dinosaurs, a really cool space section, and a cave complete with dripstone formations and a waterfall. The expansive kids’ area is a favorite and includes a play neighborhood complete with a Kroger grocery store, veterinary clinic, diner, and post office. The Cincinnati Museum Center encompasses the Children’s Museum, Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History and Science, Robert D. Lindner Family Omnimax theater, and a traveling exhibit gallery all inside the former train Union Station. You can fill the whole day exploring the different sections and exhibits.
Center of Science and Industry (COSI)
333 W Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
COSI has been voted America’s top science museum four years in a row and it’s no wonder! This engaging museum has so much to offer. There is a dinosaur gallery, Ohio’s largest planetarium, an ocean-themed water play area, a kids’ area called Kidspace, and more.
Kentucky Science Center
727 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202
This science museum is so much fun! Everything is interactive and engaging. Kids will learn about science through the hands-on exhibits. A favorite is the weather forecast activity where you can record a newscast. There is also a space section, a climbing structure, a toddler play area, a water play table that your kids will never want to leave, and a light play area. Kids can go shopping for shapes, play with gears, make a paper rocket, learn about air flight, build ball ramps and a maze – the list goes on and on.
Make the most of your local membership and start dreaming of all the places you can go using the ASTC Travel Passport Program. Planning a summer vacation or school break trip? Look up participating institutions near your destination before you hit the road or hop on the plane. We can’t wait to hear about where you explore and learn with your crew!