Are you intentional about making memories with your children? So often we go through the motions of life without slowing down to really focus on our children, helping them make memories, helping them learn as they live life. This is something that’s important to Stef and me as a couple. We work hard to have ongoing memorable experiences with our children.

We take them places they can learn while having fun and exploring. Our family loves museums, aquariums, zoos, historic sites, and parks. I don’t remember there being such amazing science centers when I was a child but today they rock!

Every year Stef and I choose one or two places to purchase a membership to. We have found that most of these places have more to learn and do then we can really take in the first visit. As we go back to a museum, science center, or zoo there are often those things that they want to see every time, but there are also things that they didn’t get to see yet and love exploring.

I have found that new locations are fun and exciting but at the same time, they become overwhelming. Our children become overstimulated and have trouble really enjoying the adventure we had planned. As we return a second time they are prepared for what’s coming and able to better enjoy the time.

With a family of five (soon to be six) a family membership usually costs the same or less than visiting the location two time. The other benefit we have found is that most of these places have created reciprocal relationships with other similar sites. This means as we travel we are able to save money exploring new places. Whenever we are traveling we look up the reciprocal list for wherever we have memberships and use those to create pit stops along the way. This has helped us find some really amazing locations that never would have been on our radar otherwise.

A few places we have purchased memberships to

Reading Public Museum:

If memory serves correctly this was our first membership as a family. When Ava was little they had a Dora the Explore exhibit that was outstanding. After going once we realized it was a great rainy day activity for our family. We talked and decided to purchase a membership. We have not maintained this membership but consistently look ahead to what exhibits are coming to decide if the membership is worth the expense.


Hands-on-House:

I have to make a confession with this place. I didn’t understand why Stef was so impressed with it the first time she took the kids. She came back to tell me some stories but it didn’t sound worth the drive or time. Eventually, I went always and understood. My kids can spend about 2-3 hours here and they are ready to go. I think of our favorite parts is the face painting area. We love allowing our kids to paint our face and us to paint them. It’s a fun bonding experience.


Philadelphia Zoo:

This is one that I could go without but the kids and Stef really love. I think the best part of the zoo membership is access to an air-conditioned playground where I can escape the stink of the animals.


Lancaster Science Factory:

This is our newest discovery and membership but as our children are getting older it’s a great upgrade from the Hands-on-House. The entire Science Factory is so interactive and fun. I think our favorite part is the topological map that changes colors and lines as you move the “earth” around inside the table that’s set up. I have had a lot of fun at most of these places but this is my favorite so far because of how entertained I was.

Memberships are worth the cost

If you are a parent that is looking to help your child learn as they go then memberships are worth it. Your child will learn and retain more the second, third, and fourth trip then they did the first. If you spend the time engaged with them it will continue to build a passion for learning and exploring the world. You won’t get tired of the membership.

Has your family purchased memberships to locations? Let us know below in the comments.


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