Membership Policies and FAQ
- Up to two adults living in the same household may be listed on the membership card.
- When visiting, at least one member must be present. (A member is anyone who lives at the member address, even a child.)
- Admission privileges do not include visits with school groups.
- Memberships are nontransferable, and cannot be shared between households.
- Memberships are not refundable.
- Legal Notice. All annual and other memberships are revocable licenses. The Museum reserves the right to refuse or revoke membership and/or deny admission without refund for noncompliance with applicable rules and terms or for inappropriate conduct.
The Museum of Science never exchanges or sells member email addresses. From time to time we collaborate with other not-for-profit organizations to offer special promotions and interesting opportunities to our members. In such cases, we may exchange member names and postal addresses. If you do not want your name or mailing address shared with other organizations, please notify us at 617-589-0180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Purchasing a Membership
I already bought Exhibit Halls tickets. Can my purchase go toward a new membership?
If you decide to purchase a membership after visiting the Museum, you may apply the cost of your Exhibit Halls tickets to a new membership if it is purchased on-site on the same day as your visit. The maximum number of tickets you may apply is limited to the number of admissions the new membership allows (e.g., if you purchase a Premier 2 membership you may turn in up to two tickets). Actual ticket stubs must be presented at time of purchase.
Omni and Planetarium ticket costs may not be applied to memberships. This opportunity is only available on-site the day of your visit; not by phone or online.
Can I put more names than just my own on a membership?
You can name up to two adults who reside in your household on a membership. Adults living at separate addresses cannot be named on a single membership.
If I buy my membership today, can I visit and use my passes today?
Yes, if you purchase your membership online, on-site, or by phone, you will have immediate access to your benefits. Pick up your packet of passes and a temporary membership card while at the Museum.
When purchasing online, you can choose to have the benefits packet containing the member passes mailed to you (which takes 3 – 4 weeks) or held for you to pick up. At the end of the transaction, you will receive a temporary membership number that you can use to purchase tickets online.
Bring your transaction number (located on your email receipt) to the Membership Booth or box office to pick up your temporary card and passes. If you plan to use passes for Omni or Planetarium shows, you cannot reserve tickets using passes online — you must trade them in on-site.
To purchase your membership at the Museum and use your passes, go to the Membership Booth or the box office in the Museum lobby. Full ticketing services are available at both locations.
If you have called to purchase a membership and make ticket reservations using your passes, the phone representative will give you a transaction number. Bring this number to the Membership Booth or the Member Express line at the box office to pick up your temporary membership card and benefits packet. At that time, any passes you used to make your reservations for Omni or Planetarium shows will be swapped out for tickets.
Is my membership good for a calendar year, or for a full year from time of purchase?
Memberships are good for one full year from the time of purchase. Our memberships expire at the end of the month of purchase the following year. If you are renewing, your new membership year will begin when your current membership expires, so there's never a penalty for renewing early.
What exactly does membership give me free or unlimited admission to?
Membership gives you free, unlimited access to our Exhibit Halls and the Discovery Center every day we are open. Free, unlimited admission benefits do not extend to the Mugar Omni Theater, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Butterfly Garden, 4-D Theater, or temporary exhibits requiring an additional ticket.
Now that I am a member, how do I get into the Museum?
Show your membership card at the entrance gate to gain entry to the Exhibit Halls. You do not need to stand in line at the box office or Membership Booth unless you want to purchase additional tickets.
How long does it take to receive my membership cards? How do I visit the Museum before my cards arrive?
Your permanent membership cards will arrive in the mail 3 - 4 weeks after you purchase your membership. If you purchase or pick up your membership at the Museum, you will receive a temporary card to use until your permanent cards arrive. If you find yourself at the Museum without your card, visit the Membership Booth or box office for a temporary card.
Can I use my card at other museums?
We have reciprocal admission programs with the ASTC and AZA to give our members free or discounted admission to more than 400 science centers and zoos. Reciprocal privileges vary among participating institutions. Please call before your visit. Learn more about reciprocity
Can I give my membership card to a friend or relative to use for a visit?
Only if they are visiting the Museum with at least one person from the member household (a member is anyone who lives at the member address, even a child). One of the members named on the card must provide a note giving permission for the card to be used. Your Exhibit Halls guest passes can be given to friends to use in your absence.
Can my teenage/adult son or daughter use my membership card in my absence?
Yes, your membership covers anyone living at your address. Teenagers and adult children who share your address may enter the Museum with their parents' membership cards using identification that verifies their address. Those without ID should present a note from a cardholder explaining that they live at his/her address and have permission to use the membership.
Can we use our two Basic 5 Cards to admit ten people?
No. Your membership will admit only up to the number of admissions permitted with your membership type each day. Two cards have been provided for your convenience.
Why did I only receive one card in the mail?
If there is only one name on the account, only one card will be issued.
I lost/forgot my membership card. What should I do?
If you're visiting the Museum, bring a picture ID to the Membership Booth or box office and we will give you a one-day temporary card. Permanent replacement cards cost $5, and may be ordered at the Membership Booth or over the phone by calling the membership department at 617-589-0180.
My wallet was stolen! Can someone else use my membership?
Membership cards reported lost or stolen are deactivated. Call 617-589-0180 to report your missing cards and we will make arrangements for replacement.
What is the difference between a Basic membership and a Premier membership?
The difference between the two levels of membership is the number of free, one-time use passes and the parking benefit:
- All Basic Levels come with two Omni, two Planetarium, and two Exhibit Halls guest passes each year — plus a 10% parking discount.
- All Premier Levels come with four Omni, four Planetarium, and four Exhibit Halls guest passes each year — plus two hours of free parking each visit. Premier Level members also receive free evening parking when they enter the garage after 5:00 pm, plus advance registration opportunities for some of our more popular member events.
All members receive a 10% discount in the Museum garage, store, and café, and discounts on Butterfly Garden tickets.
What does 2, 5, or 8 mean?
Each of these refers to the number of people allowed in the Exhibit Halls each day you visit. A Basic 5 or Premier 5 admits up to five people to the Exhibit Halls, including the card holder.
I'm a Basic Level member. Can I upgrade my membership level to Premier? Can I upgrade the number of guests that my membership level permits?
Members may upgrade from Basic to Premier and/or any increase in admissions at any time. If your membership expires within four months, consider renewing early and receive your new benefits for the duration of your current membership in addition to the new membership year. Upgrades are not prorated. Downgrading to a lower number of admissions, or from a Premier to Basic level, is not permissible during your membership year.
Can you explain the passes to me? Do I get them every time I visit?
Each year that you are a member, you receive Omni, Planetarium, and Exhibit Halls guest passes in your benefits packet. Each pass may be redeemed for one free ticket to the specified venue. Exhibit Halls passes can also be used to admit visitors above the number of admissions your membership allows. All passes can be given to friends to use in your absence. If you lose your passes, they cannot be replaced.
Passes can be redeemed in person or used when members make reservations by phone. They cannot be used online or at a kiosk. To pick up tickets after reserving by phone, be sure to bring both the passes and the confirmation number.
Can I still use my expired bonus passes?
Yes, you can use your bonus passes regardless of their expiration as long as your membership is active. Non-members may not use expired passes. If you plan to give passes to friends or family for use when you are not present, you may exchange them for new passes at the Membership Booth.
I lost my bonus passes. Can I have new ones?
Unfortunately, because of their cash value, we cannot replace lost passes.
Is there a membership discount for teachers? Military personnel?
Teachers may request a coupon for $10 off a new membership when they join or renew their participation in the Museum’s Teacher Partner Program. The coupon is provided by the Educator Resource Center. Teachers must pick up the coupon at the Museum and it is only good for purchases at the Box Office or Membership Booth. Get details about the Teacher Partner Program online or phone the Educator Resource Center at 617-589-0170 to learn more.
There is no membership discount for active military personnel but they do get free admission to the Exhibit Halls for themselves only.
What is the One-Step Program?
When you enroll, we automatically renew your membership annually at a 10% discount using the same credit card you used to purchase your membership. We will send you a reminder each year, six weeks before we charge your credit card, to allow you to make any desired changes to your membership, including canceling your participation.
Members can sign up for the One-Step Program up to four months before their expiration date. In addition to saving 10% on your membership each year you renew, this is a great way to save time.
Is my membership tax deductible?
A portion of your membership may be tax deductible based on the amount paid less the value of benefits provided in return. As of July 2013, the fair market value of member benefits is:
- $8 for each Omni Theater pass received with your membership
- $9 for each Planetarium pass received with your membership
- $19 for each Exhibit Hall pass received with your membership
Please note that prices and market values are subject to change. We recommend you consult a tax advisor with questions.
Parking, Lost and Found, and Accessibility
What do I do when I'm experiencing difficulty at the parking kiosks, and the Membership Booth is closed?
Go to the box office for help, or, if it is closed for the evening, staff at the Information Desk can assist you.
I lost an item in the Museum. What should I do?
Please call Science Central at 617-723-2500.
My elderly father has trouble walking for long periods of time. Do you have wheelchairs?
Yes. Wheelchairs and scooters may be obtained free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis from the Information Desk. The Museum offers a wide range of services promoting access for many diverse audiences.