Six West Michigan Attractions Offer FREE Admission in October to Members

The Southwest Michigan Cultural Membership Exchange returns this fall. The exchange offers free, reciprocal admission to members of six cultural attractions during the month of October. Current members of The Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Center, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Bird Sanctuary and W.K. Kellogg Manor House can visit each destination free of admission charge when they present a valid membership card and photo ID.

This reciprocal membership exchange offers visitors the chance to explore exciting Southwest Michigan destinations to discover art, history, nature, science, wildlife and much more. At the same time, it highlights the great value and benefits that each organization offers through annual membership. Recently moved to October, the fall Michigan colors, and cooler temperatures make for delightful visits to the changing outdoor venues as well as offering temperate and immersive indoor opportunities to stimulate imagination. As has been the case for eight years now, thousands of families will explore several of these organizations, each of which has the safety and comfort of their reciprocated members top-of-mind. Visitors are encouraged to plan their visit by reviewing the information posted on each organization’s website, easily located through swmimemberexchange.com. Reciprocal members should also track their visits with a punch card, available at all participating locations. Cards with a minimum of four punches can be entered into a drawing for guest passes and gift cards to each of the participating organizations. Six winners will be drawn and notified by November 30, 2022.

Highlights include:
The Air Zoo is a Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science center with over 100 rare aircraft and space artifacts, immersive and interactive hands-on exhibits, amusement park-style rides, full motion flight simulators, a theater, science-based education programs and more! Two fantastic new exhibits have been added to your Air Zoo Experience – Daughters of the Sky: The Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII and Pete Parish – Planes, Principles & Positivity. Both exhibits feature an engaging panorama of stories, visuals, and hands-on activities for guests to explore the incredible stories of bravery, passion, and triumph of WWII heroes, and celebrate the co-founders who opened the doors of the Air Zoo for the community over 40 years ago. Guests will be amazed to see the beautiful F-117 Nighthawk (restoration completed June 2022) as well as the progress made on the FM-2 Wildcat by our nationally renowned restoration team, located in the Air Zoo’s Flight Discovery Center. Finally, those looking for some inspiration and social engagement should check out the Air Zoo’s events calendar for upcoming events and educational programs! Learn more at airzoo.org.


Binder Park Zoo is the destination zoo where exotic and native animal species roam natural and spacious habitats that allow families meaningful experiences to nature and connections to conservation. Rides on the Binda Conservation Carousel, the Z.O.& O. train, seeing the dinosaurs of Zoorassic Park and a trip to Wild Africa aboard the Wilderness Tram along with feeding the giraffes at Twiga Overlook all prove that no two visits are the same! And now  guests can experience the Charles & Lynn Zhang SkyLark Ridge - the thrilling high ropes course and aerial zip line attraction open at the zoo. The zoo is open daily 10am-4pm and SkyLark Ridge hours are Wed-Sun 11am-3pm (subject to change) now through Oct. 30. Find out everything you need to know before you go, at www.binderparkzoo.org.
Gilmore Car Museum is North America’s largest auto museum, with more than 400 exceptional cars, trucks and motorcycles on display, presented in world-class galleries. It’s located on a beautiful 90-acre historic campus in the Michigan countryside, with towering red barns, vintage car dealerships, and an operating 1941 roadside diner. The museum is open seven days a week, year-round. Learn more at gilmorecarmuseum.org.


Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is one of the leading arts organizations in the Midwest, where art is for everyone. Visitors can pre-book tickets or stop in to enjoy the Museum, the Collection, the Fine Arts Library, Kirk Newman Art School, programs, events, and the Gallery Shop. World-class exhibitions currently on view include Unmasking Masculinity for the 21st Century, in our four main floor galleries.  Also visit, What is Going On in This Picture?, in the children's gallery and Unveiling American Genius, the reimagining of the KIA's permanent collection.  If you are looking for additional artistic inspiration, visit the KIA’s event calendar for upcoming artists talks, programs, and events. Many are free.
Learn more at kiarts.org or call 269-349-7775 for more information.


Kalamazoo Nature Center invites visitors to enjoy the beautiful fall colors while exploring 1,100+ acres of varied habitats. With 16 nature trails to choose from, there is always something new to see at KNC. The Visitor Center is open Saturdays 9-5, Sundays 1-5, and closed weekdays for renovations. For the October calendar of featured programs, please visit www.naturecenter.org.

 

KBS Bird Sanctuary is open Wednesday through Sunday offering over 3 miles of trails, including a lakeside trail to see waterfowl, raptors, and game birds up close. October is the start of peak migration! Over 100 birds can been seen on their journey south before the winter months. Visit our Pollinator Garden and Rain Garden to get inspiration for your gardens! Learn more at https://www.birdsanctuary.kbs.msu.edu/.


The W.K. Kellogg Manor House  is open for self-guided tours Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please call ahead as we have groups who have rented the Manor and we may be closed during those times. The estate grounds remain open for self-guided walking tours from dawn to dusk. You are welcome to pick up a historical walking tour guide from our brochure rack on the office doors at the Manor House. Learn more at https://www.conference.kbs.msu.edu/manor-house/.


Six cultural gems; The Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Bird Sanctuary nd W.K.Kellogg Manor House are located in southwest Michigan, and each destination is committed to providing an exceptional experience for visitors.  Guests who aren’t members can purchase the membership(s) of their choice at the websites listed above. Memberships make great gifts, too. The value of admission for a family of four to visit all six organizations is over $200.

 

For more information, visit swmimemberexchange.com or any of the websites listed above.

 

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