I adore our local public library for the programs as much as the ability to check out books, magazines, movies, etc. The library newsletter we received a few days ago had a paragraph about a new program that really caught my attention.
Our library -- and really all the libraries in the Chicago metro area -- has Museum Adventure Passes you can receive just by showing your library card. Some offers are for free admission; others are for discounts, usually buy-one, get-one admissions. Since we know how frugal I am -- and not just because of the economy -- you know I immediately paid attention.
What I really like is the museum list's diversity. The big names include Brookfield Zoo, the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Morton Arboretum. In addition, we can go to smaller museums ranging from the Bronzeville Children's Museum to Cantigny Park to the Elgin History Museum to the Oriental Institute Museum.
When I look at the list, I know I won't drive up to Elgin for a museum visit. It's too far for a single stop like that. Yet, we are often going somewhere for one reason that won't take up an entire day. For those days, I would absolutely consider stopping at the Elgin History Museum or Cuneo Museum or Kohl Children's Museum. A friend in urban planning calls it "trip chaining." It's something we do quite often and now we can add a free, fun stop to the trip.
Of course, this isn't paid for by our library, but by generous corporate sponsors like Macy's, the Chicago Sun Times, and WLIT. (And no, I'm not getting paid for this post. When you work in marketing, you know the importance of recognizing sponsors. If you don't thank them at all, they won't consider doing it again next year.)
This weekend we have passes to go to the Morton Arboretum. Next weekend, who knows? All I know is I'll be checking out the list of free museums. It's a great program we will use often.