Membership FAQ

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About Membership

Free unlimited admission to our museum for one year for the number of people on your membership! You and your family will have access to over 150 exciting and educational hands-on exhibits. Members enjoy $5 movies in our state-of-the-art 3D theater and a $5 flat-rate parking fee in our garage, a savings of up to $14 a visit. Members receive 10% off in the Gift Shop (located in our Lobby), as well as 10% off Vacation Exploration Camps and Birthday Parties. Members often receive discounted rates to special events held here at the Science Center, as well as special invitations to member-only events such as exhibit previews. We also offer several rotating reciprocal benefits with area attractions as well occasional special offers exclusively for members. Please see our Member Benefits page for a complete listing of benefits. Please note that member benefits do change from year to year, though we do try to keep all your favorites! You receive any benefit that is active at the same time your membership is active, so if we add more throughout the year, you will get those as well. And remember – your membership purchase is fully tax-deductible!
We organize our memberships by total number of people, including both adults and children aged 3 and above. If you have a child who is 2 or under, they are free and do not need to be covered by the membership. For instance, if you have a family of two adults and two children, a 4-person membership would probably be a good fit. All memberships must include at least one adult “Cardholder”, but the remaining “slots” are flexible and can be used to cover both adults and children, up to the membership level you have chosen. The only exception is the Individual membership, which only covers one (1) adult, whose name appears on the membership card, and does not include guests or children.

On all Membership levels 2 and above, you may name either one or two adult “Cardholders.” These Cardholders must be adults over the age of 18. You can think of these names as a primary membership holder and an alternate. One of the named Cardholders must be present and show a membership card and a valid photo ID to use the Membership or any of the membership benefits.

Typically, families choose to name both spouses as Cardholders; however, you may name another adult instead. Here is an example: If your children would typically visit with their mother or their grandmother, you may name the mother and the grandmother as the two adult Cardholders. However, the father (or any other adult in the family) would not be able to use the membership card by himself because he is not a named Cardholder. Of course, the father may visit under the total number of people covered by the membership, but he must come along with one of the named Cardholders.

We generally allow two adults from the same family to be named on the same membership, but not two adults from two different families. For instance, you may not split your membership with a friend or a next-door neighbor.

Children come along with the named Cardholder(s) and are counted in the total number of people on the membership, but are not named. The two named Cardholders on the membership must both be adults over the age of 18. We do not put the names of children on membership cards.
The membership can cover any combination of adults or children, as long as at least one person is one of the named Cardholders.

For instance, a 4-person membership could cover:
  • 1 named adult Cardholder and 3 children
  • OR 1 Cardholder, 1 additional adult and 2 children
  • OR 1 Cardholder, 2 additional adults and 1 child
  • OR 1 Cardholder and 3 additional adults
Yes! At least one of the Named Cardholders must be present at all times in order to use the card or any of the benefits. However, as long as at least one Cardholder is present, the remaining people covered by the membership are flexible. You can bring different people up to the total on your membership.
We do not have a guest pass program, but you may count guests towards the total number of people listed on your membership card. Any guests beyond your membership total may purchase day tickets.

On membership levels 2 and higher, you may name two adults to be Cardholders on the membership. Memberships with a Caregiver allow you to add a third adult Cardholder to your membership, so that a grandparent, au pair, nanny, or other caregiver may also use your Membership and visit with your children.

Please note: this option does not increase the total number of people who can visit at any time; that is still the same as the membership level: The 3 Person + Caregiver level allows 3 people to enter at a time, not 4 people.

Memberships with Caregivers allow a third valid user for the membership, who can visit and use the membership without one of the other named Cardholders present. Please note that you may use this membership to name a Caregiver for your family; you may not split the membership with another family.

Not necessarily. You may name a babysitter, grandparent or au pair as the second adult Cardholder, as long as they are a Caregiver for your family, and you do not split the membership between families.
No. Only one Caregiver can be added on to a Membership, and the named caregiver may only be changed once during a year of Membership. If you need to change a named caregiver, please contact our Membership Office. You are always welcome to change the name of the Caregiver at the time of renewal.
Please call us in the Membership Office, we are happy to help! We know our membership is different from the typical family membership model. We are more than happy to help you decided which membership would be the best fit for your family.

Using the Membership

Yes! Simply show a photo ID at our ticketing counter and our staff can look up your Membership and provide you with a replacement card. Please note that our policy states that your Membership card and a photo ID are required for admission both here and with our reciprocal partners. Our reciprocal partners can not look you up and will deny entry without your card. Repeated card replacements will incur a fee.
No. One named Cardholder must always be present to use the Membership to bring people into the museum, or to use any of the Member Benefits. If you would like to send your children to the Science Center with a relative or babysitter, consider our Caregiver option!
Yes, it can! Through the ASTC Passport Program, Connecticut Science Center members can enjoy exclusive perks, including FREE GENERAL ADMISSION to a wide range of participating science centers and museums throughout the country (90+ miles away from their home museum). Benefits may vary by location, and certain restrictions may apply. We also have a variety of local reciprocals that we offer with local partners from time-to-time. To see the current comprehensive list of reciprocals, and participating ASTC venues, you can CHECK HERE.
No. Birthday parties and field trips have specific activities, programming, and space requirements that the Membership does not cover. This pertains to both children and parents attending as official chaperones.

Purchasing the Membership

Yes, we fully support giving the gift of science! You may purchase a gift of Membership online, at the ticketing counter, or over the phone. Be sure to select “Gift of Membership” rather than a regular membership, so you will have the opportunity to enter payment information separately from the membership recipient information.

Please remember – if you are buying a gift for a child, be sure to name the child’s parents as the Cardholders on the membership, as we do not allow memberships in a child’s name.

If you are uncertain of what membership might be right for your recipients, or you are unsure of how membership works, please call us in the Membership office before you make your purchase. We are always happy to answer questions and help you pick out the right size membership.
Memberships begin immediately after purchase. If you are purchasing a Gift Membership and wish to have the start date delayed, you may pick a start date not to exceed 30 days from the purchase date. Memberships purchased anytime in the month of December cannot start later than December 31 of that same year.

IMPORTANT! To select a different start date for a Gift Membership, you MUST CALL the Membership Office within 24-hours of purchase to have the date changed. Start date selection only applies to Gifted Memberships.

Yes! One visit is never enough, making a Science Center Membership incredibly valuable. A Connecticut Science Center Membership pays for itself on your second visit. When you purchase day tickets, you can upgrade them to a year-long membership before you leave. The value of your General Admission tickets from that day can be applied towards the membership level you choose. However, the number of tickets used for the upgrade cannot exceed the membership level (e.g., 4 General Admission tickets can be applied towards a 4-Person Membership).

Please note that add-ons are not eligible for trade-up, and only one receipt can be used for the upgrade. The upgrade must be completed onsite on the same day before you leave.

No. Memberships are non-refundable and non-transferable. Your membership runs for a full year from the day of purchase, and is yours. You cannot give your membership to anyone else.

Altering the Membership

Yes. If you would like to upgrade to a higher level of Membership, you may do so at the ticketing counter during your next visit or by calling the Membership office. You will only pay the difference between your current Membership level and the upgraded level. Please note that we do not prorate based on the remaining time on the membership; the upgrade price is constant throughout the year. The upgrade will last until your current expiration date.
No. Memberships are non-refundable. If you find that one of your family members who is usually covered by the membership is not visiting regularly, of course you can renew for a lower level of membership for next year. In the meantime, use the extra space on your membership to bring a guest with you!
No. Memberships run for one (1) calendar year from the date of purchase. We do not alter the start date of the membership once the membership has started.
Yes! If you choose to renew early, your renewal will start the day after your current membership expires, and will run for a full year. If you are jumping up to a higher level (or dropping to a lower level) of membership for next year, your new level will take effect the day after your current level expires.
Probably. If your 3 year old child will come with you at least three times before the membership expires, it’s almost always better to upgrade to the higher level for the remainder of your current membership. If your family will only come once or twice while the child is 3, it might be more economical to buy a day ticket for the child each time you visit. You can then renew at the higher level of membership for next year.

Member Benefits

Enter the LAZ garage beneath our building and take a ticket to park as usual. As you exit the garage, show both your parking ticket and your membership card together to the parking attendant in order to receive the $5 rate.

Please note that you must be able to show a valid temporary card dated within the last 30 days or an active permanent membership card as you leave the garage in order to get the Member rate.

The garage is owned by LAZ and is open to the public, so you must show your membership card each time you park in order to get the discount. If you have lost your membership card, ask for a temporary card at the front counter on your way out of the Science Center.

Please note that we do not refund LAZ parking charges, so remember to show your card!

Occasionally there are busy days in downtown Hartford, and the LAZ garage below our building does fill up. However, LAZ owns several nearby garages, including the garage at the Convention Center next door and the Travelers garage across the street. Other LAZ garages will honor the Member discount on busy days; just be sure to show your Membership Card and ask for the member rate. If you are unsure if a garage will accept the Member discount, we recommend calling that specific garage before you park. In general, we recommend checking event listings for downtown Hartford before you visit, and of course, arriving sooner means you are more likely to get a spot!

Exact benefits may change for each reciprocal arrangement; however, we typically arrange a “same rules apply” exchange for general admission. This means that you may visit the partner institution during the specific month of the benefit and show your Connecticut Science Center Membership card to receive free general admission for the number of people on your Membership.

Please note that these institutions do not have access to our database, so they cannot look up your membership. A named Cardholder MUST present your valid, up-to-date membership card and a photo ID to use the benefit.

As long as one Cardholder is present with their membership card, you will receive free general admission for the number of people listed on your card. Our partners will accept an official email confirmation with a valid expiration date, a temporary card dated within the last 30 days, or a permanent membership card that has not yet expired.

Please note that we do not refund general admission paid to reciprocal partners, so remember to bring your card!

Yes! All of your membership benefits are active from your date of purchase. You automatically get any current benefit as long as your membership is active. Just be sure to get a temporary card or an email confirmation to prove you have an active membership. If your membership expires in the middle of a month with a reciprocal benefit, you get the benefit up until the day your membership expires. You can always renew your membership to continue to have access to that benefit through the end of the month.

Give us a call in the Membership office at least TWO business days in advance to request an email confirmation of your membership. You may also stop by the ticketing counter in person and request temporary cards.

Our partner institutions do not have access to our database, so they cannot look up your membership. You MUST be able to show proof of your active Connecticut Science Center Membership at the time you visit the partner institution (example: a permanent card with a current expiration date, a temporary card dated within the last 30 days, or an email from the Membership Office with a current expiration date).

Please note that we do not confirm memberships by phone, and we do not refund general admission paid to reciprocal partners, so bring proof of membership!

We host a number of our own events as well as outside events throughout the year. Almost all Science Center events are free for Members, and Members frequently receive discounted rates to events in our building hosted by outside organizations. As a Member, you will always receive invitations to our special Member Previews for any new traveling exhibit that is opening. Look for our email newsletter with details of upcoming events!
Yes! We are a 501c3 organization. The full amount that you paid for your membership is a tax-deductible gift that helps support our ongoing mission. The letter that arrives with your membership cards is your tax receipt, so keep it for your records!
Not quite. Employees of our corporate partners may show a valid company ID to enjoy benefits such as free or reduced-price admission for themselves and their families, and occasionally reduced-price admission to some events and activities. However, our Membership program includes features beyond day admission, including invitations to special events, access to reciprocal benefits, as well as all the other benefits listed on our Membership Benefits page. If you wish access to these features, you may purchase a membership for yourself and your family at a discounted rate. Please contact the Membership office or bring your employee ID to our ticketing counter to learn if your company has a corporate membership with us.