Friday, December 14, 2018

Passing Through

Did you get to Holiday CircleFest a couple of weeks ago? If so, maybe you visited some of the museums on Sunday, when they all offered free admission.

Whether you got there or not, I’ll bet there are things at each museum you haven’t seen. If you don’t want to wait until next year’s Holiday CircleFest or pay full admission before that, the Circle Pass might be for you.

The Circle Pass covers admission to Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland History Center, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (which includes the Perkins Wildlife Center, where you will find beautiful creatures such as this one) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA). The Cleveland Museum of Art is not included, because it doesn’t charge admission. The passes are valid for 10 days after first use and save you more than 25 percent off full admission.

Still, I recommend doing some math (Sorry!) before you buy. The Circle Pass is $35 for anyone 13 or older and $19.50 for kids ages 3-12. Figure out whether it would be a bargain for you. Full admission to all four museums would total $48.50, so the pass would save one adult $13.50.

Some things to consider, especially if kids are involved. The pass covers one admission to each place. So if your 4-year-old gets worn out before you’ve seen all the dinosaurs and such at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, you can’t use your pass to go back another time. Also, the pass covers general admission only; the planetarium show is extra ($6).

Regular admission ranges from $17 to $14 with anyone younger than 3 admitted free. The museum offers a flat-rate admission of $8 after 5 p.m. Wednesdays. Members get perks including free admission.

MOCA is free for kids younger than 18 every day and free for everyone the first Saturday of the month. MOCA also has a reduced admission fee of $5 for everyone after 5 p.m. Fridays and benefits exclusive to members. Regular admission ranges from $9.50 to $5.

Admission to Cleveland Botanical Garden is $12 for adults, $8 for kids 3-12 and free for anyone younger than 3 and for members. Active military and veterans with ID and their immediate families also are admitted free. This applies to one adult admission and two child admissions.

The botanical garden is the region’s first participant in Museums for All, a national program aimed at giving every child and family access to high-quality museums. I just learned about the program while working on this post. Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum in Kirtland offer $1 admission to the holder of an EBT card (what some people mistakenly refer to as food stamps) and their immediate family. The rate applies to up to four people per EBT card.

Admission to the Cleveland History Center ranges from $10 to $5, with children 2 and younger, active military and museum members admitted free.

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