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Last Chance: Free Museum Adventure Passes Through Hennepin County Library

The Hennepin County Library, which is part of Metropolitan Library Service Agency, will close the Museum Adventure Pass program Sept. 3, 2012.

For everyone who has spent time gazing at the Museum Adventure Pass kiosks at their local Hennepin County Library, but never followed through on their curiosity, now is your last chance.

The program and the opportunity to visit area museums and other Twin Cities destinations for free goes through Sept. 3, 2012. 

It is the sixth final year for the Museum Adventure Pass program, which has been a partnership between Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) and Macy's.

During the past five years, the participating cultural organizations have donated 1.3 million worth of free admissions to library patrons in the metro area, according to a MELSA press release when the program started its final year in the fall of 2011. A program, MELSA said, which was "not meant to be permanent."

"In this kind of economy, it is difficult for the destination organizations to maintain the free admissions. MELSA looks forward to continuing to partner with all of the organizations involved in new ways in the years to come," according to the release. "We hope that everyone who has benefited from the museum passes will thank the participating organizations and continue to support them through paid admissions and memberships."

The absence of the program will be felt, a Bakken spokesperson told Patch. Given advanced warning, the museum has been working on various programs to take the Adventure Pass's place, including ticket giveaways.

A spokesperson said the impact on her museum remains to be seen. 

"We're hoping visitors who did use the pass will come back, and I think we have a very good shot at that," she said. "Once people come to the museum the fall in love with it. The problem is getting them through the door in the first place—that's where the pass helped us out."

There are 41 library locations in the Hennepin County Library system.

Editor's note: Have you ever used the Museum Adventure Pass program? Share your destination and experience in comments!

Matthew Kilanowski May 21, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Wow. This is a disappointment. My daughter is 4 now (and my son is soon to be 1), and we've been able to experience so much culture through this program. It's perfect for people who want to expose small children to museums. Little ones can be finicky and sometimes parents need to remove them from situations when they get testy. And when you've paid $20 for your family to get into a museum just to drag a kid in tantrum out fifteen minutes later, well, it discourages you from taking your kids places. (I haven't had this problem, but it's still something I need to keep in mind...)
Chris May 23, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Yes, this has been a great program to take 'the littles' out. For example, I do not know how my kids would react to the Museum of Russian Art. Maybe they like, maybe not. But I can easily find out using a pass. For my family, I can say that we have become members at various places as a direct result of using the passes. I hope some funding could be found to continue this program- lots of families do not have the $$ for memberships, and a day trip for a family group can cost almost as much a year pass for some places. Getting kids to appreciate culture and art is the first step in having adults who appreciate (and fund) culture and art in the next decade.
mary helmbrecht September 06, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I am so disappointed this program has come to an end! Doing my granddaughter's daycare this has been an invaluable experience for us BOTH! We consistently used the passes to access many places I have never even been to & it has been a wonderful way to present the "Arts" and culture to her in such a positive and enjoyable way. It is a terrific way to "try out" museums to find a "fit" for your family. We regularly have attended th Walker Art Center and their "Arty Pants" program for toddlers. We have been to the Swedish Museum(& won a membership putting her photo up), attended the Christmas tree pummeling there; been to Como several times, Museum of Russian Art, Bakken Museum, The Works, Eloise Butler, MN Institute of Arts, MN Transportation Museum, MN Zoo & were trying to get to all of them. It has also been a wonderful way to entertain both my grandson (13yo) and Hailey (just 4yo) & join friends to share the day in an educational, thought provoking, creative yet fun way. It kept them entertained, made them stretch their intelligence & got us outdoors to do things we never would have been able to afford on my SSD. My granddaughter has come to appreciate art-we even had to go to see the art at the State Fair & meet the artist at her insistence, I also wish there was some way to keep this program going as it will be a great loss for us also.
David Griffin May 30, 2013 at 11:46 AM
This program was great for families who cannot afford to take their children to museums. Many kids have benefited from this program who would have not had the opportunity to make it out to these places. That makes this program a success. It is too bad that many more children will miss the chance to see these places but all good things must come to an end. I guess its back to free activities for my family this summer but thank you for a wonderful summer of unique activities last year.

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