If one or more of your family members is enrolled in a program like WIC or Medical Assistance, you/they may qualify for FREE or specially discounted admission at places like the Minnesota Zoo or Science Museum of Minnesota!
Here is a list of the places you may get in FREE or for a discount, where, and what you need to qualify.
(This list was most recently updated in October 2022. Note that due to COVID, many places require advanced reservations, and any of this information can change at any time. Please check before you go.)
The Minnesota Zoo offers a “Free to Explore” program for families enrolled in any of the following programs:
|TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)||MN EBT Card|
|MFIP (Minnesota Family Investment Program)||MN EBT Card|
|SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)||MN EBT Card|
|MFAP (Minnesota Food Assistance Program)||MN EBT Card|
|General Assistance||MN EBT Card|
|Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare||MHCP Card|
|WIC (Women, Infants & Children Program)||WIC Folder|
Admission is free. You need to show the approved documentation listed above, plus photo identification and proof of Minnesota residency. Parking and other fees are not included.
Note: Due to COVID guidelines, all Minnesota Zoo admission tickets must be reserved ahead of time for the selected date and time.
Admission is regularly $13.95 – 19.95. Parking is $7.00 for automobiles (more for busses or motor coaches).
Visit their website for more information.
The Works Museum
The Works Museum in Bloomington offers the “Gateway program” which is an access program for kids and families with demonstrated need. Children and/or families that receive free/reduced price lunch at school, or assistance from TANF, MFIP, WIC, SSI, Section 8 housing, Medical Assistance or Medicaid Care, Minnesota Care or Basic Sliding Fee Childcare Assistance are eligible for discounted admission, memberships, and camps.
When eligibility is demonstrated at the front desk, you can purchase any of the following:
- $5.50 per person discounted daily admission price (regular admission is $11.00 per person) or
- $25 family membership (regular price is $80)
More info is on their website.
Stages Theatre offers the “Open Door program” which provides free and reduced cost tickets, bus subsidies, and tuition assistance to low income families, schools, and social service agencies.
They also offer “Pay What You Can” performances. Patrons can reserve up to FOUR (4) tickets for each of the performances listed on their website at no cost. Patron/Households can reserve tickets to a maximum of FOUR (4) pay-what-you-can productions per season. The day of the performance you can “pay-what-you-can” by making a donation of any amount on your way into the theater.
More info on their website.
Children’s Theatre Company
At Children’s Theatre Company, the ACT Pass program provides financial aid to low income households so they can attend select Children’s Theatre Company’s performances, classes, and camps. Currently, the ACT Pass program includes over 2,000 families.
For more information and to apply, visit their website.
The Guthrie in Minneapolis offers Gateway tickets for $5. To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old and be enrolled in one or more of the following: TANF, MFIP, WIC, General Assistance, Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Benefits, SNAP, Section 8 or free/reduced school meals. Up to four tickets may be purchased for select performances by phone or at the Box Office
For more information visit their website.
The Bell Museum offers Explore & Curiosity Programs. To qualify you must be at least 18 and enrolled in one or more of the following: TANF, MFIP, SNAP, General Assistance, Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare, WIC, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Benefits, Food Stamps, Section 8, or Free/Reduced Price School Meals. Present any appropriate documents related to those programs at the Lobby Desk to qualify.
These programs offer:
Explore Museum Admission Passes
Qualifying guests receive free museum gallery admission passes and discounted planetarium show tickets ($4 for adults/seniors; $3 for youth).
Curiosity Memberships are available for purchase at our front desk for $15, and offer a year of free gallery admission and $2 planetarium tickets. Contact them at 612-626-9660 for more information or visit the Curiosity Membership page for details.
They also offer FREE admission for PCAs.
Minnesota Children’s Museum
Through the “All Play” Program, the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul provides $3 tickets and $39 family memberships to low-income families. More info on their website.
If you don’t qualify, be sure to use my exclusive discount code TCFM to save $3 per admission when you purchase tickets IN PERSON (mention my code at the desk).
Learn more on their website.
Read my review of our first visit after the Minnesota Children’s Museum re-opened in June 2017!