Check out passport to museum adventures

Published9/7/2009 12:00 AM

Here's an opportunity guaranteed to save money, get you and the family out of the house, and give everybody the opportunity to have a good time and learn new things.

It's the Museum Adventure Pass program presented by Macy's. It launched on Sept. 1, and will be available until Aug. 31, 2010. Here's how it works: Take your library card to your local public library (most in our area are participating). Library personnel will issue you a Museum Adventure Pass, thanks to Macy's department store. The Pass provides free admission or a special discount, depending on location, at these Chicago area museums:


Arlington Heights Historical Museum, Bronzeville Children's Museum, Brookfield Zoo, Cantigny Park, Chicago Botanic Garden, Cuneo Museum and Gardens, Elgin History Museum, Elgin Public Museum, Graue Mill and Museum, Hellenic Museum, KidsWork Children's Museum, Kohl Children's Museum, Lake County Discovery Museum, Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Morton Arboretum, Oriental Institute Museum, and St. Charles Heritage Museum.

Check this Web site for specifics: You'll find a complete list of participating libraries and the 17 generous cultural organizations, including links to their Web sites. Most passes admit four or two people, but there are exceptions so check the site for details. One pass may be checked out per person, per seven-day loan period.

Participating libraries have a limited number of passes for each participating organization. Passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Passes cannot be reserved or checked out online or on the phone. There are some blackout periods and other restrictions, so check first to see if your library is participating and the details of the passes that interest you.

This partnership is the first of its kind in the greater Chicago area. Macy's and the DuPage, Metropolitan, and North Suburban Library Systems, along with 17 local museums and cultural organizations throughout the area, collaborated to make it happen. More than 150 suburban libraries are participating. The program is based on similar programs Macy's sponsored in Detroit and Minneapolis. Staff from the Metropolitan Library System, the North Suburban Library System and the DuPage Library System heard about the successful effort, contacted Macy's, and worked out the details to bring this excellent program to our area.

"The Museum Adventure Pass is a truly innovative approach to education that Macy's is thrilled to support," said Brad Poterack, District Vice President for Macy's. "Our hope is that people who may not have access to the wonderful local arts and cultural scene will use this program as a learning tool for themselves and their families, and realize that libraries are a great way to explore and learn something new."

In the library world, we have a number of unique holidays, recognized with special events and our own brand of merrymaking. You are probably familiar with National Library Week and Teen Poetry Month, which occur in April. September is Library Card Signup month. The Museum Adventure Pass program is another example of why having a library card is truly something to celebrate. It's the Smartest Card you can have in your wallet, serving as your passport to a world of discovery and inspiration.

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