March 29, 2017
Five Area Attractions Offer Free Admission in May to Members
Five local institutions will offer free admission during May to each other’s members. The Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center, and Kalamazoo Institute of Arts are partnering for a fourth year as part of the Southwest Michigan Cultural Membership Exchange. “By partnering in the Cultural Exchange,” says Jay Follis, Director of Marketing at the Gilmore Car Museum, “we all feel that we can make each organization more accessible to a broader segment of our community.” Guests presenting a membership card from any of the organizations will enjoy free admission to all of them May 1–31. Participating families who visit all five attractions will be entered to win a set of annual memberships to each organization. Activities throughout the month of May at participating organizations include: The Air Zoo is a Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science museum with more than 100 rare aircraft & spacecraft; interactive exhibits; science-based classes & camps; indoor amusement park rides; a 4-D theater; full-motion flight simulators, and much more. Rain or shine, the Air Zoo’s huge indoor facility is open seven days year-round. Information at airzoo.org. Binder Park Zoo gets wilder this summer with a new African lion exhibit, adding to the zoo’s quality recreational experience surrounded by nature. Binder Park Zoo’s 433 acres feature a variety of rides and exhibits. Wild Africa offers guests a safari through a 50-acre African national park, including an 18-acre savannah hosting impala, zebra, antelope, gazelle, and ostrich. The Twiga Overlook offers the chance to hand-feed one of the nation’s largest herds of giraffe. The rest of the zoo includes Mexican wolves, Chinese red pandas, kangaroos and a snow leopard. The zoo will be open seven days beginning April 13. Information at binderparkzoo.org. Gilmore Car Museum is North America’s largest auto museum, featuring nearly 400 automobiles and a dozen historic buildings. Current special exhibits include Favorites of the ‘50s and ‘60s, Tin Toy Cars of Yesteryear: From Realistic to Whimsical, and opening in May, Designed for Delivery will feature vintage trucks dating from the turn of the 20th century through the 1960s. Members from participating organizations are invited to The Donald Gilmore Showcase on Saturday, May 20, a season-opening show featuring pre-1942 cars and motorcycles. The museum is open seven days a week. Learn more at gilmorecarmuseum.org. Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is open six days with free family fun like Art Hop, Teen Night, and Art Detectives, plus exhibitions featuring the West Michigan Area Show, High School Area Shows, Pressed for Time: History of Printmaking, and Impressions: Printmaking in Japan. The Kirk Newman Art School will in May feature Saturday photography classes at the Nature Center, Binder Park Zoo, and Gilmore Car Museum. Learn more at kiarts.org. Kalamazoo Nature Center May is a great month to explore 1,100 acres of varied habitat with 13 nature trails to choose from. Weekly programs and activities include Saturday Creature Features, spring wildflower walks and birding hikes, and a family program every Sunday at 2 pm. Full calendar at naturecenter.org. Representatives of the program believe that this area of Michigan is fortunate to have some of the best cultural organizations of their kind in the country, and each of these organizations is committed to providing the highest quality service to the public. As a cohesive group, the Cultural Exchange Program is thrilled to offer such a unique and diverse program to the Southwest Michigan community. It’s easy to join any of the organizations online, and the value of admission for a family of four to all five organizations is nearly $200. For more information, the organizations’ websites are listed in the descriptions above.