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April 18, 2016

Five area attractions offer free reciprocal admission in May to members

For the entire month of May, members of the Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center, or Kalamazoo Institute of Arts can present their membership card at any of these five locations to receive free reciprocal admission. Participants will also have the opportunity to win a one-year membership to all of the organizations participating in the exchange. Entering its third year, the Southwest Michigan Cultural Membership Exchange was developed by these well-known local institutions in 2014 to both celebrate the region's cultural richness, and to introduce their individual members to new experiences. “By partnering in the Cultural Exchange we all feel that we can make our organizations more accessible to a broader segment of our West Michigan community,” said Michael Spezia, Executive Director at the Gilmore Car Museum. Guests presenting their membership card from any of the five organizations will enjoy free admission May 1-31. There may be additional costs for special activities or programs. Each organization is offering added activities during May. For membership information on the five organizations, visit the websites listed below. New this year, members from each attraction have the opportunity to win a family membership to all participating attractions for one year. The 2016 Cultural Membership Exchange information cards, available at any of the exchange organizations, now have a punch card to encourage members to visit each organization at least once during the month of May. Visitors will receive a punch from each organization that they visit and once their card is full, they will be entered to win. Drawing will take place on July 1 and winners will be notified through mail. Each of the five organizations have a variety of activities and special offerings throughout the month of May, including: Air Zoo The Air Zoo ( The Air Zoo is a unique, Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science museum with over 100 rare aircraft & spacecraft, amazing interactive exhibits, innovative science-based classes & camps, indoor amusement park rides, a 4D theater, 3D full-motion flight simulators, and much, much more. Rain or shine, the Air Zoo’s huge indoor campus truly has something for everyone. Binder Park ZooBinder Park Zoo ( Connecting kids and families with animals and fun is what Binder Park Zoo is all about! A trip to the Zoo offers families a chance to experience a quality recreational experience while being surround by nature. Situated on 433 acres, Binder Park Zoo is not your typical Zoo and features a variety of rides and exhibits, like the award-winning Wild Africa. In Wild Africa, guests go on safari through a 50-acre African national park; including an 18-acre savannah hosting herds of impala, zebra, antelope, gazelle, and ostrich, and the Twiga Overlook where you can hand-feed one of the nation’s largest herds of giraffe! Upon your arrival back to the U.S., you are greeted by Mexican wolves, Chinese red pandas, kangaroos and a snow leopard! Don’t forget to stop by and see the Australian dingoes recently added to the Zoo. Shell 1930s Gas Station Gilmore Car Museum ( Celebrating 50 years, the Gilmore Car Museum is North America’s largest auto museum featuring over 350 remarkable automobiles displayed in over a dozen historic buildings and recreated dealerships. Special exhibits include The Donald Gilmore Collection, presenting the first collector cars acquired by Museum founder Donald Gilmore and Mid-Century Performance, highlighting iconic muscle cars of the 1960s and ‘70s. On Saturday, May 21st from 9am-4pm, the Gilmore Car Museum will also introduce a brand new car show – “The Donald Gilmore Classic” – in honor of the museum’s 50th Anniversary. This show is open to the public and will feature pre-WWII vehicles, 1896-1942. April 10, 2009 Megan Foster, 12, of Vicksburg and a seventh grader at Vicksburg Middle School, spent last summer volunteering at the Kalamazoo Nature Center and a children's daycare center. "I want to do either do something with animals or kids," said Foster. At the Nature Center, she often fed the fish and turtles. (Tess McEnroe / Kalamazoo Gazette) Kalamazoo Nature Center ( May is a great month to explore 1,100 acres of varied habitat with 13 nature trails to choose from. Participate in weekly programs and activities such as Creature Features, Spring Wildflower Walks, hands-on gardening programs, birding hikes, and a family program every Sunday at 2pm. Visit the farmyard animals weekends in May - Saturdays and Memorial Day 10am-4pm, Sundays 1-4pm (555 West E Avenue). Animal Encounters - Wednesday, 10-10:45am - Learn about a different animal each Wednesday. Hear a story, color a picture, and meet a live animal! Geared toward children 5 years and under. $2 program fee/for each participating child. Creature Features - Saturday's May 7,21, & 28 at 11ap - Drop in between 11am and noon to see and learn about some of our exhibit animals up close. Geared to all ages. Visit for a full schedule of programs Kalamazoo Institute of ArtsKalamazoo Institute of Arts ( Enjoy our annual West Michigan Area Show, permanent collection exhibitions, and member discounts in the Gallery Shop. Special events include Art Hop Friday, May 6, 5-8 pm; Teen Night Friday, May 13, 6-8 pm; the KIA Film Series Thursday, May 12, 6:30 pm; a music & poetry performance Common Threads May 17, 6:30 pm and Art Detectives for kids 4-8 with an adult Saturday, May 21, 11 am. To purchase an annual membership to the Gilmore Car Museum that will allow you to enjoy the benefits of the Cultural Exchange program, please visit The Gilmore Car Museum is located just 20 minutes northeast of Kalamazoo on M-43 and West Hickory Road. # # # # #