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September 24, 2021

Six West Michigan Attractions Offer FREE Admission in October to Members

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September 24, 2021: The Southwest Michigan Cultural Membership Exchange returns this fall. The exchange offers free admission to members of six cultural attractions during the month of October. Current members of The Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Bird Sanctuary can visit each destination free of admission charge when they present a valid membership card and photo ID.

For the eighth year, the exchange offers visitors the chance to explore exciting area destinations to discover art, history, nature, science, wildlife and much more. At the same time, it highlights the great value and benefits that membership to these organizations provides. Postponed from May for the second year, the exchange partners are certain that visitors and especially families, will enjoy and appreciate this special opportunity. “Fall colors and cooler temperatures make for delightful visits to the outdoor venues and the bonus of an in-person educational experience is especially attractive for those who are learning virtually or learning in hybrid situations. Each organization continues to stress safe visits, and visitors are encouraged to plan their visit by reviewing the information posted on each website. Guests can also track their visits with a punch card that when fully completed can be submitted for a drawing to win a membership to all six destinations. Members can get their punch cards at any one of the six participating destination locations. The winner will be drawn and notified on November 5.

Highlights include:

The Air Zoo is a Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science experience with over 100 rare aircraft and space artifacts, immersive and interactive hands-on exhibits, amusement park-style rides, science-based virtual education programs and more! New to the exhibit floor – Women in Air & Space timeline, and We Did It, the Riveting Real Rosies of WWII both explore an engaging panorama of stories, images, graphics, videos, and hands-on activities as you explore more than 100 years of contributions made by more than 50 accomplished women in the fields of aviation and space exploration. Make sure to visit the Flight Discovery Center on your next visit. Guests will be amazed at the progress the nationally renowned Air Zoo’s restoration team has made on the Douglas SBD-2P Dauntless and the F-117 Nighthawk – truly something to marvel at. Finally, those looking for some inspiration and social engagement should check out the Air Zoo’s events calendar for upcoming events and programs!

Binder Park Zoo is home to a diverse array of exotic and native animal species. Natural and spacious habitat design blends animal habitats into the surrounding landscape -a hallmark of the zoo that respects animals and delights guests. The Conservation Carousel, vintage Z.O.& O. train and trip to the 50-acre Wild Africa exhibit aboard the Wilderness Tram are several zoo adventures that entertain while making meaningful connections to nature. See the new Mexican wolf habitat and the dinosaurs of Zoorassic Park which opens September 23. The zoo is open daily 10am-4pm through Oct. 24.

Gilmore Car Museum is North America’s largest auto museum, with more than 400 exceptional cars, trucks and motorcycles on display, presented in world-class galleries. It’s located on a beautiful 90-acre historic campus in the Michigan countryside, with towering red barns, vintage car dealerships, and an operating 1941 roadside diner. Current special exhibits include The Greatest Generation: Corvettes From C1 (1953) to C8 (2021) and Born to Perform: The Era of the Muscle Car. The museum is open seven days a week, year-round.

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is one of the leading arts organizations in the Midwest, where art is for everyone. Visitors can pre-book tickets or stop in to enjoy the Museum, the Collection, the Fine Arts Library, Kirk Newman Art School, programs, events, and the Gallery Shop. World-class exhibitions currently on view include Unveiling American Genius, the reimagining of the KIA's permanent collection. Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination, Todd Gray: Crossing the Waters of Space, Time, and History and, It's a David Small World in the children's gallery.

Kalamazoo Nature Center invites visitors to enjoy the beautiful fall colors while exploring 1,100+ acres of varied habitats. With 16 nature trails to choose from, there is always something new to see at KNC. The Visitor Center is open Saturdays 9-5, Sundays 1-5, and closed weekdays for renovations.

KBS Bird Sanctuary is open Wednesday through Sunday offering over 3 miles of trails, including a lakeside trail to see waterfowl, raptors, and game birds up close. October is the start of peak migration! Over 100 birds can been seen on their journey south before the winter months. Visit our Pollinator Garden and Rain Garden to get inspiration for your gardens!

Six cultural gems; The Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and the Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Bird Sanctuary are located in southwest Michigan, and each destination is committed to providing an exceptional experience for visitors. Guests who aren’t members can purchase the membership(s) of their choice at the websites listed above. Memberships make great gifts, too. The value of admission for a family of four to visit all six organizations is over $200.

For more information, visit the Southwest Michigan Cultural Membership Exchange or any of the institution websites listed above.