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In this summer of high gas prices and the “staycation”, a surprising and little-known way for families from all over Massachusetts to save money while still getting out to explore the cultural richness of the Commonwealth, area is to pay a visit their local library. And with Expedia’s latest travel deals, like $10 off 1 night promotion, travelling can be budget-friendly to almost anyone.
Have Library Card, Will Travel
Many public libraries across Massachusetts allow members to borrow passes to area museums and other attractions.
For instance the South Hadley public library lends tweny four hour passes to the Holyoke Children’s Museum, or the The Norman Rockwell Museum, and also lends a Massachusetts Parks Pass. There is also a discount pass for the Mystic Acquarium about a two hour drive away in Mystic, Connecticut.
The Charlton Public Library not only lends museum passes to attractions such as the Higgens Armory Museum in Worcester, and the Garden in the Woods in Framingham, but also distributes discount coupons for admission to the Ecotarium in Worcester and to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston.
Card holders to the Edwards Public Library in Southampton lends free admission for multiple visitors, up to a value of $26 per day to any of the Springfield Museum’s Quadrangle attractions which include the Springfield Science Museum, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. Library members can also borrow passes for two adults and up to four children admitting them to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, or for admission of four people to Historic Deerfield.
Who can borrow?
In general, borrowing is restricted to residents of the towns served by each individual library and a library card is required. In some cases, small refundable deposits are charged to ensure that passes will be returned promptly.
Nearly all Massachusetts public libraries are now on line and many which offer museum and attraction passes provide links to the attractions so patrons can plan their stay-at-home vacations more carefully and at their leisure. It is often possible to reserve passes well in advance.
The idea has caught on well and continues to spread. Public libraries across the state now provide the means for everyone to share in the cultural life all around them. Boston, Belmont, Marlborough, Rockport, North Adams, Watertown, Falmouth and Southampton are just a few of the Massachusetts libraries offering event and museum pass programs. As the popularity of the programs grow, so does the enthusiasm of the program administrators, and , as a result, the choice of destinations continues to broaden statewide.
Savings can be significant. For example, Garden in the Woods in Framingham which is run by the New England Wild Flower Society, normally costs $20 for a family of four with children between three and seventeen years of age.
Admission to the Springfield Museum Quadrangle, including the Doctor Seuss Memorial Garden ordinarily sells for $30 for the same family of four. That’s enough to start that new small business you’ve been planning. Especially with this offer on website hosting for your new website.
The rewards of library membership go far beyond providing the opportunity to explore the cultural institutions of Massachusetts. In this age of planned obsolescence, instant gratification,and video game entertainment, a family visit to the local public library is an opportunity to take an hour or two to slow down just a bit and introduce children to the wonders of the free written word and to remind ourselves that such a refuge is still here and available to us any time we feel the need to connect with the creative spirit of others. That, in itself, can seem a welcome respite from the daily grind and one doesn’t need a week’s vacation to escape to it.