Reciprocity & FAQs

From zoos to children's museums to science-technology centers, your Dayton Society of Natural History membership can qualify your family for reciprocal or reduced rates to over 300 institutions worldwide. Please note that each institution sets its own policy on this agreement; call the institution prior to visiting to ensure that reciprocal agreements are in effect.

What is reciprocity?

Because The Dayton Society of Natural History is affiliated with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), Association of Children's Museums (ACM) and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), other accredited organizations offer our members special admission opportunities. 

WHO: Reciprocal benefits are offered to individuals and families that retain certain levels of membership; benefits may vary. People who have Family, Grandparent, and Military level Memberships enjoy special benefits at science/technology centers and zoos & aquariums. Those who have an Adventurer Membership (and above) also enjoy benefits at children’s museums, in addition to science/technology centers and zoos & aquariums.
*NOTE: See below for special reciprocity agreements with other Ohio institutions.

WHAT: Reciprocity is a mutual exchange of privileges between two institutions, such as one science and technology center or zoo offering reduced admission to members of another science and technology center or zoo.

WHEN: Reciprocity is exercised year-round, but when you are visiting a museum, science/technology center, or zoo/aquarium please observe their daily schedule and be sure to call ahead to confirm their reciprocity commitment to your specific institution's membership, as institutions can opt out of the program at any time throughout the year.

WHERE: With over 300 museums, zoos, and other attractions across the country, we encourage traveling families to visit these amazing facilities. For your convienance we have provided lists of institutions that offer reciprocal benefits at science and technology centers (ASTC) zoos & aquariums (AZA) and participating children’s museums (ACM). Again, please review the lists below to verify that the institution you plan on visiting participates in reciprocal program.

WHY: The reciprocal benefits offered with a DSNH Membership are a valuable benefit, to not only our guests, but also other instituions that so graciously host DSNH Members. These institutions take pride in sharing their educational resources, local history, culture, and entertaining attractions with our Members, as do we when we host guests using reciprocal memberships.

HOW: Simply purchase a membership! Visit our Levels and Benefits page to find the membership level that best suits you and your family, or simply click the button below to start enjoying all the entertaining, educational attractions the Dayton Society of Natural History has to offer.

Using Reciprocal Benefits

Headed out of the state? Here are some tips for using your reciprocal benefits when traveling out-of-state:

  • Make sure to review the list of reciprocal benefits at science and technology centers (ASTC) and Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to add to the excitement of your next family vacation. For Adventurer Members, be sure to check the list of participating Children’s Museums (ACM).
  • Because benefits are awarded at the discretion of the institution you are visiting, these changes can sometimes be made without warning. We strongly recommend you make a quick call to the institution you plan to confirm that the reciprocal benefits associated with your DSNH Membership apply.
  • Because many people travel over holidays, school breaks, etc., the institution you plan to visit may be offer special programming, an altered schedule of daily programming, or special holiday hours. Please visit the institution’s website or call ahead to ensure you are able to plan your visit appropriately.
  • Have your photo ID and DSNH Membership Card ready when visiting both local and out-of-state instituions. Make sure to review the list of reciprocal benefits at science and technology centers (ASTC) and Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to add to the excitement of your next family vacation.

Ohio Institutions with Special Reciprocity Agreements

On a local Adventure in Ohio?  While both the Cincinnati Museum Center and COSI are within the 90-mile radius, Boonshoft Museum members currently receive 50% off regular admission to both of these locations. The Boonshoft Museum extends the same 50% discount to CMC and COSI members.

The Boonshoft Museum matches the 50% discount offered to our members by both the Columbus Zoo and the Cincinnati Zoo.

Please be aware that reciprocal benefits for your DSNH/Boonshoft Museum membership may have additional restrictions if you do not live in the Dayton, OH area.  In particular, please note that the Great Lakes Science Center and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History will not accept reciprocity with Boonshoft Museum of Discovery members who reside in the Cleveland area.

Review List of Reciprocal Benefits at...

Association of Children's Museums

Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Association of Science & Technology Centers


I've lost/laundered my membership card. What should I do?

If you have lost your membership card, either E-mail Membership@BoonshoftMuseum.orgor call at 937-275-7431 ext. 152 to request a new card(s). Because we have moved from paper cards to reuseable PVC cards in an effort to be more "Green", we will now be charging $5.00/replacement card due to the increase in materials and postage.

Will I be receiving a new PVC card every year when I renew my Membership?

Because the Dayton Society of Natural History strives to be good stewards of the environment, being "Green" certified is something we take very seriously. We are inviting our Members to help us save some trees with NEW PVC Membership cards! Not only are these cards more durable than paper, our Members will be able to reuse them from year to year. Much like your car registration, a new sticker will be sent to you once you renew your Membership and you can simply place it on your existing card. Thank you for helping us reduce and reuse by making this change, we certainly appreciate it!

How long does it take to get a permanent membership card?

We strive to mail out all permanent membership cards within 10-15 business days, but due to higher volumes at different peak times, it can take longer. While you are waiting, simply use your temporary card or the E-mail confirmation from your on-line purchase. As always, you must show your membership confirmation/card and proper photo ID for admission.

I am a member from another museum, science center, zoo, or children's museum that participates in the reciprocity program. What benefits does the Boonshoft Museum offer?

The Boonshoft Museum participates in the reciprocity programs for the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and the Association of Children's Museums. Please see each specific list linked here for the applicable discount, based on your membership with the participating organization. Please note that reciprocity does not include planetarium shows; separate day passes are available for purchase.

Visit SunWatch Today!


Tuesday - Saturday | 9am - 5pm

Sunday | 12p - 5p

CLOSED Mondays