20 West MI Family Memberships for 2024: Zoo Memberships, Museum Memberships & More


Memberships are Great for Your Kid’s Gift List

So you spent a great day at a Grand Rapids area museum or zoo and now the kids are begging to come back tomorrow. Should you spring for the membership?

family memberships zoo memberships boulder-ridge-zoo-camels

Whether you decide to snag that membership right away or purchase later for a gift, we’re sure you won’t regret it! 

Photo: Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park

We’ve scanned the area for the best museum and zoo family memberships and put together a list below of all their perks. All you have to do is decide which one to choose!

Special Note: Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and Grand Rapids Art Museum participate in the Museums for All program. EBT/WIC cardholders qualify for a reduced admission rate to these museums. Additionally, Kent County residents can visit the Grand Rapids Public Museum for reduced rates with valid ID.

Featured Partner

Play, Learn & Explore at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park!
One of the nation’s premier horticultural display gardens and sculpture parks, Meijer Gardens has year-round activities for families.

Behold thousands of tropical butterflies every March & April, and discover the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, one of the nation’s largest and most interactive children’s gardens.

Come play, learn and explore today!

Zoo Memberships

Zoo memberships are ideal for families with school-age children and younger. Most zoos make changes every year, so family memberships never go unused.

John Ball Zoo

1300 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Memberships to John Ball Zoo are a favorite with Grand Rapids families because it’s fun for all ages, from 1 to 100! And you get neat perks like FREE admission to the 2024 dinosaur exhibit!


Membership Perks: Family memberships grant unlimited free admission for 12 months, discounts on parties, events, seasonal experiences, gift shop purchases and concessions, occasional regional exchanges, and over 150 reciprocals.

This year, John Ball Zoo members also get in free at Impression 5 in May. Then, check out cool art at the GRAM in June. Take a time-travel trip at the Grand Rapids Public Museum in July. Play for free at the GRCM in August. Then, in September, dive into the Lakeshore Museum’s neat stuff.

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park

8313 Pratt Lake Ave SE, Alto, MI 49302

At Boulder Ridge, kids love seeing the exotic animals, reptiles, and of course feeding the giraffes!

Membership Perks: Membership grants free admission for the entire season, and discounts on gift shop and concessions.


Details: Build a Membership in 2024: $60 per adult, $120 per two adults, $40 per child ages 3-17.

  • Adults on membership must be 18 or older and must show Photo ID when presenting membership card.
  • Add as many children (under age 18) that you would like to the membership for $40 each. ( 2 & under- Free)
  • Purchase memberships by phone by calling (616) 868-6711 or in person during open hours.

Deer Tracks Junction

7850 14 Mile Rd NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

A membership to Deer Tracks Junction means days full of up-close animal interaction for the whole family. 

Membership Perks: Membership grants free admission to both hands-on areas for the entire season.

Potter Park Zoo

1301 S Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing, MI 48912

A membership at Potter Park Zoo snags you access not only to their zoo animals, but also to their giant playground, camel rides, and special events throughout the year. 

Membership Perks: Membership grants free admission for 12 months, discount in the gift shop and on concessions, parties and camps, members night, and over 130 reciprocals

Binder Park Zoo

7400 Division Dr, Battle Creek, MI 49014

Offering unique animal interactions throughout the surrounding natural forests and wetlands, Binder Park is a great option to engage kids of every age.

Membership Perks: Membership grants free admission for 12 months, discounts on gift shop, restaurants, camps and events, over 130 reciprocals

Lewis Farms and Petting Zoo

4180 M-20, New Era, MI 49446

Lewis Farms is anything but “just a farm”. From seasonal games to U-Pick apples to the petting zoo, this membership pays for itself right away!

Lewis Farms Adventure Petting Zoo

Membership Perks: Season pass grants unlimited visits to the farm during the season (May-October), unlimited train and carousel rides, and access to special events.

Museum Memberships

Museum memberships are a great option for an indoor family membership. Children’s museums are great for families with preschoolers while older kids will enjoy more “grown-up” museums better.

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

11 Sheldon Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Offering the perfect environment for little curious hands and minds, a membership at Grand Rapids Children’s Museum means endless days of exploration, and ensuring you don’t miss the excitement of new exhibits. 

Membership Perks: Family memberships grant unlimited free admission for 12 months, special member-only days, ACM level includes discounts at over 200 reciprocals.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

With year-round exhibits geared towards children, a planetarium, and arcade, the Grand Rapids Public Museum membership is always a family favorite.

Although the carousel is closed for renovations until Spring 2025, there is still more than enough for families to do and explore year-round.

Membership Perks: Family memberships grant unlimited free admission for 12 months, free carousel rides and planetarium shows, and over 300 reciprocals.

Grand Rapids Art Museum

101 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Unique exhibits, beautiful artwork, and cultural treasures make the Grand Rapids Art Museum family membership great for your inquisitive and creative kids. 

Membership Perks: Membership grants unlimited free admission for 12 months, early access to exhibits, discounts on programs and camps, and member-only events.

USS Silversides Submarine Museum

1346 Bluff St, Muskegon, MI 49441

A membership to this real WWII submarine gets you closer to experiencing history than ever before, including the opportunity to spend the night in the submarine!


Membership Perks: Membership grants free unlimited admission to the museum and both vessels for 12 months, invitations to exhibition openings, discounts in the gift shop and online store, free admission to lectures, advanced notice of classes and special events, and over 600 reciprocals.

Mitten Children’s Museum

246 Broadway St, South Haven, MI 49090

Forever Curious Children’s Museum and Mitten Children’s Museum recently joined forces to create a family favorite spot offering fun programs such as weekly treasure hunts and craft corners.

Membership Perks: Family memberships grant free admission for 12 months, discounts in the gift shop and on parties and programs, and member events

Air Zoo

6151 Portage Rd, Portage, MI 49002

Boasting over 100 rare space and aircraft, flight simulators, rides, and lots more, an Air Zoo membership is necessary if you plan to see everything here! 

Membership Perks: Membership grants free admission for 12 months, members-only events, discounts at many local businesses, discounts on store, camps and experiences, family level includes over 1,200 reciprocals.

Impression 5 Science Center

200 Museum Dr, Lansing, MI 48933

Families of littles love memberships at Impression 5 because everything is engineered just for those growing brains. 

Membership Perks: Membership grants free admission for 12 months, member night events, discount in gift shop and on programs and events, and over 400 reciprocals.

Nature Center Memberships

If your family loves the great outdoors, a nature center membership might be more your jam. While nature centers heavily feature the outdoors, there’s often lot to do inside, too, making it a great place to visit on a rainy day.

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Families love memberships to Frederik Meijer Gardens for the year-round events, and with over 150 acres of land, the membership ensures you can come back to explore a new area whenever you want. 

The Children’s Garden treehouse

Membership Perks: Family memberships grant unlimited free admission for 12 months, presale and discounts in the gift shop and on concerts and events, members-only events and over 300 reciprocals.

Blandford Nature Center

1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

A membership to Blandford means exploring nature and wildlife year-round, as well as the many events hosted here.

Membership Perks: Membership grants free admission for 12 months, free snowshoe rentals, discounts in the gift shop and on events, programs, and experiences, and 125 reciprocals.

Outdoor Discovery Center

4214 56th St, Holland, MI 49423

Families find themselves coming back to the Outdoor Discovery Center over and over again to play and see what more they will explore.

Birds of Prey presentation at Outdoor Discovery Center

Membership Perks: Membership includes member-only events, access to the archery range, discounts for the gift shop, rentals, camps, and programs, and 150 reciprocals.

Kalamazoo Nature Center

7000 N Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

With several different types of environments to see and programs throughout the year, a Kalamazoo Nature Center membership is a hit for families who love to hike, explore, and learn together. 

Kalamazoo Nature Center kids playing in creek

Membership Perks: Membership grants free admission for 12 months, discount in the gift shop and on classes and events.

Woldumar Nature Center

5739 Old Lansing Rd, Lansing, MI 48917

Family memberships at Woldumar Nature Center are a favorite for Lansing locals for its variety of natural environments, including more than a mile of Grand River shoreline.

Membership Perks: Membership grants free parking and trail access, member-only events, discount in the gift shop and on select programs and events.

Fenner Nature Center

2020 E Mt Hope Ave, Lansing, MI 48910

Families love Fenner Nature Center for its viewing areas, hands-on exhibits, and live animals.

Membership Perks: Membership grants discounts at the gift shop and on programs, and members-only events.

Amusement Park Memberships

A family membership to one of west Michigan’s amusement parks can be a great investment towards some serious summer fun. Bonus: these are great for kids of ALL ages!

Nelis’ Dutch Village

12350 James St, Holland, MI 49424

Families all around West Michigan snag their season pass to Nelis’ Dutch Village every year for the amusement park rides, delicious food, and to engage in traditional Dutch culture.

Dutch Village kids in cutout sign

Membership Perks: Membership grants unlimited visits to the park during the season (April through September).

Michigan’s Adventure

4750 Whitehall Rd, Muskegon, MI 49445

Michigan’s Adventure season passes are a perfect fit for families who are looking to spend some fun quality time together. With rollercoasters and a waterpark, you’ll be glad you don’t have to fit it all in one trip.

Michigan's Adventure Corkscrew Rollercoaster

Membership Perks: Membership grants unlimited visits to both parks during the season, food and merchandise discounts. Additional season passes available for meals, drinks and parking.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Family Membership

There are so many places to choose from when looking for a family membership. Whether it’s a zoo membership, a museum membership, or something in between, there are a few important things to keep in mind when deciding if a membership is right for you.

Will you visit the attraction enough times for the membership to pay for itself?

Do some math to figure out how many times your family needs to visit in order for the family membership to pay for itself. A family of five only needs to visit Meijer Gardens twice — any visits beyond that are “free”!

What is included? Are there any exclusions?

Usually unlimited free visits for 12 months (or the open season) are included, but there are often other perks like gift shop and concession discounts.

Who is included with your membership?

Oftentimes a family membership is just for the people living one household. But sometimes you can add-on a guest.

Where else can you visit with your membership?

Sometimes there is one place a month, other times there is a permanent list.

Are there any special member-only events?

Most places who offer memberships have special Member Only events, usually before or after normal hours.

Map of Family Memberships Near Me

map of family memberships near me

Which Family Memberships Will You Snag?

We hope this gives you a great starting point when searching to see what memberships are right for your family. Do you know of other family-friendly places that offer memberships? Let us know in the comments below!

10 thoughts on “20 West MI Family Memberships for 2024: Zoo Memberships, Museum Memberships & More”

  1. If you are trying to be very frugal about your memberships you can buy your family membership to Meijer Gardens at the time of Butterflies and it will get you into The Butterflies again next season… we alternate memberships with the zoo. When we added foster kids to our house we realized memberships were a must!

  2. Jackie Darmogray Fornetti via Facebook

    Not local, but we maintain membership at the National Aviary Society. Family membership is $75, but we use the reciprocating benefit for free/reduced entrance to JBZ, Binder, Meijer Gardens..essentially all places with flowers and birds.

  3. Alison Westhouse via Facebook

    Just curious, for Java Gym, i didn’t have to pay to get in, just had to pay for my child. Only 2.95 total.. Did i happened to go on the day that Adults were free? Or is that info need to be updated? Curious if anybody else had to pay?

  4. Cheri Schrenk via Facebook

    I heard a lot of the free passes are no longer available too. Our local library used to have passes for John Ball zoo but no longer offer them. 🙁

  5. It’s important to remember that many of these places have free days throughout the year. For GR residents, the public museum is free every single Monday, so if you can time your visits, there’s no need for a membership. The art museum is free during Festival and Art Prize, which satisfies our art museum needs for the year. The children’s museum has $2 admission on Tuesday nights. The zoo has free days at least a couple of times a year.

  6. Jennie Betley Hodges via Facebook

    Funny, I was just thinking about this when we visited the Public Museum this week. We have been members of the Children’s Museum because we liked that they recipocated with other local places during the summer. It seems, however, those options aren’t as enticing as they once were (to my family). I think this year, we’ll ask the grandparents for the Public Museum membership instead. Also, we have the JB Zoo membership – it’s $10 cheaper than Binder and it gets you into Binder for 1/2 price and Potter Park (in Lansing) for free.

  7. Chris Jennifer via Facebook

    JB Zoo, Meijer Gardens, GR Public Museum and, of course, the Michigan State Parks Passport program. Seasonally we have Millennium Beach also. We have never done the GR Children’s Museum because it’s just too loud in there for us.

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