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Special discounts for families in need

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Do you or someone in your family receive public assistance, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Head Start support? If so, you may be eligible for benefits and discounts for recreation and entertainment. Here are some organizations that provide those benefits and discounts.

Minnesota Children’s Museum

If your family can't afford to visit the Minnesota Children’s Museum, you may qualify for a free All Play membership. Qualifying families receive:

  • Free admission for one year.
  • 10 percent discount at museum cafe and store.
  • $2 per ticket discount for up to six guests per visit.
  • Access to sneak peek events and other benefits.

Minnesota Zoo

The Minnesota Zoo provides free admission to a qualifying guest and their dependents. This is through its Free to Explore Zoo Access Program. Parking and fees for any special programs, events, or exhibits are not included.

To qualify for Free to Explore, you must be enrolled in at least one of the following programs:

  • TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • MFIP (Minnesota Family Investment Program).
  • SNAP.
  • MFAP (Minnesota Food Assistance Program.
  • General Assistance.
  • Medical Assistance (MinnesotaCare).
  • General Assistance.
  • WIC (Women, Infants and Children Program).
  • Head Start.

Show the approved documentation when you enter. You also need to show a Minnesota photo identification and proof of Minnesota residency upon admission. For more information, see the Free to Explore web page.

Science Museum of Minnesota

The Science Museum of Minnesota offers discounts to people with limited incomes. The discounts are available for both the museum and Omnitheater. You must be 18 or over and enrolled in at least one assistance program listed on the museum's website.

Present your photo ID and proof of enrollment in an assistance program at the museum box office. For more information, see the museum's Hours & Admission web page. Look under "Discounts — Limited Income Discounts" in the three tables displayed.


Besides providing a place to exercise, local YMCAs offer many health-related programs and services. Financial assistance is available at many locations. See the Financial Assistance page of the YMCA Twin Cities website for details.

Also explore the YMCA Twin Cities website for an idea of available programs and services. Or contact your local YMCA.

Heather Lee, educational resource development and support manager, Extension Center for Family Development; reviewed by Mary Caskey, associate program director in SNAP-Ed.


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