If you are hitting the road on a family vacation there's a card you should have in your pocket this summer, in fact, you need it all year long. It's a passport of sorts, a membership card, to science centers and zoos all across the country. Becoming a member will give you deeply discounted entrance fees, with some reciprocating programs allowing you in for free.
Two national organizations, The Association of Science and Technology and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums together offer this program. There are 270 facilities nationwide affiliated.
Becoming a member is a great way of supporting your local science museums and zoos and visiting others outside your area. The caveat is the discounts only apply at centers 90 miles from where your local zoo or science center is. This is to encourage people to support their local center first, then explore beyond their hometown.
So visit a science center or zoo near you and become a member and begin the adventure. The Discovery Place in Charlotte is a great place to start!