Should you Purchase a Museum Membership in Tacoma? I had over 700 reasons to do it.

I purchased two museum memberships last year.  If this is something you are thinking about be sure to read why decided to do it and the benefits I received from doing it.

Americas Car Museum Membership



My first membership to a museum was not actually the Tacoma Arts Museum but it was to Americas Car Museum in Tacoma.  I paid $120 for an annual membership (The Bronze) that provided the following benefits:

  • A personalized membership driver’s license
  • Unlimited, free admission to the Museum for one year
  • “Express Lane” access to the Museum
  • Digital subscription to the Museum’s award-winning magazine OpenRoad
  • Monthly digital newsletter EnRoute
  • Invitations to member-only events and programs, including new exhibit previews
  • Invitations to the Museum’s annual signature events
  • Recognition in Milestones, the Museum’s annual report
  • 10% discount at ACM Store and Classics Café
  • Discounts on Museum tours, special events and programs
  • Includes member benefits for two named adults, plus up to four children under the age of 18, and two accompanying guests passes per visit
  • ROAM: reciprocal admission to other Museums
  • Printed subscription to the Museum’s award winning magazine Open Road
  • 10% Discount on ACM rental spaces

The above information was taken from the America’s Car Museum website in the membership section.


I picked that specific package because it fit the needs of my family and I knew eventually we would take other family members or friends with us to the museum and it wouldn’t cost us a dime (other than the parking which is like $5 if I remember correctly.

Within a month of purchasing the membership we went back several times which paid for it very quickly.

It was an awesome feeling knowing that I can take my family there and not have to spend any additional money.  When it was hot this summer we got to walk around looking at cool cars in an awesome environment.

It’s also fun to get invitations to new exhibits openings for members only.  Though I haven’t been able to take advantage of this it’s fun to get the opportunity.

They have various membership packages that range from $40 (for the individual) to $600, but I believe the $120 Bronze package had the most value for the money.

So is a membership for the car museum worth it?  You’re darn skippy it is worth it.  Even if you are not a car enthusiast it is still something for the whole family to enjoy numerous times throughout the year.

The one thing I did not realize when purchasing the Bronze  membership is that it is also a part of ROAM (Reciprocal Organization of Associated Museums) which basically means that there are a ton of museums throughout the United States that you can get in for free.  I am sure there are some restrictions like special events and things of that nature, but it’s fun to know that if I am in another city or state that there is possibly a museum I can get into just by flashing my America’s Car Museum Driver License.

Tacoma Art Museum Membership – Ya, we got one of these too!


So my kids and I had some time to explore the other day and decided to go to the Tacoma Art Museum.  We had just recently been to the America’s Car Museum so we had to mix things up.  I hadn’t been to the Tacoma Art Museum in years so it seemed like a good idea.

When I compared the price of admission for me and my two children which would have come to a little over $40 if I remember correctly, and a membership for a family started at $85 dollars I had to look into the membership.

After a little discussion with museum staff I decided to become a Pioneer Member at $125.  This membership provided the following goodies:

  • Admits two adults and up to four kids (under 18)
  • Access to over 750 museums through the North American Reciprocal Museums (NARM) Program (more info)
  • Access to 14 additional museums through Museums West Consortium (more info)
  • Four complimentary guest passes
  • 20% discount at the TAM Store
  • Acknowledgement in Annual Report

The above information was from the Tacoma Art Museum website.


So by purchasing a membership to the Tacoma Art Museum I get access to another 750 museums with the NARM (North American Reciprocal Museums) program!  That is amazing.  Of course I could never visit all the museums so I was mostly focused on the areas I know I might visit.

A couple of the museums that I knew I would want to visit that were on the list were the Glass Museum, the Museum of History and Industry and the EMP Museum in Seattle.

So the purchase of the Pioneer Membership at the Tacoma Art Museum was a no brainer for me because I knew I was going to use it frequently.

The day after going to the Tacoma Art Museum I took my kids to the Glass Museum and it didn’t cost a thing.  We watched the glass makers make interesting art with glass (live) and we walked around the down town area.


A few days later we went to the glass museum again and brought along my daughter’s friend and it again didn’t cost anything as my Tacoma Art Museum membership covered it.

I seriously love how Tacoma has put some serious investment in to the downtown area.  Tacoma is truly an under rated city when it comes to the interesting things to do.  How many cities have a museum district?  Off the top of my head I can only think of one other area and that is in Washington D.C. area.

If you have any intention of going to a museum more than once a year then a membership is probably something you should consider.

Before I say good bye I wanted to let you know that my family will likely be getting season tickets to the Tacoma Rainiers games.  I will be writing about that in the future and whether it is worth your time and money.  I have early opinions but will wait till I have the season tickets to share my thoughts.

Comment or email me if you have any questions or comments about your experience with these memberships.


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