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blog 3 Cheap Activities for Families with Your ACCESS Card

Got an ACCESS card? Then you’ve literally got access to tons of fun things to do in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Many moms in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are unaware of the perks that come with at one point in your life having been a part of the population that has owned an ACCESS card. (FYI, an ACCESS card is very similar to a debit card, but is given to families who participate in Food Stamp, Cash or Medical Assistance)  In Pennsylvania in particular, having an ACCESS card comes with the advantage of one’s ability to literally “Access” museums and play spaces at minimal cost.  All of these spaces are kid-friendly,  making the activities ideal spots for families who are experiencing financial troubles, but still want to enjoy time together outside of their homes.  So, if you don’t know, now you know.  Here is a list of museums and other play spaces that will grant you access on the cheap with your ACCESS card.

Pittsburgh ACCESS Card Discounts

Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum offers $2 per person admission to up to 4 members of your family.  Regular admission is $14 per adult, $13 per child and children under 2 are free.  So it’s a pretty significant discount.  Even if your family consist of 5 people, you’re still only paying just over $20.  Plus, the Children’s Museum is at least 2 hours of fun for kids 10 and under.  That’s enough for you to make your “we went out today” quota and get your kids home in time for quiet time or nap time. Click here for their website.

Carnegie Science Center

The Science Center offers a very similar discount program for ACCESS cardholders.  Their admission price is $3 per person for up to 4 household members.  At the Science Center ACCESS holders can use both their SNAP (food stamp) cards or their Medical Benefit ACCESS cards.  Click here for their website (the information is all the way at the bottom of the page.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The Carnegie Museum also offer $2 per person admission to a family of 4.  If you have a 5th member of your family, you can also use your Port Authority bus pass to get $1 off regular admission.  The cost to enter the Museum of Natural History is $17.95. Which is quite pricey for most middle-class families, and families who are experiencing financial hardships. Click here to find more information about their discount programs.

The Andy Warhol Museum also offers $1 admission to families of 4.  Click here for more about the ACCESS card discount program.

Philadelphia ACCESS Card Discounts

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

State-issued ACCESS cards offer general admission to the Academy for only $2 (limit 4 people), excluding special exhibits. Cardholders must present their ACCESS Card and a valid photo ID to receive the discount

African American Museum in Philadelphia

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) is the first institution funded and built by a major municipality to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage of African Americans.  ACCESS card holders pay $2 for a family of 4.

American Swedish Museum

The American Swedish Historical Museum in South Philadelphia is the oldest Swedish Museum in the United States. Founded in 1926, the Museum has been dedicated to preserving and promoting Swedish and Swedish-American cultural heritage and traditions for more than 80 years.  ACCESS Card Holders: $2 per adult and children over 5.

Barnes Foundation Art Museum

Immerse yourself in the greatest private collection of impressionist, post-impressionist and early-modern paintings. Explore more than 3,000 masterpieces, including 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 59 Matisses, 46 Picassos, 16 Modigli­anis, and 7 Van Goghs, plus textiles, metalwork, decorative objects, African sculpture, Native American ceramics and jewelry, and Pennsylvania German furniture. ACCESS cardholders $2.

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Admission is $2 for ACCESS card holders.

Independence Seaport Museum

Founded in 1960 as the Philadelphia Maritime Museum, Independence Seaport Museum is the region’s primary repository of art, artifacts and archival materials documenting the diverse maritime history of the Greater Delaware Valley, and the history of the Port of Philadelphia and the other major urban ports of the Delaware River. ACCESS cardholders $2.

Morris Arboretum

Spend time with family and friends exploring the Arboretum’s 92-acre lush and colorful gardens. Discover your favorite garden spaces and learn from 12,000 labeled plants, trees and flowers. $2 admission for ACCESS Cardholders.

The Mütter Museum

America’s finest museum of medical history, the Mütter Museum displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a 19th-century “cabinet museum” setting. The museum helps the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body and to appreciate the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.  ACCESS cardholders receive $2 admission.  

National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center is the first and only institution in America established by Congress to “disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a non-partisan basis in order to increase the awareness and understanding of the Constitution among the American people.”  ACCESS cardholders receive $2 admission.

National Museum of American Jewish History

The National Museum of American Jewish History, on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, presents educational programs and experiences that preserve, explore, and celebrate the history of Jews in America.  Present your state-issued ACCESS/EBT card (along with valid photo ID) to receive $2 general admission for up to 4 family members.

Penn Museum

Founded in 1887, the Penn Museum has always been one of the world’s great archaeology and anthropology research museums, and the largest university museum in the United States. With roughly one million objects in our care, the Penn Museum encapsulates and illustrates the human story: who we are and where we came from. One (1) ACCESS Card admits up to four (4) family members at a rate of $2 per person. Admission is to be paid by the visitor, not through their EBT card. 

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Through the rare combination of our spectacular galleries, our internationally known school of fine arts, and our public programs, PAFA strives to provide students and visitors alike with a unique and thrilling experience. ACCESS cardholders admission is $2.

Philadelphia History Museum 

The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent is your gateway to the history of Philadelphia. In a city well known for historic events and places, the Philadelphia History Museum is the only cultural institution solely dedicated to Philadelphia history, from the founding of the city in 1680 to the present today.  Present your ACCESS/EBT card and receive collection admission for up to four family members at $2 each.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is Philadelphia’s art museum. We are a landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. Present your Pennsylvania ACCESS/EBT card and receive general admission for up to four adults at $2 each. Children 12 and under are free.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (PMG) inspires creativity and community engagement by educating the public about folk, mosaic, and visionary art. PMG preserves, interprets, and provides access to Isaiah Zagar’s unique mosaic art environment and his public murals.  State-issued ACCESS cards offer general admission to PMG for only $2 per person (limit 4 people). Cardholders must present their ACCESS Card and a valid photo ID to receive the discount. 

Please Touch Museum

Please Touch Museum enriches the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play. This is where lifelong learning begins and curiosity is encouraged.  ACCESS cardholders (those Pennsylvania residents who monitor their government issued cash, food, or medical benefits with an EBT card) are invited to visit the Please Touch Museum at a deeply discounted rate of $2.

Philadelphia’s discounted rate program is sponsored by ArtReach.

23 Responses

  1. Regina Zajac says:

    This is a good thing so families can go to these places. We never went to any of these places when our kids were younger because we couldn’t afford it and we DIDN’T have an access card (or get any other kind of assistance). We would have loved to have a discount too so that we could have gone to these!!!

  2. Ellen King says:

    I am a white, disabled grandmother who is on a small set income. We would love to take our grandchildren but, wasn’t sure if we could also be allowed to do these things with our grandbabies.

  3. Mel m says:

    Your site seems very nice and greatly informative! I love the ideas for discounts for families. It is expensive day after day in the summer. I would like to see such a group that includes all mamas in pgh!

  4. sara says:

    can white moms use this site as well?

  5. Courtney says:

    I thought the Pittsburgh zoo did this too

  6. Jessica says:

    This is fantastic, thank-you! My husband got laid off from Alcoa last spring and qualified for a school program. So he’s getting his associates degree but still able to get full unemployment because of how large the layoff was. Many of the techs are doing the same. The guys with bachelor’s store getting their masters and the guys with Master’s are getting their PhD on this program. It’s a blessing, but in the mean time our income on max unemployment is 1/4 what he used to make. I’ve been wanting to take my children to the science center, but couldn’t afford $110 for us all to go. So thank-you so much for this post!!

  7. Mi Amor says:

    I just subscribed and posted you on my google collections page! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. sheldon says:

    hello thank you for answerING my questions about having the acesses card do you know if the ppg zoo has discounts also

  9. Eric Preisendefer says:

    This was very informative and helpful. I had no idea that the museums did that and that the access card could get you discounts around the city. Does it only work if you’re a mother though? I’m a 26 year old white male and me and my girlfriend have been wanting to take her daughter to the children’s museum or science center but couldn’t afford it. But now that I know about this it would only cost us 9$ instead of close to 50$.

    • Hi Eric. Thanks for commenting. Anyone with an ACCESS card can get this deal. That includes men, elderly and disabled Pa residents who have a card. Also, of you get medical assistance, you can take advantage of these deals with your yellow Medicaid card.

  10. Briana Dockery says:

    Does the Philadelphia zoo allow people with the EBT access card get a discount?

  11. Dianna Gould says:

    We live about 15 minutes SE of Reading, and I just found out about this program. There are so many options in the philli area. Question about parking though, Do the museums have parking lots and offer free parking or would we have to pay at a city lot and walk to the locations? We have yet to be in the city itself but have been told that the parking is very expensive. We have considered taking the train down there however I was told it’s $6 a person round trip and we have a family of 6, not to mention needing to then walk to the locations from the train station with our youngest who is 4.

  12. Aizhen Luo says:

    Thank you so much brown mommas. Besides the museums, and medical benefits, what other benefits do the yellow access cards entitle us to?

  13. tiffani says:

    we just got the wrap around care for our son. I am so thankful for this site!!

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