Lawrence Hall of Science membership reviews

i have 4 children age 3-10.5 and wondering if I would get a lot of mileage out of the LHS family membership? The kids are all in school full days as I work full time also so I’d be limited to weekends and the occasional day off.   

We do have membership at the Oakland zoo which has been wonderful entertaining all the kids.  I’m hoping for something similar at another venue in order to give more options.  

Parent Replies

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Not exactly what you are asking, but we have found our LHS membership very valuable even though we don't actually get there as often as we'd like because it gives up reciprocal memberships to many science and children's museums through the ASTC and ACM programs. We have more than gotten our membership's worth of value with just a few visits to other museums each year. LHS members also receive priority enrollment and discounts on summer camps and I think also on birthday parties, if that's something your family would use. We would honestly keep our membership even if we never made it to the museum (although it's nice when we do!) As far as target ages, I think it is best for elementary-aged kids. My preschooler enjoys visits but there's a limited set of things he wants to see. My early elementary school child will spend far longer there.

If you enjoy the Hall, even a $95 standard family membership will more than pay for itself with two family visits in 12 months (assuming all four kids and at least one adult). You can also bring one free guest each time you visit, get a few planetarium tickets, discounts at their shop and on classes and camps, and priority registration for camps.  If you travel, you also get free or reduced admission at hundreds of other science museums outside the bay area.

For $40 more, for the "premium" level, you also get half off at lots of additional museums, including several in the Bay Area; two additional adult memberships (for caretakers, for example), and more guests.

I recommend you look at the web site for details and decide if it seems worthwhile for your family.

And if you happen to itemize on your taxes, note that membership payments, unlike admission fees, are generally tax deductible as a charitable contribution.

I have given my grown kids membership to East Bay Parks and they LOVE it. It lets you know all the coming activities and so far they have all been great. My kids also got a zoo membership which they enjoy, but they end up doing more stuff with the Regional Parks system

We’ve been very happy with ours for our 2.5 and 6.75 yr olds. We also work FT and only go on weekends or holidays. Also we found that membership gets you 1/2 off at Chabot Space Science Ctr.  I think it pays itself off after 2-3 visits. With some many kids prob faster for you!