The Bellingham Public Library is offering free family passes for participating local museums.
The passes, which are obtained through the Bellingham Public Library’s website, allow a group of up to four people free entry at either the SPARK Museum of Electric Invention, Whatcom Museum, or, recently, Mindport Exhibits.
Each family is eligible for a pass for each museum every 60 days, according to the Bellingham Public Library website. The passes can be obtained by visiting the library calendar of events.
While the program started last summer, Mindport Exhibits announced Wednesday that it had joined, sparking new interest.
Admission to each of the museums typically varies from $5 to $12, depending on a visitor’s age, but the program aims for education rather than financial gain.
“[The program] helps give people who might not otherwise have the financial ability to participate in the museums [the ability] to do it in a way that is more community oriented and more accessible,” said Abby Whatley, SPARK Museum's program director.
As a nonprofit that generates most of its revenue from admission, Whatley admits the SPARK Museum has to be careful to watch its finances, but she feels having the museum accessible is also important.
“It’s not such a financial burden that we’re concerned about it,” Whatley said, “And it allows us to expand our reach and our services.”
The pass covers general admission and is only valid on the date selected and for the museum selected. Only one pass is available each day for each museum, and a library card is not required to obtain a pass.
The program is not limited to the warmer months. It will continue year-round.
SPARK Museum of Electric Invention is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays. Mindport Exhibits is open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Whatcom Museum is open from noon to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.