Blue Star Museums

Military Families Can Visit Hundreds of Museums for Free

The Blue Star Museums program just opened for the summer, and dozens of California spots are participating.

NRedmond

PLANNING A ROAD TRIP? It takes some time, some playlist planning, some consulting with various family members about their playlist requests, redoing the playlist, then moving on to the all-important topic of what snacks to pack, and in what order those snacks should be consumed. These are all important considerations, no doubt, and anyone who has ever road-tripped with members of their family knows firming up these particular details in advance is a wise move. But even wiser? Having a great goal to anticipate, a way-cool attraction or super-nifty science institution or art-packed museum to discuss, research, and, after an hour, an afternoon, or a day, arrive at and enjoy exploring.

BLUE STAR MUSEUMS... have been treating military families to a road trip's centerpiece, a fantastic museum or attraction or hands-on science center, for over a decade, a show of deep gratitude from several organizations. The program, "a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America," is all about offering "free admission to the nation's active-duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families each summer." And the 2022 summer season has officially kicked off for Blue Star Museums, with the opportunities for free entry at several spots continuing through Labor Day. Over 2,000 museums across the nation have participated in past years, with zoos, nature centers, and art museums joining to say "thank you" to military families with complimentary admission.

IN THE GOLDEN STATE, there are plenty of terrific places on the 2022 roster, with The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, the African American Firefighter Museum in Los Angeles, the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of Riverside Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara all joining the give-back fun. Eager to plan that memory-making road trip and find a place or two to visit? Here's where you start, Blue Star Families. Here's to a summer of adventures and exploration, one that is full of gratitude, fresh sights, and plenty of family-fun times.

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