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Nov 04

Museums, zoo team up to celebrate the impact of generous members

Posted on November 4, 2022 at 2:42 PM by Leah Rainey

ShopMusZoo graphic(Bloomington-Normal)—Nov. 2, 2022—Three of McLean County’s most popular attractions are teaming up this November to celebrate the positive impact their members make each year across the community. 

The McLean County Museum of History, the Miller Park Zoological Society and the Children’s Discovery Museum are each offering a full month of mutual member discounts as a way of saying “Thank you” for supporting local education and outreach efforts to underserved communities. Throughout November, card-holding members of any one of these organizations will save 20% off gift shop purchases at all three sites. Proceeds from every sale will directly benefit the nonprofit organizations that help keep these local institutions operating and serving individuals, families and schools all year long. 

“Our members are so generous each year, we wanted to offer something unique to genuinely thank them and add a little sparkle to the holiday shopping season,” said Norris Porter, development director at the McLean County Museum of History. 

All three sites have robust education programs that serve tens of thousands of local students and teachers each year. Field trips, classes, camps and public productions all serve to enhance lifelong learning opportunities across the region. Many of these programs are free or offer significantly reduced prices to help remove barriers and improve access to high-quality learning resources. Memberships help support these efforts. 

“We have all partnered together for educational programs, public outreach and family entertainment over the years,”  said Jay Pratte. “We agree that experiential learning and real-life applications can inspire a student’s enthusiasm and improve their learning retention. But we haven’t really teamed up for a member-appreciation event like this before. We hope our supporters participate this month and enjoy the added value to their investment.”

The two museums and the zoo experienced challenges during the last two years due to operating limitations and crowd restrictions associated with necessary COVID-19 safety protocols, but members made donations during multiple extended shutdowns, and they renewed their support as the sites reopened. 

“That’s the kind of support McLean County is known for,” said Beth Whisman. “We value our local cultural institutions and educational resources. When hard times stretched out longer than any of us anticipated, our members and community sponsors stepped up. Now that we have reopened, we want to invite our friends and neighbors to revisit all three sites to discover special gifts for different ages and diverse interests for the loved ones on their list.”

The unique offer lasts all month and ends on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The 20 percent discount applies to gift shop items only and members must present a valid card from one of the three sites. To learn more and purchase a qualifying membership, the public is encouraged to visit one or all three websites:

For up-to-date operating hours for museum and zoo gift shops, visit the different websites or search for and follow the museums and the zoo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.