DSNH

The Boonshoft Museum participates in reciprocal admission programs through the AZA, ASTC, and ACM. Learn more about reciprocity.

Current valid discounts on regular admission include:

  • Museums for All – $2.00 Admission for all age groups with SNAP/EBT or WIC Card (up to 4 tickets per family). 
  • AAA – $0.50 discount per person (up to 6). Must present current membership card.
  • State Farm – $0.50 discount per person (up to 6). Must present current insurance card.
  • Culture Works – $2.00 off one child admission with a paid adult or senior (regular) admission. Must present current Culture Works card.
  • Salute to the Military – $1 Off Admission

Looking for information about our free days? Learn more about Super Science Saturdays.

From zoos to children’s museums to science-technology centers, your Dayton Society of Natural History membership can qualify your family for reciprocal or reduced rates to over 300 institutions worldwide. Please note that each institution sets its own policy on this agreement; call the institution prior to visiting to ensure that reciprocal agreements are in effect.

Because The Dayton Society of Natural History is affiliated with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), other accredited organizations offer our members special admission opportunities. 

WHO: Reciprocal benefits are offered to individuals and families that retain a membership; benefits may vary. People who have Standard and Premium Level Memberships enjoy special benefits at science/technology centers and zoos & aquariums.
*NOTE: See below for special reciprocity agreements with other Ohio institutions.

WHAT: Reciprocity is a mutual exchange of privileges between two institutions, such as one science and technology center or zoo offering reduced admission to members of another science and technology center or zoo.

WHEN: Reciprocity is exercised year-round, but when you are visiting a museum, science/technology center, or zoo/aquarium please observe their daily schedule and be sure to call ahead to confirm their reciprocity commitment to your specific institution’s membership, as institutions can opt out of the program at any time throughout the year.

WHERE: With over 300 museums, zoos, and other attractions across the country, we encourage traveling families to visit these amazing facilities. For your convenience  we have provided lists of institutions that offer reciprocal benefits at science and technology centers (ASTC) zoos & aquariums (AZA) and participating children’s museums (ACM). Again, please review the lists below to verify that the institution you plan on visiting participates in reciprocal program.

WHY: The reciprocal benefits offered with a DSNH Membership are a valuable benefit, to not only our guests, but also other instituions that so graciously host DSNH Members. These institutions take pride in sharing their educational resources, local history, culture, and entertaining attractions with our Members, as do we when we host guests using reciprocal memberships.

HOW: Simply purchase a membership! Visit our Levels and Benefits page to find the membership level that best suits you and your family, or simply click the button below to start enjoying all the entertaining, educational attractions the Dayton Society of Natural History has to offer.

Headed out of the state? Here are some tips for using your reciprocal benefits when traveling out-of-state:

  • Make sure to review the list of reciprocal benefits at science and technology centers (ASTC) and Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to add to the excitement of your next family vacation. 
  • Because benefits are awarded at the discretion of the institution you are visiting, these changes can sometimes be made without warning. We strongly recommend you make a quick call to the institution you plan to confirm that the reciprocal benefits associated with your DSNH Membership apply.
  • Because many people travel over holidays, school breaks, etc., the institution you plan to visit may be offer special programming, an altered schedule of daily programming, or special holiday hours. Please visit the institution’s website or call ahead to ensure you are able to plan your visit appropriately.
  • Have your photo ID and DSNH Membership Card ready when visiting both local and out-of-state instituions. Make sure to review the list of reciprocal benefits at science and technology centers (ASTC) and Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to add to the excitement of your next family vacation.

On a local Adventure in Ohio?  While both the Cincinnati Museum Center and COSI are within the 90-mile radius, Boonshoft Museum members currently receive 50% off regular admission to both of these locations. The Boonshoft Museum extends the same 50% discount to CMC and COSI members.

The Boonshoft Museum matches the 50% discount offered to our members by the Cincinnati Zoo.

Please be aware that reciprocal benefits for your DSNH/Boonshoft Museum membership may have additional restrictions if you do not live in the Dayton, OH area.  In particular, please note that the Great Lakes Science Center and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History will not accept reciprocity with Boonshoft Museum of Discovery members who reside in the Cleveland area.

Review List of Reciprocal Benefits at…

Association of Children’s Museums

Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Association of Science & Technology Centers

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Frequently Asked Questions.

The program is available to any bearer of a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card, which includes active duty military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), National Guard and Reserve members and up to five family members.

The military ID holder plus up to five family members may participate.

A family member of active duty military may include a spouse or child, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. 

Yes, spouses of deployed military are eligible for the Salute to the Military program. Just bring your DD Form 1173 ID Card, or DD Form 1173-1 ID Card, for active duty military family members.

hildren under the age of 10 without military ID are welcome to attend with their parents who either hold a Geneva Convention Common Access Card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID Card, or a DD Form 1173-1 ID Card. 

Each year, the Boonshoft Museum is closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. We occassionally close early for special events. 

 

Interested in becoming a member? Visitors have up to 14 days to apply their regular admission toward an annual membership! Must submit the original receipt and purchase the membership in person; some restrictions apply. Does not apply to group admission. See our Guest Services staff for more details during your visit.

Children (3-17) $11.50
Adults $14.50
Seniors (60+) $12.50
Children (under 3) Free
DSNH Members are FREE
  Remember! Members must present ID with their membership card during every visit.

  • The Boonshoft Museum is committed to providing a safe environment for all guests; children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (18+) at all times.
  • The Boonshoft Museum accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX, and personal checks with proper ID
  • The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is committed to keeping our visitors and staff healthy and safe.
    We are doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and our staff will continue to wear masks in public and enclosed spaces.
    Our building is equipped to treat the air to kill viruses and bacteria, and we are continuing to do extra cleaning.
    Although not required, we request that our visitors wear a mask and continue to practice safe social distancing!

  • ​You do not need to make reservation or buy tickets in advance.
  • We have re-opened everything in the museum!
  • Public Programs run daily! Check the Calendar for the daily schedule. 
  • Routine cleaning will happen throughout the day.
  • Staff will be available throughout the building to answer questions, guide guests and disinfect any touchpoints. 
  • Please call 937.275.7431 if you have any additional questions.

Q. What methods of payment does the Museum accept?

A. We accept cash, checks and travelers’ checks (with proper ID), Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Please note that there is not currently an ATM available at the Museum.

Q. Are Boonshoft Museum gift cards available for purchase?

A. Yes, gift cards are available in any denomination, and may be used at one of our two locations, the Boonshoft Museum or SunWatch Indian Village. To purchase a gift card, please visit one of our four locations or call 937-275-7431, ext. 120.

Q. Besides general admission, are there other charges?

At times, certain experiments in the Do Lab may carry an additional, nominal charge. This will be clearly announced prior to any scheduled presentation.

Q. Is parking available on-site and how much does it cost?

A. There is ample, free parking at the Museum.

Q. How accessible is the Museum?

A. There is designated handicapped parking space at the top of the circular drive, which leads directly to the Museum entrance. A ramp leads from the parking lot to the front door. There are elevators at both ends of the building to reach the second floor. Wheelchairs are also available on a first come basis, free of charge, for guests’ use while visiting the Museum.

Learn more about accessibility at the Boonshoft Museum, and read more about our Service Animal Guidelines.

Q. Is there a cafeteria at the Museum or can I bring my lunch?

Guests may bring their own food into the Museum, and can eat in the ECO-EATERY, which offers a selection of food for purchase, located on the second floor, from 10a to 3p daily, provided they store it in the Coat Room or their vehicles. Please note that the coat room is self-serve, and Museum personnel cannot hold, store or monitor coolers or bags. Small lockers are available for rent.

For the enjoyment of all guests, families/groups may not bring large family-style meals or full-size cakes to the Museum. No parties or groups larger than 10 may convene in the Food Chain; tables cannot be reserved or moved. Absolutely no decorations are permitted. If you wish to book a birthday celebration or rental that includes private space for your group, we have lots of options! Please click here to learn more.

Outdoor picnic tables are available, weather permitting, on a first come basis.

Questions about Museum policies? We’re happy to answer your questions! Call 937.275.7431 to speak with a Guest Services member.

Q. Is there a coat room?

A. Yes. There is a coat room at the entrance to the Museum. However, the Museum is not responsible for lost or stolen items.  Small self-serve lockers are also available for rent. ($1 per vend and accept quarters only)

Q. Are strollers available at the Museum?

A. Yes, there are a limited number of strollers, available on a first come, first serve basis. While there is no charge, guests are required to leave their ID on hold with Guest Services for the duration of the visit in exchange for the use of strollers.

Q. Can I breastfeed my baby at the Museum?

A. Of course! For those who prefer privacy, the Museum offers a quiet room for families on the first floor. There are also numerous benches and seating arranged throughout the Museum for your convenience.

Q. How long should we plan on visiting?

A. Older children could easily spend 4-5 hours exploring all of the Museum’s exhibits. Some families spend the entire day. Younger children typically reach saturation after 1.5 – 2 hours. Effective planning can help keep a child’s attention. Take advantage of Caryl D. Philips Space Theater Shows, animal talks and science presentations, as well as snack breaks in the Eco-Eatery to help pace your day.

Q. When is the Museum the least crowded?

A. To avoid crowds, the best time to visit the Museum is between 9:00-10:00 a.m. during the week. However, most featured/traveling exhibits showing in special exhibition do not open for the public until 11:00 a.m.  Arrive early for the main Museum experience, then be first in line to enjoy special traveling exhibitions.

Q. I am bringing very young children for our visit. Is there anything I should be aware of?

A. While the Museum offers interactive experiences for visitors of any age, families with young explorers may need a little advance planning to enjoy a few of our exhibits and programs! For example:  

  • Young children and others who are startled by loud noises or darkened rooms may choose to avoid Science Theater demonstrations, as controlled explosions and loud noises are part of some shows, and the lights are often lowered for effect.
  • Like the Science Theater, our Planetarium is also dark, and some shows may have loud noises. In addition, there is no re-entry to the theater once the doors close, so we encourage families to stay together if a member of your group needs to leave a show.
  • The Climbing Tower & Slide that is located in Science Central spans several floors. This busy, high-traffic area can be accessed independently from both the first and second floors, so it is recommended that grown-ups either: 1) accompany children up the tower and down the slide, or 2) bring more than one adult in order to supervise your child(ren)’s play from both levels.

Q. Are there activities outside the Museum?

A. The Museum grounds are a Living Museum, which includes a walking trail through the Werthner Woods. Common plants are marked and visitors will spot many varieties of birds, as well as woodland animals. Across from the Museum is DeWeese Parkway, with walking and biking trails that meander along the Stillwater River. Nearby is Wegerzyn Garden Center, which features an interactive children’s area.

Q. Can I bring a camera or video camera to the Museum?

A. Yes. We encourage guests to capture the special moments they spend with their children at the Museum. Additionally, disposable cameras are available in the Discoveries Gift Shop for a reasonable fee.

Please note that visitors must limit their photography to the children and guests in their immediate group.  The Museum reserves the right to confiscate any photo or videos that violate this policy.

Q. I am a Boonshoft Museum member, but cannot find my membership card.  Can I still visit the Museum?

A. Of course! Our Guest Services staff will be happy to verify your membership standing when you check in at the front desk.  As always, you must present a valid photo I.D. Reprints will be available to Members for a $5.00 charge.

Q. Are Group Rates available?

A. Group rates are available for groups of 10+, with prior arrangment. Due to staffing requirements, drop-in groups will still be required to pay regular admission rates at the front desk. Learn more about Weekday Group Tour Options and Weekend Advance Group Sales.

Q. What is the Museum’s policy on roller skates, blades and/or Wheelies?

A. The Museum does not permit any rolling shoes on the premises. If a visitor engages their wheels, they will be asked to remove the wheels from their shoes for the duration of their visit.

Q. Is it permissible to drop off young teens to explore the Museum on their own?

A. In order to provide a safe and fun learning environment for all visitors, the Museum asks that children under the age of 16 be accompanied by an adult (18 years+) at all times.  The Museum reserves the right to notify appropriate authorities if we believe children are not adequately supervised.

Welcome Adult Adventurers and Kid Explorers:
We ask that you play safe, play nice, and play often! Below are some important rules for the safety and enjoyment of all our visitors and staff.

  • Adults must remain with and supervise children in their group at all times.
  • Under 18? If so, you must be accompanied by an adult (18+ years) upon admission. Please refrain from dropping off children for unsupervised play.
  • The Boonshoft Museum is committed to providing a safe environment for all guests; children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (18+) at all times.
  • Parents and guardians should always maintain a 1:6 ratio. This means at least 1 adult (18 and over) for every six children (17 and under).
  • Dos and Don’ts of Dress: DO wear a shirt and shoes at all times! DON’T wear “wheelies” or other rolling shoes.
  • We all get excited to explore, but please refrain from running, screaming or disruptive behavior in general. Causing deliberate damage to the Museum or the person or property of others cannot be tolerated.
  • Give everyone a chance to learn and play; please respect the exhibits and other visitors’ experience.

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery staff frequently document our visitors and activities for promotional and historical purposes.  Please notify the Admissions Desk upon arrival if you do not wish to be included in photography or videography. 

For those wishing to document your visit today, you must limit photography to the children and guests in your immediate group. The Museum reserves the right to confiscate any photo or video documentation that violates this policy. In addition, any harassment or deliberate intimidation of other patrons and staff will not be tolerated. Guests who violate this policy may be asked to leave the premises; members who violate this policy may have their membership revoked.

The Museum is not responsible for lost, misplaced, or stolen items. Items placed in the Lost and Found will be kept for up to 30 days.

Food and drink are not permitted in the Museum, except in designated areas, like the Eco-Eatery. Coolers are welcome, but seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis these area, and seating may not be held, nor tables moved. Visit the Amenities section of our FAQs page for more detail, or learn more about booking a birthday party at the Museum.

For the safety of guests and our animal residents, pets are not permitted in the museum. Licensed service animals are welcome, but must be checked in at the Admissions Desk so that our Live Animals staff can be notified and adjust programs accordingly. Please be aware that our Guest Services staff may ask a few questions to verify that your service animal is required because of a disability, and what work or task the animal is trained to perform.

Due to the danger to the animals, pets may not be left unattended in vehicles in the Museum parking lot. Guests with unattended pets will be paged by license number; if the guest cannot be found, Museum staff will contact the appropriate authorities for assistance.

The Museum is a non-smoking facility; regular and electronic cigarettes are prohibited. Designated smoking areas are available outside the main Museum entrance.

As posted at the Museum’s entrance, weapons are not permitted in the Museum. Any reports of weapons in the Museum will be directed immediately to the appropriate authorities.