April showers bring May freebies! At least that’s what membership to five local institutions brings.
Throughout the month of May, The Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center and Kalamazoo Institute of Arts are partnering up for the Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange to offer free admission to any of the five organizations. Guests simply need to present their membership card from any of the five organizations for free admission. There may be additional costs for special activities or programs, but with the money you save on admission, it’s a win-win!
“This area of the state is fortunate to have some of the best cultural organizations of their kind in the country,” says Bill Rose, President and CEO of the Kalamazoo Nature Center. “Each of these organizations is committed to providing the highest quality service to our community. By partnering in the Cultural Exchange, we all feel that we can make each organization more accessible to a broader segment of our community.”
This is the second year of participation in the Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange, which was designed to celebrate our region’s cultural richness and introduce organization members to new experiences.
May activities at each organization include:
The Air Zoo
The Air Zoo is a unique, Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science museum with over 60 rare aircraft & spacecraft, amazing interactive exhibits, innovative science-based classes & camps, indoor amusement park-style rides, a 4D theater, and full-motion flight simulators. Rain or shine, the Air Zoo’s huge indoor campus truly has something for everyone.
Binder Park Zoo
Connecting kids and families with animals and fun is what Binder Park Zoo is all about! A trip to the Zoo offers families a chance to experience a quality recreational experience while being surround by nature. Situated on 433 acres, Binder Park Zoo is not your typical Zoo and features a variety of rides and exhibits, like the award-winning Wild Africa. In Wild Africa, guests go on safari through a 50-acre African national park; including an 18-acre savannah hosting herds of impala, zebra, antelope, gazelle, and ostrich, and the Twiga Overlook where you can hand-feed one of the nation’s largest herds of giraffe! Upon your arrival back to the U.S., you are greeted by Mexican wolves, Chinese red pandas, kangaroos and a snow leopard! Don’t forget to stop by and see the three American black bears recently added to the Zoo.
Gilmore Car Museum
Open year-round, the Gilmore Car Museum features over 350 remarkable automobiles, displayed in over a dozen historic buildings, including a 1930s Shell Station, a 1941 Silk City Diner, and replica car dealerships from a bygone era. Current special exhibits include: Favorites of the ‘50s and ‘60s, Brass and Nickle Era: Cars of the Automotive Pioneers, The Green Book, Classics of the 1930s, Tin Toy Cars of Yesteryear: From Realistic to Whimsical, and extended by popular demand, American Legends: Hot Rods & Customs, featuring the ‘Lil Deuce Coupe of Beach Boys fame! Members from other participating organizations are also welcome to join us for our season-opening car show, the “Dust Off,” which will feature personally-owned automobiles proudly displayed across the Museum’s 90-acre Historic Campus!
(Plus, ECCU members enjoy Buy-One-Get-One-Free admission to Gilmore Car Museum year round! Pick up your coupon at any ECCU office.)
Kalamazoo Nature Center
Visit the beautiful Glen Vista Gallery to view the exhibition of Nature Seen through the Eyes of Artist Charley Harper. In a style he called “minimal realism,” Harper portrayed his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements, adding humor and whimsy to engage viewers of all ages. The KNC Education team has designed a series of programs to complement the exhibition, called Inspired by Nature.
May is a great month to explore 1,100 acres of varied habitat with 14 nature trails to choose from. Participate in weekly programs and activities such as Creature Features, Spring Wildflower Walks, hands-on gardening programs, birding hikes, and a family program every Sunday at 2pm. Visit the farmyard animals weekends in May. Full calendar at www.naturecenter.org
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Enjoy our biennial garage sale May 29-30, and special weekend workshops in photography at the Air Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center, and Binder Park Zoo. Exhibits on view include the annual High School Area Show, West Michigan Area Show, Chinese Folk Pottery, and Second Sight/Insight ll, combining visual art and poetry by area writers.
We received the gift of membership to the Kalamazoo Nature Center for our twins birthday last year, and my husband is a huge car fanatic, so I can guarantee we’ll be enjoying the free admission to Binder Park Zoo and Gilmore Car Museum this month. Which area attractions will you be visiting during the Cultural Exchange?