Great fun in store for museum members as THE GREAT EXCHANGE returns to San Diego County, May 1

The San Diego Museum Council has announced the return of its popular Big Exchange program, which offers free reciprocal admission for a limited time to members at more than 40 cultural destinations throughout San Diego County, including museums, gardens, historic sites, zoos/aquariums and more. . The program runs from May 1 to May 18, which is International Museum Day.

“Museum memberships are a great way to enjoy year-round access to San Diego’s world-class cultural institutions,” said Bob Lehman, executive director of the San Diego Museum Council. “The Big Exchange reinforces these membership benefits even further, providing a fun opportunity to ‘test out’ other destinations throughout the county and find a new favorite. San Diego truly is a cultural playground, and we hope that people will take advantage of this unique opportunity to explore and have fun – at no cost.”

How it works: During the Grand Exchange, members of one of the participating organizations (see list below) can simply walk into another participating museum and show their membership card for free reciprocal admission.


Not yet a member of the museum? Contact your favorite museum to register today and request a temporary Big

Redeem your membership card to visit other participating sites.

Each membership is reciprocal by guest or membership status. For example, a single membership would enjoy similar access for a visitor to a participating museum. A family membership can benefit from admission for up to four people to another participating museum.

Note: Balboa Park Explorer Pass or Go San Diego Card will not be accepted for this program.

Reciprocal admission requires proof of current membership at one of the participating museums.

The Big Exchange has seen phenomenal growth since its inception in 2016, with over 13,600 San Diego museum members taking advantage of the program in 2019. The program was discontinued in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

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