Squam Lakes Natural Science Center - Nearer To Nature
 
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Membership FAQs

Membership at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is a great value! You may come often and stay all day, every day, during regular operating hours, from May 1 through November 1. Click on the question below to see the answer.

How many guests does my membership allow?

Except for the One-Person membership, members have the flexibility of bringing guests for free, not just family members.The membership structure gives you the flexibility to bring different guests of your choice each day you visit; your family one week, your friends the next, and your clients or co-workers on the next day you visit. All members may also purchase extra guest admission tickets at a discounted price at each visit (instead of paying regular trail admission fees as in the past). As a member, you may also pay the member rate for guests you bring to programs and cruises.

How do I decide which membership level is best for me?

First, decide who you want listed as a member on your card - up to two adults at the same address may be named. At least one of the named members must bring the card and accompany the party. Next, decide how many additional people you are likely to bring - whether your child, a friend, a client, or other family members. Then purchase or renew the equivalent membership for that number of people. You can upgrade to another level at any time. You always have the option of purchasing extra guest trail admission tickets for a discounted fee each time you visit, or you can consider purchasing a gift membership for your friends or family members.

I am considering a Four-Person membership. How many people may enter for each visit?

A Four-Person membership admits a maximum of four people per day; at least one person in the party must be a named adult member. For each visit your membership would admit two named members and two guests or one named member and three guests. This gives you the flexibility to bring different guests of your choice each time you visit, whether family, friends, clients, or co-workers.

May I put more names than just my own on a membership card?

You may name up to two adults at the same address on a membership card. An adult is a person age 16 or older. We do not list youth ages 15 and under on membership cards for security purposes.

How old must I be to have a membership in my name?

You must be at least age 18 to have a membership in your name, but ages 16 or 17 maybe be named on a membership card if the primary member is at least age 18.

May I give my membership card to a friend or family member to use for a visit?

No, at least one of the members named on the card must be present each time you visit. The Science Center is a non-profit organization dependant on income sources such as admissions and memberships. Our membership policies are designed to protect the integrity of the membership program and its benefits for our participating members.

Must I accompany my guests?

Yes. At least one named member must accompany all guests. Please encourage your friends to become members so you can visit together.

How many membership cards will I receive?

All memberships except One-Person receive two cards.

May I use my membership to bring my church group, Girl Scout troop, or my child's school field trip?

No. Memberships are not are not valid for any type of group admissions or transferable to other people not listed on your membership application.

If I forget to bring my membership card, can I still visit for free?

We strongly encourage you to bring your card with you every time you visit, but if you forget, Admissions will verify your status (you may be asked to show a photo ID). You will be issued tickets valid for free admission for those in your party eligible under your membership category. You will also be able to use your 10% discount in the Howling Coyote Gift Shop.

How do I replace a lost membership card?

Please contact the Membership Office at 603-968-7194 x31. In the meantime, you may visit by presenting your photo ID at Admissions where you will be issued a trail admission ticket.

If another cardholder on my membership doesn't come with me, may I bring someone else in their place?

Yes, however, we require that at least one person named on the card be present. For example, if you and a spouse are listed on your membership card, you may bring your sister in your spouse's place but you may not give your card to your sister to come on her own. Each membership admits a maximum per day according to the membership level purchased.

May I send my children with their grandparents?

Membership cards are non-transferable, so grandparents must buy a membership in their own names, or an adult named on the membership card must accompany the party.

When and where may I purchase extra guest trail admission tickets?

You may purchase extra guest trail admission tickets for a discounted price each time you visit, for members of your party not covered through your membership. You may not purchase these tickets in advance but on that day only, although you may purchase gift certificates for admission at the regular price in advance.

Do I get discounted admission to Science Center programs and events as a member?

Yes, members receive discounted rates for most programs, courses, cruises, and some special events and activities throughout the year. Programs and cruises may also be purchased for guests at member rates when you accompany your guest.

Is my membership accepted at other organizations?

Yes! We participate in a reciprocal admission to zoos and aquariums through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Reciprocal Admissions Program (www.aza.org). There are more than 100 zoos and aquariums throughout the United States that will offer you 50% discounted admission. We also participate in the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) Reciprocal Membership Program (www.natctr.org). Please contact the organization you would like to visit before you go to verify the admission discounts offered.

What is the discount offered to members of other AZA organizations that participate in the AZA Reciprocal Admissions Program?

Members of other AZA organizations that participate in the AZA Reciprocal Admissions Program will receive 50% discounted trail admission for up to two adults and two youth at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.

What is the admission discount offered to members of other ANCA organizations that participate in the ANCA Reciprocal Membership Program?

Members of other ANCA organizations that participate in the ANCA Reciprocal Membership Program will receive 50% discounted trail admission for up to two adults and two youth at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.

How can I purchase or renew my membership?

Click here to purchase or renew your membership online. You may purchase a membership in person at Admissions or by contacting the Membership Office at 603-968-7194 extension 31. You may purchase a membership through the mail by filling out the membership form (click here) and mailing it in with your payment.

May I purchase or renew a gift membership for someone else?

Yes, click here to purchase or renew a gift membership online. You may purchase a gift membership in person at Admissions or by contacting the Membership Office at 603-968-7194 extension 31. You may purchase a gift membership through the mail by filling out the membership form (click here) and mailing it in with your payment.

If I buy my membership today, when may I begin using it?

You may use your membership immediately. If you purchase or renew your membership online, you will receive an email confirming your purchase, which you can print and bring when you visit until you receive your permanent membership card in the mail, normally in 2-3 weeks. If you purchase or renew your membership at Admissions, you will receive a temporary membership card you can use until you receive your permanent membership card in the mail. You must show proof of membership purchase or your membership card to take advantage of your 10% member discount in The Howling Coyote Gift Shop.

If I decide to join after my visit, may I apply the cost of my general admission tickets towards a membership?

Yes, but you must purchase your membership on the same day you visit.

If I give a gift to the Annual Fund, am I a member?

No, Annual Fund gifts support operations and do not provide the donor with any membership or other gifts or services in exchange. Annual Fund donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Some membership fees may be tax deductible; contact the Development Office at 603-968-7194 x 12 for more information.

Will I receive a renewal request before my membership expires?

Yes, we will mail or email your first renewal notice before your membership is due to expire. If you do not renew then, we will mail a follow up request after your membership expires. Periodically after that, we do send renewal requests to lapsed members.

Is my membership good for a calendar year or for a full year from time of purchase?

Memberships are good for one full year. Your membership is active from the day you join and expires at the end of that month the following year. For example, if you sign up or renew your membership on March 1, 2013, it is active that day and will expire March 31, 2014. You may renew at any time, even before your membership expires, and it will be renewed for a full year from the current expiration date.

Do I lose any time on my membership if I renew early?

No, you do not lose any time on your membership. If you renew early, a year will be added to your existing expiration date.

What happens if I upgrade my membership before the expiration date?

Your membership will be upgraded to the level that you choose for the remainder of your current membership. The fee to upgrade your membership will be the difference between your current level and the new level. Upgrading your membership will not change your expiration date. You may upgrade your membership by contacting the Membership Office at 603-968-7194 extension 31 or at Admissions when you visit.

What if there is an error on my membership card?

Please contact the Membership Office at 603-968-7194 x31 and we will correct the error and send you a new card.

I've already renewed my membership, but I continue to receive renewal notices. Should I be concerned?

Sometimes the payment and the renewal notice simply cross in the mail. If you have renewed your membership and get more than one renewal notice, please contact the Membership Office at 603-968-7194 x31.

How do I submit an address change?

You may change your address for your membership in person at Admissions or by contacting the Membership Office at 603-968-7194 x31. Include your member names, current phone number and address, and seasonal phone number and address (please also list your old address if you've recently moved).

What is free admission to trails and exhibits?

Free trail admission means access to the Gephart Exhibit Trail, Ecotone Trail, Forest Trail, and Mount Fayal Trail from May 1 through November 1. Kirkwood Gardens are always free to members and the public, open also from May 1 through November 1. Each membership admits a maximum per day according to the membership level purchased.

When is the best time to visit?

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is open every day from May 1 through November 1 from 9:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., with the last admission at 3:30 p.m. Trail attendance varies, but is highest during July and August. School group visits are heaviest in May, June, and October, during the morning. Animals on the Gephart Exhibit Trail tend to be most active first thing in the morning and later in the afternoon.

Do members have to pay for parking?

No, parking is free for everyone.

How will I keep informed about Science Center events and news?

As a member, you will receive the quarterly Tracks & Trails member newsletter four times a year, our Guided Discoveries catalog, and an Annual Report. You may elect to receive these publications as a print copy via mail or a PDF via email. You may also choose to subscribe to our email newsletter Happenings.

Don't see your question listed? Contact the Membership Office at 603-968-7194 x31. We appreciate your support!

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