The Live Animal Exhibit Trail is open daily through November 1, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last trail admission at 3:30 p.m.)
Coyote standing and looking to the right

Membership FAQs

Membership at Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is a great value! From May 1 through November 1, you may come all day, every day, during regular operating hours.

Click on the question below to see the answer.

How many guests does my membership allow?

Except for the One-Person Membership, members may bring guests for free, depending on the level of membership purchased. All members may purchase extra guest admission tickets at a discounted price at each visit. 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 which two adults (at the same address) will be named. At least one of the named adults must bring the card and accompany the party. Next, decide how many additional people you might bring - your children, a friend, 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 may also purchase extra guest trail admission tickets for a discounted fee each time you visit. Consider purchasing a gift membership for your friends or family members.

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. We do not list youth ages 15 and under on membership cards.

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 during each visit. The Science Center is a non-profit organization dependent 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.

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

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

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.

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 x 31.

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 x 31. 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).

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.

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 ( and the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) Reciprocal Membership Program ( 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 or ANCA organizations?

Those 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. 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?

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 and mailing it in with your payment or purchase it online.

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

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 and mailing it in with your payment or purchase it online.

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 two to three 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.

Is my membership fee tax deductible?

Membership fees are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Your payment, less the fair market value (FMV) of goods and services received, is deductible for income tax purposes.

The IRS allows members of qualified 501(c) 3 organizations to accept certain insubstantial membership benefits. Since the estimated value of benefits for some membership levels is insubstantial, the full amount of membership fees is deductible for those levels.

For annual membership payments over $75, you may deduct as a charitable contribution only the excess of the membership payment over the estimated fair market of the benefits included in the membership.

For upper level memberships, which receive Trail Passes (valued at $10 each) and/or Lake Cruise Passes (valued at $21 each), the tax deductible amount of your membership payment is reduced. Gift memberships offered as benefits for some levels do not affect the fair market value of your membership or reduce the deduction.

The tax deductible amount will be provided on your membership acknowledgment letter. You may also see more information in the chart below.

Member Level Fee Deductible Amount FMV of Benefits
One-Person $50 $50 $0
Two-Person $60 $60 $0
Four-Person $90 $90 $0
Six-Person $120 $120 $0
Eight-Person $150 $150 $0
Wetlands $180 $138 $42
Field $250 $158 $92
Forest $500 $358 $142
Mt. Fayal $1,000 $858 $142

Should you wish to have your membership be fully tax deductible, you may waive your substantial benefits and you will not receive Trail or Cruise Passes or gift memberships, but will continue to receive free admission and discounts.

Memberships paid through a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) are not eligible to receive extra benefits with a substantial fair market value. Payments from DAFs may only be used to pay for memberships with insubstantial or no fair market value ($125 or less). Payments from DAFs for memberships with substantial benefits having a fair market value ($150 or more) must waive extra benefits.

Squam Lakes Natural Science Center is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Our tax ID number is 02-0271824. Prices and fair market values are subject to change. Please consult a tax advisor with questions.

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.

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, 2018, it is active that day and will expire March 31, 2019. 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.

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.

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 x 31.

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.

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.

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 5:00 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 live animal exhibit Trail tend to be most active first thing in the morning and later in the afternoon.

Do members have to pay for parking?

Parking areas at the Science Center are free for Science Center members and visitors to use only when they are visiting the trails or attending programs. Please, no overnight parking without permission. Parking gates close at 5:30 p.m. Members and visitors driving vehicles with boat trailers must park in the nearby NH Fish & Game parking lot when boating on Squam. If you have questions, please contact Development and Communications Director Janet Robertson.

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 online version of the Annual Report. You may elect to receive most 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 x 31.
We appreciate your support!