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Old 06-14-2012, 10:36 AM
El Famous Burrito El Famous Burrito is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 54
Childless residents no longer welcome in Chicago's museums

OK, so my thread title is a bit hyperbolic, but I'm steamed, so bear with me...

The background: the Chicago Public Library system used to have a fantastic partnership with nearly all Chicago-area museums. The program enabled city residents (with library cards) to check out passes to individual museums that provided free admission to up to four people. There were restrictions of course, but they were all reasonable -- limited quantities, first-come-first-serve, short lending periods, steep late fines, etc -- and helped ensure smooth and fair operation.

It was great. Sure there was no guarantee that your branch would have a pass available at any given moment for the museum you wanted to see -- good luck finding a pass for a popular museum in the summer -- but a savvy local could still get great benefit from the program. My wife and I are young, cultured (we like to think!), and can't afford many museum visits at full-price admission. So good for us!

Except no. Not anymore. Not for us. See, because we're childless.

The program very quietly changed on June 1st. We saw no coverage in the local press, just a small sign in our local library that indicated something was afoot. The program is now the new "Kids Museum Passports" program:

The key phrase, sprinkled all over the above page: "Groups must include at least one child under 18 for the pass to be valid."

Well dammit. I know that I have no inherent rights to free museum passes. I know that I should be thankful for the free admissions in the past and move on. But, well, dammit it again. Is it unreasonable for me to be upset?


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