Museum Info

Boonshoft Museum of

2600 DeWeese Parkway
Dayton, OH 45414
(937) 275-7431
Fax (937) 275-5811
TTY (937) 278-6076

Directions & Map


Monday – Saturday
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Closed: New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, Chistmas Eve, Christmas Day, Easter

General Admission

Children (3-17) $11.50
Seniors (60+) $12.50
Adults $14.50
Children under 3 and members are FREE.
Help us create a fun, safe environment for all our visitors! Children under 16 should always be accompanied by an adult in the Museum.
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CFC #36476


From zoos to children's museums to science-technology centers, your Dayton Society of Natural History membership can qualify your family for reciprocal or reduced rates to over 300 institutions worldwide. Please note that each institution sets its own policy on this agreement; call the institution prior to visiting to ensure that reciprocal agreements are in effect.

What is reciprocity?

Because The Dayton Society of Natural History is affiliated with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), Association of Children's Museums (ACM) and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), other accredited organizations offer our members special admission opportunities. 

WHO: Reciprocal benefits are offered to individuals and families that retain certain levels of membership; benefits may vary. People who have Family, Grandparent, and Military level Memberships enjoy special benefits at science/technology centers and zoos & aquariums. Those who have an Adventurer Membership (and above) also enjoy benefits at children’s museums, in addition to science/technology centers and zoos & aquariums.

WHAT: Reciprocity is a mutual exchange of privileges between two institutions, such as one science and technology center or zoo offering reduced admission to members of another science and technology center or zoo.

WHEN: Reciprocity is exercised year-round, but when you are visiting a museum, science/technology center, or zoo/aquarium please observe their daily schedule and call ahead to confirm their reciprocity commitment to your specific institution's membership, DSNH Memberships in this case.

WHERE: With over 300 museums, zoos, and other attractions across the country, we encourage traveling families to visit these amazing facilities. For your convienance we have provided lists of institutions that offer reciprocal benefits at science and technology centers (ASTC) zoos & aquariums (AZA) and participating children’s museums (ACM). Again, please review the lists below to verify that the institution you plan on visiting participates in reciprocal program.

WHY: The reciprocal benefits offered with a DSNH Membership are a valuable benefit, to not only our guests, but also other instituions that so graciously host DSNH Members. These institutions take pride in sharing their educational resources, local history, culture, and entertaining attractions with our Members, as do we when we host guests using reciprocal memberships.

HOW: Simply purchase a membership! Visit our Levels and Benefits page to find the membership level that best suits you and your family, or simply click the button below to start enjoying all the entertaining, educational attractions the Dayton Society of Natural History has to offer.

Purchase Your Membership Today!

Discover where your reciprocal benefits can take you!




The Dayton Society of Natural History is unique in that we are accredited by the AZA, ASTC, and ACM. Because we participate in these programs we get to pass reciprocal benefits associated with all of these organizations onto our Members.

Below are some essential tips for summer travel and using your reciprocal benefits!

Where Is My Membership Card?: Whether you hopping on a plane to Disney in Orlando and wish to "monkey around" the Central Florida Zoo while in Florida or plan to take a day trip to the Imagination Station in Toledo, OH, one of the things on your check list (besides hand sanitizer, your cell phone, your family, and snacks---obviously!) should be your Museum Membership card. If you plan on traveling and have not yet received your Membership card, you can use a temporary card that was issued to you at the Museum or the confirmation email you received when purchasing an email online. Please note, however, your confirmation email can only be used as a temporary proof of Membership for two weeks from the date of purchase.

If you have lost your Membership Card, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 937.275.7431 x 152 two weeks before your scheduled trip.

Double Check: Not all Dayton Society of Natural History Memberships carry reciprocal benefits. The AZA, ASTC, and ACM all set minimum requirements for reciprocal benefits that apply to institutions across the country, which is why only certain levels of DSNH Membership hold reciprocal benefits. We also encourage families to make sure their Membership hasn't lapsed before they hit the road and visit places where they wish to use their reciprocal benefits!

Triple Check: Once you have made sure your Membership hasn't lapsed and that you have your Membership card on hand, be sure to call the institution you plan on visiting ahead of time. Unfortunately, there are times when Museums, Science Centers, Zoos, and Aquariums make an abrupt change to their reciprocal benefits without notification. Calling the institution or checking their website is quick, easy and ensures you won't run into an issue once you reach your destination.

Local Trips & "Stay-cations": Southwestern Ohio is in the middle of it all! There are so many great locations within driving distance, so embarking on a one-day adventure or "stay-cation" is easy and affordable with your DSNH Membership! All of our Museum Members enjoy unlimited access of all four of our Dayton Society of Natural History sites, from the lush trails of Fort Ancient in Oregonia, OH to the expanded Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Springfield.

Of course, Museum Members at the Family level* and above enjoy reciprocal benefits to other local institutions, just be sure before you travel to local destinations that you are compliant with the 90 mile rule and it never hurts to call ahead to ask questions about the reciprocal benefits they accept.

Below is a list of some of our most frequently asked about destinations and the reciprocal benefits associated with them; please note, these respective locations may change these benefits at any time without notice--please contact these instiutitons before you visit:

COSI (Columbus)
50% admission

Imagination Station (Toledo)
Free admission to museum but does not cover special exhibits

Kentucky Science Center (Louisville)
Free admission + discount in gift shop

Adler Planetarium (Chicago)
Free admission

The Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago)
Free admission

All Ohio Zoos (Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, Akron, Cincinnati, The Wilds)
50% admission

Louisville Zoo
50% admission

*Benefits vary depending on level of Membership.

Celebrating Our Armed Forces!: We are lucky to serve the greater-Dayton area and our local military families. As an added benefit to our men and women in uniform, we offer $10.00 off any Museum Membership with an active military ID all year long. Starting at the end of May, as part of our Salute to the Military program, we offer a BOGO offer to active military families with active military ID. Please follow this link for details.


Rules of the Road

Headed out of the state? Here are some tips for using your reciprocal benefits when traveling out-of-state:

  1. Make sure to review the list of reciprocal benefits at science and technology centers (ASTC) and Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to add to the excitement of your next family vacation. For Adventurer Members, be sure to check the list of participating Children’s Museums (ACM).
  2. Because benefits are awarded at the discretion of the institution you are visiting, these changes can sometimes be made without warning. We strongly recommend you make a quick call to the institution you plan to confirm that the reciprocal benefits associated with your DSNH Membership apply.
  3. Because many people travel over holidays, school breaks, etc., the institution you plan to visit may be offer special programming, an altered schedule of daily programming, or special holiday hours. Please visit the institution’s website or call ahead to ensure you are able to plan your visit appropriately.
  4. Have your photo ID and DSNH Membership Card ready when visiting both local and out-of-state instituions. Make sure to review the list of reciprocal benefits at science and technology centers (ASTC) and Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to add to the excitement of your next family vacation.

On a local adventure in Ohio?

Please be aware that reciprocal benefits for your DSNH/Boonshoft Museum membership may have additional restrictions if you do not live in the Dayton, OH area.

In particular, please note that the Great Lakes Science Center and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History will not accept reciprocity with Boonshoft Museum of Discovery members who reside in the Cleveland area.

Effective May 1, 2013, the ASTC Reciprocal Program admission benefit will change between the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and the Cincinnati Museum Center, Museum of Natural History from free to 50% off general admission.

Because reciprocal benefits change frequently, we ask you to visit this page regularly for the most up-to-date information regarding DSNH Membership benefits.

Effective April 1, 2013, the ACM Reciprocal Program admission benefit will change from free admission for up to four (4) family members from the same household (or, if applicable, local restrictions) to 50% off general admission for up to six (6) people with no local restrictions!

Still have questions regarding reciprocity?

Find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the "90 mile rule" and how does it affect my reciprocal benefits?

The ASTC/AZA has the option to enforce a "90 mile rule" based on your science center/museum's location. Institutions located within 90 miles of each other are excluded from reciprocal benefits programming unless that exclusions is lifted by a mutual agreement. 90 miles is measured "as the crow flies" and not by driving distance. Science centers/museums may create their own local reciprocal program. ASTC/AZA does not require or participate in these agreements, or dictate their terms.

The "90 mile rule" also applies based on your residence. To receive reciprocal benefits at other institutions you must live more than 90 miles away ("as the crow flies") from the center/museum you wish to visit. Admissions staff always reserve the right to request proof of residence for benefits to apply.

Please note: the ACM does not observe the “90 mile rule”

I went out of town to visit a different children’s museum and forgot to bring my membership card with me, what should I do?

When traveling to a different zoo/aquarium, children’s museum, or science/technology center always remember your photo ID and DSNH Membership Card, this is the best way for other institutions to extend reciprocal benefits to you as a guest. If for some reason you forget your your card, or have issues with your membership card please call 937.275.7431 x 144.

I plan on visiting the Boonshoft Museum, are planetarium shows included with my reciprocal benefits?

We welcome all visiting guests to use their reciprocal benefits, if applicable, however planetarium shows are not included as part of the reciprocal benefits we offer to members of other institutions. Planetarium shows are an additional $4.00 for guests that wish to use their reciprocal benefits.

I just purchased a membership online, but I want to begin using my membership benefits immediately, must I wait for the cards to come in the mail?

No! If you have purchased your membership online, you will receive a confirmation email, this can be used as a “temporary card” (for up to two weeks) until you receive your actual membership card in the mail.

If you purchase your DSNH Membership at the Boonshoft Museum you will receive either a temporary or permanent Membership card that will be good from one year of purchase.

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Under Construction

  • Kids' Playce is currently under construction. Look for brand new additions to this exhibit starting in the fall through early 2016!

What is your favorite exhibit at the Museum?

Science On a Sphere® - 23.3%
Water Properties Table - 20.3%
Cassano’s Pizza Kitchen - 21.6%
Recycling Center - 16.6%
The Courthouse - 8.5%