EBT Museum Discounts: How Can You Get Museum Discounts With an EBT Card?

The information in this article is current as of January 21, 2022.

Did you know there are museums and other family activities available to EBT cardholders? Suppose you’re one of the 42 million Americans participating in the SNAP program. In that case, you may not be taking full advantage of SNAP. SNAP or EBT benefits don’t just help with buying food. Don’t miss out on discounts or free entry to museums, zoos, and aquariums. You can even access a free laptop, tablet, or mobile phone to help you find other special offers. Read on and learn how to get EBT museum discounts and more.

You can get EBT museum discounts or free admission to museums by showing your photo ID and EBT card. Read on to see where these benefits can be used.

What Is Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)?

The USDA defines Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that allows a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participant to pay for food using SNAP benefits. More than 248,000 retailers take part in SNAP. When shopping at a SNAP authorized store, your SNAP EBT account is debited to reimburse the store for food or items you purchased. EBT is available in all 50 states, District of Columbia or DC, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. Since June of 2004, EBT has been the primary way for SNAP participants to buy items.

Do I qualify for SNAP or EBT?

Suppose you find it challenging to provide your family with healthy and nutritious food and are not already receiving benefits. In that case, you may qualify for SNAP (food stamps), WIC (women, infants, and children), or other programs that can help. SNAP eligibility depends on your household income and varies by state.

Every state has a different sign-up process. A household member must contact your state agency directly to apply for SNAP or to receive an EBT card. There are three ways to apply.

  • Visit your local SNAP office or SNAP agency website
  • Call your state’s toll-free SNAP information hotline
  • If possible, apply online

Discounted or Free Museum Admission

Spend a special day with your children, significant other, close friends, and family at the museum. Create new memories together—Marvel at masterpieces. Check out unique creative pieces. Learn about famous artists. What better way for children to learn than with a trip to the museum? There’s so much for kids to discover and see, especially at children’s museums.

Museums for All is a great organization. However, suppose you or someone you know is a SNAP program recipient. In that case, this initiative offers access to free or reduced entry into more than 800 museums in the U.S. Museum visitors need to present their EBT card along with a photo ID.

Admission is $3 or less for up to four people per EBT card. So a family of four can enjoy a day at the museum for less than one dollar per person or perhaps even free. Best of all, there’s no limit. You or your family can visit as many participating museums as you want, as often as you want.

Discounted or Free Admission to Art Museums

More than 125 museums are focusing on arts and culture top the list if seeking art museums. Here are just a few:

  • The San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California
  • The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Georgia
  • Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington

Discounted or Free Admission to Science Museums

Interested in more scientific- and discovery-related topics? There are more than 50 science museums to choose from, including:

  • Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science, Bakersfield, California
  • The Powerhouse Science Center | MakerLab, Durango, Colorado
  • Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Museum of Science & Industry [MOSI], Tampa, Florida
  • Orlando Science Center, Orlando, Florida
  • Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois
  • Kentucky Science Center, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Museum of Science, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Michigan Science Center, Detroit, Michigan
  • Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia

Children’s Museums With Free or Discounted Admission

More than 140 children’s museums are participating in the Museums for All program. For example:

  • Children’s Museum Tucson, Tucson, Arizona
  • Children’s Creativity Museum, San Francisco, California
  • Pikes Peak Children’s Museum, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk, Connecticut
  • Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa, Florida
  • Great Explorations Children’s Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Savannah Children’s Museum, Savannah, Georgia
  • Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago, Illinois
  • Boston Children’s Museum, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Flint Children’s Museum, Flint, Michigan
  • Omaha Children’s Museum, Omaha, Nebraska
  • DISCOVERY Children’s Museum, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Long Island Children’s Museum, Garden City, New York
  • Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Galveston Children’s Museum, Galveston, Texas
  • Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

EBT Aquarium Discounts

Looking for more fun and educational places to visit? Say hello to beautiful tropical fish and other sea life. Get discounted or free admission to aquariums. Your EBT card and valid ID is accepted at the following aquariums:

  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California
  • Central Coast Aquarium, Avila Beach, California
  • The Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk, Connecticut
  • Cox Science Center and Aquarium, West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois
  • Belle Isle Aquarium, Detroit Michigan
  • Butterfly House & Aquarium, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Discounted or Free Museum Entry Without an EBT Card

For those who don’t participate in SNAP and have a Bank of America credit card or debit card, more than 225 museums and cultural institutes participate in BOA’s Museums on Us® program. Depending on the participating museum, cardholders can receive free admission with an eligible credit or debit card with a valid photo ID on the first weekend of every month.

YMCA Discounts With an EBT Card

Maybe you’re looking for something in addition to museums and aquariums. Depending on where you live, your local YMCA may offer discounts.

The YMCA helps low-income families or individuals get or stay fit. Dedicated to “strengthening the community by empowering young people, improving the health and well-being of people of all ages, and inspiring action in and across communities,” the YMCA can be found in 10,000 communities across America. If you qualify for SNAP in your state, there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for a discounted YMCA membership. Contact your local YMCA for details.

50% off Admission to State Parks

Some states provide discounted admission to state parks with proof of low income and a valid photo ID. For example, Florida residents with an Access Florida card can visit Florida State Parks for half price.

EBT Discounted Transportation

In addition to helping with access to ­­museums, aquariums, and the YMCA, your EBT card can also get you there!

  • Lyft offers car rides to low-income families and seniors going to and from grocery stores, supermarkets, food pantries, farmers markets, and even SNAP benefits appointments
  • Train tickets, bus passes, and other public transportation systems in your area may offer free or discounted service – check with your local public transit system or agency
  • Free car – you may be eligible for a free vehicle donated from Goodwill or the Salvation Army