It cost $24 to get in for me, my mom, and my two kids. Now I'm kicking myself for not just spending $50 and getting the full year membership, which would entitle us to get in anytime. Dur. Stupid.
I have trained myself to be so utterly careful about our finances that I sometimes don't allow for frivolity. Not that an explorations lab at the museum is exactly "frivolous" but it's also not a true necessity in life, so I tend to talk myself out of spending the cash.
Depending on who you are, or what your circumstances are, $50 may sound like a lot of money or a drop in the bucket. My problem is that right now I am sitting at my kitchen table and right next to me is my leaky kitchen window. The wood surrounding it is literally rotting, and when the snow melts or it rains hard, water actually drips into the house. It's in terrible shape after 40+ years and it is next on our list to be replaced (we've already done two exterior doors that were in similar shape). So whether you think fifty bucks is a lot or a little, it is still a chunk of that window repair and could go toward a project that really needs doing.
However, after spending the morning with my happy, busy children in a beautiful, enormous, high-ceilinged, bright and airy room filled with station after station of educational and fun toys, I've forced myself to re-evaluate my priorities. I could save the $50 and sit here in the boring house, trying to get my kids to play and stay away from the boob tube, or I could just spend it and take the short drive to the museum anytime we want, 7 days a week, rain or shine. I can be with other parents, my kids can interact with other children. We can have fun and feel engaged in community, which is sorely lacking for us.
It's a leaky window vs. our sanity - kind of a no-brainer, isn't it? The home repairs will wait. There is fun to be had right now.