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Membership Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

How can I purchase or renew a membership?
There are several convenient ways to purchase or renew a membership;
  1. At the front patio admission windows. This is best if you are visiting the Museum soon!
  2. Call the Membership Office at (520) 883-1380, press 2.
  3. Or, join now on-line! (Note: it will take one to three weeks to receive your guest passes for on-line orders.)
  4. You will receive a renewal form by mail or email notice one month before your membership expires. You can renew by mail by check or credit card. If you have not received a notice from us, please call and let us know!
Can I purchase membership as a gift for someone else?
Yes, at the front patio admission windows, or by phone or on-line.
How long is my membership good for?
Memberships are active for one year from the date of purchase. (Example: if you purchase your membership on August 5, 2014 it will expire on August 31, 2015.)
How many days does it take to process my membership?
Memberships purchased online, over the phone, and through the mail take a week or two to process. During the months of November-May, and especially during the holiday season, memberships take longer to process. For memberships purchased at the admission windows, you may use the transaction receipt for entrance into the museum until your membership has been processed and you have received your membership cards.
I/We are visiting the museum today. Should we join/renew online first?
No, please join or renew at the admission window. You will receive your guest passes immediately, along with a receipt you can use for entrance until your membership materials arrive.
What can I put on my membership cards?
One membership card must be in the name of a primary member. For the Dual category of membership and above the 2nd membership card can either be a second named member or a "guest of" card. For example: 1st card for 'John Smith' (primary member) and 2nd card could be 'Barbara Smith' or 'Guest of John Smith'. Please note that the "guest of" card option allows for one person's admission per visit only and the guest must be accompanied by the Primary member.
Can a friend or family member use my membership card?
No. Memberships are nontransferable and are valid only for the person (or persons) whose name(s) appears on the card. As a nonprofit organization that relies on membership and attendance for support, we appreciate your attention to this detail of your membership benefits.
If the other named adult is unable to come with me, may I bring a guest in their place?
If all the adults on your membership are named, only those adults may use the membership card. If you would like to bring a guest to the Museum you may use one of your guest passes for that person.
Is my membership gift tax-deductible?
Yes, a portion of your gift is tax-deductible. Current membership categories have the following tax-deductible portions:
CategoryTax deductible portion
Individual$55$16.00
Dual$75$16.50
Family$90$31.50
Turquoise$175$19.00
Copper$300$144.00
Silver$600$444.00
Gold$1200$1044.00
Can I give my guest passes away, or does the guest have to be with me?
Guest passes may be given to anyone and they do not have to be with a member to use them.
How do my guest passes work?
Each guest pass is good for one person for one-time use only. Guest passes have an expiration date of two years from the date of purchase. A member does not need to be present for their guests to use guest passes.
I've lost my guest passes, can I get them replaced?
No. If guest passes are lost or stolen we are unable to replace them. Keep them safe - each guest pass has an admission value of $19.50!
May I pick up my guest passes at the ticket window if I paid for my membership on-line?
No. Guest passes are only mailed for internet orders. If you plan to visit the Museum in the next couple of weeks, please wait and pay for your membership at the Museum admission window when you visit as your guest passes may not reach you within the two week period of time.
Why do I have to show my picture ID when I come to the Museum?
Membership cards are valid only for the member listed on the card and may not be loaned or given to anyone else to use. In order to protect the benefits of membership, photo identification with the member's name and address, matching the membership record, is now required.
How am I able to get my children or grandchildren in on my membership?

Children and grandchildren 17 years of age and younger are included on all memberships at the Family level or higher. Your children or grandchildren may accompany you if you are listed on the membership card. Note that only the children and grandchildren of the Member listed on the active membership cards may be admitted. As a nonprofit organization that relies on membership and attendance for support, we appreciate your attention to this detail of your membership benefits.

If one of your membership cards is a "guest of" card, the person using the "guest of card" will not be able to bring in the primary members' children or their own children - only themselves. This card is good for admission for one person only.

How do I take advantage of the 'Invitation to VIP Behind-the-Scenes Tour' or the 'Private Reception with Executive Director?
Members at the following levels receive these special benefits — join us!
  • Copper members are invited to participate in the 'VIP Behind-the-Scenes Tour'.
  • Silver members are invited to participate in the 'VIP Behind-the-Scenes Tour', and the 'VIP Event with the Executive Director'
  • Gold members are invited to participate in the 'VIP Behind-the-Scenes Tour', the 'VIP Event with the Executive Director', and the 'Private Reception with the Executive Director'.
Do you reciprocate with other museums or zoos?
Unfortunately we do not provide reciprocal benefits for other institutions.
I've lost my membership card. How do I get into the museum?
You may present your driver's license at the admission window to gain access to the Museum and a visitor services representative will fill out a card replacement form. There is a $3 replacement fee for each membership card lost. You will receive your new card in the mail in a week or two. Please continue to use your driver's license until your replacement membership card arrives. Also, please note, your new membership card will have a new membership ID number and barcode. Should you find your missing/lost membership cards, please destroy them as they will no longer be active and valid.
What happens if I lose my membership card and someone else tries to use my card to gain entry to the Museum?
The Desert Museum requires all members to show photo identification along with their membership card to gain entry into the Museum. If the photo ID does not match the membership card the membership card will be confiscated. The person attempting to gain access will have to purchase an admission ticket or use a current guest pass to gain entry. The membership card is then sent to the Membership department and staff will contact the member to come to the office, with photo identification, pick-up their found membership card.
Do you have student, senior or military discounts on memberships?
Unfortunately we do not offer membership discounts to students, seniors or military personnel.
What types of payment do you accept for memberships?
We accept cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
Can I apply my admission tickets to the cost of a membership?
You may one admission ticket towards an Individual membership and a total of two admission tickets toward the purchase of a Dual through Gold level of membership. Admission tickets must be presented in person at the Museum's admission window, or sent by mail to the membership office with the remaining balance for the price of membership. Tickets being applied may not be any older than 30 days.
How often are your newsletters and Sonorensis published?
Newsletters are published quarterly. Sonorensis is published once a year.
What are your membership office hours?
The membership office is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. — 4:30 p.m. The office is closed Saturday, Sunday and major holidays.
Why don't you have a Life membership category?
The Museum does have a Life membership category. Currently the Board of Trustees is the only entity that can award a Desert Museum Life membership. This honor is typically awarded to individuals that have reached 5,000 of volunteer time on behalf of the Museum or to individuals who have made immeasurable contributions to the Museum.
What is the Desert Museum's privacy policy?

For Membership Acquisition: The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum occasionally exchanges member name and address information, for one-time-use-only, with designated non-profit organizations to welcome new members. If you prefer not to participate in this exchange, please opt-out by contacting the Museum's Member & Donor Services Department at membership.privacy@desertmuseum.org

The Desert Museum reserves the right to make changes to this policy at its sole discretion. Such revisions may arise in response to changes in the law, policy, or other factors. We encourage you to periodically visit this page to review our most current policy.