Visiting OMSI does not have to break the bank

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is one of Portland’s attractions and often times students can get discounted tickets to their events. Located about thirty minutes from the Washington State University Vancouver campus, OMSI offers a variety of activities to suit many scientific interests. The After Dark program, reserved for visitors 21 and over, consists of an evening of spirits, snacks and scientific knowledge. IMAX movies in the Empirical Theater vary from documentaries such as the now-showing “Great White Shark” to special showings of current popular movies like “The Hobbit.” There are also exhibit halls, science labs and the submarine SS-581. Presently, the special exhibit on display is Tony Hawk: Rad Science. This exhibit showcases the science of extreme sports and will be open for viewing until May 1. Another upcoming event of interest is Oregon Health and Science University’s “Brain Fair’ on March 15. This event will include interactive exhibits, real brains on display, crafts and prizes to promote “Brain Awareness Season.” OHSU scientists will also be available to discuss their research.

General admission costs $13 per person, without any discounts. This does not include costs for other attractions such as the empirical theater or planetarium, which tend to range in price from $5.75 to $8.50, depending on the attraction. If costs for gas, food and other miscellaneous costs are factored in, a visit to OMSI can quickly add up for students on a budget. Therefore, ASWSUV has plans in motion to sell discounted tickets for students this spring. Stephanie Leeper, Student Activities Board Chair, stated “We are currently in the process of purchasing OMSI tickets for students. The SAB plans to offer them in mid to late April.” Leeper added that tickets would most likely be the same price as last year,  $5 per person.

There is a way to enjoy OMSI at a fraction of the original cost until student tickets become available for purchase. On the first Sunday of every month, OMSI offers general admission for $2. The next “First Sunday” will be April 6. This reduced price does not include added expenses like the planetarium, as previously mentioned, but is still much more affordable. Parking also costs $4. OMSI itself does not have plans at this time to offer student-specific discounts in the future.

Another option is to become an OMSI member. Prices range from $50 for one adult to $210 for a larger group of adults and children. Membership purchase depends on a visitor’s needs and frequency of visits. An OMSI membership includes general admission for one year, free parking, invitations to members-only events and OMSI newsletters. Admission to over 290 science centers and museums worldwide is also included.  The full list of included attractions can be found at OMSI’s website. Discounts on specialty events and exhibits, science camps and classes, and the OMSI Café and Science Store are also included. Students who are interested in visiting OMSI regularly can purchase a group membership and split the cost with friends to make frequent trips affordable. Several affordable options are available to students who want to learn more about the science surrounding them.

Any questions concerning student tickets can be directed to Stephanie Leeper at van.sab.chair@vancouver.wsu.edu. More information about OMSI can be found at omsi.edu.

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