Frequently Asked Membership Questions

How do I contact the contact museum for additional information about membership questions?

Phone: 972-562-5566, x241
Fax: 972-548-9119
Address: 1 Nature Place McKinney, TX 75069

Do I have to go to the museum to become a member or renew my membership?

No, there are four other easy ways to join or renew:   

  • Mail completed membership form and payment information to:    
    Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
    Attn: Membership Department
    1 Nature Place McKinney, TX 75069    
  • Phone us: 972-562-5566   
  • Fax a completed membership application with credit card information to: 972-548-9119   
  • Join online!
When will I receive my membership card? 

Your official membership card will be mailed to you by the museum within 2-4 weeks.   

Can I start using my membership before I receive my card?      

Yes.  Your online/register receipt will act as your temporary membership card. Just present it with your photo ID. We'll confirm your membership and you can start receiving membership benefits.  

Why do I need to show my photo ID in addition to my membership card?

The photo ID policy protects you if your card is lost or stolen; it is also a standard security practice among zoos, aquariums and museums. As a charitable organization that relies on members and daily museum visitors for support, we need to prevent misuse of our membership cards. If memberships were shared by families and friends, the museum's revenue would be substantially reduced and the museum would have to raise ticket and membership prices to maintain the quality of its services to guests. As you can see, we have set our membership prices at an intentionally affordable level to allow North Texas residents to enjoy the museum on a regular basis.     

Can I lend my membership card to a friend or family member?

No. As mentioned above, this practice would be detrimental to the financial viability of the museum and abuse like this would drive up costs for museum guests as it is the equivalent of stealing a ticket from the museum. Thus, as indicated in our benefits, memberships are nontransferable and are valid only for the person/s whose name appears on the card.   

Is there reciprocal free admission at other Museums?   

Yes. The Heard Natural Science Museum is a member of the ASTC Travel Passport Program which allows you free or discounted admissions to more than 250 selected museums worldwide. See for more details.   

This does not apply to institutions located within a 90 mile radius of the Heard Museum.

Do you have any additional reciprocal general admission agreements with museums for upper level members?

Yes!  We currently have a local reciprocal agreement with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Ft. Worth Museum of Science & History. When you join at the Road Runner level or above you will be able to visit the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Ft. Worth Museum of Science & History and receive free general admission for the people covered by your membership (FWMSH allows a maximum 2 adults and 2 children). This offer is valid for free general admission only. Additional member benefits from reciprocal locations are not conferred to the membership holder.   

I am a member of another participating ASTC Passport Museum; can I get free admission to the Heard Museum?    

ASTC card holders that meet the criteria in the ASTC Policy below will receive the following reciprocal benefits: 

  • free admission for up to 6 guests
  • additional guests in your party may receive our member discounted admission rate  

Please check for the most current list of passport participants. 

ASTC POLICY – "Based on residence: To receive Travel Passport Program benefits, you must live more than 90 miles away from the center/museum you wish to visit. Admissions staff reserves the right to request proof of residence for benefits to apply."


When will I receive renewal notices and when does my membership expire?   

You will begin receiving renewal notices two months prior to your expiration date. As soon as you renew, you will no longer receive notices until the following renewal cycle. i.e. If a member joins in January, 2012 and renews within their renewal cycle (which in this case is before the end of January 2013), their next expiration will be January 2013. If they let their membership lapse and rejoin in April of 2013, their new expiration date would be in April of 2014.     


What happens if my membership card is lost or stolen?   

Complete the Membership Information Update form to receive a replacement card(s). There is a $3 administrative fee for each replacement card. You may also pick up and fill out the form on your next visit; it is available at the admissions desk.   


My name/membership information is not correct on my membership card, I moved to a new address, or I have a new phone number. How do I change my contact information?   
I joined/renewed my membership and I have never received my membership card. What should I do?

If you do receive your card within 4 weeks of joining, call or e-mail the Membership office. 


I renewed my membership already, but I am still receiving renewal notices. What should I do?   

Most of the time this happens when these items cross in the mail; however, if you do not receive your renewed membership card in the mail within 2-4 weeks of your renewal, please call or e-mail the membership office.   


I made a donation to the annual fund. Does that cover my membership fee?   

Donations to the annual fund are considered tax-deductible charitable contributions and do not apply to membership fees.   


How can I find out about upcoming member events?   

Upcoming events can be found here or by subscribing to our e-mail newsletters.   

What discounts do I get in the Heard Museum Nature Store?   

Members receive 10% off items $1 or more in the Nature Store; new members receive a one time use only 20% off coupon upon joining for their first purchase on items of $1 or more.   

I'm interested in upgrading my membership to a higher level. Do I have to wait until my current membership expires?   

No. You can upgrade your membership anytime during the course of your membership or at renewal time. Contact the Membership office for more details.   

What happens if I forget to bring my membership card?   

Simply present a valid photo ID at the admissions desk. The admissions staff will gladly look up your membership information.   

What portion of my membership contribution is tax deductible?   

In accordance with IRS guidelines, the following information outlines the tax-deductible portions of each of our membership levels. Members must waive some or all of their membership benefits to claim tax deductibility for the entire cost of the membership.   

Membership Tax Deduction   


  • Individual and Family Memberships: Under the Internal Revenue Service guidelines for nonprofit museum memberships, the full amount paid up to $75 is 100% tax deductible.   
  • Roadrunner: Under the Internal Revenue Service guidelines, the estimated value of the benefits received is $50. The deductible portion of your payment is $100.   
  • Bobcat: Under the Internal Revenue Service guidelines, the estimated value of the benefits received is $150. The deductible portion of your payment is $350.   
  • Red-Tailed Hawk: Under the Internal Revenue guidelines, the estimated value of the benefits received is $300. The deductible portion of your payment is $1200.     
  • Golden Eagle (Lifetime): Under the Internal Revenue guidelines, the estimated value of the benefits received is $250. The deductible portion of your payment is $2250.     
How often may I visit the Heard Natural Science museum as a member? 

Members may visit as often as they like during normal business hours each membership year free of charge, but may be required to pay fees for special events, festivals, and education programs.  In addition to free admission, members have the opportunity to attend free exhibition previews and viewing events throughout the year, as well as purchase discounted tickets to a variety of programming events.     

Can I bring a guest to the museum with my membership?

Members receive a $1 discount on every guest admission that they purchase. You can also sign up at the Road Runner level and above and receive five single day guest passes with your membership. See benefit levels for specific details.

Can I use my membership to get my child into the Heard for free on his/her school/daycare field trip?

No. School/Day Care sponsored field trips, education programs, labs, etc. are special fee programs not included in the free general admission you receive as a member. You will be required to pay the full program fee for your child and for yourself if you are chaperoning.

Can I bring a guest to the Members-Only Plant Sale Preview event?

Because this special member’s only preview is designed to help us gain members, we do not allow guests, but ask that you encourage your friends and neighbors to become members of the Heard Museum and join you on these special nights to get the best Native Texas plants for your home.   

As members, can we walk the trails even when the museum is closed?

No. Due to safety and security reasons, we ask that you only walk the trails during open business hours or during special events, as designated.   

Can I purchase store items with my member discount for friends or guests? 

Discounts are a privilege extended to our members only; therefore, discounts are not transferable.   

Are membership fees refundable?   

No. Membership fees are not refundable.   

Are there other giving opportunities?   

Yes! You can make tax-deductible charitable contributions to the Heard, see our website for the various ways you can give or call the museum and let us know how you want to help further our mission of “bringing nature and people together!”   

Does my membership help the Museum in any way? 

Yes, memberships provide much needed income to enhance this not-for-profit organization. Once your membership funds are received, they immediately begin working to enhance museum services for members and visitors. For this reason, we are unable to refund membership dollars.

I own a business. Can my company get involved?   

The Heard Museum has various sponsorship opportunities and volunteer group projects available throughout the year.   

Thank you for making more programming possible at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary by supporting our membership guidelines.