History is like Frankenstein's monster; all it takes to make it come alive is the right education, a large body of artifacts exhumed from the earth, and an electrical storm. Learn from the past with today's Groupon: for $31, you get a premium membership to the Smithsonian Institution (up to a $64 value).
The world-renowned, research-centric Smithsonian Institution houses more than 136 million artifacts in 19 museums and galleries, publishes two popular magazines, and cares for nearly 2,000 animals at the National Zoo. Premium members can learn about history and science with an annual subscription to Smithsonian (a $12 value) and then flip through a year's worth of Air & Space magazine to discover the origin of MoonPies (a $19 value). Premium membership also gets you two tickets to the Einstein Planetarium at the Air and Space Museum or two passes to visit one of three Smithsonian IMAX theaters, which feature films such as Grand Canyon Adventure, a journey down the Colorado River, and Fighter Pilot, a tour of the clouds led by an ornery aviator (each an $18 value). Members can also live out monarchic mad collector fantasies at the Smithsonian Castle, stuffing tuxedo pockets with a handy visitors' guide, chock-full of museum floor plans, information on current exhibitions, and the whereabouts of shopping and eating establishments (a $2 value).
Premium membership offers hungry museum-goers a 20% discount off a meal at one of seven Smithsonian restaurants, including the Zagat-praised Mitsitam Café inside the Museum of the American Indian. Shoppers can also use a 10% discount at Smithsonian retail shops throughout the duration of their membership to stock up on post cards to correspond with grandmothers and future selves.
The Smithsonian Institution
When British scientist and visionary James Smithson left his estate to the United States, he hoped that it would one day become “an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Smithson got his wish, and then some. His generous gift transformed into The Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex.
Since its founding in 1846, The Smithsonian has blossomed into exactly what Smithson envisioned: a place where knowledge is celebrated, advanced, and shared with new generations. Anchored on the National Mall, the Institution’s many branches explore the worlds of art, science, history, and culture, inviting guests to discover their origins and see what the future might have in store.
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