Is it tacky to buy a museum pass for only one member of a family? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Is it rude/tacky to buy a museum pass for only one member of a family?
Yes, it's tacky no matter what 62 44.93%
No, it's fine no matter what 10 7.25%
It's only fine if it's a place the family visits regularly anyway 52 37.68%
Other 14 10.14%
Voters: 138. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In another thread, someone said she doesn't want to buy a museum pass for a kid's birthday present because she'd feel obligated to get one for the whole family and it'd be too expensive to do that. Do you think it'd be tacky to buy a pass for only one family member? I mean, if it's a place that the family frequents anyway, they'd be saving money on that child's ticket, but I guess if it's a place they don't go to, it'd end up costing them money because of the other tickets they'd need to purchase for the visits. Hmm...

So, if someone wants to get a museum pass for one family member, are they obligated to get one for the whole family?

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#2 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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I'd say it'd be nice to get one for the kid and one for one adult. That way a parent and the kid can go and it dosen't have to cost the family anything. But frequently places like that will have a family pass for some kind of discount. If you can afford that then it's even nicer.

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#3 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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I don't know. We have some great museums and things here but it is expensive to buy admissions. If our DD had a free ticket, it would help, but I would still have to pay for myself plus parking, possibly also DH, so an outing would get a bit pricey if it wasn't something I'd planned to do anyway.

Would it be possible to go in with another family and split the cost of a family membership?

Also, I would want to make sure the family didn't already belong to a certain museum before purchasing any gifts like this. We usually end up just joining places we already frequent because if we pay to go twice in a year, it costs the same as a membership anyway.

And, memberships to museums are often tax deductible, at least in part (often the whole thing) because many of them are non-profits.

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#4 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 03:45 PM
 
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If it's a place they visit frequently and for some reason they don't have a family pass, then I would feel ok with getting just one family member a pass, thus saving them some money. (Though if I could afford a family pass, I would definitely prefer that option.)

If it's somewhere they don't go very often or at all, I would definitely buy a family pass, otherwise your gift could actually cost them a significant amount of money -- or just be wasted so that they don't spend so much money.
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#5 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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As a parent of four kids, yes, it would be tacky. If *anything*, after checking with the family, give a gift certificate or check for the child's portion of the membership.
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#6 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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Rather than pay for a one person pass I would see if I could put that money towards the family pass (which is not too much more if you're luck). just buying one child a pass puts the rest of the family in a bind. Either they buy a family pass anyway or single passes which ends up more $$$.

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#7 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 04:06 PM
 
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I voted tacky. The only way I could not see it being tacky is if XYZ said you you "I have a ticket for DH, and DS, and myself, but I never got one for DD for 2010" and then you bought one for the DD, knowing they had the others and were specifically missing only DDs and would incur no other expenses. Otherwise, I think it is really tacky and you'd be better off buying a completely different gift.
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#8 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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I voted "other" because I don't like the word tacky, at least not in this case.

Basically, I think a pass for just one family member would seem incomplete at best and could potentially put the parents in a tough spot at worst. Not a great gift IMO.

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#9 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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I wouldn't say "tacky", just maybe not the best gift if it would put a financial burden on them to bring the rest of the family. I love the idea of going in with another family member or friend to spring for a family pass. I think it would be worth calling the mom of the child to see what she thought. Maybe a nice compromise (if the mom thought this was a good idea) would be to buy just two tickets - one adult and one child - so the birthday girl could have a special outing just for her, iykwim. But, like I said, I think that should be cleared by a parent first.

Or, (if this family celebrates Christmas), that gift idea could be saved until then and given as the entire family's Christmas gift. We did this for friends of ours a couple of years ago and it was well-received. They have a tiny place which is overrun with stuff, and their ds is an only child with lots of generous toy-giving relatives, so we wanted to give them something that wouldn't take up any more space in their house.

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#10 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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I agree with pianojazzgirl - it would be an undue financial burden on the adults (whose museum passes/tickets are more expensive than kids'), as well as siblings. It's the present that would keep on digging the family into debt :P
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#11 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I think you guys are right. We got 2 free passes to a local amusement park, but once we noticed that they said, "Free with the purchase of an adult admission," we trashed them because it wouldn't be worth it for us to go if we had to buy 2 adult tickets for the 4 of us to get in.

But then I've also gotten a few free one-day passes to a local children's museum, and since we like the museum but don't have annual passes, I was happy to take DS and just have to pay for myself. I guess it just depends.

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#12 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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I voted other. If it's a young child who can't visit the place on their own or with friends, then I wouldn't do it. I would try to get a family pass or a gift certificate or just go for another gift all together. If the child is older and it's a place they can and would like to be able to visit frequently without having to have the family there (like go with friends or on their own) then I wouldn't feel it was inappropriate.

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#13 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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I am alone in voting not tacky. Oh well. It's a thoughtful gift, and it's what you can afford. Go for it, IMO.

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#14 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 05:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
I voted "other" because I don't like the word tacky, at least not in this case.

Basically, I think a pass for just one family member would seem incomplete at best and could potentially put the parents in a tough spot at worst. Not a great gift IMO.
I agree. It's not "tacky" because it really is a thoughtful gift. However many people wouldn't be able to use it. I know we couldn't afford to go out and pay for the rest of the family to go if one child received this, which would leave everyone disappointed.
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#15 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 05:28 PM
 
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I think it would be a waste of money. Most of the time family passes are cheaper than individual passes. And you generally can't trade up.

I think it would be better to either buy a day pass for the family or tell the family you'd like to put $X towards memberships and then give them cash.
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#16 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 05:29 PM
 
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#17 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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yeah, I wouldn't. I have four kids, and if DD got a museum pass it would mean paying for admission or buying passes for everyone to go frequently -- in that case, a family membership would be cheaper, so the individual pass would be a waste.

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#18 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 09:21 PM
 
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I think only tacky if the child is young. If your gifting them a pass then you should consider that the child can't go without the parent and thus the parent is forced to spend money they may not have. If they child is old enough to go on their own(like maybe teenagers) then I don't it's an issue

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#19 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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I would rather buy one time tickets for everyone in the family vs a membership for one kid if money is a factor.

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#20 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 11:02 PM
 
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I think it is only something you should do if the family goes to that place anyways. It is not a thoughtful gift otherwise becuase it puts pressure on the family to go somewhere expensive.
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#21 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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I don't think it's a good idea because the family would have to get a family pass anyway at that point to go with the kid, and a family pass is often 2 times the single pass, or like 2 times the single pass plus the cost of one child. So they'd have to spend the same amount of money as if you hadn't gotten them a gift at all.
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#22 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 11:34 PM
 
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I've thought a little more, and there are only three ways this can go:

1. The parents feel obligated to take the child more often, so they buy a family membership, and end up having to spend a lot of their own money due to the gift, and there ends up being no value to the gift as the family membership would have included the child anyway.

2. The parents feel obligated to take the child more often, so they buy individual tickets more often, and still end up having to spend a lot of their own money due to the gift.

3. The parents don't take the child more often, in which case the gift has no value to the child. It's more of a gift to the parents as they save money. The child would have gone to the museum the same number of times anyway.

Maybe a gift certificate to the museum store?

I wouldn't say tacky, because tacky implies that there is some kind of greedy motivation, and that's obviously not the case. But I don't think it's a good choice.
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#23 of 39 Old 11-17-2009, 11:56 PM
 
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Tacky isn't really the right word, but it would end up not being very useful for all the reasons already mentioned.


I like the idea of going in with someone else for a family pass or doing a one day membership for the family.

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#24 of 39 Old 11-18-2009, 12:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by snoopy5386 View Post
I would rather buy one time tickets for everyone in the family vs a membership for one kid if money is a factor.

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#25 of 39 Old 11-18-2009, 01:21 AM
 
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Not tacky, but also probably not the best choice in gifts unless for some reason you have care of the child on a semi-regular basis. I liked what Goestoshow said about "and we will visit once a month for x months," but I also think that's more appropriate for an extended family member (i.e, aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc) than a friend of the family... unless it's a close / long-time friendship.

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#26 of 39 Old 11-18-2009, 07:17 AM
 
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I wouldn't buy it if it truly was just a pass for the entrance fee of one child (though I wouldn't feel at all put out if that was someone's gift to my son).
However, what an individual membership entails can vary. My sister has an individual membership to the zoo and that includes free parking and free entrance for one additional person every time she goes there. So a membership like that could be well worth it, depending on the family.
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#27 of 39 Old 11-18-2009, 08:39 AM
 
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Better to give money and mention that you'd like it to be put towards a membership if they are interested in one.

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#28 of 39 Old 11-18-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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i guess if it is somewhere the family already goes regularly it would be ok but I can't imagine they wouldn't have already bought a family pass if they go that much.

if you cannot afford a pass for the whole family how about tickets for the whole family for one trip.

If someone bought just my child a pass it would never get used ever. I HATE it when my kids win a "free" pass somewhere. it is never free. it is usually somewhere we were not planning to go and to use the free ticket it is going to cost us another $50. nice prize/gift...

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#29 of 39 Old 11-18-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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oh hey someone gave us a couples pass to the childrens museum once. He wasn't sure if our kids needed tickets yet etc... but the museum did a cool thing and whenever someone gave you tickets or a membership it was essentially a gift certificate they could use towrds admission or ANY membership. when they bought the "couples" membership they were essentially buying a gift certificate that was enough to cover a couples membership. I thionk it was only $20 to upgrade.

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#30 of 39 Old 11-18-2009, 10:35 PM
 
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i do no think it's tacky, but often museums (well here anyways) have family packages so having one child be able to go for free may not make a difference if they often go as a family.

i do no think it would hurt to ask if you are unsure.

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