The Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange Returns in October, Welcoming Members to Visit 6 Local Favorites for FREE

Air Zoo southwest michigan cultural exchange children's museums in michigan michigan museums

Use the Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange’s Reciprocal Membership Benefits Throughout October

Every October, we look forward to one of our favorite events on the calendar: The SWMI Cultural Exchange.

The Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange offers an amazing chance to visit six local favorites in October for free, when you hold a membership at any one of them. This reciprocal membership happens just once per year!

Is admission really FREE? 

Yes. If you have a membership at one of the six locations, you can visit the other five for free during the entire month of October.

Do I need to register for this program? 

Nope!  Just bring your photo ID and membership card.

SWMI Cultural Exchange
SWMI Cultural Exchange Participants

2023 Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange Highlights

The SWMI Cultural Exchanges provides a fun and FREE way to visit six local favorites when you are a member at any of them.

With this reciprocal membership benefit, you can visit these museums, zoos and sanctuaries as many times as you would like, all month long in October.

Gilmore Car Museum Hickory Corners MI
The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners MI

Dates & Times Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange

October 1 – 31, 2023


6 participating locations: Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo Nature Center and W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary/Manor House

1 – Air Zoo

6151 Portage Rd, Portage, MI 49002

The Air Zoo is a world-class, Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science museum with over 100 rare air and spacecraft, indoor rides, amazing interactive exhibits, and a nationally recognized restoration center.

Be sure to explore both buildings at the Air Zoo: the Flight Innovation Center and Flight Discovery Center.

~ Air Zoo Trip Planner

More Reciprocal Membership Discounts
Air Zoo members enjoy a variety of reciprocal membership benefits throughout the year- including over 1200 museums throughout the United States.

Air Zoo
Air Zoo Ferris Wheel
Two buildings to explore at the Air Zoo in Portage MI

2 – Binder Park Zoo

7400 Division Dr, Battle Creek, MI 49014

Spend the day in Battle Creek at AZA accredited Binder Park Zoo. Feed the giraffes at Twiga Overlook, see painted dog pups play, take the tram to Wild Africa and safari through Zuri National Park to observe lions, zebra, gazelle and ostriches.

For ropes course fans, be sure to visit SkyLark Ridge near the carousel.

~ Binder Park Trip Planner

More Reciprocal Membership Discounts
Binder Park Zoo members can find additional discounts with the AZA reciprocal admissions program for zoos and aquariums offering free or discounted entry.

Binder Park Zoo
Binder Park Zoo SkyLark Ridge
SkyLark Ridge ropes course at Binder Park Zoo

images: Binder Park Zoo

3 – Gilmore Car Museum

6865 W Hickory Rd, Hickory Corners, MI 49060

The Gilmore Car Museum displays over 400 vehicles on a scenic 90-acre campus.

Take a step back in time in vintage car dealerships, an authentic 1940s diner, and see the iconic automobiles that put America on wheels.

~ Gilmore Car Museum Trip Planner

More Reciprocal Membership Discounts
Gilmore members receive reciprocal membership at LeMay – America’s Car Museum (Tacoma, WA) and America On Wheels Museum (Allentown, PA).

Gilmore Car Museum Interior
Gilmore Car Museum Map

4 – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is home to over 4700 pieces of art in their permanent collection. The KIA also teaches classes and camps for all ages in a variety of media.

KIA Schools Guide 2022

images: KIA

5 – Kalamazoo Nature Center

7000 N Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Explore 14 miles of trails at the Kalamazoo Nature Center during the Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange. Trails are labeled for ease of use with both distances and difficulty levels.

The KNC is also a fantastic source for nature education with exhibits inside and children’s programs.

~ Kalamazoo Nature Center Trip Planner

More Reciprocal Membership Discounts
KNC members can visit 120 nature centers for free or at a discounted rate.

Kalamazoo Nature Center
trail map Kalamazoo Nature Center
Trail Map for Kalamazoo Nature Center

images: KNC

6 – W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary & W.K. Kellogg Manor House

12685 East C Ave, Augusta, MI 49012
3700 E Gull Lake Dr, Hickory Corners, MI 49060

Three miles of trails surround Wintergreen Lake at the W.K. Kellogg Bird sanctuary, where families can feed the waterfowl (geese, ducks, swans) with buckets of corn from the visitor’s center for a small fee.

After your corn buckets are empty, tour their rescued raptors area featuring owls, hawks and eagles. Families will also enjoy the stroller-friendly paved walking path.

W.K. Kellogg Manor House is the former summer residence of breakfast cereal pioneer W.K. Kellogg and his wife, Dr. Carrie Staines Kellogg.  Built in 1926, this property was fully restored in 2000. 

Visitors are welcome to take a self-guided walking tour of the grounds.

Bird Sanctuary
Kellogg Summer Residence
image: W.K. Kellogg Manor House

Do you Participate in the Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange?

Leave us a comment with your experiences visiting these fantastic local organizations with your reciprocal membership!