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Museum offers pay-what-you-can admission through Sunday

“Da Vinci – The Genius” proved to be incredibly popular for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

bright spotAnd although the exhibition closed Wednesday, the museum is offering pay-what-you-can days to its other exhibits and planetarium shows today through Sunday. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The DynaTheater will also be offering special discounted admission.

The idea was brought up by NMMNHS Director Margie Marino at the July 20 Museum of Natural History and Science board of trustees meeting.

She wanted to find a way to give back to the community and staff for the support over the course of the exhibition’s six-month run.

“We have all been immensely gratified to be able to bring the genius of da Vinci to so many New Mexicans during this exhibition – it’s the most people we’ve had in the museum since it opened 30 years ago,” Marino said. “The museum will be rather noisy and chaotic those days while we disassemble the 10,000- square-foot-plus exhibition … . We thought this would be an opportunity to let people come and enjoy the facility, and donate what they can for these days.”

During those days, visitors will be able to see all of the museum’s permanent exhibitions and one planetarium show. The DynaTheater will offer a special rate of $5 per person for all shows.

Beginning Monday, the museum will return to regular museum admission pricing, with a new cost-saving ticketing option: a combination ticket for admission to both the museum and the planetarium.

Current prices for adults are $8 admission for the museum and $7 for the planetarium. Patrons will now be able to experience both for a combination $10 ticket for adults, $9 for seniors and $7 for children. That will allow visitors to see any one of the five planetarium shows offered each day.

During the da Vinci run, the museum charged extra for admission to the exhibition and had a dramatic jump in attendance.

“We were looking for a way to put together a low-cost combo ticket,” Marino said during the meeting. “It makes a difference.”