Membership FAQs
Membership Basics

How do I become a member or renew my membership?

Once you have reviewed our levels and benefits, you can join or renew online. You can also visit the Garden’s membership desk or the ticket counter at any of our venues. To join or renew by phone, call (314) 577-5118 (M–F, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.).

What does “Three Memberships in One” mean?

The Missouri Botanical Garden offers three venues. In addition to the 79-acre Garden in south St. Louis, the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Chesterfield, MO, and Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO, are a part of our family. Your membership is valid at all three venues.

I am interested in upgrading my membership to enjoy more benefits. How should I do this?

If you are a current member and wish to increase your membership support and enjoy additional benefits during your current term, please contact us at (314) 577-5118 or visit the membership desk or ticket counter on your next visit to any of our locations.

Can I pay for my membership in monthly installments?

Yes! Members at the Friends and Family level and above may enroll in our Automatic Renewal Program and select the monthly option to divide their membership contribution into convenient monthly installments with a credit card. Learn more.

Is there a way to automatically renew my membership every year?

Yes! Our convenient Automatic Renewal Program ensures your membership never lapses while saving the Garden printing, postage, and paper costs. Choose between automatic monthly installments toward a Friends and Family level membership or higher, or a single donation charged once per year at any membership level.

Enroll in the Automatic Renewal Program by checking the box on your printed renewal form or membership brochure, or visit the Garden’s membership desk to enroll in person. It is not possible to enroll online at this time.

How can I update my membership contact information?

Call (314) 577-5118, email membership@mobot.org, or visit the Garden’s membership desk or the ticket counter at any of our venues.

If I join or renew now, can I start using my membership immediately?

Yes! Even if you join online or by mail, your membership starts immediately. Simply start your next visit at the Garden’s membership desk or the main ticket counter at our other locations to pick up a temporary membership card and your free tickets for the day.

To order advance event tickets before your membership cards arrive, it is easiest to call the membership department at (314) 577-5118 (M–F, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.) and order those tickets by phone.

 

Does the Garden offer any discounts on membership?

The Garden offers seniors age 65 and older a $5 discount on all levels of general membership. Active and retired military receive a 20% discount (ID required). These discounts cannot be combined with other offers. 

The Garden also recognizes employees of our Corporate Partners, active educators, and other groups at special times throughout the year. Contact membership@mobot.org for more information.

Do you offer memberships for groups?

Memberships are not intended for groups of any kind, and memberships may not be purchased in the name of a group. Our Corporate Partners Program does offer businesses and other organizations the opportunity to support the Garden and receive special privileges. Corporate Partnership begins at $1,500. Learn more.

Can I use my personal membership for a field trip or similar group outing?

Memberships are not intended for groups of any kind, this includes field trips or other organized groups. While we do not limit the number of children one member may bring in, the child benefit is intended only for family members and friends. Due to capacity, there are limits for the number children allowed per visit on trams (see question below on trams for details).

Learn more about planning a group visit.

Membership Cards and Cardholders

How many membership cards will I receive?

Members at the Individual level receive one membership card and may only list a single name on the membership. Members at all other levels receive two membership cards and may list a maximum of two names on those cards. The second person on a membership does NOT need to live in the same household as the primary member.

Additional membership cards or additional cardholder names cannot be added—even if your membership entitles you to additional free entries. The membership team is always happy to discuss the best way to set up your membership. Please call (314) 577-5118 or visit us in person to discuss cardholder options.

When will I receive my membership cards?

We strive to mail all permanent membership cards within 10–12 business days of your donation but it can sometimes take up to 4 weeks due to high volume.

If you plan to visit the Garden, Butterfly House, or Shaw Nature Reserve before your cards arrive, simply start your visit at the Garden’s membership desk or the ticket counter at our other venues to pick up a temporary membership card and your admission tickets for the day. To order advance event tickets without a membership card, it is easiest to contact the membership department by phone at (314) 577-5118.

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

Memberships at all levels are nontransferable. A named cardholder must be present to use any benefits, including free admission and onsite discounts.

I lost my membership card. What should I do?

You can request one complimentary set of replacement membership cards by contacting us at (314) 577-5118 or membership@mobot.org. You can also visit the membership desk at the Garden or the ticket counter at our other venues to pick up a temporary card and request a new permanent set.

I just completed my membership contribution online, but it did not allow me to add a second cardholder on my membership. What should I do?

If you renewed online and had previously listed a second person on the membership, you don’t need to do a thing. We will assume you wish to keep the two named cardholders as-is.

If you are a new member or if you are a renewing member and wish to change cardholders, please reply to the membership confirmation email you received with the correct cardholder names. Or simply email membership@mobot.org with the date of your contribution and requested changes.

Member Benefits

How do I determine the level of membership that is right for me?

For a quick review, use our Membership Comparison Chart to find the level that is right for you. 

How many adult and child admissions are included with my membership?

This depends on your level of membership. Our most popular levels include:

  • Individual: 1 adult + any children 12 and under
  • Garden: 2 adults + any children 12 and under
  • Friends and Family: 4 adults + any children 12 and under
  • Festival: 6 adults + any children 12 and under
  • President’s Contributor: 8 adults + any children 12 and under

While all memberships include children, this benefit is intended for personal use only. It is not intended to include admission and amenity usage for field trips or large organized groups of any kind. Learn more about field trips and organized group visits.

Do I get to ride the trams for free as a member?

The Garden’s narrated tram tours are available April–October and cost $5 per person. All members receive some sort of tram benefit. The number of complimentary member tram rides is determined by membership level.

  • Individual members receive 3 Bonus Blooms. Each Bonus Bloom is good for 1 single-use tram ride or child entry into the Children’s Garden.
  • Garden members receive 6 Bonus Blooms.
  • Friends & Family members may ride the tram on every visit (no Bonus Blooms required). Due to capacity restraints on the tram, the maximum number of complimentary tram riders per visit for this membership level is 4 adults and 8 children.
  • Festival members may ride the tram on every visit. The maximum number of complimentary tram riders per visit for this membership is 6 adults and 8 children. 
  • Members of the Garden’s Giving Societies receive unlimited tram rides. Please contact the Giving Society concierge line for Giving Society groups of 15 or more.

Please note: Seating on the trams is on a first-come, first-serve basis;  safety restrictions apply.

Do I get free entry to the Children’s Garden?

Like trams, the Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden is open April–October. All adults may enter the Children’s Garden for no additional charge. Admission for children ages 3–12 is $3 for members and $5 for nonmembers.  

Members at the Individual and Garden levels receive a limited number of Bonus Blooms that can each be redeemed for a single child entry. These members may also enter free on Tuesdays. Members at the Friends and Family level or higher receive unlimited entry to the Children’s Garden on every visit.

How can I learn more about reciprocal membership benefits?

The Garden is a part of the American Horticulture Society’s Reciprocal Admissions Program. This means that Missouri Botanical Garden members at all levels enjoy select benefits at more than 320 botanical gardens around the country. To take advantage of the benefit, simply present your current membership card at one of our partner institutions. View our reciprocal partner list.

Reciprocal privileges often include free or member-priced admission as well as discounts on retail, dining, and shopping.

Please note: the number of free or discounted admissions you receive at a partnering garden is not affected by your level of membership here. We recommend you contact individual gardens for more details.

Festival-Level Ticketing

I am a member at the Festival level. For what events do I receive 6 free tickets?

The Garden’s “Best Value” Festival level includes regular daily admission for 6 adults plus any children 12 and under, as well as the following special events:

  • Weekend Festivals (including Japanese Festival, Best of Missouri Market, and Chinese Culture Days): 6 free adult tickets plus any child tickets (ages 3–12) for each and every festival. Children 2 and under do not require a ticket.​
  • Garden Glow: A total of 6 adult or child tickets (ages 3–12) that can be used on a single night or on multiple nights. Children 2 and under do not require a ticket. Additional tickets over the 6 may be purchased at the member rate.

The Garden also frequently presents a summer exhibit or experience, and Festival members often receive free tickets. Festival members do not receive any free tickets to single-night events or fundraisers, nor those events which include alcohol with the ticket purchase. Example events include (but are not limited to) Fest-of-Ale, Orchid Nights, and Grapes in the Garden.

How can I order my free Festival tickets in advance?

Festival members are encouraged to order their tickets in advance for any event where their free-ticket benefit applies. This includes Garden Glow and weekend festivals. To order tickets in advance, visit the event’s webpage and follow the link to Festival member ticketing. Be prepared to enter your Member ID from the back of your membership card.

A note about weekend festivals, including the Japanese Festival and Best of Missouri Market (updated summer 2021): Festival members are highly encouraged to order tickets in advance for these popular events. In the event that all public tickets sell out, a limited number of tickets may be available onsite during the weekend from the membership tent for Festival-level members and above, but only as capacity allows. We will do our best to accommodate as many Festival-level members onsite while also following all current safety protocols.

As a reminder, memberships are nontransferrable. A named cardholder must be present to take advantage of any benefits.

If I don’t use all my free Festival tickets for one event, can they be carried over or applied to a different event?

No, this benefit is “use them or lose them!” For example, if you don’t use your free Garden Glow tickets one year, you cannot get extra tickets for next year. Even if you renew during the Garden Glow season, you can only receive a maximum of 6 free tickets during that one season.

Tax Deductibility and Matching Gifts

Is my membership contribution tax deductible?

As of August 1, 2019, only memberships at the Individual, Garden, and Friends and Family levels are fully tax deductible. At higher levels, the fair market value of some benefits affect deductibility. When you make a membership contribution, a receipt will be mailed with your membership packet, and it will state the deductibility of your contribution.

If you wish to deduct your entire membership contribution, you may elect to decline tangible benefits. This request must be made in writing. Please contact membership@mobot.org for more information.

My company has a matching gifts program. Can I apply that toward my membership?

Many companies choose to match their employees’ donations. If your organization offers this benefit, your membership contribution (or the tax-deductible portion of it) may be doubled or even tripled, increasing the impact of your support!

As of August 1, 2019, matching gift funds cannot be used to upgrade a membership to a higher level, unless tangible benefits like Garden Glow tickets are declined by the member. Matching gift funds will be treated as a separate donation only. Please ask your company's Human Resources department about matching gifts.

Can I use a Donor Advised Fund for my membership?

The Missouri Botanical Garden welcomes your gifts from Donor Advised Funds. To help in assuring your gift aligns with IRS requirements, tangible membership benefits will not be provided in connection with donations made through this giving vehicle. Please check with your Donor Advised Fund manager for more information.