Give the gift of experience all year long. Eliminate stuff and instead gather stories and create lasting memories with your family. We’ve found the 5 best annual memberships for families in the Portland Metro Area that will allow you to play, discover, create, and make believe. These experiences will give your kids something exciting to anticipate and something sweet to remember. Read on to find the perfect year-long pass for your adventurous family! photo: tornadogrrrl via flickr

At OMSI everyone gets to be a scientist! With over 200 interactive exhibits there are activities for all age groups. Concoct chemical creations, shoot off rockets, control robots, crawl through the roots of a giant tree, or watch butterflies hatch from cocoons. Future astronauts might appreciate a visit to the planetarium while the 6 and under crew head to the Science Playground for waterworks, puppets, building blocks, sand exploration, and puzzles. The littlest of learners may enjoy exploring in the infant area where the soft carpet and engaging toys encourage both fine and gross motor skills.

Membership includes free admission, guest passes, and discounts on souvenirs, submarine tours, parking, and summer camps and classes. It also gets you into over 290 national museums for free!

$110-$170 for an annual family pass
1945 SE Water Ave.

Oregon Zoo
African Pygmy Hedgehogs, Bald Eagles, and Mandrills, oh my!  Members of the Oregon Zoo receive amazing benefits while supporting conservation education and animal welfare initiatives. Plus you can expect to find something wild and exotic or cute and cuddly around every corner. Check out this family guide for tips on how to make the best of your Zoo trips!.

Seeing everything in one day can be tricky which is yet another fabulous reason to become a member. With free admission for a year you can make this a recurring family date. Members receive free admission with one guest admission and free entry to Zoolights, Howloween, Rabbit Romp, Twilight Tuesday, and other zoo events. You also get discounts on zoo trains, carousel rides, food, gift shop merchandise, Discovery Tours, camps, classes, and other educational experience.

$129-$169 for an annual family pass
4001 SW Canyon Rd.

photo: Sara Yeomans via flickr

The Circuit Gym
Get ready for a whole body workout for you and the family! The Circuit Gym is the perfect place for family dates. It’s provides a fun social environment for everyone. Rock Climbing is a great way for your child to improve their muscular endurance and flexibility while promoting overall balance and coordination skills. Plus it’s a fun way to enhance confidence and try new things. The walls at The Circuit Gym were designed to accommodate climbers of all ages, sizes, and ability levels allowing kids to learn a variety of motor skills while getting in touch with how their bodies move. The friendly staff are constantly changing and creating new climbing routes to help keep things fresh and interesting!

Annual Memberships include 2 free day passes per month and special pricing on classes and workshops. You also get discounts on pro-shop items, at Next Adventure, Mountain Hardware, and Crank.

$1455 for an annual Family of 3 pass
6050 SW Macadam Ave

410 NE 17th Ave

16255 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.,Tigard Or

Smartypants PDX
Are you down to let your kids learn through uninhibited play and exploration. If so, SmartyPants is your spot! This art studio lets kids get messy and delight in self-expression. Try a Fiber Arts or Painting class or drop by for open studio where anything goes! With a plethora of art supplies at your child’s disposal the sky is the limit here! Activities change frequently which keeps things fresh and exciting. The creative sensory stations promote self-regulation and calm in the body while giving each child permission to freely express themselves.

Members receive unlimited use of the studio, 2 guest passes to bring a friend (any grown up tags along for free!), one free art class or workshop for free, 20-50% off art classes, discounted birthday packages and member-only events!

$200-$270 for an annual family pass
5512 N Montana Ave.

photo Patrick via Flickr

Portland Children’s Museum
Calling all climbers, builders, diggers, and explorers! The Portland Children’s Museum has what you want! After one visit you’ll be ready to upgrade to an annual membership. They have a busy calendar of events including storytimes, pottery glazing, sensory play, and so much more. With rotating monthly exhibits, a full art studio, and outdoor adventure zone the Children’s Museum will quickly become a family favorite. Let your child’s imagination run wild in the  water room, theater, grocery store, dig pit, train room, tree house, or clay studio.  Parents, don’t forget a change of clothes for the youngsters. Kids have been known to get wet or leave covered in dirt, clay, or paint!

Members receive free admission for a year and discounts on camps, classes, and store souvenirs.  You also get 2 for 1 coupons to children’s museums in the Pacific Northwest.

$85-$150 for a family pass
4015 SW Canyon Road

What are your favorite annual memberships! Let us know in the comments section.

—Elissa Cirignotta