WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Summer is here and it's time to keep the kids busy during this fun season. For military families, entertaining kids in the summer can be a unique challenge.
With spouses away for long periods of time and constantly moving around the country, military parents have different situations to consider. Since 2010, Blue Star Museums have offered free admission to the nation's active-duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the United States Department of Defense, and museums across America.
GREAT DAY WASHINGTON VIDEO: Blue Star Museums brings culture and fun to military families
Blue Star Families is an organization that works to help U.S. military families all over the world. Kathy Roth-Douquet, Co-Founder & CEO of Blue Star Families says, "This means a lot to us, we have a heavy lift. Lots of deployment still, lots of move, lots of separation from families. So we can see what we fight for, and what we fight for is in the museums, it's the best of what we got.. the arts, the culture, the history."
Amse Heck is the DC Chapter Director for Blue Star Families and a military mom. She takes advantage of the Blue Star Museums program with her family and learned about the program on her first date with her husband, Col. John Heck. John is a colonel with the United States Air Force.
Heck says, "I love museums, but they weren't always affordable to me. The whole day can be expensive." John took her to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
"And while were were there he asked if there was a military discount and we learned that it was a Blue Star Family Museum. And so we were able to enjoy the museum for the first date and go back there again with our families several times," adds Heck.
Here in the Washington DC area, there are dozens of Blue Star Museums:
- Dumbarton House
- Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
- Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
- Luther W. Brady Art Gallery - GWU
- National Archives Museum
- National Building Museum
- National Guard Memorial Museum
- National Museum of the United States Navy
- National Museum of Women in the Arts
- National Portrait Gallery
- Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
- Smithsonian American Art Museum
- The George Washington University Museum
- The Phillips Collection
- Tudor Place Historic House and Garden
- U.S. Botanic Garden
- U.S. Department of the Interior Museum
- Woodrow Wilson House
To get a full list of the Blue Star Museums you can go to www.BlueStarFam.org.