Don’t pass up library-admission discounts to several area attractions

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DRACUT — The dog days of summer are officially here. While the scent of crisp August air is a reminder that school is just around the corner, there is still a speck of summer left for parents to squeeze in that trip to the museum or zoo they’ve been meaning to take.

Luckily, the Parker Memorial Library offers a bevy of passes that give discounts and even free admission to a group of local hot spots.

All you need to do is swing by the library and reserve a date to take out a pass. Any Dracut resident or Friend of the Library age 18 or older is free to take advantage of these great deals.

Some of the locations that are just a library pass away include:

* Children’s Museum, Boston; regular admission (adults $9, children $7); with library pass, $2 each (four-person limit).

Air pressure, construction, and weaving are just some of the subjects children can learn about through hands-on, interactive exhibits. There’s a rock climbing wall, an art studio, and a puzzle piece climbing maze made up of brightly painted towers, tubes and wobbly-walks.

* Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; regular admission (adults $15, children $6.50); with library pass, $5 each (two-person limit).

Housing 500,000 works of art, the Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world.

* Museum of Science, Boston; regular admission (adults $16, children $13); with library pass, $5 each (four-person limit).

Almost 500 interactive exhibits plus the only domed IMAX screen in New England are just some of the reasons this has become a can’t-miss family attraction.

* The Butterfly Place, Westford; regular admission (adults $8.50, children $6.50); with library pass, $4.50 each.

A wonderful habitat contained within a glass atrium building towering to a height of over 27 feet at its peak, this is one of the only ways to get an up-close look at hundreds of beautiful butterflies. Personal butterfly hatching kits are for sale in the gift shop.

* Discovery Museum, Acton; regular admission (adults $12, children $12); with library pass, $4 each (Three-person limit).

Two museums for the price of one. The Discovery Museum is two separate but complementary museums filled with exciting, interactive exhibits for children of all ages. There are plenty of great, hands-on activities that encourage exploration and discovery.

* Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; regular admission (adults $12, children free with parent); with library pass, $2 each (Four-person limit weekdays; two-person limit on weekends and holidays).

This hidden treasure is home to galleries filled with paintings, sculpture, tapestries, furniture, and decorative arts from cultures spanning thirty centuries. The largest art heist on American soil took place here in 1990.

* Peabody Essex Museum, Salem; regular admission (adults $16, children free); with library pass, free (two-person limit).

Founded in 1799, this museum features more than 30 galleries exhibiting international collections of maritime art and history, Asian export art, and Native American art.

* Franklin Park Zoo, Boston; regular admission (adults $9.50, children $5); with library pass, free (two-adult, four-children limit).

One of the oldest zoos in the United States, it showcases over 220 species, including gorillas, giraffes, tigers, zebras, and bats.

* Stone Zoo, Stoneham; regular admission (adults $6.50, children $4.50); with library pass, free (two-adult, four-children limit).

A smaller zoo, some of the exhibits feature coyotes, jaguars, reindeer, as well as barnyard animals.