Christmas is just around the corner and your nights have probably already been invaded by gift-shopping induced insomnia.
Sure, you’re mostly sorted. Dad will be happy with socks and a Next voucher but what about your brother who can afford his own Next voucher? What about all the other adults in your life who spend their entire year buying the things they want and not at all considering that this makes your life difficult every single year?
Well, friend, to that we say: give them the gift of memories. The sweet delicate kiss of knowledge, culture and betterment. Give them something to do on the weekends between their working week.
Give them a membership card.
Here’s our round-up of the ones that your loved ones will not only thank you for, but actually use.
Lots of things to like here: beautiful brutalist building; a startlingly eclectic schedule of gigs; highbrow cinema; mind-opening art exhibitions and a gift shop that’s better than most actual shops that people buy gifts in. 2019 alone will see them put on gigs from acts as varied as Tangerine Dream and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
What you get:
- Priority booking
- No booking fees
- Free access to all exhibitions
- 20% off cinema tickets for member plus a guest
- 20% off selected music and theatre events, subject to availability
- Invitations to exclusive members-only events
- Access to the Members’ Lounge for you plus a guest
- Special offers in Barbican restaurants and foyer bars, and a discount in the Barbican shops
- Weekly round up email outlining priority booking, new on sales, upcoming events and competitions
It’s the daddy of them all isn’t it? The prized arty jewel in the culture crown. Yes, saying the Tate is your favourite gallery is a bit like saying The Beatles are your favourite band and you’re getting no points for originality but honestly, try and tell us ‘Hey Jude’ isn’t great. Try, we beg you, try and tell us that every facet of TATE Britain isn’t a well thought out cultural dream? You can’t. And neither will the lucky acquaintance of yours that unwraps this membership on Jesus’ birthday.
What you get:
- Unlimited free entry to all Tate’s 2019 exhibitions, including:
- The flexibility to explore Tate in your own time. With no need to book exhibition tickets, members can always walk straight into any exhibition – even if they are sold out
- Exclusive viewing hours and special Members events and tours
- Access to stunning Members Rooms
- Discounts and priority booking across Tate
- Free exhibition entry for up to six children aged 16 and under for free
- A complimentary subscription to Tate Etc. magazine and the bi-monthly Tate Guide
- And it is all beautifully wrapped up in a Tate welcome pack
The greatest cavern of knowledge available on our dubiously great island. The British Library is an institute like no other, it quite literally has everything. That’s no exaggeration, every single thing published in Britain is submitted to the library for the archives. OK, so most of it his hidden away in a knowledge vault elsewhere but some of it’s in the actual library and you can order stuff in. But it’s not all books, oh no, they also put on headline events spanning literature, comedy, art, theatre, history and everything between; organise frequent exhibitions, talks and everything else a modern human with an interest in interesting things needs. Hands down, better than any other library membership card.
What you get:
- Free entry for you and a guest to British Library exhibitions
- Priority booking for the cultural events season
- Four free event tickets per year
- Exclusive access for you and a guest to the daytime Members’ Room, overlooking the King’s Library
- Entry for you and three guests to the Knowledge Centre Bar, with food and drink every weeknight from 18.00 – 22.00
- Listings guides sent direct so you’re always up to date with what’s on
- 20% off in our public restaurants, cafés and shops
The kind of gift card you will always use is one for a cinema. It’s a perfect present. Yeah, you might think that you’ve settled into a luxury life of streaming and never having to leave your house for your visual entertainment pleasures. But there’s still nothing quite like the premium feel of staring at a screen as big as a house, the smell of popcorn permeating your nostrils and the sickly sticky floor of a real life, in-the-flesh cinema.
What you get:
- Two tickets
- Two regular soft drinks
- One regular popcorn voucher and two candy canes or a pack of humbugs
- All the above from December 2018 to June 2019. Or, get an unlimited year-voucher for £214.80
Sounds dull right? Well, you’re wrong. Travel and the underground is so hot right now, don’t believe us? Check out the TFL collab with Adidas. At some point between not finishing the Crossrail and introducing the night tube that there London underground became hot stuff. The envy of fashion students, start-up entrepreneurs and all of East London’s hipsterdom. Throughout the year they have an array of travel related exhibitions and temporary displays not to mention everything else you’d expect from the place. And it’s cheap as hell.
What you get:
- Free entry to the Museum in Covent Garden
- Free entry to one open weekend a year at the Museum Depot, Acton, concession at other times
- 10–20% discount on purchases at Museum shops at Covent Garden and Museum Depot, Acton
- 15% discount in the Upper Deck and Lower Deck café bars at the Museum, Covent Garden
- Advance information and concessionary booking for Museum events, lectures and tours
- Quarterly Friends’ magazine and regular online newsletter - Click here
- Friends meetings with talks and activities in the Cubic Theatre, Covent Garden and the Museum Depot, Acton.
- Friends visits to other museums and attractions
- Wide-ranging opportunities to undertake voluntary work for the Museum Friends
- Private members area on the website containing more information and the ability to maintain your membership. This area is continually growing with new features that benefit our friends and worth a log-in to take a look.