Offers for federal employees during the partial government shutdown

Published: Updated:
With no apparent indications of a breakthrough in the Senate to avoid a government shutdown, the Capitol is illuminated in Washington, Friday evening, Jan. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Some government workers in Southwest Florida are still without pay, and the uncertainty is a burden on many households.

To help ease that stress, some places are offering free admission for furloughed workers affected by the shutdown.


IMAG History & Science Center
2000 Cranford Ave
Fort Myers, FL 33916

Free admission for furloughed Federal employees & their immediate families with their federally issued ID.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park
14181S Tamiami Trail #140
Fort Myers, FL 33912.

Free admission for furloughed Federal employees & their immediate families with their federally issued ID.

Through January 31st, each are eligible for a free 60-minute jump every Tuesday through Thursday and is subject to change.

Socks are required and not included in this offer; but guests can always bring back SkySocks from previous visits to use again.

Additionally, Sky Zone Fort Myers is hosting a food drive with items to be donated to the local Coast Guard stations and the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

Guests who donate will receive $2 off their jump time Tuesday through Thursday this January.

Naples Botanical Garden
4820 Bayshore Dr.
Naples, FL 34112

Naples Botanical Garden is offering free admission to government employees and contractors affected by the partial shutdown. This admission applies to regular business hours and will be available through the end of the partial shutdown.

Federal government workers and their families will be granted free admission to the Garden by showing a valid federal employee ID as proof of employment.

Gulf Coast Symphony

Furloughed federal employees can enjoy Bond & More – January 20 at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. Each employee is eligible to receive a pair of tickets, based on availability, with the presentation of a valid government ID.

Available through BBMann Box Office in person or by calling (239)481-4849. Offer not available for previous purchases. Two free tickets based on availability. Tickets will be held at the Box Office. Must show Government ID when picking up tickets.


The Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Dr.
Tampa, FL 33602

From now until the government reopens, workers affected by the shutdown can receive one free admission with their federally issued ID.

Madame Tussauds
8387 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

8449 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

Fifteen Merlin Entertainments’ attractions nationwide are inviting federal employees affected by the shutdown to take a break for some fun. Merlin Entertainments is offering free admission for all U.S. government employees to its SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, and Dungeon attractions in the United States during the government shutdown (full list of participating attractions below).

Must show a valid federal worker ID to receive one free ticket. The offer will be valid only during the partial government shutdown.

Edison and Ford Winter Estates
2350 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33901

Free admission for active military only including the Coast Guard.


So how are families supposed to pay the bills without a paycheck?

Some companies are coming forward to assist the nearly 800,000 federal employees affected.

Here’s some companies offering some form of assistance.

Cellphone, cable and internet:



Also, in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties you can call the United Way Helpline at 211, to see what is available in terms of utility, mortgage, or rent assistance.

United Way of Lee | Collier | Charlotte

Harry Chapin Food Bank is hosting two mobile food banks with the next one coming up on January 25.

Food for Coast Guard families SeaTow Donation Center has a storefront in Publix plaza off Summerlin and San Carlos Boulevard.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has also offered template letters to help negotiate with creditors during the furlough.

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