Mixed reality used at a blood drive. Credit: Provided

DOWNTOWN — You can get free passes to the Field Museum if you donate blood in its storied Stanley Hall this weekend.

The museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, is partnering with Abbott and Versiti Blood Center of Illinois to host a blood drive in Stanley Field Hall 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Donors will receive four free passes to the museum and to “Bloodsuckers: Legends to Leeches,” a special exhibit focused on bloodsucking creatures, to be used on the day they give blood.

Donors will have access to a mixed-reality experience, aimed to make the process of giving blood more relaxing, according to a news release. Participants will enter a digital world with soothing music, similar to virtual reality, but will remain fully aware of their physical surroundings to ensure safety. 

The drive will occur multiple times over the next year, including in December and in February, June and August. Appointments can be scheduled here. Find eligibility information here

The program from Abbott and Blood Centers of America aims to attract new, younger blood donors.

Over the past decade, blood centers nationwide have lost about 30 percent of donors under 30, according to the Blood Centers of America. High school and college-aged donors are down 50 percent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 3 percent of the U.S. population donates blood each year, but blood donations are needed about every two seconds, according to the Blood Centers of America. 

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