August 21, 2017

5 Ways to Get in Free at Your Favorite Museums

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Southern Ohio Museum & Cultural Center

There’s no question that it can be expensive to provide your kids with educational experiences, even those as simple as spending the afternoon in a museum. Fortunately, there are easy ways to save big, even get in for free, so take a look.

  • Bank of America’s Museums on Us Program: I’m a big fan of the Museums on Us program. The first weekend of each month, Bank of America cardholders get free admission to 150 museums, zoos, science centers and botanical gardens in 85 cities across the country. The free admission is only for cardholders, but if both you and your spouse have credit or debit cards with Bank of America, that’s two free tickets. Many times kids can get in for free too (or at low-cost), so this could be free fun for the whole family.
  • Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day: Each September, you can get free admission to over 1,300 participating museums and cultural venues nationwide. This year, enjoy a free day on Saturday, September 24. You’ll need to print out a ticket good for you and a friend or family member in order to gain your free admission. Take a look at participating museums near you.
  • Special Free-Entry Days: Many museums open their doors free of charge (or at reduced prices) as often as once a week or once a month, so be sure to keep your eyes and ears open. Get on email lists for your favorite museums and check out sites, like aGogh (New York), that list out free days/times at museums across town. Here are great sites for San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas-Ft. Worth that also list free museum days.
  • International Museum Day: This past May 18, a number of museums across the country (and worldwide) participated in International Museum Day, offering free entry for all visitors. This is the second year of this celebration to increase public awareness of museums, so be sure to look out for this freebie next year too. Among this year’s participating museums were the Southern Ohio Museum & Cultural Center, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Harvard Art Museums.
  • Blue Star Museums Initiative: Through Labor Day, active duty military and their families can receive free admission to over 1,300 museums nationwide, including children’s museums, history and science museums, and nature centers thanks to the Blue Star Museums initiative. Active duty military need simply present a valid military ID to receive free admission for themselves and up to five immediate family members.

Do you like to take your kids to museums in your area or while on vacation? I’d love to hear your strategies for saving money while enjoying the best that these museums have to offer your family.

Comments

  1. judy cote says:

    An astc membership gets you free entry for you and your family when you are 90 miles or more away from hm. Most science museums are members. Look at astc.org to see museum reciprocity list by state.

  2. Dee Neumann says:

    We are members of our local Children’s Museum. With that membership there is reciprocity to many museums throughout the country. We just spent a week in Chicago, and with our membership to our home museum we were able to get into the Museum of Science and Industry and the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier at no cost. Two years ago we used our membership in Chicago to get into the Field Museum. Typically the additional exhibits are not included with reciprocity, nor is parking, but usually just the main museum is enough for us. We also typically carry a main zoo membership, which then also gets us into zoos throughout the country, including Hawaii, at no cost. Great deals!

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