Museum Day means free admission to hundreds of US museums (and it’s tomorrow!)

Museum Day means free admission to hundreds of US museums (and it’s tomorrow!)
National Building Museum, DC. Courtesy Flickr Commons.
Must see

Coming to a city and stumbling across a free museum is like a godsend. For art lovers, history buffs, students, and someone just looking to kill a few hours, it’s honestly one of the best moments when you walk into a museum and aren’t hit with an admissions fee (but maybe still make a donation!). Of course, we all recognize the necessity of charging visitors; it keeps the lights on, pays it forward to new exhibitions and acquisitions, and makes sure the museum is staffed properly… But, we’ve all been in that moment before when shelling out for a museum kind of takes a bit of the enjoyment out of it.

However, tomorrow, is a day unlike any other for tons of museums across the US – it’s Museum Day. In its 15th year, Museum day is organized by Smithsonian Magazine in order to celebrate ‘boundless curiosity’ and it means that the participating museums forego admissions for the whole day. Last year, more than 450,000 people took advantage of the day, pouring out to museums across the country and this year, more than 1,500 organizations are set to participate.

Contrary to what you might think, though, you do need a ticket, but it’s a special one that just lets you find all of the participating museums and get into the museums you’re interested in. What you’ll want to do first is browse what museums are participating. Then, just decide what museums you’d like to tackle and click the ‘get a ticket’ button for each of those museums. Now, some museums that participate in Museum Day are free throughout the year, so maybe keep an eye out for those that aren’t always free if you’re thinking strategically.

To help out, these are some of the participating museums (in only a couple of states) that aren’t always free you could check out:


Museum of Sonoma County
Santa Rosa, California
Hours: 11:00am-5:00pm (PST)
Orange County Museum of Art
Santa Ana, California
Hours: 11:00am-6:00pm (PST)
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego – downtown location
San Diego, California
Hours: 11:00am-5:00pm (PST)


Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm (CST)

New York
Museum of the City of New York
New York, New York
Hours: 10:00am-6:00pm (EST)
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Buffalo, New York
Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm (EST)
Bard Graduate Center Gallery
New York, New York
Hours: 11:00am-5:00pm (EST)
Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
Staten Island, New York
Hours: 11:00am-5:00pm (EST)
Albany Institute of History & Art
Albany, New York
Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm (EST)
Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (WAH Center)
New York, New York
Hours: 12:0opm-6:00pm (EST)
Asia Society and Museum
New York, New York
Hours: 11:00am-6:00pm (EST)

Washington, DC

National Museum of Women in the Arts
Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm (EST)
National Building Museum
Hours: 10:00am-5:500pm (EST)