On September 18, Smithsonian Magazine will hold its 17th Free Museum Day. Free Museum Day was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, but it’s back this year with 482 museums and cultural institutions across the country opening their doors to visitors for free.
There are options for just about every type of museumgoer.
The Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center in Reno, Nevada, is one of the participating museums. It has a dome theater with digital planetarium shows, exhibits like the “Be the Astronaut” simulators, science demonstrations, and telescope viewings. Regular ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for kids, seniors, and students.
In New York City, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum allows guests to visit the aircraft carrier Intrepid; enter Growler, a guided missile submarine; and see dozens of aircraft, including the British Airways Concorde and the space shuttle Enterprise. All of that can be seen for free instead of the regular admission price of $33 for adults and $24 for children between the ages of 5 and 12.
Also participating is the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, with its beautiful Egypt galleries; the National WWII Museum in New Orleans; the Pueblo History Museum in Pueblo, Colorado; and the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, among many others.
To gain free access to the museums of your choice on Free Museum Day, all you need to do is visit the Museum Day website, browse the long list of museums, pick the one you wish to visit for free on September 18, and click the “Get a Ticket” button. From there, you’ll be prompted to enter your email address and your name, and you’ll be able to download your free ticket that’s valid for two people for one museum. If you want to visit two museums on Free Museum Day, you’ll need to use a different email address and go through the process described above once more.
Note that admission to all Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, is free year-round.