Free Admission to NYC Museums on Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
The best way to see some of this fall's best museum exhibits for kids? Why, for free, of course. On Saturday, September 21, 2019, hundreds of museums and cultural institutions across the country will be offering free admission, including more than 20 spots right here in New York City as part of Smithsonian Magazine's annual Museum Day, and passes are available to download starting this week, on August 15.
In addition to a handful of big institutions, such as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, there are lots of cool, off-the-beaten-path places participating, like the Museum of the Dog. Museum Day is the perfect time to check out a new-to-you museum or visit an old standby for at no cost. We've got the scoop on which museums are offering free admission and how to get your tickets for Museum Day.
Unlike residents of Washington DC, we New Yorkers need to pay to visit most of our city's museums, so Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day is a wonderful opportunity. In order to gain free entrance to participating institutions, you'll need to fill out the ticket form on the Museum Day website and download your ticket. Each ticket is good for admission for two to one museum on Saturday, September 21.
Below is a list of New York City museums offering free admission. Visit the Museum Day website for a list of participating venues across the country.
- AKC Museum of the Dog, Midtown East (see our tips for making the most of a visit with kids)
- Alice Austen House Museum, Rosebank, Staten Island
- Alley Pond Environmental Center, Little Neck, Queens
- American Folk Art Museum, Lincoln Square
- Asia Society and Museum, Upper East Side
- Bard Graduate Center Gallery, Upper West Side
- Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx
- Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Morningside Heights
- Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Upper East Side
- Derfner Judaica Museum, Riverdale, the Bronx
- Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, Inwood
- Fraunces Tavern Museum, Financial District
- Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum, Midtown West (see our tips for making the most of a visit with kids)
- Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, Upper East Side
- Museum of Arts & Design, Columbus Circle
- Museum of Chinese in America, Chinatown (see our tips for making the most of a visit with kids)
- Museum of Illustration at the Sociey of Illustrators, Upper East Side
- The National Jazz Museum in Harlem
- National Museum of the Amerian Indian in New York, Financial District (see our tips for making the most of a visit with kids)
- New York City Fire Museum, Hudson Square (see our tips for making the most of a visit with kids)
- Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Snug Harbor, Staten Island (see our tips for making the most of a visit with kids)
- The Noble Maritime Collection, Snug Harbor, Staten Island
- The Noguchi Museum, Long Island City, Queens (see our tips for making the most of a visit with kids)
- Queens Historical Society, Flushing, Queens
- Ukrainian Museum, East Village
- Van Cortlandt House Museum, the Bronx
Find more info on cool exhibits and institutions for families in our Museums Guide.
Originally published August 2010; this post has been updated for 2019.