Art, Culture, and Science: Free Admission to the Best Museums

Often times, we see wonderful art, cultural, or science exhibits in wonderful museums in movies, television, and advertisements.  We want to know what all the talk is about and make a connection to these pieces of work. The only problem is we tend to not have enough money to pay for ourselves, let alone an entire family and the concessions which we will inevitable purchase along the way.  Taking a family can cost well over $100 dollars and often much more. The money really adds up and we often forgo the expense and the experience because we would rather spend our money on items that are necessary or less expensive.

This deprivation of the wonders a museum has to offer is no longer necessary, nor advised.  Museums all over the United States offer free admission to the public, although there are several restrictions on days and times.  These visits will need to be planned due the restrictions and a drop-in visit will most likely result in paying for admission unless you have the good fortune to arrive on a free day.    

A good place to start to look for free admission information is a simple google search.  There are often newspaper feature articles which discuss what museums, who is offered free admission, when free admission is offered, and how to visit for free.  Keep in mind that these articles can be older and I would recommend a call to the museum to confirm which days are free, what times during the day, and what exhibits are included with the free admission.  

The local visitor’s bureau is another place for information on the local tourist destinations.  They will have information on museums but additional sights which may be of interest. They are the go-to for things happening in the area and may know of additional venues which are offering free admission.  A day may consist of a day visit to the museum, then a show later in the evening, and it can all be free if it’s planned in advance. Often times residents of an area don’t visit their visitor’s bureau and may be missing out on some important opportunities to explore their city, town, or region.

Another place that offers free tickets to museums is your local library.  As stated before in Libraries: The Free Entertainment Source and More, the library is a hub of information and is part of a greater network of public attractions.  Libraries will often offer the ability to obtain free museum admission tickets for a set number of members.  They often offer museum tickets for museums outside of the local area, which is a nice perk, especially when traveling within the state or taking a special day with the family.  Some library systems allow their members to check out tickets and the whole process is digital which is quite convenient.

With all the available free admission opportunities to the museums in the area, one can’t help but go and experience the grandeur and the wonder of some of the most impressive exhibits available.

Examples from the most visited cities in the United States:

  • Atlanta Contemporary in Atlanta Ga is always free
  • Chicago History Museum in Chicago Illinois has free admission most Tuesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • History Miami Museum in Miami Florida has free admission on the Second Saturday of the month
  • Houston Museum of African American Culture in Houston Texas has free admission on Sundays
  • Laguna Art Museum in Orange County California has free admission on the first Thursday evening of the month from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando Florida has free admission every second Sunday of the month
  • Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City is always free



Libraries: The Free Entertainment Source and More

Libraries offer an abundance of entertainment options for every member in your household.  They also come with the added bonus of being free to the public. You will need to sign up for  a library card, which should take very little time. The local library is stocked with books from almost every genre and for all age groups.  Romance, Science Fiction, Mystery, and educational, if you can think of a topic the library will have something covering that topic, and if they don’t have it they will definitely know where to get it.  A quick perusal of the catalogue will allow you to see what is available and where the book is located within the library. If the book you are looking to check out is not within your local library, the library can request the book from a library which has the physical copy.  In situations such as this, I usually request the whole series be brought to my local library. Most libraries are willing to accomodate the request, unless there is a large queue for the requested book or series. At this point, you will need to wait until it is your turn. The library also offers a wide selection of audiobooks in a number of formats, for those who are interested.  These make wonderful additions especially when driving to and from work, on family vacations, or if you have a job which requires you to log a substantial amount of miles on the road. Audiobooks can be real boredom busters on the road, especially when traveling in areas where the radio doesn’t pick up any stations.

In addition, libraries are entering the modern era and many libraries now offer digital check out of ebooks and eaudiobooks.  This has eliminated the need to wait for a physical copy of the book to arrive in many instances and is making the library more accessible and efficient for the more technologically advanced person.  One can check out the book through apps and online, negating the necessity to travel to the library. This is wonderful for individuals that are not able to make the trip to the library due to illness, lack of transportation, or any other number of reasons, including convenience.  

Libraries also carry magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals, and a variety of other printed materials for the curious explorer of random topics, current events, or how to skills.  These are often offer in a digital format as well. The local library here in Brazos County, Texas, has you register and then download the app to begin reading. Simple, easy, and convenient.  There really is no reason to spend money on such items any longer and this means more money not spent. Translaton: Money Saved.

Most often people think of libraries as a place of books, which does them a disservice as libraries are so much more.  Libraries also carry music and videos ranging from concerts and documentaries, to albums and popular movies. Some local libraries offer movie night and fun get togethers for families and young children.  They offer a variety of classes, computer access, genealogical research, and sometimes language classes for the community. Each library caters to their community and it would be wise to check out all the fun activities and services offered at your local library.  There is truly a large plethora of books, music, videos, and a multitude of services which are offered at the local library. The library is a great place to venture to when looking for entertainment and personal enrichment. To make this whole experience even more fantastic, is the fact that the library is FREE, not a penny is needed to use the service.  That’s win when looking at budgeting and savings. Keep in mind:

“Why buy a book when you can join a library”
  ~Ricky Gervais

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