Tips for Saving Money on Museum Admissions

I love visiting museums. From a museum in my Idaho hometown filled with different collections, to a Body Worlds exhibit in Las Vegas, to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, there are always interesting things to look at in a museum. You can find culture, art, history, science and more when you visit a museum. However, some museums can be quite pricey for entrance fees. If you are looking to save money on museum admissions, there are a few things you can do:

Find Out About Free Admission Days

One of the first things you can do is find out about free admissions days. Many museums offer a free admission day every so often. This might be once a week, once a month, every few months, or once a year. If you are prepared to deal with the crowds on free admission day, you can find out when that day is, and then visit.

You can also find out about free admission days for special populations. Some museums have free kids’ nights, or free seniors’ days. Find out if there are special deals for specific populations.

Buy a Membership

If you like to go to the museum a lot, you can buy a membership. Many museums offer annual memberships. If you buy one, then you have admission for a whole year — no matter how many times you go. If you are interested in science and technology museums, you can check the ASTC web site for information about its Passport Program. You get one membership, and you have access to different centers across the country. If you travel a lot and visit museums, this might be a good choice.

Get a CityPASS

If you are visiting a major city and want to hit the museum, a CityPASS can help. You pay one price for the pass, and have access to a variety of attractions. My husband and I got free admission to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City when we bought a CityPASS. Indeed, it saved us money on admission to more than one attraction. Find out what’s available on the CityPASS in the location you are visiting, and see if it can help you save a little money.

If a CityPASS isn’t available, find out about other types of passes to multiple attractions. I got a discounted admission to Body Worlds in Las Vegas, along with discounted entrance to two other attractions, when I bought a special deal. Look for these packages and deals in order to save a little money — especially if you plan to do more than one thing during your stay.

Go to the Smithsonian

There are several Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. While not all of them have free admission, most of them do. There are museums aimed at different themes (Air and Space, Art, etc.) and you can visit any one you choose. If you are in the nation’s capital, it is worth checking out the Smithsonian.

Things to Keep in Mind

It is important to remember that free admission, or reduced price admission, to the museum usually does not include access to special exhibits, or to certain events at the museum. You may have to pay extra to visit the planetarium show, the IMAX theater, or to enjoy a special exhibit. However, if you have free or reduced admission, that means a little extra money to spend on special exhibits, and that can be well worth it.

Also, consider that there might be other restrictions. Be sure to call ahead to the museum, or check the museum’s web site, to make sure that you understand the requirements and restrictions associated with saving money on your museum admission.

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