HOW TO GET CHEAP OR FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION

Here are a few quick tips, including using your library card

By Ashley Chorpenning

AAA World Article

WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON FAMILY FUN
A trip to your local museum is an activity your entire family can enjoy. Not only is visiting a museum entertaining, but it can also be an educational experience. From getting up close and personal with archeological artifacts of the past to interacting with modern art, the museum is a great place to learn and have fun.

Experiencing the past, present, and future at your local museum doesn’t have to come with a high price tag. Here are a few ways you can visit your local museum for cheap:

RESERVE TICKETS WITH YOUR LIBRARY CARD
Depending on where you live, you may be able to receive free museum tickets by using your library card. In cities like Boston and Seattle, public library cardholders can call or visit their local library to receive free tickets. 

BANK OR CREDIT CARD BENEFITS
Financial institutions or credit card companies often offer their customers free or discounted museum access. Programs like Bank of America’s Museum on Us program offers cardholders a variety of free weekend access to museums and cultural organizations across the country.

PAY-AS-YOU-WISH PROGRAM
If you would like to support your favorite museum but don’t want to pay the full admission price, some institutions offer pay-as-you-wish programs. These programs allow visitors to donate instead of spending a set admission price. For example, the American Museum of Natural History recommends a donation of $25 but the donation is not required to enter.

Keep in mind, some institutions only offer these programs during designated days or times. For instance, the Philadelphia Museum of Art offers pay-as-you-wish on the first Sunday of the month as well as Wednesday nights.

FLEXIBLE PRICING DATES AND POLICIES
Stay of the lookout for flexible pricing policies. Some institutions will allow you to purchase tickets in advance for a discounted price, while others have discounted or free rates on certain nights. Some museums also have free admission year-round. Many museums offer discounted days for locals. You can visit your local museum’s website for details or contact them if you’re unsure of their offerings. 

SPONSORED PROGRAMS
Certain museums may partner with outside organizations to increase their traffic or share their mission and knowledge with the community. For example, Target sponsors free and discounted tickets to institutions around the country. This allows participants to save money while learning something new. 

MILITARY, SENIOR, AND OTHER DISCOUNT
Before you purchase a ticket to any museum, ask if they offer any discounts for military, seniors, teachers, students, or any other organization you may be a part of. Ask for their specific rates and verify if you need identification to prove your association with a certain organization.

Finding deals and discounts on admissions to museums is simple. With a little research and strategic planning, you won’t have to pay full price for entry.