Taking the kids to a museum can just about break the family budget. We know! That’s why we love this annual treat from our favorite free museum organization, the Smithsonian. Find out how you can score 2 free tickets to hundreds of museums for admission on Sept. 22, 2018!

Museum Day Live!

Kids can have free fun at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Day Live! Credit: The Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Smithsonian Museum Day Live!

The Smithsonian Institution’s annual free museum day, Museum Day Live!, returns on Saturday, September 22, 2018. Beginning August 15, 2018, museums around the country will let you download a ticket, good for free admission for two people.

The list of museums includes well-known gems such as the Newseum in Washington, D.C., the Children’s Museum of Manhattan in New York City, and the The National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

Go Rogue: Explore Non-Mainstream Museums

But this is also the chance to explore lesser known institutions, such as the Jell-O Gallery in Leroy, NY, the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, PA or the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago. There are hundreds of choices, so revisit a favorite place, or find a new one.

You can only receive one ticket per household, so you need to plan carefully. New this year – instead of printing out tickets, many of the museums are allowing you to show the free tickets on your smartphone.

Museum Day Live!

The Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum, free on Museum Day Live! and every day. Credit: Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution’s 19 museums, including the National Zoological Park, are always free, as are some of the museums that just want to jump on the Museum Day Live! bandwagon.

The free tickets are for general admission only, and exclude parking or special ticketed exhibits.

Some of the Other Recommended Museums

  • The Museum of Arts and Design and The Rubin Museum of Art, both in New York City
  • The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, in Amherst, MA
  • The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, in Knoxville, TN
  • Children’s Hands on Museum of Tuscaloosa, in Tuscaloosa, AL
  • San Diego Air and Space Museum, in San Diego

Read More: How can you score free museum admission every day of the year and for the whole family?