Blue Star Museums

Free museum admission for military personnel and their families

As you travel around the country this summer, keep in mind that more than 1,5000 museums around the country are offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day, May 28, through Labor Day, September 3, 2012 as part of the Blue Star Museums program.


The program began in 2010 and is a collaboration between the National Endowment of the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and the participating museums.

On the list are museums, science centers, history museums, nature centers and more than 70 children’s museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, TX and the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.

New on the list year: the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar in Richmond, Va., the New Mexico Museum of Space History, San Francisco’s Children’s Creativity Museum and the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo.

You can click on a map to see what museums and attractions in your travels may be on the list.



Free museum entry for you around the country

A lot of businesses close during holiday weekends, but during this July 4th holiday plenty of museums, zoos and special attractions will be open.

Thanks to the Bank of America’s Museums on Us program, admission to more than 120 museums will be free this weekend for anyone who has one of the bank’s ATM, credit or check cards.

If you’re visiting New York City, you might head on over to the Bronx Zoo or to the Intrepid Air & Space Museum

Or, if you’re in Detroit, spend a few hours at the Henry Ford Museum (Bank of America free admission on Saturday only),  which has just about everything, including a collection of Presidential limousines and a great Heroes of the Sky exhibit.

(From the Henry Ford Museum collection; a photo of Wilbur Wright in the Flyer)

An even better deal: admission and parking at the Henry Ford Museum is free to everyone on July 16th as part of Target Family Days

Curtiss biplane at Henry Ford

(1917 Curtiss JN 4-D “Canuck” Biplane. On display at the Henry Ford Museum)

See the Museums of Us website to find other museums, zoos and attractions offering free admission this weekend as part of the Bank of America program.  And don’t forget that through Labor Day, September 6, 2010, more than 850 museums around the country are offering free admission anytime to active duty service members and up to five family members as part of the Blue Star Museums program.

(Free) Tidbits for travelers: doughnuts, museums, zoos & more

If you’re traveling anywhere this weekend, or just exploring your own town, here are some freebies that may come in handy.

(Photo courtesy Flickr member istolethetv)

Friday, June 4th is National Doughnut Day! The Salvation Army created this sweet holiday back in 1938 as a fundraising event, but the day is now celebrated with free doughnuts.  Krispy Kreme stores throughout the country are giving out free doughnuts (one per customer) and you’ll get a free donut if you buy a coffee drink at most Dunkin Donut stores.  Many local, independent donut shops will also be honoring the day with free donuts, so if you’re in a new town, map out a donut tour and explore.

This weekend is the first full weekend of the month and that means you can get free admission at more than 100 museums around the country if you have a Bank of America debit, credit or ATM-card.

Check the Museums on Us list to see if there’s a museum, zoo, or other local attraction near you participating in the program..  One of my favorites on the list is the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which currently has a great exhibition titled Headgear, which is all about the natural history of horns and antlers.

(Photo by Andrew Shaper, courtesy Harvard Museum of Natural History)

Also this weekend more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees will also open their gates for free.

And from now through Labor Day, more than 750 museums (the list just keeps on growing) around the country are offering free admission to active duty military families through the National Endowment for the Art’s Blue Star Museums program.