Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day is coming up on September 21 and we’re celebrating because on that day 1500 museums will be joining in to offer free admission to anyone who downloads a ticket.
Many science centers, aquariums, zoos and gardens will be offering free admission on Museum Day as well.
The free nationwide event presents a great opportunity to stop in and revisit a favorite exhibit at a local cultural institution or visit a museum in a town you’re visiting without worrying about all the admission fees.
Where can you go?
This year, Museum Day is celebrating the Smithsonian Year of Music, with many participating museums offering special music-themed programming.
The Lightner Museum in Saint Augustine, FL, will host a museum-themed scavenger hunt in its galleries. The music will also demonstrate the electric self-playing violin, the Gem Roller Organ and many other early mechanical musical instruments in its collection;
The Armenian Museum of America in Watertown, MA will have live Armenian music in the galleries;
In Missoula, the Montana Natural History City will offer demonstrations and experiments to show and explain how different animals hear;
In North Carolina, a high school Rock Orchestra will play a selection of train related songs at the Wilmington Railroad Museum;
And in Mumford, NY, the Genesee Country Village and Museum, the state’s largest living history museum will be celebrating early shape-note music with a shape-note sing open to all.
Many all-music-all-the-time museums are participating as well.
Museum Day visitors to MoPOP in Seattle, WA will have full access to galleries and to exhibits dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and more.
Music-fans will also get full access to the music history offered at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles; to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, VA; and in Memphis, TN, to the Blues Hall of Fame, the Memphis Rock ‘N Soul Museum and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
And in Kansas City, MO, the American Jazz Museum will host a jazz storytelling session that explores the sounds and styles of jazz and present a screening of “Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary.”
Only one ticket will be issued per email address, but each ticket is good for admission for two people.
(A slightly differen version of my story about Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day first appeared on CNBC)