free admission

Where will you go? 1500 museums are free on Museum Day

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.” 

TThe full list of museums participating in Museum Day, September 21, can be found here. And Museum Day tickets can be downloaded here.

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)

Pull-tab cars & portraits made of bugs

Courtesy Fairbanks Museum_Bug Art Mosaic

 

Smithsonian magazine’s 11th Museum Day Live! event is coming back around on Saturday, September 26 and this year there are more than 1300 museums around the country that will be offering free admission on that day.

In my first piece for Mashable Travel, I’ve got a round-up of some of the fun and – of course – offbeat museums and special exhibits to go see that day, including portraits made of thousands of bugs at the eclectic Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury, Vermont and the Grassroots Arts Center in Lucas, Kansas, which has outsider art galore.

Courtesy Grassroots Arts Center, Lucas, Kanas_Car and motorcycle made of pop-can pulltabs by Herman Divers

Read the full story here.

And if you’re out and about over the Labor Day Holiday, keep in mind that it is the first weekend of the month and that means Bank of America and Merrill Lynch credit or debit card holders can get free admission to more than 150 museums around the country, courtesy of the long-running Museums on Us program.

Bruce Lee & 150+ museums free this weekend

If you’re home or on the road this weekend, and have a Bank or America or Merill Lynch credit or debit card, you’re eligible for free admission at more than 150 museums, science centers and gardens around the country, courtesy of the Museums on Us program, which makes the same offer the first full weekend of each month.

Kiss V, 1964, Roy Lichtenstein, courtesy Seattle Art Museum. Collection Simonyi, © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein, Photo: Eduardo Calderon.

If you’re in Seattle, that means you can get free admission to the Seattle Art Museum (regular admission: $19.50), which is currently showing a great pop art exhibition.

Another great option: The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, which is the only place outside of Hong Kong to have an exhibition about martial arts and film star Bruce Lee, who had deep connections to Seattle and is buried at Lake View Cemetery

Bruce Lee - Wing Luke Bruce Lee on the set of ‘Way of the Dragon’ – courtesy of The Wing and Bruce Lee Enterprises.