Visit More Than 1,000 Museums Across the U.S. for Free This Saturday

Smithsonian Magazine's annual Museum Day event is here.

Old Louisiana State Capitol Building in Baton Rouge
Photo: CrackerClips/Getty Images

If there's a museum, zoo, or historic site on your wish list that you haven't had the budget to visit yet, you may be in luck. This Saturday, Sept. 18, more than 1,000 cultural institutions across the U.S. are offering free admission, thanks to Smithsonian Magazine.

Smithsonian Magazine's annual Museum Day event offers free entrance to museums, zoos, and more around the country. All you have to do is request a ticket online and choose carefully, as only one free museum ticket is available per email address.

Tickets do, however, include admission for the ticket holder and a guest. And while some participating museums are free every day, others on the list have steep entry prices.

Exterior of The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Getty Images for Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan, for example, typically charges $33 for adults. But that price does buy the opportunity to wander around a giant aircraft carrier parked at the edge of Midtown Manhattan, get up close to the historic space shuttle Enterprise, and snag a glimpse of what life might have been like on board the Growler submarine.

Other spots on the list include the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles (which typically charges $15 for adults), the Blues Hall of Fame Museum in Memphis (typically $10 for adults), and the New Orleans Jazz Museum (typically $8 for adults).

Museums in all 50 U.S. states are participating in this year's event, including more than 70 sites in Florida, more than 50 locations in New York, and more than 40 institutions in California.

This is the 17th year the Smithsonian Magazine has held the event, which was canceled in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Tickets are only valid on Sept. 18.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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