Museum visits can be expensive when taking the whole family. There are six easy ways to save on costs associated with museum visits.
Museums can be another way to experience culture, adventure, and excitement.
I find that you can do most any activity inexpensively if you are flexible on the day and/or time that you go. Here are some easy tips on how to save on museum admissions.
1. Wait Until National Free Museum Day
Celebrate Free Museum Day on Saturday, September 22, 2018. In case you aren’t able to make it that day or there aren’t any offers in your area, I’ve got a few other ways to save on museum visits.
Image Credit: Smithsonian
Typically held on a Saturday in September, the Smithsonian sponsors many nationwide museums in order to offer free admission, for one day only.
At our local transportation museum, the admission rates are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 youth (13-18)
$6.00 children (ages 3-12), and free for children under 3. For our family of four, that would cost us $34.00 (which is a 13% increase over last year’s prices). So, we usually wait for the National Free Museum Day.
How to get free admission on free museum day:
To receive your free Museum Day Live! ticket for two people only, please register for an account. Once registered, you can request a ticket to one participating venue. The ticket will be available to download immediately up to the date of the event. You must print your ticket and present it to receive your free admission or have it accessible on your mobile device (pending museum participation).
2. Search for Museums with No Admission Fees
Many museums receive federal or national funding, which enables them to offer free admission. Do a search for “free museum admission” along with your city name. You might be pleasantly surprised by what comes up. Museums may also offer free or discounted admission to young children, moms (on Mother’s Day), dads (on Father’s Day), students, seniors, teachers, law enforcement, and military personnel.
3. Check for Free Museum Days
Visit the website of your local museum and check the “Calendar,” “Special Events,” or search for “admission is free.” There may be certain days of the week, times during school breaks, or dates during the summer when the museum offers free admission to everyone. This is a great way to get out of the house and have a new experience.
4. Attend With A Group
My son received a postcard in the mail inviting him to visit a local museum from the children’s ministry at our church. Or, you may receive free admission while being a chaperone for a school field trip. If none of these options are available, you can get a group together for a civil, church, or another type of organization.
5. Join the Club
Is there a kids club at your favorite museum? Your kids will be very excited to receive items like their very own Kids Club membership card, surprises mailed to them during their birthday month, a kids page in each issue of the museum’s monthly magazine, monthly museum activities, and more.
I’ve seen public television station’s promotions which offer free museum admission to children on Kids’ Club days.
6. Open a Bank Account
Bank of America offers a special promotion for its customers. Their Museums on Us® program states “Present your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card and picture ID on the first full weekend of every month for one free general admission. Museum hours vary.”
Their website lists participating museums, state by state, along with a calendar of the applicable weekends.
Other Ways to Save on Museum Visits
Eat Before – Tell the kids in advance you are not buying the expensive snacks. We make sure they are not hungry before we go by eating before the event. Concessions can get very expensive. I’d rather spend the money on a cool shirt or toy for my children!
Pack Your Own – Again, tell the kids in advance that you will not be buying expensive souvenirs. I pack a few small treats, like blow pops or ring pops, in my purse to help satisfy the candy craving.
Create a Budget – Tell the kids only one thing. We plan how much we can afford to spend on a souvenir and stick to it.
How do you save money on museum admission and visits?