Lonely Planet Writer

Get free entry to over 1300 US museums this weekend for Museum Day Live

This weekend, an estimated 1300 museums in the United States of America will open their doors to the public for free as part of a campaign that aims to promote the rich selection of cultural and educational experiences that are available across the country.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. Image by Png Studio Photography/Shutterstock

Hosted in association with Smithsonian Magazine, the 13th annual Museum Day Live is taking place on Saturday 23 September. Created in the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington DC-based facilities, visitors that have downloaded a branded ticket for participating institutions can gain entry free of charge for the day. Each ticket grants access to the holder plus one guest, with one ticket being permitted per email address.

“We are all about access for everyone to cultural gems everywhere and Museum Day Live makes that available,” said Amy Wilkins, Chief Revenue Officer at Smithsonian Media.

The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco is taking part in the campaign.
The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco is taking part in the campaign. CC BY 2.0

Hundreds of museums in all 50 states have already signed up for this year’s campaign, and it is expected that 2017 will have the largest number of participating institutions since the project began. Large and small museums taking part include New York’s Museum of Arts and Design and the Museum of the City of New York, the Tennessee State Museum and Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery in Nashville, Museum of the African Diaspora and California Historical Society in San Francisco, and Yellowstone Art Museum and Museum of the Rockies in Montana.

The Museum of the Rockies in Montana.
The Museum of the Rockies in Montana. Image by Tim Evanson / CC BY 2.0

This year, the campaign has partnered with Microsoft to create an interactive lesson plan based on Smithsonian materials using Minecraft: Education Edition, and participating museums will be able to download lesson plans to coincide with Museum Day Live.

More information on downloading tickets for Museum Day Live as well as a full list of participating museums is available at the Smithsonian website.