Looking for something to do this weekend? Get a culture dose for free on Saturday, 22 September as part of Museum Day. An initiative by the Smithsonian Magazine, more than 1500 museums across the country are offering free entry for one day only.

Travel News - smithsonian museum day
The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Photo by f11photo/Shutterstock

There are participating institutions in all 51 states, with Florida and New York boasting the most at 104 and 103 respectively. You can filter online to find your specific interest, like air and space, history or institutes that will be particularly interesting to children.

To get access, you can choose where you’d like to go online and put in your email address to download your ticket. The ticket will give you and another person free admission this Saturday.

Travel News - natural history museum
The National Museum of Natural History is participating this Saturday. Photo by Kamira/Shutterstock

The museum choices cover everything from respected history museums and art galleries to exhibits dedicated to the stranger side of life. Here’s our pick of five unique museums to try this weekend:

Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind - Louisville, Kentucky

Here you can see every step of the manufacturing process for braille, talking books and tactile aids. Learn how to write your name in braille and how to use your other senses for learning.

National Barber Museum - Winchester, Ohio

One for the beard aficionados, its claim to fame is the “world’s largest collection of barber artifacts”. Expect colourful barber poles, shaving mugs, retro chairs and more.

Travel News - museum day 2018
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington. Photo by Evdoha_spb/Shutterstock

Southern Food and Beverage Museum and the Museum of the American Cocktail - New Orleans

Come for the celebration of food culture in the South, stay for the excellent cafe and an entire gallery dedicated to absinthe.

American Clock and Watch Museum - Bristol, Connecticut

Eight galleries with everything from sundials to novelty character watches. Their current exhibition is Scandals & Scoundrels: Tales from the Dark Side of the Clock & Watch Industries

Knowlton’s Ice Museum of North America - Port Huron, Michigan

Dedicated to the once-thriving industry of ice harvesting, it’s one of the largest collections of ice tools in the country. If ice isn’t quite your thing, there are also exhibits on the milk industry and collections of dolls and buggys.

If you’ve already got plan for this Saturday, the website may provide you with some inspiration for your next trip anyway. Plenty of options are free all the time, giving you plenty of options to check out an enriching experience on a budget.

Explore related stories


Budget Travel

12 ways to experience Florida on a budget

Apr 8, 2024 • 7 min read