More Than 1,000 Museums Are Offering Free Admission This Weekend

The Smithsonian's Museum Day is back in 2021, and you can get free admission to great museums.

Museum day
Photo by Tinnaporn Sathapornnanont/Shutterstock

After taking a year off due to COVID, Smithsonian magazine is bringing back Museum Day for its 17th year on Saturday, September 18. 

For one day, more than a thousand museums, zoos, and cultural centers across the United States offer free admission, so you can check out all they have to offer, whether you're on vacation or just exploring museums in your own area. Those institutions are encouraged to "emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, DC-based facilities, which offer free admission every day."

Here's how it works: On the Museum Day website, you can see the participating museums and request a ticket. Each ticket will admit two people to that museum only. You have to have a ticket to get free admission, and it's recommended you make your request far in advance because there are a limited number of tickets available for each museum.

As in previous years, it doesn't matter what state you are in; there are museums are participating. It's a wonderful event that lets you re-visit a favorite haunt or discover something new. 

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Dustin Nelson is a Senior Staff Writer at Thrillist. Follow Dustin Nelson on Twitter.