New York City Museums with FREE Admission & Pay What You Wish Days

Posted on: January 10th, 2017 by and

We created this list of New York City museums with free admission in 2013. We update this at least twice a year so you’ll always have the most up-to-date information on free New York City museums.

 

New York City museums with free admission

 

Excuse me, do you realize the name of this website is JERSEY Family Fun?

 

I do!  I really do.

But it would be wrong to not look across the Hudson for activities from time to time. Especially since some of us are so close to it. New York has a reputation of being expensive (it can be), congested (it is), and generally hard to navigate with children. But I’m here to convince you that it can be a quick getaway and totally appropriate to go with the family and not spend an arm and a leg. Jersey Family Fun plans to get you into New York City on the cheap – starting with this list of New York City museums with FREE Admission! These New York City attractions are great things to do in New York City.

Some of these New York City museums have FREE Admission, some have a suggested admission. That suggested admission is just that; a way of getting a set donation from everyone that comes through the door. You will often here it called Pay What You Wish. It is your decision as to what to give for entry. Some also offer days when admission is completely free. Keep reading and start making an itinerary of free things to do in NYC!

 

New York City Museums with FREE Admission Everyday or Pay What You Wish:

 

American Folk Art Museum

The premier institution devoted to the aesthetic appreciation of traditional folk art and creative expressions of contemporary self-taught artists from the United States and abroad. The museum preserves, conserves, and interprets a comprehensive collection of the highest quality, with objects dating from the eighteenth century to the present. You can visit the American Folk Art Museum website at folkartmuseum.org.

 

American Museum of Natural History (pay what you wish)

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret, and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education, and exhibition. You can visit the American Museum of Natural History website at www.amnh.org.

 

Gum gum for Dum Dum at the American Museum of Natural History

Gum gum for Dum Dum at the American Museum of Natural History

Bronx Museum of Arts 

The Bronx Museum of the Arts is an internationally recognized cultural destination that presents innovative contemporary art exhibitions and education programs and is committed to promoting cross-cultural dialogues for diverse audiences. You can visit the Bronx Museum of Arts website at www.bronxmuseum.org.

 

Brooklyn Museum (pay what you wish)

The Brooklyn Museum, housed in a 560,000-square-foot, Beaux-Arts building, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country. Its world-renowned permanent collections range from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures. You can visit the Brooklyn Museum website at www.brooklynmuseum.org.

 

The Cloisters (pay what you wish)

The Cloisters museum and gardens, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, was assembled from architectural elements, both domestic and religious, that largely date from the twelfth through the fifteenth century. You can visit The Cloisters website at www.metmuseum.org.

 

El Museo del Barrio (pay what you wish)

El Museo del Barrio’s purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret the art and artifacts of Caribbean and Latin American cultures for posterity.To enhance the sense of identity, self-esteem and self-knowledge of the Caribbean and Latin American peoples by educating them in their artistic heritage and bringing art and artists into their communities.To provide an educational forum that promotes an appreciation and understanding of Caribbean and Latin American art and culture and its rich contribution to North America. You can visit the El Museo del Barrio website at www.elmuseo.org.

 

Metropolitan Museum of Art (pay what you wish)

Perhaps no word describes the Met as well as “encyclopedic.” With nearly 3,000,000 works in its vaults that span 5,000 years, the museum can display only a fraction at a time. Several of the collections are described below. You can visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art website at www.metmuseum.org.

 

Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology

The Museum at FIT is the only museum in New York City solely dedicated to the art of fashion.  Best known for its innovative and award-winning exhibitions, the museum also has a permanent collection of more than 50,000 garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present, with particular strength in 20th-century designer fashion. You can visit the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology website at www.fitnyc.edu/museum.

 

National Museum of the American Indian—Smithsonian Institution

The National Museum of the American Indian–New York, the George Gustav Heye Center, is located within the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House. The museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions—as well as a range of public programs, including music and dance performances, films, and symposia—explore the diversity of the Native people of the Americas. You can visit the National Museum of the American Indian—Smithsonian Institution website at www.nmai.si.edu.

 

P.S.1 MoMA (pay what you wish)

MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States. An exhibition space rather than a collecting institution, MoMA PS1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world. A catalyst and an advocate for new ideas, discourses, and trends in contemporary art, MoMA PS1 actively pursues emerging artists, new genres, and adventurous new work by recognized artists in an effort to support innovation in contemporary art. You can visit the P.S.1 MoMA website at www.momaps1.org.

 

Socrates Sculpture Park

Socrates Sculpture Park is the only site in the New York Metropolitan area specifically dedicated to providing artists with opportunities to create and exhibit large-scale sculpture and multi-media installations in a unique outdoor environment that encourages strong interaction between artists, artworks and the public. The park’s existence is based on the belief that reclamation, revitalization and creative expression are essential to the survival, humanity and improvement of our urban environment. You can visit the Socrates Sculpture Park website at socratessculpturepark.org.

 

Staten Island Museum (pay what you wish)

New York City’s only general interest museum, engages visitors with interdisciplinary exhibitions and educational programs that explore the dynamic connections between natural science, art and history based on its diverse collections. The Museum is dedicated to making its current and future collections broadly accessible for educators, students, researchers and the general public by providing authentic experiences in the field and at the Museum. You can visit the Staten Island Museum website at www.statenislandmuseum.org.

 

Studio Museum in Harlem (pay what you wish)

The nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally and internationally and for work that has been inspired and influenced by black culture. It is a site for the dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society. – You can visit the Studio Museum in Harlem website at http://www.studiomuseum.org.

 


New York City Museums with FREE Admission days or hours:

Bronx Zoo has suggested admission days!

Bronx Zoo has suggested admission days!

 

New York City Museums with FREE Admission during select hours every month

  • Brooklyn Museum (First Saturday, 5-11 pm) ~ You can visit the Brooklyn Museum website at www.brooklynmuseum.org.
  • El Museo del Barrio (Third Saturday, 11 am-8 pm) ~ You can visit the El Museo del Barrio website at www.elmuseo.org.
  • Neue Galerie (First Friday, 6-8 pm) ~ You can visit the Neue Gallerie website at neuegalerie.org.
  • Noguchi Museum (First Friday, pay what you wish) ~ You can visit the Noguchi Museum website at www.noguchi.org.
  • Museum of the Chinese in America, (First Thursday) ~ You can visit the Museum of the Chinese in America website at www.mocanyc.org.
  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan (First Friday night) ~ You can visit the Children’s Museum of Manhattan website at cmom.org.
  • The Frick Collection (First Friday, free) ~ You can visit the Frick collection website at frick.org

 

New York City Museums with FREE Admission weekly by day or hours

  • New York City Museums with FREE Admission on MONDAYS

    • Yeshiva University Museum 5 – 8 pm ~ You can visit the Yeshiva University Museum website at www.yumuseum.org.
    • Museum at Eldridge Street ~ You can visit the Museum at Eldridge Street website at www.eldridgestreet.org.
  • New York City Museums with FREE Admission on TUESDAYS

    • Brooklyn Botanic Garden ~ You can visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website at www.bbg.org.
    • Society of Illustrators 5-8 pm ~ You can visit the Society of Illustrators website at www.societyillustrators.org.
    • 9/11 Memorial and Museum 5-close ~ You can visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum website at www.911memorial.org.
    • Staten Island Museum 12-2 pm ~ You can visit the Staten Island Museum website at www.statenislandmuseum.org.
    • Staten Island Zoo 2-4:45 pm ~ You can visit the Staten Island Zoo website at www.statenislandzoo.org. (through 2/14/17)
    • Wave Hill 9 am-noon ~ You can visit the Wave Hill website at www.wavehill.org.
  • New York City Museums with FREE Admission on WEDNESDAYS

    • Bronx Zoo (pay what you wish) ~ You can visit the Bronx Zoo website at bronxzoo.com.
    • Museum of Jewish Heritage 4-8 pm ~ You can visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage website at www.mjhnyc.org.
    • New York Botanical Garden ~ You can visit the New York Botanical Garden website at www.nybg.org.
    • Queens Botanical Garden  3-6 pm ~ You can visit the Queens Botanical Garden website at www.queensbotanical.org.
    • Van Cortlandt House Museum pay what you wish ~ You can visit the Van Cortlandt House Museum website at www.vchm.org.
    • Yeshiva University Museum 5 – 8 pm ~ You can visit the Yeshiva University Museum website at www.yumuseum.org.
    • Staten Island Zoo 2-4:45 pm ~ You can visit the Staten Island Zoo website at www.statenislandzoo.org.
Staten Island Chuck at the Staten Island Zoo

Staten Island Chuck at the Staten Island Zoo

 

  • New York City Museums with FREE Admission on THURSDAYS

    • Museum of Arts and Design 6 – 9 pm (pay what you wish) ~ You can visit the Museum of Arts and Design website at madmuseum.org.
    • New Museum of Contemporary Art 7 – 9 pm (pay what you wish) ~ You can visit the New Museum of Contemporary Art website at www.newmuseum.org.
    • Brooklyn Children’s Museum 2 – 6 pm ~ You can visit the Brooklyn Children’s Museum website at www.brooklynkids.org.
  • New York City Museums with FREE Admission on FRIDAYS

    • Morgan Library & Museum 7 – 9 pm ~ You can visit the Morgan Library & Museum website at www.themorgan.org.
    • Museum of Modern Art 4 – 8 pm ~ You can visit the Museum of Modern Art website at www.moma.org.
    • New York Historical Society 6 – 8 pm (pay what you wish) ~ You can visit the New York Historical Society website at www.nyhistory.org.
    • New York Aquarium  (pay what you wish) ~ Hours vary by season. You can visit the New York Aquarium website at nyaquarium.com.
    • New York Hall of Science 2 – 5 pm ~ You can visit the New York Hall of Science website at nysci.org.
    • Rubin Museum of Art 6 – 10 pm ~ You can visit the Rubin Museum of Art website at rubinmuseum.org.
    • Whitney Museum of American Art  7 – 9:30 pm (pay what you wish) ~ You can visit the Whitney Museum of American Art website at whitney.org.
    • Yeshiva University Museum 11 – 2:30 pm ~ You can visit the Yeshiva University Museum website at www.yumuseum.org.
    • Historic Richmond Town ~ You can visit the Richmond Town website at www.historicrichmondtown.org.
    • Museum of the Moving Image 4 – 8 pm ~ You can visit the Museum of the Moving Image website at www.movingimage.us.

 

Surfin USA at NY Hall of Science

Surfin USA at NY Hall of Science

  • New York City Museums with FREE Admission on SATURDAYS

    • Brooklyn Botanic Garden 10 am – noon ~ You can visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden website at www.bbg.org.
    • Jewish Museum ~ You can visit the Jewish Museum website at thejewishmuseum.org.
    • New York Botanical Garden 9 AM – 10 AM ~ You can visit the New York Botanical Garden website at www.nybg.org.
    • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 5:45 – 7:45 pm (pay what you wish) ~ You can visit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum website at www.guggenheim.org/
    • Wave Hill 9 am-noon ~ You can visit the Wave Hill website at www.wavehill.org.
  • New York City Museums with FREE Admission on SUNDAYS

    • Frick Collection 11 am – 1 pm (pay what you wish) ~ You can visit the Frick Collection website at www.frick.org
    • New York Hall of Science 10 – 11 am ~ You can visit the New York Hall of Science website at nysci.org.
    • Queens Botanical Garden 9 – 11 AM~ You can visit the Queens Botanical Garden website at www.queensbotanical.org.
    • Studio Museum in Harlem ~ You can visit the Studio Museum in Harlem website at www.studiomuseum.org.

 

Didn’t see what you were looking for? Don’t give up yet – visit  your library! Many NJ libraries offer free museum passes and we have a listing of the ones that do!

 

Click over to see the rest of our Family Travel to New York City series.

Family Travel to New York City Series

 

To arrange a feature on your location contact Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun publisher.

 

This blog post was created by Dianne while she was a blogger for Jersey Family Fun. It is now maintained by Melanie Cortese.

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