Check Out Free Museum Passes at Your Local Library

Don’t underestimate the money-saving might of a humble library card.

You don’t have to be a bookworm to benefit from your local library’s offerings. Some library systems allow you to reserve free or discounted passes to local museums, zoos, aquariums and other arts and culture organizations like theaters and orchestras.

Often, museum pass programs are offered in partnership with city level governance and are designed to allow free or reduced price entry to vital arts and cultural resources. Think of the programs as an extension of the mission of public libraries to provide public access to information.

Not only are free passes a terrific option for families with children, but also for people of all ages who love visual and performing arts and animals. Some pass programs, though, are only open to families with children.

We’ve highlighted a few programs below.

Check with your local library to see whether it operates something similar. Instead of free tickets, some library systems offer discounts on merchandise or parking.

Pro Tip

Museum passes are just one unconventional thing that libraries lend. There’s a whole lot more. You could borrow everything from video games to science equipment.

New York City

Brooklyn, Queens and New York Public Libraries offer the Culture Pass museum program for access to a long list of cultural institutions.We lost count at 30.

The impressive list of museums includes the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Jewish Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Any regular card holderages 13 and up, can reserve passes, but Ecards and Educator card holders are not eligible. Passes are available on the first of each month for the following month and the amount of people admitted for each pass varies by institution.


Available at all locations of the Boston Public Library System are passes to six museumsplus the New England Aquarium. Passes to additional museums and attractions are available at select…

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