How To Get Free Or Discounted Admission Into Museums

Sharon and I love to check out museums when we’re traveling. Whether it’s a somber location like The September 11th Memorial Museum or Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park or somewhere fun, such as The Pinball Hall of Fame or The Museum of Pop Culture, we’ll find some time to plan a visit.

Admission to museums can be expensive. Yet while I always look for discounts on amusement park tickets, I’ve never thought about saving money at  museum. Turns out, it’s the same process and you might even be able to get in for free.

We just got back from a visit from Chicago and we had a day to spend however we wanted. One of the places suggested to us by our readers that we hadn’t visited yet was The Field Museum.

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Just like I described for amusement park tickets, I went to my employer benefit website, clicked on PerkSpot and searched for museums. While there was a link to take me to Tickets At Work, the same place to get theme park tickets, there was a separate link for several museums in Chicago. Since my employer is based in the Chicago area and is a large contributor to museums in the area, employees get free admission to The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago Children’s Museum, The Chicago Art Institute, The Brookfield Zoo and the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

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All I needed to show is my pay stub (getting that printed while on vacation was another matter since our hotel didn’t have a business center).

If you work for a large company, it pays to check your employee website to see if there are any freebies available. We could easily spend several days in Chicago just seeing the stuff we’d get into for free.

Even if there’s nothing free, it pays to check out Tickets At Work. They have discounts on tons of places. Here’s some of the museums in New York they offer discounts for on the website:

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The Museum of Modern Art
  • Whitney Museum of American Art
  • The National September 11 Memorial Museum
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage
  • New York Historical Society Museum & Library

I love the American Museum of Natural History. It was “my” museum growing up and where my fascination with dinosaurs started.

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Final Thoughts

Airfares, hotels and rental cars aren’t the only places where you can save money when traveling. Admission charges, transportation fares, parking fees and meals are all part of your expenses. It makes sense to try to save money on all of them. I’m learning more and more about discounts like this one the more I dive into it.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

 

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