The Arts

New York Museums: Free and Cheap Admission

July 26, 2015
Met Museum Greek and Roman Galleries, NYC

The Met Museum’s Greek and Roman Galleries…yours for what you will. Photo: Jeff Dobbins

New York City is home to some of the world’s finest museums and attractions. But with entrance fees climbing to $34.00 each, experiencing these treasures can be a real budget buster. Fortunately, most of NYC’s museums and gardens keep their delights accessible by offering free hours or pay-what-you-can admission.

Here is a list of free and cheap admission to New York’s museums and attractions:

New York museums and sights with free hours

9/11 Memorial Museum: Free every Tuesday 5 pm to close, with the last admission two hours prior to closing. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the Museum starting at 4 p.m. Website

African Burial Ground Museum: Always free. Website

Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Free all day every Tuesday and Saturdays mornings 10am to noon, as well as weekdays in winter (December – February). Website

9/11 Memorial Museum, NYC

Inside the moving 9/11 Memorial Museum. Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Brooklyn Children’s Museum: Free Thursdays 2pm to 6pm. Website

Bronx Zoo: Free very Wednesday. Website

Jewish Museum: Free every Saturday. Thursdays 5pm to 8pm are pay-what-you-can hours. Website

Morgan Library & Museum: Free Fridays 7pm to 9pm. Website

Museum of Chinese in America: Free first Thursday of every month. Website

Museum of Jewish Heritage: Free Wednesdays from 4pm to 8pm. Website

Museum of Modern Art: Free Fridays from 4pm to 8pm. NOTE: this is a very popular time, and the galleries may be swamped with visitors. Website

National Museum of the American Indian: Always free. Website

New York Botanical Garden: Free all day Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 9am to 10am (Grounds only). Website

New York Hall of Science: Free Fridays from 2pm to 5pm and Sundays from 10am to 11am. Website

Noguchi Museum: Free First Friday of every month. Website

Rubin Museum of Art: Free Fridays from 6pm to 10pm. Free for seniors the first Monday of every month. Website

Staten Island Children’s Museum: Free for grandparents on Wednesdays. Website

Staten Island Zoo: Free on Wednesdays from 2pm to 4:45pm. Website

Wave Hill Garden and Cultural Center: Free on Saturdays and Tuesdays from 9am to noon. Website

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, NYC

Bucolic Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Photo: Jeff Dobbins

New York museums with pay-what-you-want hours

The Frick Collection: Sundays from 11am to 1pm. Website

Guggenheim Museum: Saturdays from 5:45 to 7:45pm (last ticket issued 7:15pm). Website

International Center of Photography: Every Friday from 5pm to 8pm. Website

Museum of Arts and Design: Thursdays from 6pm to 9pm. Website

New Museum: Thursday evenings from 7pm to 9pm. Website

New York Aquarium: Fridays after 3pm. Website

Whitney Museum: Fridays from 6pm to 10pm. Website

Monet Water Lilies, MoMa, NYC

At MoMa, Friday evenings at free (and frenzied). Photo: Jeff Dobbins

New York museums where the donation is always suggested

Alice Austen House Museum  Website

American Museum of Natural History (permanent collection only) Website

Brooklyn Museum Website

Bronx Museum of the Arts Website

Metropolitan Museum of Art Website

El Museo del Barrio Website

Museum of the City of New York Website

P.S. 1: Contemporary Arts Center Website

Sculpture Center Website

Studio Museum in Harlem: also, free admission Sundays Website

Staten Island Museum Website

American Museum of Natural History, NYC

Jurassic Manhattan – in the American Museum of Natural History. Photo: Jeff Dobbins

What’s your favorite NYC museum or gallery? Share your recommendations in the comments below.

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