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When Are Free Museum Days in NYC, Westchester, Rockland, and Long Island?

When Are Free Museum Days in NYC, Westchester, Rockland, and Long Island?

This is when admission is free at museums in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, and Rockland.

Museums provide a day of educational fun, but who says you always need to pay full price or anything at all? Luckily, there are plenty of free museum days in NYC, Westchester, Rockland, and Long Island. So, whether you’re looking for indoor family outing ideas in the winter or a way to escape the sweltering heat in the summer, a trip to the museum is something kids (and adults) of all ages can enjoy. Consult our list below to find museums, zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens offering pay-what-you-wish or free admission throughout the area.

Click on your preferred region below to jump to that section:

Free Museum Days in NYC

New-York Historical Society

170 Central Park West, Upper West Side
When it's free: Pay-as-you-wish Fridays, 6-8pm 
Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 11am-5pm; Friday, 11am-8pm; Saturday-Sunday, 11am-5pm

Visitors learn about New York City's deep history at this Manhattan museum. There is a vast collection of art, objects, artifacts and documents, and an ongoing collecting program that highlight's the city's history. It’s also home to the Dimenna Children’s History Museum.

9/11 Memorial & Museum

180 Greenwich St., Financial District
When it's free: Mondays. Tickets are available on the website each Monday beginning at 7am and are first-come, first-serve. Last entry is at 3:30pm. The Memorial is always free to visit.
Hours: Museum: Thursday-Monday, 10am-5pm. Memorial: daily, 10am-5pm

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum honors the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terrorists attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and Feb. 26, 1993. It recognizes the courage of those who survived and salutes those who risked their lives to help others. 

Whitney Museum of American Art

99 Gansevoort St., Meatpacking District
When it's free: Pay-what-you wish on Fridays, 7-10pm. Advance ticketing required.
Hours: Monday, 10:30am-6pm; Wednesday-Thursday, 10:30am-6pm; Friday, 10:30am-10pm; Saturday-Sunday, 11am-6pm.

Pay-what-you-wish on Friday evenings to see the museum's full range of 20th-century and contemporary American art. 

Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling

898 St. Nicholas Ave., Sugar Hill
When it's free: Admission is always free for children ages 8 and younger
Hours: Saturday, 10am-3pm

This Manhattan museum offers a variety of exhibits for kids to enjoy. Story hours are every Saturday at 11am and 1pm. Adult admission is $7. 

Jewish Museum

1109 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side
When it's free: Saturdays. Plus, it’s free for children ages 18 and younger throughout the week.
Hours: Monday and Thursday, 11am-6pm; Friday, 11am-4pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-6pm.

The Jewish Museum is an intersection of art and Jewish culture for people of all backgrounds. Visit the museum on Saturdays for free admission to see its collection. 

American Museum of Natural History

200 Central Park West, Upper West Side
When it's free: General admission for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut residents with ID is pay-what-you-wish, but suggested admission—and admission for residents of other states—is $23; $18 seniors and students with ID; $13 for children ages 3-12.
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5:30pm. Reservations for timed-entry are required. See the website for more information.

Founded in 1869, the museum has collected more than 33 million specimens relating to the natural world and human cultures. It recently opened the new Sharks exhibit, which showcases life-like models of these apex predators of the sea, real fossils, and more. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side
When it's free: General admission for New York State residents and New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut students is pay-what-you-wish. General admission tickets are: $25; $17 for seniors; $12 for students.
Hours: Sunday-Tuesday and Thursday, 10am-5pm; Friday-Saturday, 10am-9pm

Known as the Met, the museum presents more than 5,000 years of art from around the world for visitors to enjoy. In addition to its Fifth Avenue site, the museum runs the Met Cloisters at 99 Margaret Corbin Drive.

American Folk Art Museum 

2 Lincoln Square, Upper West Side
When it's free: Always!
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11:30am-6pm

The museum showcases the creativity of individuals whose talents come from personal experience, rather than formal artistic training. Displays include portraits, quilts, and works done in a variety of mediums by living artists.

El Museo Del Barrio

1230 Fifth Ave., East Harlem
When it's free: Always pay-what-you-wish. Suggested admission is $9.
Hours: Friday-Sunday, 11am-5pm

The museum works to present and preserve the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Latin Americans in the United States. Current exhibitions include Popular Painters and Other Visionaries (through Feb. 27, 2022) and En Foco: The New York Puerto Rican Experience, 1973-74. (through Feb. 27, 2022)


1071 Fifth Ave., Upper East Side
When it's free: Select Saturdays, 4-6pm
Hours: Thursday-Monday, 11am-6pm

Visit this museum to enjoy exhibits featuring modern and contemporary art, lectures by artists and critics, performances and film screenings, classes for teens and adults, and tours of the galleries. 

The Morgan Library and Museum 

225 Madison Ave., Murray Hill
When it's free: Friday, 5-7pm with reservations
Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 10:30am-5pm; Friday, 10:30am-7pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10:30am-5pm

This Manhattan-based museum began as the personal library of Pierpont Morgan. Current exhibitions include Bound for Versailles: The Jayne Wrightsman Bookbindings Collection (through Jan. 30, 2022).

Museums in Brooklyn with Free Admission

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

990 Washington Ave., Crown Heights
When it's free: Pay what you can Tuesday-Friday, December-February.
Hours: Seasonal. Check the website for the current schedule.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden features a variety of gardens for visitors to enjoy, including the Discovery Garden, Fragrance Garden, and the Cherry Esplanade, a broad lawn bordered by allées of flowering cherry and red oak trees. 

Brooklyn Children's Museum

145 Brooklyn Ave., Crown Heights
When it's free: Thursday, 2-5pm
Hours: Thursday-Friday, 2-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, 10am-1pm and again from 2-5pm.

The Brooklyn Children's Museum offers exhibits, multicultural performances, workshops, and a collection of cultural artifacts and natural science specimens.

New York Aquarium

602 Surf Ave., Coney Island
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When it's free: Wednesday afternoons. Advance timed tickets are required.
Hours: Check the website for current hours. 

The New York Aquarium, part of the Wildlife Conservation Society, is home to many marine species, including sharks and rays, in Coney Island.

Free Museums in Queens

Queens Botanical Garden

43-50 Main St., Flushing
When it's free: Daily, November-March
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 8am-4:30pm

Enjoy this 39-acre urban oasis that features garden displays, seasonal festivals, summer concerts, and public and educational programs. Admission to this Queens garden is free in colder months. 

Queens County Farm Museum 

73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Little Neck
When it's free: Admission is always free except for special ticketed admission days and group visits.
Hours: Daily, 10am-5pm

This 47-acre working farm in New York City dates back to 1697. It has a landmark farm house, greenhouse, and restored barns. It’s also home to adorable farm animals including sheep, pigs, alpaca, goats and more. You can visit the farm for pumpkin picking in the fall or make your way through the Amazing Maize Maze. 

Queens Museum 

New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
When it's free: It’s always free, however timed-entry reservations are required.
Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 12-5pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm 

Exhibits include the World's Fair Collection, The Relief Map of the New York City Water Supply System, Panorama of the City of New York, and The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass.


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Sculpture Center 

44-19 Purves St., Long Island City
When it's free: Always, but reservations are required.
Hours: Thursday-Monday, 12-6pm

Established in 1928, the SculptureCenter presents exhibits of and leads conversations on contemporary sculpture.

Noguchi Museum 

9-01 33 Road, Astoria
When it's free: The first Friday of every month. Tickets are released two weeks before each date at 12pm. See the website for more information.
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11am-6pm

This museum is home to a collection of works by American artist, Isamu Noguchi. It includes sculptures, drawings, models, and designs. 

Museums in the Bronx with Free Admission

Wave Hill

4900 Independence Ave.
When it's free: Thursdays
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4:30pm

Escape the city and head to this urban oasis for free on Thursdays. Set above the Hudson River with sweeping views, the site works to connect people to nature and offers workshops and walks, talks, contemporary art, live performances, and more. 


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The Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Blvd.
When it's free: Wednesdays. Tickets must be reserved online. The Wednesday Ticket Store will open on Monday at 5pm for that Wednesday’s reservations.
Hours: Opens daily at 10am, but closing hours vary seasonally. 

The Bronx Zoo is the Wildlife Conservation Society's flagship park. Set on 265 acres, the zoo is home to more than 6,000 animals of more than 700 species. 

New York Botanical Garden 

2900 Southern Blvd.
When it's free: Grounds admission is free on Wednesdays to NYC residents with proof of residency. This admission includes access to the outdoor gardens and collections, including the Everett Children's Adventure Garden.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm and Monday federal holidays.

This sprawling 250-acre garden in the Bronx  is a National Historic Landmark. It encompasses 50 specialty gardens and collections comprising more than one million plants. The garden is known for holding many popular events, including the festive Holiday Train Show and NYBG GLOW.  

Bronx Museum of the Arts

1040 Grand Concourse
When it's free: Always
Hours: Time slots can be reserved Wednesday-Sunday, 1-6pm

This is a contemporary art museum based in the Bronx that works to connect diverse audiences to the urban experiences. It offers a permanent collection, special exhibits, and education programs. 

Museums in Long Island with Free Admission

Nassau County Museum of Art 

1 Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor
When it's free: Arboretum, trails, and sculpture garden are free daily
Hours: Grounds: daily, 9am to dusk. Mansion:  11am-4:45pm

The Nassau County Museum of Art, located on a historic property, is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of art and culture for people of all ages and backgrounds. Browse the art on display in its indoor exhibits, get lost among the sculptures in the Sculpture Garden, or get lost among nature on the property’s trails. The museum also hosts family art programs.

Dia Bridgehampton 

23 Corwith Ave., Bridgehampton
When it's free: Always
Hours: Friday-Sunday, 12-6pm (It's closed 3-3:30pm daily)

Established by the Dia Art Foundation, this Suffolk County museum was designed by Dan Flavin to permanently house an installation of his work alongside a program of temporary exhibits. The permanent installation on display is nine works in fluorescent light. 

Heckscher Museum of Art 

2 Prime Ave., Huntington
When it's free: Though it’s not free, admission is always a suggested donation of $5.
Hours: Thursday-Sunday, 12-5pm

Current exhibitions at this Suffolk County museum include Moonstruck, featuring art inspired by the moon and moonlight, and Richard Mayhew: Reinventing Landscape, a collection of vibrant landscape paintings. Mayhew was born in Amityville in 1924 and grew up on Long Island. 

Museums in Westchester County Free Admission

Hudson Valley MOCA

1701 Main St., Peekskill
When it's free: Children younger than 8 receive free admission
Hours: Thursdays and Saturdays, 11am-5pm

This Westchester museum operates 12,000-square-feet of exhibit space. It offers several exhibits and works with many artists including emerging local talent.  

Neuberger Museum of Art 

735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase
When it's free: The museum is currently free for all visitors.
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5pm

Enjoy seeing many exhibits that showcase modern, contemporary, and African art at this museum in Westchester County. The museum also holds tours, lectures, and programs to engage the community.

Free Museums in CT

The Bruce Museum 

1 Museum Drive, Greenwich
When it's free: Tuesday
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm

The Bruce Museum highlights art, science, and natural history, and also offers a variety of educational programs for all ages.


A post shared by Bruce Museum (@brucemuseum)

The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum 

258 Main St., Ridgefield
When it's free: the third Saturday of the month
Hours: Sunday-Monday, 12-5pm; Wednesday-Friday, 12-5pm; Saturday, 10am-5pm

The museum is dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art. In addition to indoor exhibits, there is a 2-acre outdoor Sculpture Garden that is free and open to the public to enjoy. 

Museums in Rockland County with Free Admission

Trailside Museums and Zoo

Bear Mountain State Park
When it's free: Though it’s not free, admission is a $1 suggested donation.
Hours: Daily, 10:30am-4pm

Enjoy this paved nature trail with exhibits that are home to animals native to New York state, including many mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. 

Museums in Orange County with Free Admission

Orange County Farmers Museum 

850 Route 17K, Montgomery
When it’s free: Always free unless there is a festival. Donations are accepted.
Hours: May-September, Saturday-Sunday, 10am-3pm

The Orange County Farmers Museum is a nonprofit organization solely supported by donations, events, and programs held on the grounds. The museum offers an array of farm-focused exhibits, plus educational activities for kids and adults.

Museums in Bergen County with Free Admission

Pascack Historical Society

19 Ridge Ave., Park Ridge, NJ
When it's free: Always!
Hours: Wednesday, 10am-12pm; Sunday, 1-4pm

This Bergen County museum is free and has thousands of objects, artifacts, and ephemera that chronicle life in Pascack Valley over many years. 

Ridgewood Historical Society and Schoolhouse Museum 

650 E. Glen Ave., Ridgewood, NJ
When it's free: Admission is a suggested donation of $5.
Hours: Saturday, 1-3pm; Sunday, 2-4pm

The museum is inside a schoolhouse that was built in 1872 and was used as a school until 1905. It displays local historic artifacts and is maintained by the Ridgewood Historical Society.

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Barbara Russo

Author: Barbara Russo is a freelance writer who holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the City University of New York. She enjoys playing guitar, following current events, and hanging out with her pet rabbits. See More

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