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By Brad Tuttle
September 21, 2018
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
JEFF HAYNES—AFP/Getty Images

Museum Day — the big day when it’s super easy for anyone to get free admission at museums across the country — always takes place on the fourth Saturday in September.

In other words: This Saturday is free Museum Day 2018!

Saturday, September 22, marks the 14th anniversary of Museum Day, the event sponsored annually by Smithsonian magazine. For Museum Day 2018, you can get free admission to a choice of roughly 1,500 U.S. museums, including the 9/11 Tribute Museum in New York City, the Museum of Pop Culture in Washington, and the Newseum in Washington D.C.

While it’s easy to get free museum admission on Saturday, it’s not as simple as showing up and strolling into the exhibit hall without opening your wallet. It’s necessary to find a participating museum and download tickets in advance.

You’re allowed one download per email address, which is good for free admission for two people to the selected museum on Saturday. Just have the ticket ready when you arrive at the museum. (And expect larger-than-usual crowds: Museum Day tends to bring out the masses, as you’d imagine.)

You can search for a participating museum by state here — there are 68 options in Pennsylvania, for example — or search by museum name.

Among the museums you can get free admission to on Museum Day 2018 are the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (regular suggested admission: $15), the San Diego Air & Space Museum (regular price: $19.95), the Buffalo Museum of Science ($11), and the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans ($22.95), to name just a few.

If you can’t make it to free Museum Day 2018, take note that there are many other ways to get free museum admission throughout the rest of the year.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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