Calling all capital tourists and museum lovers alike -- this is your chance to have your admission comped to one of the many D.C. museums! Thanks to Smithsonian magazine, free tickets for Sep. 23 are available through a signup on the Smithsonian website.While there are many D.C. museums that accept donations rather than charge admission, there are still quite a few that charge a fee to cover the costs of maintaining their institutions. Whether you’re just visiting D.C., or you’ve lived in the area for a while but have been putting off a visit to one of the region’s famed museums, September 23 will be your best opportunity to check out some of the fine museums supported by Museum Day Live! Through a joint sponsorship with Smithsonian magazine and Microsoft, Museum Day Live! offers anyone with a valid email address free admission for two guests to 11 museums across D.C. Some of the museums included in the free admission are:
- U.S. Botanic Garden: There are many sights to take in at the Botanic Garden, as the venue is divided into three sections: the National Garden, which features an amphitheater alongside beautiful local specimens like the balloon plant and the lob lolly pine; Bartholdi Park, which features spacious lawns and an edible garden; and the Conservatory, which features thousands of orchids and a plethora of other plants from across the world.
- Newseum: Since 2008, the Newseum has defended and presented exhibitions on free expression and the dispersal of information throughout America’s history. Exhibits currently on display include the Civil Rights era, Pulitzer Prize-winning photography, and the history of student protest in our country. Newseum also showcases pieces of international history unique to D.C. museums, such as the concrete slabs from the Berlin Wall on display in the museum concourse.
- National Building Museum: Located in the former U.S. Pension Bureau building, the National Building Museum presents large-scale exhibitions regarding the various aspects of architecture and urban planning. Current exhibits include an in-depth look at St. Elizabeths, a mental asylum founded in 1855, and a vast collection of architectural models crafted entirely from paper.
Upon entering your full name, email address, and location at Smithsonian magazine’s website, you will next be prompted to choose the participating venue that you wish to attend. At that point, you will be redirected to a link containing a PDF that allows you and a guest to attend your selected venue for free. While the ticket doesn’t cover any IMAX presentations or special paid-attendance events at participating locations, there are no strings attached to the free admission offer. Tickets are available for museums in other U.S. states as well, so if there’s a museum outside of D.C. that you’re especially interested in checking out, consult the Museum Day Live!-affiliated venues here. Lastly, here’s a tip to maximizing your viewing of D.C. museums: since your ticket covers two guests, your museum partner can enter their own information into the Museum Day Live! website and select a different website. That means you can check out two museums in one day – both for free!
Which venue in the list of D.C. museums are you most interested in checking out Sep. 23? Are there any museums that Smithsonian left off the list that you wish were covered? Sound off below in the comment section!