American Museum of Natural History

61 Free Museums in NYC by Day in 2019

In New York, North America, Tips & Tricks, United States by Sheena4 Comments

There are 61 free museums in NYC – see our updated list of every free & Pay What You Wish day, with all the info & times you need to know.

Free Museums in NYC

Many museums in NYC offer Free or Pay What You Wish admission days. We’ve created the ultimate list to help you decide which museums to visit and when.   

Our guide is divided into museums that are Always Free or Pay What You Wish, and those that are only free/PWYW on certain days or times. Here is a quick section to jump to a particular day of the week for free admission museums in New York City.

We’ve briefly described each museum, but you can also click on the links to go directly to the museum website.  

For Pay What You Wish museums NYC we’ve included the suggested donation price listed on the museum’s website. 

For all museums we’ve listed the regular admission price so you can see how much you can save! 

Whether you’re a tourist or a local, there are free NYC museums for everyone. So scroll through the list below and check out all the free or almost-free history, culture & art to soak up in New York City.

You can also check out our next post to see the cheapest way to visit the best museums – and attractions – in the Big Apple in 1 week… 

7 Day NYC Itinerary

Follow our New York itinerary & find out how to visit all the major attractions & museums in the Big Apple in 1 week for under $75!

Read more
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Don’t pay $25 for The Met, Pay What You Wish!

Always Free Museum Days NYC

African Burial Ground – the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans

  • Hours: 10 am – 4 pm Tuesday thru Saturday
  • Closest Subway Stations (Lower Manhattan): Chambers Street (J, Z), Brooklyn Bridge (4, 5, 6), City Hall (R, W), Chambers Street (A, C), Park Place (2, 3)

American Folk Art Museum – devoted to the appreciation of traditional folk art by self-taught artists from the United States and abroad

  • Hours: Varies but minimum 12 pm – 6 pm Tuesday thru Saturday
  • Closest Subway Station (Upper West Side): Lincoln Center (1)

BRIC House – a non-profit arts organization with free cultural programming such as community TV and art exhibitions

  • Hours: 11 am – 7 pm Tuesday thru Friday; 11 am – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday
  • Closest Subway Stations (Brooklyn): Nevins Street (2, 3, 4, 5), DeKalb Avenue (B, N, Q, R), Fulton Street (M), Lafayette Avenue (C)

Bronx Museum – presents contemporary art exhibitions that promote cross-cultural dialogues for diverse audiences. See NYC has free museums in Manhattan AND beyond!

  • Hours: 11 am – 6 pm Wednesday thru Sunday; Closes at 8 pm Friday
  • Closest Subway Station (Bronx): 167 Street (4, B, D)

Federal Hall – a museum and memorial where George Washington took the oath of office as the first US President in 1789

  • Hours: 9 am – 5 pm Monday thru Saturday
  • Closest Subway Station (Lower Manhattan): Broad Street (J, Z), Wall Street (4, 5)

Federal Reserve Bank – free guided tours of the museum and gold vault. Reservations open 30 days prior

  • Hours: Reserved tours 1 pm and 2 pm Monday thru Friday
  • Closest Subway Station (Lower Manhattan): Fulton Street (2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, Z)

General Grant – the largest mausoleum in North America and final resting place of President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia

  • Hours: 9 am – 5 pm Wednesday thru Sunday
  • Closest Subway Station (Harlem): 125th Street (1)

Green-Wood Cemetery – founded in 1838 as one of the first rural cemeteries in America and now a National Historic Landmark

  • Hours: 7 am – 7 pm every day April Thru September; 8 am – 5 pm every day October thru March
  • Closest Subway Station (Brooklyn): 25th Street (R)

Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College – cultural exhibitions and programs for the diverse audiences of Queens

  • Hours: 10 am – 5 pm Monday thru Thursday; 11 am – 5 pm Saturday
  • Closest Subway Station (Queens): Forest Hills – 71 Avenue (E, F, M, R)

Hamilton Grange – preserves the Harlem estate and home of US founding father Alexander Hamilton

  • Hours: 9 am – 5 pm every day; Guided Tours at 10 am , 11 am, and 2 pm; Self-Guided Tours between 12 pm – 1 pm and 3 pm – 4 pm
  • Closest Subway Station (Harlem): 145th Street (A, B, C, D)

Hispanic Society of Latin America – museum and reference library for the study of the arts and cultures of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America

  • Hours: Closed for renovations
  • Closest Subway Station (Upper Manhattan): 157th Street (1)

International Print Center New York – non-profit arts institution dedicated to the medium of prints

  • Hours: 11 am – 6 pm Monday thru Friday
  • Closest Subway Station (Midtown): 23rd Street (C, E)

Irish Hunger Memorial – an abandoned stone cottage in Battery Park that’s a metaphor for the Great Irish Famine

  • Hours: 11 am – 6:30 pm every day
  • Closest Subway Stations (Lower Manhattan): World Trade (E), Chambers Street (1, 2, 3)

Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology – New York City’s only museum dedicated  to the art of fashion

  • Hours: 12 pm – 8 pm Tuesday thru Friday; 10 am – 5 pm Saturday
  • Closest Subway Stations (Midtown): 28th Street (1), 23rd Street (C, E)

National Museum of the American Indian –  exhibitions, films and music and dance performances on the diversity of the Native people of the Americas

  • Hours: 10 am – 5 pm every day; Closes at 8 pm Thursday
  • Closest Subway Stations (Lower Manhattan): Bowling Green (4, 5), Whitehall (N, R, W), South Ferry (1)

New York Public Library – the 3rd largest library in the world and a Beaux Arts masterpiece

  • Hours: Varies but minimum 8 am – 8 pm Monday thru Thursday; Closes at 6 pm Friday; 10 am – 6 pm Saturday
  • Closest Subway Station (Midtown): Bryant Park (7, B, D, F, M)

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden – buildings, botanical gardens, urban farm, wetlands and park land on a unique open campus in Staten Island

  • Hours: April to November from 12 pm – 5 pm Tuesday thru Friday; 10 am – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday
  • Closest Subway Station (Staten Island): Staten Island Ferry to Bus S40

Socrates Sculpture Park – community engaged waterfront park dedicated to public art

  • Hours: 9 am – Sunset every day
  • Closest Subway Station (Astoria, Queens): Broadway (N, W)

Soldiers & Sailors Monument – commemorates Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the American Civil War, located in Riverside Park

  • Hours: 6 am – 1 am every day
  • Closest Subway Station (Upper West Side): 86th Street (1)

Storefront for Art & Architecture – exhibitions that take a critical look at social and political issues

  • Hours: 11 am – 6 pm Tuesday thru Saturday
  • Closest Subway Stations (Lower Manhattan): Spring Street (6), Prince Street (N, R, W), Bowery (J, Z)

Queens Botanical Garden (November to March) – a 39-acre oasis in bustling Flushing, Queens

  • Hours: 8 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday thru Sunday
  • Closest Subway Station (Flushing, Queens): Main Street (7)

Queens County Farm Museum – New York’s oldest working farm with restored buildings and vintage farm equipment

  • Hours: 10 am -5 pm every day
  • Closest Subway Station (Glen Oaks, Queens): Union Turnpike – Kew Gardens (E, F) to Q46 Bus

Waterfront Museum – seeks to educate about maritime history & expand waterfront access in the metro area

  • Hours: 4 pm – 8 pm Thursday; 1 pm – 5 pm Saturday
  • Closest Subway Station (Red Hook, Brooklyn): Jay Street (A, C, F, N, R) to B61 Bus

Yeshiva University Museum – a window into Jewish culture around the world

  • Hours: 9:30 am – 8 pm Monday and Wednesday; 9:30 am – 5 pm Tuesday and Thursday; 9:30 am – 3 pm Friday; 11 am – 5 pm Sunday
  • Closest Subway Station (Midtown, Manhattan): 14th Street (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, F, L, M, N, Q, R, W)
Federal Hall in Wall Street
Visit Federal Hall where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the US

Always Pay What You Wish Museum Days NYC

American Natural History Museum – one of the world’s largest natural history museums. It’s one of the best free NYC museums.

  • Hours: 10 am – 5:45 pm daily
  • Suggested Donation : $23
  • Closest Subway Station (Upper West Side): 81st Street – Museum of Natural History (B, C)

Brooklyn Museum – 3rd largest museum in NYC with an impressive Egyptian antiquities collection.

  • Hours: 11 am – 6 pm Wednesday thru Sunday; Closes at 10 pm Thursday
  • Suggested Donation : $16
  • Closest Subway Station (Prospect Heights, Brooklyn): Eastern Parkway – Brooklyn Museum (2, 3)

El Museo del Barrio – specializes in Latin American and Caribbean art, with an emphasis on works from Puerto Rico.

  • Hours: 11 am – 6 pm Wednesday thru Saturday; 12 pm – 5 pm Sunday
  • Suggested Donation : $9
  • Closest Subway Station (Upper East Side): 103rd Street (6)

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art – only dedicated art museum in the world to exhibit artwork that speaks about the LGBTQ experience.

  • Hours: 12 pm – 6 pm Wednesday thru Sunday; Closes at 8 pm Thursday
  • Suggested Donation : $10
  • Closest Subway Station (Lower Manhattan): Canal Street (1, A, C, E)

MoMA PS1 – explores the art, ideas, and issues of our time through thought-provoking contemporary art.

  • Hours: 12 pm – 6 pm Thursday thru Monday
  • Suggested Donation : $10
  • Closest Subway Stations (Long Island City, Queens): 21 Street – Van Alst (G), Court Square (7), Court Square – 23rd Street (E, M)

Queens Museum – features contemporary works designed to enrich appreciation of the fine arts through changing exhibitions.

  • Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Wednesday thru Sunday
  • Suggested Donation : $8
  • Closest Subway Station (Corona, Queens): Mets – Willets Point (7)

Sculpture Center – contemporary art museum in Long Island City,  dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture.

  • Hours: 11 am – 6 pm Thursday thru Monday
  • Suggested Donation : $10
  • Closest Subway Stations (Long Island City, Queens): Court Square (7), Court Square – 23rd Street (E, M), Queens Plaza (E, M, R), Queensboro Plaza (7, N, W)

Staten Island Museum – has collections in Natural Sciences, Fine Art, and History Archives.

  • Hours: 11 am – 5 pm Wednesday thru Sunday
  • Suggested Donation : $8
  • Closest Subway Station (Staten Island): Staten Island Ferry to Bus S40
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Pay What You Wish admission to The Met gets you entrance to The Cloisters & The Breuer too!

Monday: Pay What You Wish Museum in New York City

Pay What You Wish museum on Monday is only:

Museum at Eldridge Street – exhibits tell the story of Jewish immigrant life.

  • Hours: 10 am – 5 pm
  • Suggested Donation : $14
  • Closest Subway Station (Lower East Side): East Broadway (F), Grand Street (B, D)
Museum at Eldridge Street
Entrance to the Museum at Eldridge Street includes a free tour of the synagogue. Credit: Museum at Eldridge Street

Tuesday: Free Museums in NYC & Pay What You Wish

Brooklyn Botanic Garden – urban botanic garden situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn.

  • Free Hours: 8 am – 6 pm
  • Regular Admission: $15
  • Other Free Days: Wednesday to Friday between December to February; 8 am – 12 pm Friday between March to November
  • Closest Subway Station (Prospect Heights, Brooklyn): Eastern Parkway – Brooklyn Museum (2, 3)

Morgan Library & Museum (Morgan Library only) – world’s foremost collection of manuscripts, rare books, and music. Manuscripts and master drawings.

  • Free Hours: 3 pm – 5 pm
  • Regular Admission: $22
  • Other Free Days: 7 pm – 9 pm Friday; 4 pm – 6 pm Sunday
  • Closest Subway Station (Midtown, Manhattan): 33rd Street (6), Grand Central (4, 5, 6, 7, S)

National September 11 Memorial & Museum – commemorates the September 11, 2011 attacks. It’s one of our favorite free New York museums.

  • Free Hours: 4 pm – 7 pm on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • Regular Admission: $26
  • Closest Subway Station (Lower Manhattan): World Trade Center (1), Cortlandt Street (N, R, W), Fulton (4, 5)

Wave Hill – non-profit cultural institution in the Bronx with gardens and greenhouses.

  • Free Hours: 9 am – 12 pm
  • Regular Admission: $10
  • Other Free Days: 9 am – 12 pm Saturday
  • Closest Subway Station (Bronx): Bedford Park (4) to Bus Bx10
National September 11 Memorial
Pay your respects at the National September 11 Memorial

Wednesday: Free Museums in NYC & Pay What You Wish

Bronx Zoo – largest urban zoo in the US with over 6,000 animals.

  • Free Hours: 10 am – 5 pm
  • Regular Admission: $22.95
  • Closest Subway Station (Bronx): East 180th Street (2, 5)

Brooklyn Botanic Garden – urban botanic garden situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn.

  • Free Hours: 9 am – 12 pm
  • Regular Admission: $15
  • Other Free Days: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday between December to February; 8 am – 12 pm Friday between March to November
  • Closest Subway Station (Prospect Heights, Brooklyn): Eastern Parkway – Brooklyn Museum (2, 3)

New York Aquarium – oldest continually operating aquarium in the US.

  • Hours: 3 pm – 5 pm
  • Suggested Donation : $24.95-$29.95
  • Closest Subway Station (West Brighton, Brooklyn): West 8th Street, New York Aquarium (F,Q)

New York Botanical Garden – showplace of nature in the Bronx.

  • Free Hours: 9 am – 12 pm
  • Regular Admission: $23-28
  • Other Free Days: 9 am – 10 am Saturday
  • Closest Subway Station (Bronx): Bedford Park (4, B, D)

Queens Botanical Garden – a 39-acre oasis in bustling Flushing, Queens.

  • Free Hours: 3 pm – 6 pm
  • Regular Admission: $6
  • Other Free Days: 9 am – 11 am Sunday; Daily between November to March
  • Closest Subway Station (Flushing, Queens): Main Street (7)

Staten Island Zoo – kid-friendly suburban zoo.

  • Free Hours: 2 pm – 4:45 pm
  • Regular Admission: $10
  • Closest Subway Station (Staten Island): Staten Island Ferry to Bus S48
Bronx Zoo Free on Wednesday
Get out of the Big Apple & back to nature at Bronx Zoo

Thursday: Free Museums in NYC & Pay What You Wish

Brooklyn Botanic Garden – urban botanic garden situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn.

  • Free Hours: 9 am – 12 pm
  • Regular Admission: $15
  • Other Free Days: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday between December to February; 8 am – 12 pm Friday between March to November
  • Closest Subway Station (Prospect Heights, Brooklyn): Eastern Parkway – Brooklyn Museum (2, 3)

Brooklyn Children’s Museum –  founded in 1899, it is the first children’s museum in the US.

  • Hours: 2 pm – 6 pm
  • Suggested Donation : $11
  • Other Pay What You Wish Days: 4 pm – 7 pm Sunday
  • Closest Subway Station (Brooklyn): Kingston-Throop Avenue (C)

China Institute Gallery – oldest bi-cultural, non-profit organization in America to focus exclusively on China.

  • Free Hours: 5 pm – 8 pm
  • Regular Admission: $10
  • Closest Subway Stations (Lower Manhattan): Canal Street (1), Spring Street (C, E)

Museum of Arts & Design – document contemporary and historic innovation in craft, art, and design.

  • Hours: 6 pm – 9 pm
  • Suggested Donation : $16
  • Closest Subway Station (Midtown, Manhattan): 59th Street – Columbus Circle (1, A, B, C, D)

New Museum – dedicated to new art and new ideas.

  • Hours: 7 pm – 9 pm
  • Suggested Donation: $18
  • Closest Subway Stations (Lower Manhattan): 2nd Avenue (F), Bowery (J, Z)

First Thursday of the Month

Museum of Chinese in America – dedicated to preserving and presenting the history, heritage and culture of Chinese descendants in the US.

  • Free Hours: 11 am – 9 pm
  • Regular Admission: $12
  • Closest Subway Station (Lower Manhattan): Canal Street (6, J, N, Q, R, W, Z)
Jewish Museum New York
Visit the Jewish Museum

Friday: Free Museums in NYC & Pay What You Wish

Brooklyn Botanic Garden – urban botanic garden situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn.

  • Free Hours: 8 am – 12 pm between March to November
  • Regular Admission: $15
  • Other Free Days: Tuesday thru Thursday between December to February
  • Closest Subway Station (Prospect Heights, Brooklyn): Eastern Parkway – Brooklyn Museum (2, 3)

Historic Richmond Town – authentic town and farm museum complex in Staten Island.

  • Hours: 11 am – 5 pm
  • Suggested Donation: $8
  • Closest Subway Station (Staten Island): Staten Island Ferry to Bus S74

International Center for Photography – world’s leading institution dedicated to photography.

  • Hours: 6 pm – 9 pm
  • Suggested Donation: $14
  • Closest Subway Station (Midtown, Manhattan): Bryant Park (7, B, D, F, M)

Japan Society Gallery – features exhibitions of Japanese art.

  • Free Hours: 6 pm – 9 pm
  • Regular Admission: $12
  • Closest Subway Stations (Midtown, Manhattan): Grand Central (4, 5, 6, 7, S), Lexington Avenue – 53rd Street (E, M)

Morgan Library & Museum (Morgan Library only) – world’s foremost collection of manuscripts, rare books, and music. Manuscripts and master drawings.

  • Free Hours: 7 pm – 9 pm
  • Regular Admission: $22
  • Other Free Days: 3 pm – 5 pm Tuesday; 4 pm – 6 pm Sunday
  • Closest Subway Station (Midtown, Manhattan): 33rd Street (6), Grand Central (4, 5, 6, 7, S)

Museum of Modern Art – one of the world’s largest and most influential modern art museums.

  • Free Hours: 4 pm – 8 pm
  • Regular Admission: $25
  • Closest Subway Station (Midtown, Manhattan): 5th Avenue – 53rd Street (E, M)

Museum of the Moving Image – only museum in the US dedicated to the art, history, technique, and technology of the moving image in all its forms.

  • Free Hours: 4 pm – 8 pm
  • Regular Admission: $15
  • Closest Subway Stations (Astoria, Queens): Steinway Street, (E, M, R), 36th Avenue (N, W)

New York Hall of Science – hands-on, family-friendly science center.

  • Free Hours: 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Regular Admission: $16
  • Other Free Days: 10 am – 11 am Sunday
  • Closest Subway Station (Corona, Queens): 111th Street (7)

Rubin Museum of Art –  dedicated to the collection of the art and cultures of the Himalayas, India and neighboring regions.

  • Free Hours: 6 pm – 10 pm
  • Regular Admission: $19
  • Closest Subway Stations (Midtown, Manhattan): 18th Street (1), 14th Street (1, 2, 3, A, C, E, F, L, M)

The New-York Historical Society – American history museum and library.

  • Hours: 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Suggested Donation: $21
  • Closest Subway Station (Upper West Side): 81st Street – Museum of Natural History (B, C)

Whitney Museum of American Art – focuses on 20th and 21st century American art.

  • Free Hours: 7 pm – 10 pm
  • Regular Admission: $25
  • Closest Subway Station (Midtown, Manhattan): 14th Street (A, C, E, L)

First Friday of the Month

Neue Galerie – museum of early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design.

  • Free Hours: 6 pm – 9 pm
  • Regular Admission: $22
  • Closest Subway Station (Upper East Side): 86th Street (4, 5, 6)

Noguchi Museum – 13 galleries and an outdoor sculpture garden are the settings for the wide collection of art work by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi.

  • Free Hours: 10 am – 5 pm; Closes 8 pm May thru September
  • Regular Admission: $10
  • Closest Subway Station (Astoria, Queens): Broadway (N, W)
Monet Water Lillies at MOMA
Get up-close & personal with Monet’s “Water Lillies” at MOMA

Saturday: Free Museums in NYC & Pay What You Wish

Brooklyn Brewery –  microbrewery with tastings & tours.

  • Free Tours: 1 pm – 5 pm
  • Regular Tours: $18
  • Closest Subway Stations (Upper West Side): Nassau Avenue (G), Bedford Avenue (L)

Jewish Museum – exhibitions that explore Jewish art and culture from ancient to modern times.

  • Free Hours: 5 pm – 8 pm
  • Regular Admission: $18
  • Closest Subway Station (Upper East Side): 96th Street (6)

New York Botanical Garden – showplace of nature in the Bronx.

  • Free Hours: 9 am – 10 am
  • Regular Admission: $23 – $28
  • Other Free Days: 9 am – 12 pm Wednesday
  • Closest Subway Station (Bronx): Bedford Park (4, B, D)

Wave Hill – non-profit cultural institution in the Bronx with gardens and greenhouses.

  • Free Hours: 9 am – 12 pm
  • Regular Admission: $10
  • Other Free Days: 9 am – 12 pm Tuesday
  • Closest Subway Station (Bronx): Bedford Park (4) to Bus Bx10

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – the circular Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building is as much of a draw as the museum’s collection of modern art.

  • Hours: 5 pm – 8 pm
  • Suggested Donation: $10
  • Regular Admission: $25
  • Closest Subway Station (Upper East Side): 86th Street (4, 5, 6)
Guggenheim Museum
Admire art & architecture at the Guggenheim

Sunday: Free Museums in NYC & Pay What You Wish

Brooklyn Children’s Museum –  founded in 1899, it is the first children’s museum in the US.

  • Hours: 4 pm – 7 pm
  • Suggested Donation : $11
  • Other Pay What You Wish Days: 2 pm – 6 pm Thursday
  • Closest Subway Station (Brooklyn): Kingston-Throop Avenue (C)

Morgan Library & Museum (Morgan Library only) – world’s foremost collection of manuscripts, rare books, and music. Manuscripts and master drawings.

  • Free Hours: 4 pm – 6 pm
  • Regular Admission: $22
  • Other Free Days: 3 pm – 5 pm Tuesday; 7 pm – 9 pm Friday
  • Closest Subway Station (Midtown, Manhattan): 33rd Street (6), Grand Central (4, 5, 6, 7, S)

New York Hall of Science – hands-on, family-friendly science center.

  • Free Hours: 10 am – 11 am
  • Regular Admission: $16
  • Other Free Days: 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Closest Subway Station (Corona, Queens): 111th Street (7)

Queens Botanical Garden – a 39-acre oasis in bustling Flushing, Queens.

  • Free Hours: 9 am – 11 am
  • Regular Admission: $6
  • Other Free Days: 3 pm – 6 pm Wednesday; Daily between November to March
  • Closest Subway Station (Flushing, Queens): Main Street (7)

Studio Museum in Harlem – art museum devoted to the work of artists of African descent.

  • Hours: 12 pm – 6 pm
  • Suggested Donation : $7
  • Closest Subway Station (Harlem, Manhattan): 125th Street (1, A, B, C, D)

Frick Collection – Henry Frick once resided in this 18th-century French-style mansion; now its the home of his impressive art collection.

  • Hours: 2 pm – 5 pm
  • Suggested Donation : $22
  • Closest Subway Station (Upper East Side): 68th Street (6)
Frick Collection Itinerary
Visit the Frick Collection

NYC Reciprocal Museums

Many people, including myself until recently, don’t know the benefits of becoming a museum member. Not only do you get special benefits to the museum you join, you will also get free entry to museums around the country if they participate in reciprocal programs.

NYC NARM Museums

One such program is the North American Reciprocal Museum Association with over 1,122 participating museums, and 21 free museums in NYC alone. Here is the list of all NARM museums in NYC.

  • American Folk Art Museum
  • Bard Graduate Center
  • China Institute
  • El Musio del Barrio
  • Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
  • Museum of American Finance
  • Museum of American Illustration
  • Museum of Arts and Design
  • Museum of Chinese in America
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • Pioneer Works
  • Rubin Museum of Art
  • Salmagundi Club
  • Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling
  • The Asia Society
  • The Drawing Center
  • The Frick Collection
  • The Noguchi Collection
  • The One Club
  • The Paley Center for Media
  • The Studio Museum in Harlem

NYC ROAM Museums

Another, but less popular, reciprocal museum association is Reciprocal Organization of Associated Museums. They currently have five free museums in NYC that are participating.

  • American Folk Art Museum
  • Helen Frankenthaler Foundation
  • Poster House
  • Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling
  • The One Club

NYC ASTC Museums

For those that prefer science museums over art, you can try the Association of Science and Technology Centers that provides free access to museums specializing in science. There are 12 free NYC museums to visit with the ASTC membership.

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Brooklyn’s Children’s Museum
  • Evidence Design
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • MNEMONIC
  • National Museum of Mathmatics (MoMath)
  • New York Transit Museum
  • Potion Design
  • SCOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership
  • Staten Island Children’s Museum
  • The Climate Museum
  • Unified Field

NYC ID Museums

For New York City residents, the local ID provides one year memberships to 44 museums and institutions. Here’s the list if you are putting off getting the additional picture ID.

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • BRIC
  • Bronx County Historical Society
  • Bronx Museum of the Arts
  • BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music)
  • Brooklyn Children’s Museum
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Center for Performance Research
  • Central Park Zoo
  • China Institute
  • The Drawing Center
  • Film Forum
  • Flushing Town Hall
  • International Print Center
  • Jacques Marchais Center for Tibetan Art
  • King Manor
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Metropolitan Opera
  • Museum at Eldridge Street
  • Museum of Arts and Design
  • Museum of Chinese in America
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • New York Aquarium
  • New York Botanical Garden
  • New York City Ballet
  • New York City Center
  • MoMA PS1
  • Park Avenue Armory
  • Pregones Theater
  • Prospect Park Zoo
  • The Public Theater
  • Queens Museum
  • Queens Theatre
  • SculpterCenter
  • Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Center
  • St. George Theatre
  • Staten Island Museum
  • Studio Museum in Harlem
  • Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling
  • Symphony Space
  • Wildlife Conservation Society at Bronx Zoo

Planning Your NYC Trip

Now that you know all the free museum days in NYC, let’s take a quick look at Broadway… did you know that you can see most Broadway productions for around $30-40? Want to know how? Look no further than our post on how to score Cheap Tickets on Broadway Rush.

We also recommend Lonely Planet’s NYC guidebook to help you plan your trip.

Although the U.S. is a relatively safe country for travel, medical costs are high. If you’re an international visitor we recommend purchasing travel insurance before any trip. We’ve been using World Nomads through 80+ countries over the past 12 years and have been really happy with their coverage and services.

For more details check out our World Nomads review here.

Pinterest image of World Trade Center with text overlay
Pinterest image of Guggenheim roof
Guggenheim museum

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means that we receive a small commission if you click on a link & purchase something that we’ve recommended, at no extra cost to you.

Updated in November 2019

Comments

  1. Plenty of museums and that too free entry. I am not very crazy of museums unless it is specifically famous for something.But during rains museums are my favorite place to be. 🙂

  2. This is the list I was always looking for when I lived in NYC. It’s perfect, thanks for putting it together!

Leave a Comment

15 + 4 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.