June 29, 2017

Free Museum Visits

man viewing painting

There's something special about visiting a museum. The fact that others took great care to collect, curate and present art and other objects in a way that is engaging and educational is pretty awesome. I've loved museums since I was a kid.

Art museums are the most common. Each generation over time spends a portion of their time being creative. From Ming vases to impressionist paintings, from marble sculptures to modern pieces in mixed media, art seeks to capture ideas and make us think about them in a way that we're not used to. Today's generation creates art as Internet memes. When you think about it, some of these museum pieces might be considered the memes of their generation.

Museums covering the holocaust, slave trade or plight of the native americans are sad, but also inspiring. Through the difficult struggles these people went through we see the worst of humanity and find inspiration from those who rose above it and did the right thing, many times risking their life to do so. In the same way, the war memorials remind us of the many who stand together for justice and protection our freedoms.

Natural history museums teach us about the natural world around us. From minerals and geological formations to dinosaurs and modern day mammals, it's a fascinating view into the world around us.

American history museums give us a glimpse into a cultural, political and sociological timeline that influences events even today.

Then there are the museums that cover science, industry and flight. These are my favorite museums. They truly show the difference between us and the other mammals on this planet. How did we as a species go from simple wooden boats to steam liners to giant metal ships to metal planes to spaceships? How did we harness the power of the sun, wind and water to power all kinds of machines. I have an endless fascination with all the technology that we've accomplished.

So I love to visit museums and many cities have some really good ones. Sometimes they are free thanks to generous benefactors and philanthropists. Others charge and the admission fees can sometimes be expensive. But ... you can sometimes get into them on special days where they offer free admission or by taking advantage of special programs.

One of the special programs is called Museums on Us by Bank of America. If you have one of their or Merrill Lynch's credit or debit card, you can get a free admission on the first full weekend of every month.


Below is a list of museums that are either free all the time or part of the time based on certain conditions. After each museum, you'll see a either free, boa or socal inside of {}.

Here is what they mean:

The museum is free for general admission.

The museum generally charges admission, but participates in Bank of America's Museums on Us program. Follow the link to see more details and if you qualify.

The museum generally charges admission, but offers certain free dates/times. Follow the link to learn more.
State Museums
District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Carolina

The Human Side of Banking

Bank of America has a great program they call Museums on Us. If you have a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card, you can visit one of their participating museums for free on the first full weekend of every month.

Wait, what's considered a first full weekend? I didn't know, so I looked it up and here's the list for 2017.

Month Dates
January 7th & 8th
February 4th & 5th
March 4th & 5th
April 1st & 2nd
May 6th & 7th
June 3rd & 4th
July 1st & 2nd
August 5th & 6th
September 2nd & 3rd
October 7th & 8th
November 4th & 5th
December 2nd & 3rd