How To Get Free Museum Admission In NJ, Yes FREE

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Who doesn’t love saving money? So we’ve got a way your family can have fun and save big —by getting FREE museum admission in NJ (NYC and Philly, too). From library card programs to credit card perks, there are a bunch of ways to visit museums without paying a dime. Read on to see how to get FREE admission for your family, and don’t miss our guide to the best museums to visit in the Garden State. (featured photo credit: Liberty Science Center)

Free Museum admission Battleship

Did you know your library card could give you free museum admission to The Battleship New Jersey? Photo taken at the Battleship New Jersey

Got a library card?

New Jersey library cards aren’t just for books—they can also be your ticket into a museum. Thanks to the statewide Museum Pass Program, branches like The Ocean County Library offer access to places like Battleship New Jersey, where you can get 2 adult tickets and up to 3 children’s tickets for free (that’s a savings of over $120!), or to The Newark Museum of Art, where a free pass for two adults and any number of children will save you at least $28. Other New Jersey library locations that offer the Museum Pass Program are Burlington County Library System, Hoboken Public Library, Princeton Public Library, and the Montclair Public Library. Check your local library to see if they participate in the program and which museums are available. 

Credit cards that can save you money

Several credit and debit cards have some extra perks if you plan to attend museums this year. If your bank is Bank of America, you can sign up for free museum days at over 225 museums all over the USA, including the Morris Museum, Liberty Science Center, and the Montclair Art Museum. Capitol One teamed up with The Cultivist with a curated list of museums like The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York or museums around Europe.  

free museum admission

Liberty Science Center is an ideal spot to visit for families. Photo taken at Liberty Science Center

Military Discounts 

Annually, from Armed Forces Day to Labor Day, Blue Star Families offers free admission for active-duty military personnel, including the National Guard and Reserves, and their families. Typically, more than 2,000 nature centers, zoos, and children’s museums participate.

Fourth grade perks

It’s not quite a museum, but it’s another way to learn—if you have a fourth grader, they can visit National Parks for free in the United States. Through Every Kid Outdoors, a national-funded government initiative, your fourth grader and their guests can get a free pass to explore all of America’s federal lands and waters spanning millions of acres. In NJ, they can visit Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge and Thomas Edison National Historical Park in New Jersey, all for free. 

Monmouth Museum helicopter

Did you know you can get free museum admission to select museums by being a member of another museum? Photo taken at the Monmouth Museum

Discover reciprocal benefits

Got a season pass to a museum or attraction? Check to see if it’s partnered with the North American Reciprocal Museum Association, where you can enter museums in that network for free while gaining other membership discounts. In NJ, museums like the Montclair Art Museum, Morris Museum, and The Monmouth Museum are all part of this program. Other programs include the Association of Science Technology Centers and the Reciprocal Organization of Associated Museums (ROAM).

New Jersey State Museum gatherThe New Jersey State Museum is always free. Photo taken at the New Jersey State Museum

Free New Jersey Museums

If securing a pass or finding a perk isn’t always an option, check out one of the NJ museums where admission is always free. A few include The Raptor Trust and Sea Life Museum, where live birds and sea mammals are on view. Football, baseball, and basketball fans will be excited to see sports artifacts from pro athletes with ties to southern New Jersey at the All Sports Museum of Southern New Jersey. Take a peek at vehicles, confiscated weapons, and radar detectors from 1921 at the NJ State Police Museum and Learning Center or vintage and military aircraft at the Millville Army Air Field Museum. The New Jersey State Museum is another great option that is free of charge on weekdays or weekends.

Free museum days

Got a museum you’ve been wanting to visit? Be on the lookout for special days when admission is free. Most museums will advertise on their website, and local spots like WheatonArts, West Milford Museum, Abraham Staats House, and the Crane-Phillips House offer a few free days during the calendar year. And if you’ve wanted to visit museums in Philly, plan a trip to the City of Brotherly Love around the Fourth of July—the Wawa Welcome America Festival offers Free Museum Days with free or pay-what-you-wish admission to visitors that includes over 35 Philadelphia museums and historical sites. 

Museums For All

Anyone receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits) can gain free or reduced admission to more than 1,200 museums throughout the United States by presenting their EBT card and a photo ID. Participating museums include Duke Farms, Battleship New Jersey, and the Hoboken Historical Museum through Museums For All.

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About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.

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