The northeast is awash with interesting and educational museums of all kinds. Unfortunately, many, especially in major cities, have become unaffordable.
Realizing this, many museums offer free admissions at certain times, which may or may not be convenient for prospective visitors. But I’ve used two other ways to get free museum admissions:
Bank of America’s Museums on US program offers its credit or debit card holders free admission to museums throughout the country on the first full weekend of each month. I have used this program at the Cloisters and the Intrepid Air/Space Museum in New York, the Hartford Atheneum, the Albany Institute and Mass MoCa. Participating museums change regularly, so consult the web page before you plan your trip.
More recently, I used free passes borrowed from local Upper Hudson Libraries to visit the Clark Art Museum. The passes, available for many museums, may be borrowed for up to to a week. The down side is that, at least for the Clark passes, each branch has only one – if you and a companion want to go together, you each will have to borrow a pass from a different branch, but that’s a minor inconvenience for a savings of $20 each. To find out what branches have passes available, search for the museum in which you are interested in the UHLS catalog search page.
As a taxpayer who uses few other government services, I can’t say enough about the superb value UHLS libraries provide. Engines of social mobility, these institutions provide services to those who can’t afford private alternatives, and to those who can. All who benefit from them – in other words, all of us – should support our local libraries. In addition to the books, other media and programs and services available at local branches, UHLS libraries offer an extensive collection of on-line resources for borrowing and downloading. Even if you can’t travel to a branch, you can benefit form library services.