On Museum Day 2018, 1,300 museums and galleries across all 50 states will be free to visit.

On Museum Day 2018, 1,300 museums and galleries across all 50 states will be free to visit.

Getty Images

Hot tip: The Smithsonian Institute’s museums in Washington D.C. are free to visit all year. It would be great if every museum in the country could be, too, but Museum Day 2018 gets pretty close to that utopia. The Smithsonian Magazine-sponsored event opens the doors to hundreds of cultural institutions around the country for one day in September, but to get tickets you’ll have to act sooner.

Museum Day 2018 is happening on Saturday, Sept. 22, with over 1,300 museums, art galleries, historic homes and farmhouses signed on to participate. You’re not just getting free admission, either — many museums are holding special activities on a new theme each year.

For Museum Day 2018, that theme is Women Making History to honor female trailblazers in the arts, sciences, innovation and culture. Among the celebrations in New York is a mixed-reality experience using the Microsoft HoloLens at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which will also hold a Q&A session with an astronaut as part of its four-day Space and Science Festival.

In all 16 institutions are taking part in Museum Day 2018 within the five boroughs, from the Museum of Arts and Design where contemporary makers tell stories through functional pieces from jewelry to home goods, to the Bartow-Pell Mansion in the Bronx where you can play 19th-century lawn games after touring the historic home.


A post shared by Intrepid Museum (@intrepidmuseum) on

How to get your free Museum Day 2018 tickets

To get your free tickets for Museum Day 2018, you’ll have to sign up online for a downloadable ticket. Visit smithsonian.com/museumday starting Aug. 15 to register for your pass, which grants admission to the ticket holder and one guest.

Only one ticket may be redeemed per email address — so plan ahead in case you’re looking to museum-hop to maximize your learning on Sept. 22.

Check out the interactive map of all the Museum Day participants, and go learn something!