The Brooklyn Museum is pay-what-you-wish. Photo by ajay_suresh, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Looking for places to take your children that will cost next to nothing? The New York City Department of Education recently shared a handy list of no-cost and pay-as-you-wish cultural institutions. 


Free every day

● American Folk Art Museum

● Museum at FIT

● Queens Museum

● The Bronx Museum of the Arts

● National Museum of the American Indian

● Socrates Sculpture Park


● Africa Center (except ticketed exhibitions)

● American Folk Art Museum

● Center for Jewish History: Register in advance

● Fraunces Tavern Museum Free with SNAP & EBT card and valid ID.

● The Drawing Center

● The Grolier Club

● Harbor Defense Museum

● The Hispanic Society Museum & Library

● King Manor Museum

The Guggenheim Museum is pay-what-you-wish twice a week. Photo by PortableNYCToursCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pay what you wish

● American Museum of Natural History

● Brooklyn Museum

● Metropolitan Museum of Art

● El Museo del Barrio

● Museum of the City of New York

● Staten Island Museum

● Brooklyn Botanical Garden (Dec-Feb)

● National Jazz Museum

● Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (Pay what you wish: daily 5-6 p.m.)

● Guggenheim Museum (Mondays & Saturdays 4-5:30 p.m.)

● El Museo del Barrio



● Museum at Eldridge Street: Pay what you wish

● 9/11 Museum: Free between 5:30-7 p.m.

The New York Botanical Gardens are free all day on Wednesdays. Photo by King of Hearts / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


● New York Aquarium: Free after 3 p.m.

● New York Botanical Gardens: Free all day

● Bronx Zoo: Free all day


● Frick Museum: Pay what you wish from 4-6 p.m.

● Brooklyn Children’s Museum: Free from 2-5 p.m.

● New Museum: Pay what you wish from 7-9 p.m.

● Wave Hill


● Museum at Eldridge Street: Pay what you wish

● New York Historical Society Museum: Pay what you wish 6-8 p.m.

● Asia Society Museum: Free

● Whitney Museum: Free 5-10 p.m.

● Rubin Museum: Free 6-10 p.m.

● Morgan Library & Museum: Free 5-7 p.m.


● Jewish Museum: Free all day

● Guggenheim: Pay what you wish 4-5:30 p.m.

You can access the New York Transit Museum for free with a Culture Pass. Photo by King of HeartsCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Culture Pass

Explore local museums and attractions with Culture Pass! If you have a library card from the Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Public Library, or NewYork Public Library (serving the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island), you can reserve free passes to 80+ cultural institutions across NYC. For more information visit here.

A few of the museums that are free with a Culture Pass:

● Intrepid Museum

● Dyckman Farmhouse Museum

● International Center of Photography

● Museum of the Moving Image

● New York Transit Museum

● Woolman Rink

Nicole Perrino is the founder of, a hyperlocal website for Bronx families where she use her influence to celebrate the beauty that the Bronx has to offer. In addition to her role at Bronxmama,...

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