«  Return to Explore More

Museum Day is Saturday, September 21st: Score Free Admission to Local Family-Friendly Favorites!

Things to Do News DC/MD/VA
Photo: National Law Enforcement Museum Photo: National Law Enforcement Museum

We are fortunate to live in an area where we have free access to so many world-class museums every day of the year thanks to the Smithsonian Institution. On Saturday, September 21st you can get in free to a handful of Washington, D.C. museums that aren't already free, as well as many museums throughout Maryland and Virginia, courtesy of Smithsonian magazine's annual Museum Day celebration.

Every year, participating museums across the country provide free entry on Museum Day to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. You can search for participating museums and download your tickets here. Each ticket provides free general admission for two people and you are allowed to download one ticket per email address.

In 2019, Museum Day celebrates the Smithsonian Year of Music, an institution-wide initiative celebrating the Smithsonian's vast musical collections and resources. The Smithsonian has invited museums participating in Museum Day to create programming to support this initiative.

Here is a list of 2019 participating museums in the Washington, D.C. area:

(Note that we included only those museums that normally charge an admission fee. Many free museums are also participating in the Museum Day festivities.)

Washington, D.C.

  • Dumbarton House
  • Museum of the Bible
  • National Building Museum (Can't visit on Museum Day? Save 50% off admission with this CertifiKID Deal.)
  • National Law Enforcement Museum (Can't visit on Museum Day? Save 27% off admission with this CertifiKID Deal.)
  • National Museum of Women in the Arts
  • Newseum
  • The Kreeger Museum


  • Baltimore Museum of Industry (Can't make it on Museum Day? Save 50% off admission with this CertifiKID Deal.)
  • B&O Railroad Museum
  • Jewish Museum of Maryland (closed Saturday; valid Sunday, Sept. 22nd)
  • Maryland Historical Society
  • Phoenix Shot Tower
  • Reginald F. Lewis Museum
  • Star-Spangled Banner Flag House and Museum

There are over 35 museums throughout Maryland and over 70 in Virginia that are participating in Museum Day. Here are some of our top family-friendly picks. Don't see what you're looking for? Search the full list of participating museums here.

Maryland Museums:

  • College Park Aviation Museum, College Park
  • Discovery Station at Hagerstown, Inc., Hagerstown
  • National Electronics Museum, Linthicum Heights
  • Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park, Piney Point
  • Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center, North Brentwood
  • St. Clement's Island Museum, Colton's Point

Virginia Museums:

  • Cape Henry Lighthouse, Fort Story
  • Edgar Allan Poe Museum, Richmond
  • Gadsby's Tavern Museum, Alexandria
  • George Mason's Gunston Hall, Mason Neck
  • Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum, Sterling
  • Museum of Chincoteague Island, Chincoteague Island
  • Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, Winchester
  • The American Civil War Museum, Appomattox
  • Virginia Discovery Museum, Charlottesville
  • Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach

Don't forget to download your free tickets in advance! 

Check out our picks for The Best U.S. Historical Sites to Visit With Kids (That are so Much Fun They Won't Even Realize They're Learning) for even more educational family fun!

Tags: free museum admission family-friendly kids families


CertifiKID was founded by a mom with a passion for helping parents provide the best experiences for their children on a budget. From outings to adventures, classes to camps, theater to sporting events, amusement parks to getaways, CertifiKID provides the best family-friendly experiences at unbeatable prices. Sign up for family-friendly deals in your area and start saving!