Looking for an affordable way to spend a Saturday? Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day will return on September 17, giving guests free access to museums, zoos and cultural centers throughout the United States.
This year’s theme is The American Experience, shining “a spotlight on wonderful arts, culture, sciences, innovation and history exhibits across the country,” according to a Tuesday news release.
“We are so thrilled to be able to bring Museum Day to the public for the 18th year and to once again be able to highlight many of the museums and cultural institutions that make America so special,” Amy Wilkins, Smithsonian Media’s Chief Revenue Officer, said in the release.
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What can visitors expect on Museum Day?
Participating institutions are still registering for the event, but guests can find a list of the venues here. That includes the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York, South Haven, Michigan’s Michigan Maritime Museum, and the International Museum of Art & Science in McAllen, Texas, where guests can take advantage of a range of programming.
Those who visit the Baltimore Museum of Industry, for instance, can explore its guests can explore the exhibition, Fire & Shadow: The Rise and Fall of Bethlehem Steel, and learn about Baltimore’s Sparrows Point steel mill. While fitting with Museum Day’s 2022 theme, the exhibition opened last October.
“The fact that we have this exhibition that’s all about steel, which was such a huge industry for America, especially back during World War II when we were churning out battleships, it just happened to align really nicely with the theme of Museum Day,” Claire Mullins, director of marketing, told USA TODAY.
Visitors also see live demonstrations of the Linotype machine, which revolutionized printing, and blacksmithing. Mullins said the museum has been participating in the annual event since 2015.
“I think that the Museum Day promotion that Smithsonian has done has really been a game-changer in terms of access to museums,” Mullins said.
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How to get tickets for Museum Day
Guests can download tickets through the Smithsonian magazine website starting on August 15. One ticket is allowed per email address, and tickets are good for one person and a guest.