Art & Culture for Free in NYC

Posted on February 25, 2013 · Posted in Uncategorized

These New York City museums are always free or free on specific days of the week. Find one near you.

Many of New York City’s museums cost nothing to visit while others offer free admission on specific days of the week or at certain times.

For hours and prices of more NYC museums and institutions, see our Schedules and Admissions page.

Always Free

  • African Burial Ground Memorial Site
  • The Bronx Museum of the Arts
  • Federal Hall National Memorial
  • The Federal Reserve Bank
  • General Grant National Memorial
  • The Harbor Defense Museum
  • Hamilton Grange (birthplace of Alexander Hamilton)
  • The Hispanic Society of America
  • Irish Hunger Memorial
  • Museum of American Illustration
  • Museum of Biblical Art
  • The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • The New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
  • New York Transit Museum Annex & Store, Grand Central Terminal
  • Queens County Farm Museum
  • Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America
  • Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (grounds and botanical garden only)
  • Socrates Sculpture Park
  • Soldiers and Sailors Monument
  • Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace

Sometimes Free
The following museums typically require paid admission but open their doors free on specific days or times. While many are completely free to visitors, some of them do charge for admission to specific special events or sections. Be sure to consult their websites or call ahead if you hope to see a specific exhibit.


  • Museum at Eldridge Street (tours, 10am to noon)


  • The Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Morgan Library and Museum (The McKim Rooms only)
  • Wave Hill (free all day, November through April and July and August; 9am to noon in May, June, September and October)


  • Bronx Zoo: Pay what you will for grounds access. Does not include admission to special exhibitions like Butterfly Garden, Congo Gorilla Forest and JungleWorld.
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage (4 to 8pm)
  • New York Botanical Garden: free grounds access all day. Does not include access to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, special exhibitions (such as The Orchid Show), Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, Rock and Native Plant Gardens (April–October) or Tram Tour.
  • Staten Island Zoo (after 2pm)
  • Queens Botanical Garden (3 to 6pm through October 31)


  • Museum of Arts and Design (pay what you will, 6 to 9pm)
  • New Museum (7 to 9pm)
  • Museum of Chinese in America


  • Museum of Modern Art (4 to 8pm)
  • Whitney Museum of American Art (pay what you will, 6 to 9pm)
  • Morgan Library and Museum (7 to 9pm)
  • The New-York Historical Society (pay what you will, 6 to 8pm)
  • New York Aquarium (pay what you will, after 3pm)
  • International Center of Photography (pay what you will, after 5pm)
  • Museum of the Moving Image (4 to 8pm)
  • Japan Society (6 to 9pm)
  • New York Hall of Science (2 to 5pm, September through June)
  • Rubin Museum of Art (6 to 10pm)
  • Asia Society (September through June, 6 to 9pm)
  • Historic Richmond Town (1 to 5pm)

First Friday of the Month

  • Neue Galerie (6 to 8pm)
  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan (5 to 8pm)
  • The Noguchi Museum (pay what you will, 10am to 5pm)


  • The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (10am to noon)
  • New York Botanical Garden (free grounds pass, 10 to 11am)
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (pay what you will, 5:45 to 7:45pm)
  • The Jewish Museum
  • Wave Hill (9am to noon)

First Saturday of the Month

  • Brooklyn Museum (admission and programs, 5 to 11pm)

Third Saturday of the Month

  • El Museo del Barrio


  • Frick Collection (pay what you will, 11am to 1pm)
  • The Morgan Library and Museum (The McKim Rooms only, 4 to 6pm)
  • Museum of Biblical Art
  • New York Hall of Science (10 to 11am, September through June)
  • Queens Botanical Garden (4 to 6pm through October 31)
  • Studio Museum in Harlem (noon to 6pm)