How to get free admission to New England museums in September

You can download your ticket beginning on Aug. 18.

Gibson House Museum in Boston. John Bohn/Globe Staff

Dozens of New England museums will offer free admission on a single day this September.

Smithsonian Magazine’s 17th annual Museum Day, taking place this year on Sept. 18, will grant free admission to visitors at an anticipated 1,000-plus museums nationwide.

The theme of this year’s event is “Experience America,” which represents “the return to, and resurgence of, our country’s diverse cultural experiences, in the safest possible way,” according to organizers.

The event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“As we begin to feel a sense of normalcy in our day-to-day lives, we are honored to welcome the public back to Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., and New York and museums around the country this Museum Day,” said Amy Wilkins, chief revenue officer at Smithsonian Media, in a statement. “In a year that has challenged us in unprecedented ways it is our hope that this year’s event serves as a reminder of the people, places and cultural experiences that have the power to unite us all.”


Guests can download tickets beginning at midnight on Aug. 18. Visitors can download a ticket by selecting “Get A Ticket” on the Smithsonian Magazine website. Each ticket allows the ticket holder plus one guest into the museum for free. One ticket is permitted per email address.

The following museums have already signed on, and organizers expect more museums to join. It’s a good idea check the list of participating venues for the most up-to-date participants.


Discovery Museum in Acton
Gibson House Museum in Boston
John Cabot House in Beverly
Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven
Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton
Nichols House Museum in Boston
Old Colony History Museum in Taunton
Peabody Essex Museum in Salem
Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum in New Bedford
The Gardner Museum in Gardner

New Hampshire:

New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord
University of New Hampshire Museum of Art in Durham

Rhode Island:

Audubon Society of Rhode Island Nature Center and Aquarium in Bristol
Conanicut Island Friends Meetinghouse in Jamestown
Jamestown Museum in Jamestown
Jamestown Windmill in Jamestown
John Brown House Museum — Rhode Island Historical Society in Providence
Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket
Pawtuxet Valley Preservation and Historical Society in West Warwick
Westerly Armory in Westerly


L.C. Bates Museum in Hinckley
Rufus Porter Museum of Art and Ingenuity



Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium in St. Johnsbury
Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh
Vermont History Museum in Montpelier


Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford
Custom House Maritime Museum in New London
Stanley-Whitman House in Farmington
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield

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