Wouldn’t you love to visit more museums?
What generally holds us back from going out to more museums is time and money. Let’s face it, not only can it get expensive for a family to go to the museum these days but it can get pretty hectic too (at least it is with our small army of kids).
Still, we try to do what we can to schedule trips out when we can.
That leaves the money part of the equation.
Some years ago, we discovered that Bank of America® actually has a great program called Museums on Us®.
What is Museums on Us?
If you have a Bank of America card (debit or credit) or Merill Lynch card (also credit or debit) then you are eligible for free admission to select museums and such during the first weekend of the month. Just walk up to the teller at the location and show them your Bank of America card (and ID). That’s it! Really, it’s that simple.
There are 150 museums and cultural institutions across the nation that are participating.
And it’s not just museums! It’s a good number of different kinds of cultural centers, zoos, and more covering over 90 cities in 31 states.
In years past we’ve been able to go to the world-class Bronx Zoo, the New York Aquarium on Coney Island, and the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum (check the schedule as locations change every year). All are awesome locations!
This year New York includes places like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Queens Museum of Art, and more. I love taking the kids to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (I love seeing the samurai swords as well as the classical musical instruments).
I just might go again with this offer!
Related: Things to See in NYC That Won’t Leave You Broke
Bear in mind that the free admission is only for cardholders.
So if you have kids you will need to pay for them. We get lucky sometimes and find coupons for the kids to locations we go to. And usually the adult tickets are more expensive anyway.
To help cut down costs further I’d suggest brown-bagging your lunch and bringing along snacks and drinks (check with the location first for their rules). Once you start buying meals and such at the museum the day starts getting expensive quick.
Also, make sure you get up bright and early. A nice day combined with a free admission tends to bring a lot of people out for the day. Avoid the longer lines that occur as the day goes on.
Here are the Museums on Us dates for free admission in 2015:
A Couple of Our Trips Using Museums on Us
For those of you not familiar with the NY Aquarium it’s located in Coney Island, Brooklyn basically on the boardwalk. In fact where we parked we were closer to the Cyclone roller coaster than we were to the aquarium. After visiting the aquarium we strolled along the boardwalk and Coney Island, taking in the scenery.
I forget how festive and vibrant that area is!
Another year we visited the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum.
Umm, wow. The museum is located within, and on top of, the retired USS Intrepid aircraft carrier. Oh, and they also have a nuclear submarine docked next to it that you can explore. Besides various military aircraft there is also a Concorde jet, which used to be used for transatlantic flight. I definitely recommend the trip, especially now that they have the Enterprise space shuttle (we’ll be going back for that).
If you’re traveling to another city take a minute to check to see if they have any Museums on Us attractions there. If your dates work out you can end up saving some good money on your vacation!
If you have a Bank of America account you really should check out the Museums on Us site to see if there are participating attractions near you! The price is right!
So do you have a card with Bank of America? If so go take advantage of your free admission!
Check out the Museums on Us site for details on your city and state.
Too bad I didn’t see this last week 🙂
BOA is all over Florida and North Carolina, but there are only a few in Iowa… too bad there aren’t more museums and zoos participating.
Sounds like fun.
Thanks for the tip!
@ Jeff – I found out about it after the first weekend of last month. We had just gone to the Bronx Zoo, which is part of the promotion, too!
I forgot to mention it but you can sign up for an email reminder on the BofA site. They’ll email you a few days before the first weekend.
What a great free offer for Bank of America cardholders! The price is right and it is wonderful for a fun time with the family. Like you said, eat before you go or pack a lunch for a planned picnic during the day’s activities. Usually most places will stamp your hand or allow you free return admission during the same day if you are “taking a break”. What a great freebie for the family!
Where can you find a free child’s admission coupon? Tks.
Glen Craig says
Check online. Type in the museum name and free child admission. Or look at the museum site itself as it may have its own offers.
Even if you have to pay for the kids, it’s still less than paying for the whole family and many times kids admission is cheaper.
Bronx Zoo Forum says
Good review. Keep in mind that the less funds the zoo takes in, the lesser it will have to maintain the zoo itself, the animals and staff so eventually exhibits will close of admission and parking will increase.
Glen Craig says
Are you saying we shouldn’t take advantage of the free weekends? A little confused.
Of course, even with free admission, I’m sure a lot is spent at gift shops and food and such.
Bronx Zoo Forum says
It is good to take advantage but as we mentioned, a little donation of time around the zoo or a penny or two would not hurt. If you notice, the Monkey House had to close and you can unfortunately expect more to come. Guests are allowed to bring their own meals and often do so the Dancing Crane Café does not pull in as much as you may think.
I am really confused. If Bank America has a social program like this i am sure they pay the zoo for that!!! If not, why does the zoo participate to this program? Otherwise it doesnt make any sense to get support from the bank and expect people to pay for the entrance while they have a bank card… I believe its more important to attract people to visit the zoo. The more families the more visitors in future. There are several ways for entertainment inside once the people get in. Make it so memorable that they visit again and tell others to visit ASAP… Congrats to BoA and Bronx Zoo!
Great info! I’ll be sure to check it out. It’s always nice to find free things to do – and in this case, I am glad membership has it’s privileges 😀
I love my BOA card for this, and have been using it for a while. Unfortunately, these two listed here: Interpid, Bronx Zoo and NY Aquarium are no longer listed. I wish these would return to the list. They have been out of the list since 2012. Is there a way we can send comments/suggestions to BOA?
Glen Craig says
I don’t see anywhere to comment on the locations Catherine but you could always try their customer service or even contact the locations themselves?
I agree those were some great sites but they change every year and there are still many great places to go.
Wow that’s an awesome benefit! Luckily I live in St. Louis though where zoos and museums are already free though 🙂
corrine madridnieto says
I wish you would take one of the museums up here in bakersfield, Ca. We have several and always have to pay to get in to it. The income level is below other. the free idea would add to the students here keep interested in going.
Glen Craig says
If it were up to me I’d open it up to all museums.
We love free museum days in Chicago!