Use your library card to get FREE admission to more than 30 museums, botanical gardens and other cultural institutions throughout the five boroughs with the new Culture Pass.
It’s a joint initiative by the Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library and Queens Library.
Culture Pass gives you FREE admission to such top institutions as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Frick Collection and Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.
Culture Pass gives you one free visit a year to each participating institution. Plus, you can bring up three people with you, for free admission for four people.
With museum admission $20 or more, Culture Pass can save you hundreds of dollars, helping you enjoy the best of NYC on the cheap.
But you can’t just walk in to one of the participating cultural institutions and flash your library card. You have to register your library card first, and reserve passes.
Of course, most of the participating institutions already offer free admission on various days and times.
NYCOTC list of FREE museum admission days and times
How to register for the NYC Culture Pass:
Simply visit culturepass.nyc, select your library system, enter your library card barcode and pin, then choose from the variety of participating institutions and select when you’d like to visit.
You can borrow passes for dates between two and three months in advance (depending on availability), and can have two pending reservations at any given time.
After reserving a pass – for two or four people – print your pass at home or at your local library, or select the mobile option. You must bring the reservation confirmation, or show it on your phone, for admission, along with a valid ID.
The NYPL allows only cardholders over 13 with a valid library card to register for Culture Pass.
If you applied for your library card online or through SimplyE and do not yet have a physical library card, or if your card has expired, please visit one of our locations with a valid form of ID to receive or renew your card.
Culture Pass participating institutions (in alphabetical order)
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden
- Brooklyn Children’s Museum
- Brooklyn Historical Society
- Brooklyn Museum
- Children’s Museum of Manhattan
- Children’s Museum of the Arts
- Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
- The Drawing Center
- The Frick Collection
- Historic Richmond Town
- International Center of Photography
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
- Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
- The Jewish Museum
- Louis Armstrong House
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- The Morgan Library & Museum
- Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1
- Museum of Chinese in America
- Museum of Jewish Heritage
- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
- Museum of the City of New York
- New York Transit Museum
- Noguchi Museum
- Queens Historical Society
- Queens Museum
- Rubin Museum of Art
- Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
- Society of Illustrators
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
- Sugar Hill Children’s Museum
- Wave Hill
- Whitney Museum of American Art
Funding for operating and marketing Culture Pass, which runs at least $1 million in the program’s initial stage, is being provided through private foundations.
Officials with the library systems say a main goal is to boost access to the arts for New Yorkers, especially those who might not otherwise easily afford a visit to some of these institutions.
NYC libraries have been challenged to redefine their mission as the demand for printed books competes with digital versions. Annual circulation at the Brooklyn Public Library, for example, reportedly has declined over the past five years from 17 million items to roughly 14 million.
As a result, libraries are offering more free programs, including computer and financial skills, movies, concerts and more.
When was the last time you visited a library?