A date has been set for this year's Museum Day, the annual event during which museums and other cultural centers across the United States offer free admission for one glorious day of edutainment.
Organized by Smithsonian magazine, the 18th Museum Day will take place Saturday, September 17.
Dozens of institutions have already signed on to participate, with more to come. To find a facility near where you live or where you'll be on September 17 (if you'll be traveling), you can search the Museum Day website by state, zip code, or interest (history, art, science, zoos, kid-friendly programming, and so on).
To take advantage of the waived entry fee at the museum of your choice, all you have to do is download a free ticket from the Museum Day site. Only one ticket per email address is allowed; each ticket grants general admission for two guests. You can book starting August 15.
The event's theme for 2022 is "The American Experience," a suitably broad subject to encompass museums dedicated to everything from the cosmos to Iowan ice harvesting. Name a topic that piques your curiosity—California history, carousels, Latin American folk art, World War II, clocks, telephones, quilts, the boyhood of Johnny Cash—and there's probably a way to learn all about it in person and for free on Museum Day.
Smithsonian magazine recommends checking with individual institutions about Covid protocols and whether separate fees apply for stuff like parking and special exhibits. See the event's FAQ page for more information.
Given the number and variety of museums involved, you have no excuse for not spending some portion of that Saturday nodding hello to security guards and squinting at wall text.
Pictured at top: The National WWII Museum in New Orleans