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National Museum Day Is Back This September: Free Entry for One Glorious Day | Frommer's Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock

National Museum Day Is Back This September: Free Entry for One Glorious Day

What's better than spending a relaxing Saturday afternoon at a museum?

Spending a relaxing Saturday afternoon at a museum—and not spending a dime on the experience.

Thanks to the Smithsonian, a collection of museums that's always free, some 482 museums, historic sights, and other cultural hubs across all 50 U.S. states will grant free entry on Saturday, September 18.

These include attractions for all ages and interests, from children's museums (like the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport, Mississippi, and the Chesapeake Children's Museum in Annapolis, Maryland) to zoos and gardens (like the EcoVivarium in Escondido, California, and the Naples Botanical Garden in Florida).

Also included are several institutions that focus on air and space, such as the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas, the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum on Oahu in Hawaii, and the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

All together, there are 138 art museums, 55 science museums, and 380 historical institutions taking part. 

Many facilities are capping the number of entries to help with social distancing, so you'll want to sign up for a slot sooner rather than later.

Participants are only allowed one free museum entry per email address, but each downloaded ticket covers two entries. So if you're hoping to hit a couple of places with a friend, coordinate in advance and sign up for different attractions.

To learn more or to get your ticket, go to the Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day web page.

As author and illustrator Maira Kalman said, "A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives. Go to museums as often as you can." 

Thanks to the Smithsonian for making visits that much more accessible.

Pictured at top: the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts—one of the many museums taking part in the program this year