Free NYC Museums

by Staff

(Updated 10/19/2016)

These New York City museums are either always free, free on specific days of the week or free for select hours. Find one near you, and take advantage of their generosity.

Note that this takes into account general admission only; certain events and special exhibitions may still require a fee.

Irish Hunger Memorial. Photo: Alex Lopez


The following museums typically require paid admission but open their doors for free on specific days or times—though again, some do charge for admission to specific events or sections. Be sure to consult their websites or call ahead if you hope to see a specific exhibition.

Museum at Eldridge Street. Photo: Julienne Schaer


Museum at Eldridge Street (pay what you will, 10am to 5pm, tours)

9/11 Memorial & Museum. Photo: Marley White


9/11 Memorial & Museum (5pm to close)
Morgan Library and Museum (McKim Rooms only, 3 to 5pm)
Wave Hill (9am to noon)

Bronx Zoo. Photo: Julienne Schaer


Bronx Zoo (pay what you will for grounds access; does not include admission to special exhibitions like the Butterfly Garden, Congo Gorilla Forest and JungleWorld)
Frick Collection (pay what you wish, 2 to 6pm)
Museum of Jewish Heritage (4 to 8pm)
New York Botanical Garden (free grounds access; does not include entry to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, special exhibitions like the Orchid Show and Holiday Train Show, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, Rock and Native Plant Gardens or Tram Tour)
Queens Botanical Garden (April through October, 3 to 6pm; all day rest of year)

Van Cortlandt House Museum

Staten Island Zoo (2 to 4:45pm)

Brooklyn Children's Museum. Photo: Marley White


Brooklyn Children's Museum (2 to 6pm)
Museum of Arts and Design (pay what you will, 6 to 9pm)
New Museum (pay what you will, 7 to 9pm)
International Center of Photography (pay what you will, 6 to 9pm)

First Thursday of the Month
Museum of Chinese in America


Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Alex Lopez


Asia Society (September through June, 6 to 9pm)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden (March-November, open to 12 noon)

Historic Richmond Town (1 to 5pm)
Japan Society (6 to 9pm)
Morgan Library and Museum (7 to 9pm)
Museum of Modern Art (4 to 8pm)
Museum of the Moving Image (4 to 8pm)
New York Aquarium (pay what you will, 3pm to close; 4pm to close in summer)
New York Hall of Science (2 to 5pm)
The New-York Historical Society (pay what you will, 6 to 8pm)
Rubin Museum of Art (6 to 10pm)

First Friday of the Month

Children’s Museum of Manhattan (5 to 8pm)
Frick Collection (6 to 9pm, except September and January) Neue Galerie (6 to 8pm)
The Noguchi Museum

Wave Hill. Photo: Will Steacy


The Jewish Museum
New York Botanical Garden (free grounds pass, 9 to 10am)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (pay what you will, 5:45 to 7:45pm)
Wave Hill (9am to noon)

First Saturday of the Month

Brooklyn Museum (5 to 11pm)

Third Saturday of the Month

El Museo del Barrio

New York Hall of Science. Photo: Julienne Schaer


The Morgan Library and Museum (McKim Rooms only, 4 to 6pm)
New York Hall of Science (10 to 11am)
Queens Botanical Garden (April through October, 4 to 6pm)
Studio Museum in Harlem

Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Photo: Tagger Yancey IV


Brooklyn Botanic Garden (December through February, Tuesday through Friday)
Queens Botanical Garden (November through March, Tuesday through Sunday)