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Smithsonian Annual Museum Day

in background, dinosaur skulls are mounted on a blue wall at Omaha's Durham Museum. in foreground, "national Museum Day"

It's time for National Museum Day! If you love museums, you won't want to miss out on this fun opportunity to find a new favorite, or check out a museum you've been curious about but deterred from visiting by the admission fees! Here's how:

What is Museum Day?

On Museum Day, museums across the nation celebrate history and learning by offering free admission through tickets available on the Museum Day website! National Museum Day is organized by the Smithsonian Museum.

When is Museum Day?

Museum Day 2021 is on Saturday, September 18th, 2021. Most participating museums will have normal hours for a Saturday in fall on that day, but check with the specific venue you're visiting for the best info!

What Museums are participating in Museum Day 2019?

You can find the full list of participating museums on the Smithsonian Museum Day website, but some of the museums within a few hours of Sioux City who are offering free admission on Museum Day 2021 but aren't normally free include:

  • Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, SD
three small children play with an interactive exhibit; two screens are visible on a colorful blue curved background that extends above their heads, at the Kirby Science Discovery Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Three children play with an interactive exhibit at the Kirby Science Discovery Center. Photo used with permission from Washington Pavilion.
    • Washington Pavilion's Kirby Science Discovery Center and Visual Arts Center are both participating!
    • Check out the brand new Bug Squad exhibit while you're at the Kirby Science Discovery Center!
    • Open from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays
    • Admission is usually $10 per child 3-17 and $14 for each person 18+ and includes both the Kirby Science Discovery Center and the Visual Arts Center. 
    • For more information, visit the Washington Pavilion website

  • Durham Museum in Omaha, NE 
A boy sits between two life-sized statues of WWII soldiers and pretends to chat
Statues in the Durham Museum represent passengers who came through Union Station in years past.

    • Disclosure: I was a museum ambassador for the Durham in 2019 and received free admission in exchange for blogging about them.
    • Smithsonian affiliate history museum in Omaha's beautiful art-deco style Union Station featuring train history, Omaha area history, and traveling exhibits showcasing a variety of topics.
    • Open from 10am-5pm on Saturdays
    • Admission is usually free for children 2 & under, $7 for kids 3-18, and $11 for adults. 
    • For more information visit the Durham Museum website or check out my post about visiting the Durham Museum with kids.

  • El Museo Latino in Omaha, NE
    • Art and culture museum featuring art from Latin American cultures from pre-Colombian artifacts to contemporary pieces, including a temporary exhibit highlighting the textile art of Guatemala.
    • Open from 10am-2pm on Saturdays
    • Admission is usually free for children under 5, $3.50 for k-12 students, and $5 for adults
    • For more information, visit El Museo Latino's website

  • University of Nebraska State Museum-Morrill Hall in Lincoln, NE
a man looks at fossils of prehistoric elephants at the Nebraska State Museum
Fossils of Prehistoric elephants. Photo used with permission from the Nebraska State Museum.

    • This history museum is also on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus and highlights state history with a particular focus on paleontology (especially prehistoric elephants) and archaeology!
    • Open from 9:30am to 4:30pm on Saturdays
    • Admission is usually free for kids 4 & under, $4 for kids 5-18, and $8 for adults
    • For more info, visit the University of Nebraska State Museum website


How can I go to a museum for free on Museum Day?

To gain free admission to a participating museum on Museum Day, you must visit the Smithsonian Museum Day website and fill out the form to get a Museum Day ticket. The ticket grants free admission to two people, so you may need to bring a grandparent or friend if you have more than 2 kids you'd like tickets for! If you do not go through the website, you will not get free admission, so be sure to visit the site and print your tickets!



Museum Day in Sioux City

While none of the Sioux City museums with admission charges are offering free admission as part of this event, there is still tons of fun to be had right here in Sioux City at our many free museums and museums with an admission fee. If you are looking for a new one to explore, check out my full list of museums in Sioux City, Sioux Falls, and Siouxland. So whether you head out of town or stay right here, I hope you get the chance to visit a great museum this weekend with your family!

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