Smithsonian Annual 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 2019 is on Saturday, September 21st, 2019. 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 2019 but aren't normally free include:

  • 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 representing passengers who passed through Union Station in years past.

    • Disclosure: I am a museum ambassador for the Durham and get 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.

  • Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, IA
    • History and culture museum featuring all things Danish and Scandinavian, from stone age artifacts to Legos and modern Danish design, with plenty of vikings, windmills, immigrants, and ebelskivers in between!
    • Open from 10am to 5pm on Saturdays
    • Admission is usually $2 for under 18 and $5 for adults
    • For more information, visit the Museum of Danish America website

  • 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

  • Prehistoric Indian Village in Mitchell, SD
A girl digs in the kids dig zone of the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village
Kids Dig zone, picture used with permission of the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village

Picture of prehistoric lodge used with permission of the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village

    • The only archaeological site in South Dakota open to the public! Features a village of over 70 earthen lodges from the prehistoric native Americans who lived in this area and includes a fun kids dig zone where little visitors can find an arrowhead to keep for free! 
    • Open from 9am-6pm on Saturdays
    • Admission is usually free for kids under 12, $4 for kids 13-18, and $6 for adults
    • For more info, visit the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village website.

  • International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, NE
a mother and child admire a quilt on the wall of the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska
A mother and child admire a quilt. Photo used with permission from the International Quilt Museum

    • The largest publicly held collection of quilts in the world (on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln). Also holds special events, and on Museum Day, will be holding two sessions of a hands-on educational program for children discussing old-world quilts, featuring American Girl dolls Felicity and Elizabeth!
    • Open from 10am to 4pm on Saturdays
    • Admission is usually free for children 4 & under, $4 for kids 5-18 years old, and $8 for adults, or $16 for a family consisting of up to 2 adults and their children
    • For more info, visit the International Quilt Museum 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. Some of the special events happening at Sioux City museums that day include:

  • "A Silhouette is Worth a Thousand Words" at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center from 1-3pm will let kids learn about an art technique from the days of the expedition through a fun hands-on project
  • Kindness Rocks rock painting event at the Sioux City Public Museum from 1-4pm hosted by the Siouxland Rocks group lets museum visitors of all ages create their own art, then take it with them to hide somewhere in the community to spread joy!

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