As you’ve visited any art museums over the past year or so, you’ve probably noticed the prices have changed.
Unfortunately, many formerly free museums in Miami and around the country started charging admission. Many other museums have increased their prices to keep up with operating costs.
However, not everyone can afford to pay these admission fees. And if you want to bring the entire family? Forget it.
Don’t worry, there’s some good news.
Museum curators have figured out a way to make enough money from art museum admission while still keeping the venue accessible: free museum day or special rates.
It’s a win-win.
Here’s what you need to know about updated art museum admission fees and how to find free museums in Miami.
Why Are Art Museum Admission Fees Rising?
Keeping an art museum open is no small feat. Many people may not realize how much daily operation actually costs. Curators have to budget for several factors:
- Rent for the facility itself
- Purchasing art work
- Transporation and storage costs
- Facility renovations and updating exhibits
- Salaries for staff members
- Marketing and promotion
- Utilities for the climate-controlled facility
- Additional amenities and services like beverages and security
Exhibits alone can cost a fortune. The Smithsonian, for example, spends $90,000 per art exhibit on average – $41 million total. Although most museums don’t have art quite like the Smithsonian, they don’t bring in the same amount in revenue either.
Musuems had to make a choice: raise admission fees or face closure.
Of course, no one wants to close their museum.
“Free Museum Day” and Other Alternatives
Writers, curators, and patrons have thrown around various ideas for keeping museums accessible to the general public.
Some argue that curators should sell their stored artwork to cover operating costs. For curators, this is not an ideal solution.
Instead, many curators have decided to make their museums free. Okay, not completely free all of the time, but rather a “free museum day” once per week or month. This ensures artwork stays accessible to the general public while still maintaining operating costs.
In addition to free museum day, many facilities offer free admission or discounted prices to:
- Senior citizens
- Military personnel
- EBT card holders
How to Find Free Museums Today
Now that you know about this, you’re probably wondering “are there any free museums near me?” Or “where can I find free museums today?”
Below you’ll find free museums in Miami for every day of the week. Some are free every day, some offer one free day per week or month, and others offer special discounts to different segments of the population.
Now, you and your entire family can find free museums when you’re ready to get out of the house for some fun.
Free Museums Near Me – All Day, Every Day
Bay of Pigs Museum: The Bay of Pigs Museum is always open to the public. This museum commemorates the failed CIA-backed invasion of Cuba.
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum: This huge museum is always free to the public and open year-round so the entire family can enjoy dozens of exhibits any day of the week. The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum also offers several workshops and events to keep you busy.
MDC Museum & Galleries of Art + Design: MDC is located on the Miami Dade College campus. After a year of renovations, this museum is ready to reopen with visually stimulating exhibits and interesting aesthetics.
Museum of Contemporary Art: The Museum of Contemporary Art isn’t free for adults, but it only costs $5. It’s on the “free museums today” list because city employees, veterans, North Miami residents, and kids under 12 always get in free of charge. Plus, they offer a $3 student discount.
Institute of Contemporary Art: Thanks to sustaining memberships, the Institute of Contemporary Art is free every single day. Just make sure to reserve your tickets online ahead of time.
Free Museums in Miami on Select Days
These museums in Miami offer free days at their discretion.
- Bass Museum of Art: Free the last Sunday of each month and kids under six are always free.
- Gold Coast Railroad Museum: Free the last Saturday of each month except for March due to special events. Free admission for kids under two.
- HistoryMiami: Free on the second Saturday each month. Kids are always free. Veterans get in free all summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
- Jewish Museum of Florida: Free admission every Saturday. Kids under six never get charged admission.
- Lowe Art Museum: The first Tuesday each month is donation-only admission. Kids get free admission.
- Miami Children’s Museum: Free admission on the third Friday of each month.
- Wolfsonian-FIU Art Museum: Every Friday after 6:00 is a free-for-all and kids are always free.
Discounted or Free Museum Admission Through the Museum Pass Program
The Museum Pass Program allows Miami residents to “check out” passes from their local library. These passes grant entry to a family of four into one of the participating museums for free. You can only check one pass out at a time and numbers are limited to avoid overloading the museums.
Participating museums include: The Bass, Coral Gables Museum, The Curtiss Mansion, Deering Estate, Fruit & Spice Park, HistoryMiami Museum, Jewish Museum of Florida, Lowe Art Museum, Miami Children’s Museum, Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum, Perez Art Museum, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Zoo Miami, and The Wolfsonian-FIU.
Schedule a Tour of Museo Vault Today
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Beyond storage, Museo Vault offers installation, packaging, domestic and international shipping, collection management, insurance, white glove moving, appraisals, restoration, and more.