50+ Museums in Florida offering Free Admission on September 18, 2021

Free Museum Day Florida

On September 18, 2021, more than 50 museums, gardens, and cultural attractions across the state of Florida are offering free admission as part of Free Museum Day 2021!

This national Museum Day is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. Check the list below to see if your favorite museum is participating, OR find a new cultural attraction to visit.

Whether you enjoy history, art, science, nature, or play, you’ll find a museum to explore on this list!

You’ll need a free Museum Day ticket in hand (or on your smartphone) to receive free admission, and we’ve got the details below on how to get your free tickets in 3 minutes or less! First, take a look at the list of cultural experiences and decide where you want to go for your free day at the museum this year.

Some museums are also free to visit year round. Find museums in Lakeland, Tampa, and Orlando that you can visit for free.

Note – some of the participating museums on this list are free to visit year-round, they are marked below.

Please check directly with event organizers or local businesses for advance registration and any last-minute changes. While we do our best to provide accurate information, we include an outside link so you can verify the details for all events and activities.

Participating Museums in Lakeland + Polk County

The Polk Museum of Art is participating in Museum Day Live, however admission is FREE EVERY DAY so you can visit anytime! The Polk Museum of Art is a teaching museum that seeks to enhance lives through inspirational and engaging art experiences for all. It is the largest and only nationally accredited visual arts organization in Polk County and the only Smithsonian Affiliate art museum in Central Florida. New exhibitions rotate through the main galleries, and you can also see some of the permanent collections on display. Our personal favorite is the children’s gallery. Admission to the Polk Museum of Art is always free, memberships are available for special events, perks, and reciprocal admission.

Explorations V Children’s Museum and Bok Tower Gardens have participated in previous years, but not in 2021. Bok Tower Gardens is offering Free Admission on Wawa Free Fridays on August 27 and September 24. Learn more about Explorations V’s upcoming move to Bonnet Springs Park and the brand new Florida Children’s Museum opening in 2022.

Participating Museums in Tampa, St. Pete + Sarasota

Attractions participating in Museum Day Live in the Tampa Bay area include:

Cracker Country – Tampa, FL
Tampa’s only living history museum, located on the Florida State Fairgrounds. The museum holds a collection of 13 original buildings dating from 1870-1912 which were relocated from across the state of Florida, as well as costumed interpreters who portray daily living as Florida pioneers. Cracker County is a great place to take kids!
Learn More: Website
Address: Florida State Fairgrounds – 4800 US Hwy. 301 North, Tampa, FL 33610

Tampa Bay History Center – Tampa, FL
The Tampa Bay History Center includes 3 floors of Interactive, family-friendly exhibits focused on the history of Tampa and the state of Florida. Be sure to check out the 3rd floor Treasure Seekers Gallery and the Pirate’s Fate movie, especially if you have a pirate-loving child. TIP – Pack your bathing suit and make a day of it with a stop at Water Works Park in downtown Tampa or another Tampa area splash pad.
Learn More: Website
Address: 801 Water Street, Tampa, FL 33602

Tampa Museum of Art
The Tampa Museum of Art houses one of the largest Greek and Roman antiquities collections in the southeastern United States. As one of the region’s most prominent museums devoted to the art of our time, the Museum’s permanent collection also embraces sculpture, photography, painting, new media, and more.
Learn more: Website
Address: 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602

Henry B. Plant Museum – Tampa, FL
At the Henry B. Plant Museum you can experience the grandeur of an extravagant Victorian palace that opened in 1891 as the Tampa Bay Hotel and is now a National Historic Landmark. Stroll the grand hallway and enter magnificent rooms adorned with European furniture and art of the Gilded Age. Experience the elegance of the Victorian lifestyle as a tourist in turn-of-the century Florida.
Learn More: Website
Address: 401 W. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33606

Imagine Museum – St. Petersburg, FL
The Imagine Museum has access to the Trish Joy Collection of over 1,500 contemporary glass art works representing the finest artists working with the material of glass in the world. Approximately 500 pieces are on display in rotating exhibits. (TIP – if you enjoy glass artwork, you can also visit the Chihuly collection only 1 mile away in Downtown St. Pete)
Learn More: Website
Address: 1901 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33713

The Florida Holocaust Museum
Located in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, The Florida Holocaust Museum (The FHM) is recognized as one of the largest and most comprehensive Holocaust museums in the United States and a significant resource for Holocaust study and genocide history. 
Learn More: Website
Address: 55 5th St. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33701

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art – Sarasota, FL
A place of exploration, discovery and respite, The Ringling’s campus in Sarasota, Florida – which includes the Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, historic mansion, an 18th-century theater and bayfront gardens – is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Kids will especially love the Circus Museum!
Learn More: Website
Address: 5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34243

More Participating Museums in the Tampa Bay Area:

  • 1885 Train Depot Museum – Brooksville, FL
  • Countryman Family One Room Schoolhouse Museum – Brooksville, FL
  • May-Stringer House Museum – Brooksville, FL
  • The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art – Tarpon Springs, FL (Free Everyday)
  • Manatee County Agricultural Museum – Palmetto, FL (Free Everyday)
  • Palmetto Historical Park – Palmetto, FL (Free Everyday)

Participating Museums in the Orlando Area

Orange County Regional History Center – Orlando, FL
Take a journey through 12,000 years of Central Florida history at the Orange County Regional History Center. Spread across four floors are fascinating exhibits which bring the past to life and inform, educate and amaze visitors with Florida’s rich heritage. The museum’s permanent exhibits cover everything from Florida’s indigenous people through to the current theme park tourism boom. 
Learn More: Website
65 East Central Blvd., Orlando, FL 32801 (The Orlando Science Center is only 2.5 miles away if you’re looking to make a full day of it!)

Appleton Museum of Art – Ocala, FL
The Appleton Museum of Art’s permanent collection of approximately 18,500 objects includes European, American, Asian, African, Contemporary and pre-Columbian art and artifacts.
Learn More:
Address: 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, FL 34470

Discovery Center – Ocala, FL
Discovery Center is a hands on community science center specializing in exhibits and programs for children and families including two floors of fun with a reptile collection, learning labs, exhibits and pop up classes like Sing-a-long Science. 
Learn more: Website
Address: 701 NE Sanchez Ave, Ocala, FL 34471

More Participating Museums in the Orlando Area:

  • Mount Dora History Museum – Mount Dora, FL
  • Art and History Museums of Maitland – Maitland, FL
  • Bradlee-McIntyre House Museum – Longwood, FL
  • Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens – Winter Park, FL
  • Cornell Fine Arts Museum – Winter Park, FL (Free Everyday)
  • DeLand Naval Air Station Museum, Inc. – DeLand, FL (Free Everyday)
  • Gillespie Museum, Stetson University – DeLand, FL (Free Everyday)
  • DeLand’s Memorial Hospital & Veterans Museum – DeLand, FL (Free Everyday)
  • Zellwood Historical Society, Museum, and Library – Zellwood, FL (Free Everyday)
  • Matheson History Museum – Gainesville, FL (Free Everyday)

The regions listed below are outside our coverage area, but plenty of information is available on the Smithsonian Museum Day website or each individual museum’s website.

Jacksonville / St. Augustine / East Coast

  • Museum of Arts and Sciences – Daytona Beach, FL (Kid-friendly and includes a Children’s Museum!)
  • Amelia Island Museum of History – Fernandina Beach, FL
  • Florida Agricultural & Rural Museum – Palm Coast, FL
  • Mandarin Museum & Historical Society – Jacksonville, FL (Free Everyday)
  • Peña-Peck House – Saint Augustine, FL (Free Everyday)
  • Flagler Beach Historical Museum – Flagler Beach, FL (Free Everyday)
  • Flagler County Historical Society Holden House and Annex – Bunnell, FL (Free Everyday)

South Florida (Miami / Ft Lauderdale / Keys)

  • Manatee Observation and Education Center – Fort Pierce, FL
  • Historical Society of Martin County – Stuart, FL
  • Cornell Art Museum – Delray Beach, FL
  • History Fort Lauderdale – Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale – Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Old Davie School Historical Museum – Davie, FL
  • Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts (WMODA) – Dania Beach, FL
  • Art and Culture Center – Hollywood, FL
  • Ancient Spanish Monastery – North Miami Beach, FL
  • Gold Coast Railroad Museum – Miami, FL
  • Florida Keys History & Discovery Center – Islamorada, FL
  • Tennessee Williams Museum – Key West, FL
  • Key West Museum of Art & History – Key West, FL
  • Coral Springs Museum of Art – Coral Springs, FL (Free Everyday)
  • Pompano Beach Historical Society – Pompano Beach, FL (Free Everyday)
  • The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum – Miami, FL (Free Everyday)
  • HistoryMiami Museum – Miami, FL (Free Everyday)

Southwest Florida

  • Naples Botanical Garden – Naples, FL
  • Naples Depot Museum (Collier County Museums) – Naples, FL (Free Everyday)

Northwest Florida / Panhandle

  • Mission San Luis – Tallahassee, FL
  • Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum – Pensacola, FL
  • Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum – Carrabelle, FL (Free Everyday)
  • Carrabelle History Museum – Carrabelle, FL (Free Everyday)
  • Crooked River Lighthouse – Carrabelle, FL (Free Everyday)

Don’t see your favorite local museum, garden, or cultural institution? Or looking for museums in a different state? More museum offers are being added daily, check the Smithsonian Museum Day Website for the most current list of participating attractions.

Please check directly with event organizers or local businesses for advance registration and any last-minute changes. While we do our best to provide accurate information, we include an outside link so you can verify the details for all events and activities.

Follow the steps below to secure your free museum admission ticket

  1. Visit http://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday
  2. Search by name or zip code to pull up a list of participating museums*. Then you’ll have to select the museum you’d like to visit. Submit your email and name and then you’ll see a link to print your ticket. (You should also receive an email with a link to your ticket).
  3. Head to the museum or cultural institution on Saturday, September 18, 2021 with your free admission ticket and HAVE A GREAT TIME!

*We tried searching by zip code but it did not pull up all of the museums near us. Instead, try searching for a specific name or look through the entire list for your state.

Important Smithsonian Museum Day Ticket Information

  • Your ticket is valid for YOU & ONE GUEST (2 people total). Additional members of your household will need to request their own free admission tickets using a different email address, or pay regular admission.
  • You can only request a ticket to one participating museum. One ticket per email address.
  • The ticket provides general admission and is not valid for special exhibits, parking, IMAX film screening or any other offer.
  • Ticket is only valid on Museum Day, September 18, 2021.
  • Guests MUST present an official Museum Day Live! ticket to receive free admission, the museum will not have a record of your ticket.
  • If a museum reaches capacity, the museum has the right to limit guests until space becomes available.
  • Please call the museum if you have specific questions related to ages and admission. Generally, if admission to the museum is free for children, the museum will not count your child as your Museum Day guest. If the museum generally charges admission for children, then your child will count as your Museum Day guest.
  • Visit the Museum Day FAQ Page for a full list of questions.

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