Before list museums in Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, and surrounding cities that have free admission every day, you might also want to know that you can get free admission to several Puget Sound area museums using your local public library card.
Free Library Museum Passes
King County Library allows patrons to print free passes from its website. Passes are available for Bellevue Arts Museum, KidsQuest Children’s Museum, and Washington State History Museum. Search Classes & Programs using the keyword “museum” to find available museum passes and dates.
Pierce County Library (PCL) offers free museum passes that patrons can check out from the libraries. PCL has free passes to Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, and Washington State History Museum. Visit your Pierce County Library to check out a museum pass, using a valid library card. Checkout is limited to 1 pass per museum for 3 weeks. You may check out passes to 3 different museums. Although passes cannot be reserved or renewed, you can check for availability by searching the library catalog for “museum pass.”
Seattle Public Library card holders may reserve a Free Museum Pass using your Seattle Public Library card to visit more than a dozen Seattle museums at no charge. For details or to reserve a pass online, visit the Free Seattle Museum Pass page on the Seattle Public Library website.
Always free Seattle museums
Check out the following list of Seattle museums that offer free admission every day. They are listed in order going north to south throughout the Puget Sound region:
Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond explores the vision, products, culture, and history of Microsoft. The exhibits display everything from the latest Microsoft Research innovations to the very first personal computer. Explore hands-on exhibits featuring some of the company’s most exciting technologies for home and business. Open to all employees and visitors to the Microsoft campus. Microsoft Visitor Center, 15010 NE 36th Street, Microsoft Campus Building 92, Redmond, WA 98052.
Center for Wooden Boats on South Lake Union is a hub of hands-on learning year-round. Boat rentals, classes and workshops, field trips, lectures, and opportunities for direct experience on the water and at the docks are just a few of the things you’ll find when you visit. Admission to The Center for Wooden Boats is always free! Walking the docks, exploring the boats and browsing the exhibits is always free of charge. Some programs, such as boat rentals, have associated fees, and others have suggested donations.
Seattle Children’s Museum offers free and low-cost admission in several ways: WA DSHS Services Cards: Show your DSHS Services Card to receive free daily admission for the individual who is named on the card (Washington Residents Only). WA EBT or Food Stamp Card: Show this card at the box office and receive $1.00 per person daily admission for the cardholder, your partner, and your dependent children (Washington Residents Only). Donation Only Hour: The last hour of every weekday (4:00pm – 5:00pm), SCM accepts any amount of payment for regular admission to the Museum; simply pay what you can afford to enter.
Frye Art Museum in Seattle hosts a permanent collection of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century European paintings as well as temporary exhibitions of works by internationally renowned and emerging artists. Admission to the Frye and parking are always free. See a list of current exhibitions and upcoming exhibitions. Frye Art Museum is located at 704 Terry Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98104 (Google map), near Boren Avenue and James Street, just steps from downtown Seattle.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle preserves the story of the stampede to the Yukon gold fields and Seattle’s crucial role in this event. The Visitor Center offers visitors a chance to step back in time and journey to the Yukon gold fields of Canada as thousands did in 1897 and 1898. Interactive exhibits highlight Seattle’s role in this international event. Touch screen computers allow visitors to experience the gold rush through the eyes of actual stampeders by referring to their journals and personal accounts. The park is free and open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie (about 30 miles east of Seattle) consists of several locations, the 1890 Snoqualmie Depot, the Centennial Trail Exhibit, and a Railway History Center. The Snoqualmie Depot has been restored to its turn of the century grandeur. What were once waiting rooms and a freight room are now exhibits about railroad history and the railroad experience. There is no admission charge to visit the Snoqualmie Depot; hours are 10am to 5 pm. The Snoqualmie Depot is located at 38625 SE King Street (faces SR 202 or Railroad Avenue) in Snoqualmie, WA. The Centennial Trail Exhibit is on a public walkway, is free and never closes. The Railway History Center is available for a nominal fee by guided tour departing most Saturdays during the Regular Season at 12:30pm.