There are over 90 Puget Sound museums. You could visit two every week and not hit the same one twice. Of course that many museum admission tickets could also take quite a bite out of your entertainment budget. We’ve got more than a few suggestions to reduce that expense.
There are still other ways to enjoy free or discount museum admission throughout the year. Check the lists below for details.
How to get a public library museum pass
Participating museums vary for each library system. Below we list the ways you can find out what’s available to you. We update this information about once a year, so be sure to visit the library website to verify requirements and availability.
Things to know:
- free museum passes may be limited, so expect to request them ahead of time and be flexible about the days and times you want to go
- you may qualify for a library card at more than on library system, so get a library card for every eligible system to expand your possibilities
Seattle Public Library (SPL) museum pass
If you have a library card for Seattle Public libraries, King County libraries, or Pierce County libraries, then you can get free entrance to participating museums through the Seattle Public Library museum pass program.
Seattle Public Library card holders may reserve a Free Museum Pass. You qualify for a Seattle Public Library Card if you live, work, own property, or go to school in Seattle, Bothell, or most of King County.
You also qualify for Seattle’s Free Museum Pass if you have a Library card issued by several other Puget Sound library systems, including: Everett Public Library, Kitsap Regional Library, Pierce County Library System, Puyallup Public Library, Sno-Isle Regional Library System, and Timberland Regional Library (south Sound).
Many popular museums participate in the Seattle Public Library free museum pass program, including: The Burke Museum, Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, MoPOP, Museum of Flight, Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI), Nordic Heritage Museum, Northwest African American Museum, Seattle Art Museum (SAM), Seattle Aquarium, Wing Luke Museum, and many more.
For details or to reserve a pass online, visit the SPL Museum Pass page.
King County Public Library (KCLS) museum pass
King County Library (KCLS) allows card holders to print free passes from its website. Search the website using the keyword “museum pass” to find available museums and passes.
KCLS library cards are available to anyone who lives or owns property in King County except for Seattle, Yarrow Point, and Hunts Point, or another area with which KCLS has a Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement, including Seattle and many other counties and library systems throughout the Puget Sound region and around Washington State.
KCLS museum passes are available for: Bellevue Arts Museum and KidsQuest Children’s Museum, Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, and several museums in Seattle, including SAM, MoPOP, Museum of Flight, Northwest African American Museum, and Seattle Aquarium.
For details or to reserve a pass online, visit the KCLS Museum Pass page.
Pierce County Library (PCL) museum pass
Pierce County Library (PCL) card holders can get a free museum pass using a valid PCL library card at your local library.
PCL museum passes are available for Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, and Washington State History Museum.
For details, visit the PCL museum pass page.
Quest EBT Card holders
Many area museums and attractions participate in programs (Museums for All, Community Access Program) that provide discount admission to EBT card holders. Admission is typically reduced to $1-$5 per person. Participation can change, so be sure to call ahead and confirm before you head out.
- Kids Discovery Museum (Kidimu)
- Kidsquest Children’s Museum
- Imagine Children’s Museum
- Living Computers: Museum + Labs – $1 Daily Admission Or $10 Family Memberships
- Museum Of History And Industry (Mohai) – $2 Per Person
- Museum Of Pop Culture (Mopop) – Free
- Pacific Science Center (Pacsci) – Family Memberships For $19/Year
- Seattle Children’s Museum
- Woodland Park Zoo
Tacoma EBT discount museums
- Foss Waterway Seaport
- Museum of Glass
- Tacoma Art Museum
- Washington State History Museum
Free Museum Day tickets
Museum Day is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Get free admission to participating museums and cultural institutions around the country and across Washington State, including many in Seattle and the Puget Sound region. Your Museum Day Live! ticket provides free admission for two people. So definitely plan to go with a friend or family member. Note: parking and special events and exhibits are not included.
Here’s how to get a free ticket for Museum Day Live!
- Find a participating Washington State Museum. You may download only one ticket per email address. So choose your museum carefully. (You also might want to check the STEM activities before you make your choice. Whether you’re a student, teacher or curious human, you’ll find creative ways before Museum Day as an introduction to a topic, or after your visit as an extension of what you just experienced.)
- Next submit the appropriate information to request a ticket and it will be sent to your email address. Some museums require a printed ticket, others will allow you to show your ticket via a smartphone or tablet. Not sure? Check your email ticket.
This popular, annual event means that some museum reaches capacity. In this case, a museum has the right to limit the number of guests until space becomes available. So be patient if you’ve chosen a popular museum and arrive at crunch time. Meanwhile, you can participate on social media: @MuseumDay #BoundlessCuriosity #MuseumDayLive
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