Museum Passes at the Library

This past fall break, I had a school-free day with the kids. In previous years, we have driven down to the Philly suburbs to spend a few days with my parents, but as the kids get older, and busier (play practice and hockey game that night), we usually can’t go away for too long. We still wanted to spend time with my parents, so we decided to meet at a half-way point—Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. (Details about our fun day there in a future blog post.)

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My mom mentioned that her library had free museum passes she could check out, which reminded me that Madison Public Library also had them. I had seen them on the checkout counter each time I went to the library, and always intended to take one out, so now was my opportunity!

The Museum Pass Program is sponsored by the Friends of the Madison Public Library in honor of the educational and cultural opportunities to the community in cooperation with Drew University. It provides free admission and benefits to many area museums. The Madison Public Library’s passes are only available to Madison residents (age 18 or over, with up-to-date library cards and fines less than $5), and to educators employed by schools in Madison, but all the area libraries have the same program for their library card holders. The passes are on a first-come first-served basis and cannot be reserved, so if you have a specific museum you plan to visit, be sure to try to check them out early, especially during peak vacation times. You can borrow passes for one museum for one week at a time, and you cannot renew them. They must be returned directly to the Madison Public Library Circulation Desk, not dropped in the drop box outside or to another library. There is a $20 refundable deposit, which is returned when you return the passes on time. Fines are $5 per day (max $200).

Each pass offers different benefits. Some are for one free admission, while others are for 4 admissions, or even the whole family. Many also include discounts to the gift shop and cafes. Passes are available to the following museums:

  • American Museum of Natural History

  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan

  • The Frick Museum

  • Grounds for Sculpture

  • Guggenheim Museum

  • Imagine That! Museum

  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

  • Macculloch Hall Historical Museum

  • Montclair Art Museum

  • Morris County Historical Society at Acorn hall

  • Morris Museum

  • Museum of Early Trades & Crafts

  • Newark Museum

  • New York Historical Society

  • The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms

We had a great day at Grounds for Sculpture for free, plus, of course, we had lunch at the café and bought souvenirs at the gift shop, probably spending more than I usually would because I knew we got in for free! (We also donated to the donation jar on the way out.) I know we’ll be checking out other museums, too, in the near future! Thanks, Madison Public Library, for providing such easy and great ways for our family to experience art and culture!

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The Madison Public Library is located at 39 Keep Street, Madison, NJ. 973-377-0722 www.madisonnjlibrary.org/about-mpl/museum-passes/