The Best Rainy-Day Summer Activity: Get Free Museum Passes from Your Library!

If you haven't borrowed a culture pass from your library, you don't know what you're missing.

Visit your local cultural institutions with complementary culture passes.

With no school and an abundance of warm weather, most parents and children spend their summer taking in a bit of sun and exploring the outdoors. The problem, though, is that weather can be finicky. All it takes is a little rain to throw a wrench into your afternoon plans, so it’s always a good idea to have a backup. Fortunately, libraries offer an excellent rainy-day activity that you may not expect: free museum visits.

The Public Library Culture Pass

These free museum visits are the result of an ingenious system that more and more public libraries are beginning to offer: the culture pass. Culture passes are a collaboration between local libraries and institutions of learning, art, and culture, like museums.

Using one of these culture passes allows you to experience your area’s culture to the fullest in ways you may not have known even existed. Though not every library has a culture pass program, many do, so it’s worth taking a look! The following are a few examples of what you can do with a culture pass from your library.


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Columbus Metropolitan Library

At the Columbus Metropolitan Library, your 2024–25 culture pass will give you access to various performances, museums, and art features. Some of our favorites include the Columbus Symphony, the Dawes Arboretum, and the Columbus Zoo.

Maricopa County Library District

You can check out a culture pass from any of the fifteen libraries in the Maricopa County Library District, which grants you access to nineteen culturally important organizations in the area. Among them are the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, several arboretums, the Pueblo Grande Museum, and much more. You’d be hard-pressed to use all of the benefits from this culture pass; there are just that many.


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New York City Public Libraries

Perhaps the most notable thing about this culture pass is its sheer scope. New York City’s public libraries have partnered with a staggering 102 cultural institutions to provide New Yorkers with endless opportunities for learning and fun. Among these institutions are art museums, culture museums, choirs, symphonies, gardens, and countless others. With this culture pass, you’ll have more options for your rainy summer days than you know what to do with!

If you’re unsure whether your library offers a culture pass, check out your local library’s website or ask a librarian! You may be surprised to find just how many ways you can spend an afternoon in your area.

If you’re looking for more great summer activities that don’t cost a dime, the library can help you! Check out the stories on our Families feature page today to learn more.



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