Visit the best Valley of the Sun Museums for FREE on Museum Day, September 17.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine’s website, “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.”
To obtain Museum Day tickets, visit the Smithsonian Magazine website and select “Get a Ticket“ from the top of the page. From a list of participating museums, you will then be allowed to make a selection. You’ll then enter your name and email address in order to download or get sent the FREE Museum Day ticket. Only one ticket can be downloaded per email address. Each ticket provides FREE general admission for two people to their chosen museum on September 17 only.
In case you’re wondering, the Smithsonian Magazine is the official publication of the Smithsonian Institution, a.k.a, the Smithsonian, which is the world’s largest system of museums. Located in Washington D.C., it consists of 21 national museums, numerous education and research centers, and the National Zoo.
There are 11 Arizona museums participating on Museum Day this year. Here’s a list of a few of them from around the Valley of the Sun.
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is a Smithsonian affiliate. Collections abound from native communities, cowboy culture, and fine art. An incredible exhibit, “Light and Legacy: The Art and Techniques of Edward S. Curtis,” is intriguing. Curtis prolifically photographed dozens of Native Americans throughout the country during the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.
The Superstition Mountain Lost Dutchman Museum is located on a 15-acre site west of the Superstition Mountain close to Apache Junction. There’s a life-like old western town with a vintage ore mill, and nature trails. The views of the Superstition Mountain and surrounding ranges are breathtaking. Don’t forget to check out the Apacheland Movie Ranch on site, which celebrates the old cowboy movies once filmed in the area.
The Cave Creek Museum displays an interesting crossroads of history. Within the museum, visitors will find evidence of pre-historic Arizonans, traveling in time up through the growth of modern-day local resort developments. The museum exhibits the first church of Cave Creek and a unique tubular historic cabin. This museum also teaches about the area’s rich history of minerals, like copper and ore.
The CAF Airbase Arizona Flying Museum is the only combat aviation museum in Phoenix. Visitors can take a journey through history and learn how aircraft evolved as a vital partner to ground and sea operations from WWI to present. Volunteer docents, who’ve had military aviation experience are on hand to answer any questions. Walk through a hangar and watch aircraft mechanics bring powerful engines to life. For an additional fee, take a ride in an authentic WWII airplane, scheduled on certain days of the year.
Enjoy Museum Day on September 17. For a list of all Arizona museums participating, click here.
For a list of other Phoenix area museums that are free or discounted year-round, click here.
Western Spirit: Scottsdale Museum of the West
3830 N Marshall Way
Scottsdale , AZ 85251
Superstition Mountain-Lost Dutchman Museum
4087 E. Apache Trail, Hwy 88
Apache Junction, AZ 85119