Wichita on the Cheap

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Free and Discount Museum Days in Wichita

Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, Wichita’s museums provide lots of educational fun and entertainment. Most are moderately priced to begin with, but Wichita also has FREE museum days at times during the year. (And some of our museums are always completely free!)

Sometimes the free days are part of a bigger national program (and we’ve listed those here too). Others are paid for by generous local sponsors and are offered seasonally or year-round. And if you’re a member of a Wichita museum, you may get free admission to museums in other parts of the country through reciprocal programs.

Check out our list of free museum days in Wichita. We’ve included a list of museums that are always free, as well as some regular discounts we hope to see. And please let us know in the comments if we’ve missed any free days at museums in Wichita!

Free Days at Wichita Museums

Young people looking at a piece of art hanging on the wall of the Wichita Art Museum

Museum Discounts

  • One great ongoing discount for museums and other local attractions is Visit Wichita’s Explore Card. You’ll save $2 off the price of admission for up to 10 people in your party just by showing your pass. And the pass is FREE.
  • During the Summer months, you can get free admission to over 100+ museums and attractions around Kansas with the Sunflower Summer app.

An old rotary-dial pay phone at Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum:

Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, shared by Wichita on the Cheap (@wichitacheap) on

Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum

Special Free Admission Passes

  • In the summer, military members and their families can get free admission to many Wichita museums (and throughout the country!) through the Blue Star Museums program.
  • On Mother’s Day or Father’s Day in Wichita, moms, dads, and grandparents are often given free admission to Wichita museums with the purchase of a child admission.

Always-Free Wichita Museums

McCormick School Museum - Wichita on the Cheap Attractions and Museums

  • Ulrich Museum of Art on the WSU campus is always free.
  • CityArts galleries are always free. (CityArts is also a great spot to take art classes, which are not free, but they look like a lot of fun.)
  • The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inside the Wichita Boathouse is always free but its only open by appointment. Contact info@kshof.org to book your toor.
  • The McCormick School Museum might be one of the least known museum in Wichita and yet it is a fantastic treasure that is always free.
  • Great Plains Nature Center in northeast Wichita is always free.
  • The Kansas Wildlife Exhibit in Riverside Central Park is always free. (Locals call it the Riverside Zoo.) It includes over 25 species of animals and is located in the central part of Riverside Park.

Museum of Word Treasures has one of the most complete dinosaur fossils in North America

How to Save Money with Museum Memberships

Museum and attraction memberships can save you a lot of money in the long run! Here’s how to save money with memberships:

  1. Calculate how many visits it would take for you to break even, if you would visit the museum even one more time past your break even point, you’ll save money.
  2. Keep an eye out for membership discounts and deals! Some common deals are listed below:
    • Museum of World Treasures usually has a discount during customer apprectaoin day.
    • Botanica usually runs a Mothers Day membership deal.
    • Tanganyika has a huge season pass sale. In 2023 it was on March 1st.
    • Cowtown usually runs a April & September memberships deal.
    • Exploration place usually runs a Spring membership deal.

Museum Reciprocal Programs

Another way you may be able to get free admission to museums in Wichita and throughout the U.S. is through reciprocal programs. Often when you purchase a membership to one museum, you’re granted access to a reciprocal program, which gives you either free or discounted admission to similar museums in other cities. These memberships are not all the same, so you’ll absolutely want to read the fine print. Here are some examples of reciprocal programs of museums in Wichita:

  • Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum members get access to the Time Travelers program. According to its website, it has 300 historical museums participating in its program around the country, nine of which are in the state of Kansas. If you’re a member of one, you’ll get free admission, gift shop discounts, and/or other benefits at the others.
  • Exploration Place membership gives you access to the widely accepted ASTC Travel Passport program, which includes free or discounted admission to science and technology museums worldwide. This reciprocating program, however, does exclude any museums within 90 miles of your residence and the museum of which you are a member. (And that’s a fairly common practice.) To give you an idea of the breadth of this program, their list of participating museums is 32 pages long!
  • Botanica members receive free or discounted admission to over 300 botanical gardens, arboreta & conservatories through the American Horticulture Society reciprocal program. Again, this one may have some restrictions regarding local competing gardens within a 90-mile radius, but if you travel it can be a great benefit of membership.

Exploration Place science museum Wichita Kansas

 

Upcoming Events and Discounts at Wichita-area Museums

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Related:

Local Attractions on the Cheap – when to go or how to find the best deals at local Wichita attractions and museums

Blue Star Museums

Non-Toy Gift Ideas for Kids

Free Things to Do in Wichita

I’m Kathy Spillman and I am the owner of Wichita on the Cheap. The website is to help you live the good life for less. Help you find affordable, family-friendly events and great deals right here in Wichita and surrounding areas

Expensive does not always mean better. I think if you subscribe to the daily email newsletter, you’ll see what I mean.

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