Museums Nationwide Provide Free Admission to Military Families This Summer

From National Endowment for the Arts

This summer, active-duty military families can once again visit a variety of museums nationwide for free as part of Blue Star Museums, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Blue Star Families (BSF), in collaboration with the Department of Defense. The 2024 program begins on Saturday, May 18, 2024, Armed Forces Day, and continues through Monday, September 2, 2024, Labor Day. Participating museums can be found in all 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additional information and a complete list of participating museums in Tennessee is available here.

“We are grateful to all of the museums that have joined this summer’s Blue Star Museums program and we hope military families will take this opportunity to create meaningful, lifelong memories,” said Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Whether you are traveling this summer, getting to know a new duty location, or exploring what your community has to offer, Blue Star Museums is a wonderful opportunity to create connection and find inspiration.”

“Military families love Blue Star Museums, and we couldn’t run this program without the National Endowment for the Arts and the museums across the nation who show they care by participating,” said Blue Star Families CEO Kathy Roth-Douquet. “Access to museums enriches military families, creates wonderful family memories, and helps us feel connected to our communities so that we can thrive and do the hard job we have to do for the country. I am delighted for us to launch the 14th year of this very special program.”

Each year, a wide variety of museums take part, from history, art, and children’s museums to botanical gardens, planetariums, and zoos, as well as small museums that highlight the contributions of a local hero or an invention unique to a region. Participants this year include the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa; Mississippi Museum of Art; New Hampshire Telephone Museum; the Iowa Children’s Museum; Texas Science and Natural History Museum; the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York; Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Cincinnati; and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. A complete listing of all participating museums is available on the map on

Museums can join the Blue Star Museums program all summer long and the map will be updated regularly. Military families are encouraged to check the map for museums in their community or during summer travels.

This free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States military—Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force, members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps—and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), DD Form 1173-1 ID card or the Next Generation Uniformed Services (Real) ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.

For more information, visit