13 Great U.S. Museums With Senior Discounts

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National World War II Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana
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Perhaps you’ve retired or you’ve just got time on your hands — whatever the case, appreciating cultural staples at a museum can be a relaxing way to spend your day.

Whether you’re interested in science or race cars or unique art, the type of museum that interests you likely exists.

However, as great as that can be, admission fees have a way of adding up, and that can be hard on a fixed budget. There are ways to go for free, but often those are restricted to specific days or times. Fortunately, many museums offer perennial discounts for seniors, making this pastime more affordable long-term.

Following are several fascinating museums with discounts for seniors.

Autry Museum of the American West

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Location: Los Angeles

Senior discount: Admission is $12 for people age 62 or older, rather than $16

The Autry Museum of the American West’s collection contains more than 600,000 pieces of art and cultural items, including paintings, sculptures, film memorabilia, photographs and historic firearms. They also offer lectures, theatric performances and film viewings to the public.

Japanese American National Museum

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Location: Los Angeles

Senior discount: Admission is $9 for people age 62 or older, rather than $16

The Japanese American National Museum is partnered with the Smithsonian, and it’s the first in the U.S. that is focused on Americans of Japanese ancestry and their roles in American history. Its permanent exhibits include more than 150,000 unique artifacts, documents and photographs. If you can’t make it to their California location, the JANM has both traveling and online exhibits.

The Art Institute of Chicago

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Location: Chicago

Senior discount: Admission is $26 for people age 65 or older, rather than $32

The Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection holds nearly 300,000 works of art. The resident artworks include such reknowned artists as Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso.

The Museum of Science

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Location: Boston

Senior discount: Admission is $25 for people age 60 or older, rather than $29

The Museum of Science keeps exhibits rotating, but its permanent collection allows you to explore arctic technology, learn about biology in the Hall of Human Life and get an up-close look at a 65-million-year-old dinosaur fossil.

B&O Railroad Museum

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Location: Baltimore

Senior discount: Admission is $17 for people age 60 or older, rather than $20

B&O Railroad Museum’s exhibitions and collections have a lot to offer history buffs, locomotive lovers and anyone looking for a deeper understanding of American history. The museum features a real Jim Crow-era segregated train car and more than 6,000 unique objects for visitors to check out. You can look at historic trains and even take train rides yourself.

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

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Location: Dearborn, Michigan

Senior discount: Admission is $27 for people 62 or older, rather than $30

Henry Ford is renowned for founding the Ford Motor Co. and leading the nation in mass production practices. The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation touches on U.S. automobile history — and so much more. Take an in-person look at presidential vehicles, American furniture and exhibits that hold relics for each generation.

The B.B. King Museum

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Location: Indianola, Mississippi

Senior discount: Admission is $12 for people age 60 or older, rather than $15

This museum is dedicated to the blues icon B.B. King. The B.B. King Museum’s exhibits walk you through how the Civil Rights Movement shaped music. Among the rich history on display, you can also take a peek at the glamour; the museum features two of King’s cars: a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow and a custom-painted Chevy El Camino. At the end, you can pay your respects to “the King of the Blues” in the Memorial Garden, his final resting place.

The National World War II Museum

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Location: New Orleans

Senior discount: Admission is $32 for those age 65 or older, rather than $35

The National World War II Museum has multimedia exhibits ranging from oral histories to interactive experiences as well as genuine artifacts from the period. Its 7-acre campus means there’s a lot of history for visitors to take in.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Location: New York City

Senior discount: Admission is $22 for people age 65 and older, rather than $30 (residents and local students enjoy “pay what you wish”)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as simply the Met, hosts more than 5,000 pieces of global artwork. It was founded in 1870 and today it offers 19 primary collection areas encompassing topics such as arms and armor, Eastern art, African art and European sculptures.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

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Location: New York City

Senior discount: Admission is $12 for seniors, rather than $18

The Museum of Jewish Heritage is committed to educating the public about Jewish life before, during and after the Holocaust of the World War II era. The museum pursues its mission by providing 30,000 items including the 1927 volume of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”

The American Museum of Natural History

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Location: New York City

Senior discount: Admission is $22 for people age 60 or over, rather than $28 (residents enjoy “pay as you wish”)

The American Museum of Natural History was founded in 1869 and, a bit more recently, was the setting for the “Night at the Museum” movie franchise. Some of its vast exhibits include large gems and crystals, a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil and a 94-foot-long blue whale model.

NASCAR Hall of Fame

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Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Senior discount: Admission is $24 for people age 65 or older, rather than $27

The NASCAR Hall of Fame offers guided tours through its exhibits of classic and modern cars and provides more than 50 interactive experiences. NASCAR fans can get into racing simulators. The Hall of Fame offers various pricing and experience packages for guests.

The Norman Rockwell Museum

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Location: Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Senior discount: Admission is $18 for people age 65 or older, rather than $20

The Norman Rockwell Museum was founded in 1969 and pays homage to American art. The museum contains the world’s largest and most significant collection of Rockwell’s work, although it’s not limited to him, and includes access to his final studio (pictured). Rockwell’s art depicts American life and was repeatedly used as on covers of “The Saturday Evening Post” magazine.

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