Is the Natural History Museam Free?

Are you wondering if the Natural History Museum is free? Well, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Let’s dive into the details.

General Admission

If you’re looking to visit the Natural History Museum for a casual day out, there’s good news! General admission to the museum is free for all visitors. However, donations are always welcome and appreciated.

Suggested Donations

The museum suggests a donation of $23 for adults and $13 for children and seniors. This donation helps fund exhibitions, research, and education programs that keep the museum running.

Special Exhibitions

While general admission to the Natural History Museum is free, special exhibitions do require tickets. These exhibitions often feature unique and exciting displays that aren’t available during regular visits.

Ticket Prices

Ticket prices vary depending on the exhibition but typically range from $15-$30 per person. Members of the museum receive discounted rates on special exhibition tickets.


If you’re a frequent visitor to the Natural History Museum or simply want to support its mission, becoming a member might be worth considering. Membership fees help support research projects and educational programs while providing exclusive benefits such as discounted special exhibition tickets and free access to 200 other museums across the country.

Membership Rates

Membership rates vary depending on the level of membership chosen but typically start at $75 per year for individuals.

  • Individual: $75/year
  • Dual: $110/year
  • Family: $125/year
  • Naturalist Circle: $250/year (includes behind-the-scenes tours and special events)
  • President’s Circle: $1,000/year (includes all Naturalist Circle benefits plus exclusive events and recognition)


So, is the Natural History Museum free? Yes, general admission is free for all visitors.

However, if you’re interested in visiting special exhibitions or supporting the museum through membership, there are additional costs to consider. Regardless of how you choose to experience the museum, your contribution helps support its mission to educate and inspire visitors with knowledge about our planet’s history and biodiversity.