NYC Municipal ID Gives New Yorkers Free Access to 33 Museums and More in 2015

New York City’s Municipal ID program, which was announced by Mayor Bill De Blasio earlier this year, will give New Yorkers free access to 33 of the city’s cultural institutions for a full year, according to the Mayor’s office website.

Municipal ID holders throughout the five boroughs will enjoy free benefits, including membership to museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and performing art centers. The program will launch in mid-January and run through the end of 2015.

The Mayor signed legislation to create a municipal ID card for all NYC residents last summer. The municipal ID will be available for all residents of the five boroughs who meet the program’s proof of identity and city residency requirements. The card will be issued at no cost for applicants during the program’s first year.

“The Municipal ID Card embodies the values we cherish most about inclusivity and equality, and these memberships are another step forward on providing greater access and opportunity for our people,” said Mayor Bill De Blasio.

Among the institutions ID holders will gain membership to are family-friendly destinations such as:


Wave Hill

wave hill bronx

This public garden and cultural center in the Bronx is a century-old estate set on 26 acres that allows visitors to interact with nature via its gardens, greenhouses, and conservatories. Visitors can also partake in gardening and woodworking classes, art workshops, and other family-oriented activities throughout the year.

With the new Municipal ID program, each member is granted unlimited free admission to the Wave Hill gardens, along with two guest passes; free weekday onsite parking through March 2015; 10% discounts in the garden shop and The Café; an invitation to the annual members’ picnic and Winter’s Eve at Wave Hill; access to special members-only day trips and tours; exclusive concert pre-sales; and more.


The American Museum of Natural History

american museum of natural history dinosaur skeleton

The museum is one of the most renowned tourist attractions in Manhattan, and one of the largest museums in the world. It features 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library. The museum’s vast collections contain more than 32 million specimens of plants, humans, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, and meteorites. 

Each Municipal ID cardholder is granted free unlimited general admission to the museum (plus up to four visitors under 18 years of age when accompanied by ID holder). Admission includes access to the Biodiversity and Environmental Halls, Birds and Reptiles and Amphibians Halls, Earth and Planetary Sciences Halls, Fossil Halls, Human Origins and Cultural Halls, Mammal Halls, Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial; free admission to the LeFrak Theater; complimentary tickets for 3D films at the LeFrak Theater; a one-year subscription to Rotunda (member’s magazine featuring behind-the-scenes looks at the museum’s exhibitions and scientists;  discounts in the Museum Shop; and more.


Brooklyn Botanic Garden

cherry blossoms in brooklyn

This 52-acre botanic garden situated in the center of Brooklyn, features more than 10,000 kinds of plants and thousands of different trees from all over the world. The garden is open year-round, where visitors can explore some of the city’s most valued botanical collections, including the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the Cranford Rose Garden, and the Steinhardt Conservatory.

ID program membership benefits include unlimited free admission for 1; 2 single-time-use guest passes; admission for member plus 1 guest to all members-only summer events; admission for 1 to the Members’ Plant Sale Preview; 10% discount at Garden Shop and Café; member discounts on adult classes, trips, and tours; and more.


The New York Hall of Science

bubbles nysci

Host of the 2014 World Maker Faire, this Queens destination offers visitors the chance to participate in a hands-on learning experience inside one of the city’s esteemed science centers. It offers a lively schedule of events, interactive exhibits, presentations, and programs aimed at engaging visitors of all ages. It features more than 450 permanent exhibits, the award-winning 60,000-square-foot Science Playground and Design Lab, and Rocket Park Mini Golf.

Cardholder benefits include free general admission for 2 adults and 4 children; includes reciprocal admission at 300 other science centers worldwide; 50% discount for parking; discounts on 3D Theater Presentations, Rocket Park Mini Golf, Science Shop, birthday parties, camps and clubs, and more.


Staten Island Historical Society and Historic Richmond Town

historic richmond town

This cultural center which creates the opportunity for visitors to explore the rich and diverse history of American communities in Staten Island and its neighboring towns. Portions of the society’s collection are displayed in museum galleries and in Historic Richmond Town, which is the largest and most complete historic village in New York City. Historic Richmond houses important records and artifacts of everyday life from colonial times with a mission to collect, preserve, and interpret the material culture of the region.

Enrollment in the Municipal ID program grants members access to free regular admission to Historic Richmond Town; a complimentary ticket to Decker Farm Pumpkin Picking, Old Home Day, and the Independence Day celebration; a 10% discount on museum store purchases and other subscriptions and special offers.


All 33 institutions belong to the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), and have partnered with the City to bring these packages to New York City residents. Below is the full list of participating venues:



1. Bronx County Historical Society

2. Bronx Museum of the Arts

3. New York Botanical Garden

4. Wave Hill

5. Wildlife Conservation Society (includes Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo)



6. Brooklyn Academy of Music

7. Brooklyn Botanic Garden

8. Brooklyn Children’s Museum

9. Brooklyn Museum



10. American Museum of Natural History

11. Carnegie Hall

12. New York City Ballet

13. El Museo del Barrio

14. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.

15. Metropolitan Museum of Art

16. Museum of Jewish Heritage

17. Museum of the City of New York

18. New York City Center

19. Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival

20. Studio Museum in Harlem



21. Flushing Town Hall

22. Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning

23. Museum of the Moving Image

24. New York Hall of Science

25. MoMA PS1

26. Queens Botanical Garden

27. Queens Museum

28. Queens Theatre


Staten Island

29. Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

30. Staten Island Children’s Museum

31. Staten Island Historical Society

32. Staten Island Museum

33. Staten Island Zoological Society


According to its website, the City will establish walk-in enrollment centers around the boroughs to ensure easy accessibility; consideration will also be given to people with disabilities and those with limited English proficiency. The application will be posted online. For more information, visit