Culture Pass: A cost-effective way to enjoy what New York has to offer


Brooke Sufrin

New York is a city known for its culture. The people, the air, the almost-tangible feeling of soul that seems to move throughout the streets. A large part of what creates this sensation is the presence of the cultural attractions that embody the energy and history of the city. Museums, attractions, and public centers, among others, are what bring tourists and the city-loving New York inhabitants to visit these special places. However, for students who live on a budget, these visits can be dauntingly expensive. Now, with the help of the New York City Public Library, embracing the city’s cultural institutions just became a little easier.

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The Culture Pass is a unique service offered by the New York Public Library where library cardholders can visit cultural institutions for free. To begin, you’ll need to get a library card from The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, or Queens Library.

Once you have your library card and have acquired the culture pass service, you’ll have access to the following institutions:

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  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Brooklyn Children’s Museum
  • Brooklyn Historical Society
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan
  • Children’s Museum of the Arts
  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
  • The Drawing Center
  • The Frick Collection
  • Historic Richmond Town
  • International Center of Photography
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
  • The Jewish MuseumWikimedia Commons
  • Louis Armstrong House
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • The Morgan Library & Museum
  • Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1
  • Museum of Chinese in America
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • New York Transit Museum
  • Noguchi Museum
  • Queens Historical Society
  • Queens Museum
  • Rubin Museum of Art
  • SculptureCenter
  • Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
  • Society of IllustratorsFlickr
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • Sugar Hill Children’s Museum
  • Wave Hill
  • Whitney Museum of American Art

More locations are expected to participate as The Culture Pass continues to grow.

A free library card is also useful in having access to everything from checking out the multitude of books the library has to offer, digital media, online databases, and much more. “This service seems like it can be useful for students who could utilize the library’s resources for their academic and personal lives,” said Colleen McGovern, rising University sophomore. “The best part about attending a school in New York City is getting the opportunity to visit cool places,” said McGovern. “Being able to do so without spending the limited money I have is a great thing.”

Cards from the New York Public Library are available for free to any New York City resident. Students can apply for a library card online at the New York Public Library website and can begin enjoying New York City’s cultural sites in a more cost-effective way.