My Nerdy Heart: Free Blue Star Museums!


The Bushatz household is Nerd Central. We like to spend our weekends playing Scrabble, listening to NPR game shows (uh-huh – you KNOW that’s nerdy), visiting as many National Parks as possible and, oh yes, reading all the words on every museum display we can drum up.

What? You don’t want to hang out with us? I don’t understand.

We are also cheap. Actually, I prefer the term “thrifty.” And this, ahem, thriftiness demands that we pursue as many free things as possible. Look at that list of stuff we do: Scrabble -- free (because I got the game as a gift – oh snap!). NPR – free.  National Parks – free as of Saturday!

That leaves museums … and oh yes, as of Memorial Day many of those will be free, too, thanks to annual Blue Star Museums program.

Cue the thrifty-nerdy celebration.

This is the third year that the National Endowment of the Arts has organized museums across the country to participate in the Blue Star Museum program. This program allows free admittance to select museums across the country for military ID card holders and up to five accompanying non-ID holders. That means if you and your spouse show up with your IDs, you can bring 10 friends in with you. … it’s like a museum party! And what could be more fun than that? (Please don’t respond with “um. Everything.” Remember you’re talking to Queen Nerd here).

A record 1,600 museums across the country are participating in the Blue Star Museums 2012 program. A selection of stops the Bushatz Family will be making over the next several months: The National Quilt Museum, the River Discovery Center, The Parthenon, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts … and on. And on.

Check out details about museums participating near you on this handy, interactive map. Got questions? This page may have the answers.

But sad news for retirees: this program, like the National Parks pass deal, applies only to Active duty, Guard and Reserve families. Please don’t shoot the messenger.

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