Museums on a Shoestring

I recently read that Thanksgiving travel has gone down 62% in the past 9 years. People are traveling less and taking fewer vacations but that doesn't mean we have to put ourselves on house arrest and sentence ourselves to hours of boredom. 
I wrote a post a few months ago called, "Be a tourist in your own neighborhood." I created my own "Queens Fun Day" and visited a science center, a museum and a zoo all just 15 minutes from my door. There's a lot of great activities that you can find in your own hometown and you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on plane tickets and checked baggage.
It's true that going on fun outings can get very expensive especially if you have a family but that doesn't mean we have to give up cultural and educational stimulation in exchange for sitting home in front of the television. 
Many museums have a free day or a pay what you wish day. Some of my favorites here in New York are the Museum of Modern Art (free for children ages 16 and under and free for everyone on Friday nights from 4-8 pm), the Whitney Museum (pay what you wish on Fridays from 6-9 pm), the American Folk Art Museum (free for children 12 and under and free for everyone on Fridays after 5:30 pm), and the Rubin Museum (free for children under 12, free on the 1st Monday of every month for Seniors ages 65 and up, and free for everyone on Friday nights from 7-10 pm). 
All of these museums also have bars or lounges where you can get food and drinks and listen to live music. I think this is a great value and definitely better than sitting home or paying $100 dollars to take your family to the movies on a Friday night. 
These are just a few examples of the many museums that offer great bargains so there's no need to stay home and wait for the recession to come to an end. Go online or call your local museums to see what sort of discounts or free days they might have! 

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