Best IDNYC Deals for Families

museumsIDNYC is a free municipal id by NYC, which also offers, among many other advantages, 33 FREE memberships to some of the greatest cultural institutions in the city. It’s an amazing offer. So amazing, that it can be somewhat overwhelming to look through all the benefits and figure out which ones could best benefit your family.  There are some great offers besides the memberships, such as discounts to the gym, supermarket, prescriptions and even discount tickets to entertainment. Those can be found at, but the core of the benefits are the free memberships.
If you are a parent, who has now been given an opportunity to enjoy all of these places with your kids for free, sorting through where  and how you can best make use of your id can be a challenge.
For example, do I want invitations to member only parties, especially if they cost hundreds of dollars?  I can barely make it to my best friends’ birthday parties, and usually I bring a little one along. And I want discounts for classes for my kid, not for adult only events. But discounts for a lot of restaurants in the area can be interesting even if I never visit that museum. And there are some offers that are homeschoolers dreams come true ( like the NY Hall of Science awesome offers).


Then what are the best parts of this deal for families?

Below you will find the list of all the institution trimmed to only the best family offers from each one.
They are rated according to how awesome the deals they can be for families in the following categories:
– Whether they are memberships for a whole family, at least for an adult and child or just for one adult
– Whether the discounts include children’s programming and classes
– How many free passes are made available
– Dependent on how many restaurants and stores accept the discount from this instituition
( note, I am rating the deals, not the place themselves) :
greatsoso meh


Bronx County Historical Society
greatThe Bronx County Historical Society was founded in 1955 to preserve the heritage of this thriving community. The Society administers the colonial era Valentine-Varian House, The Bronx County Archives, and Poe Cottage, the final home of America’s great 19th century poet and author, Edgar Allan Poe.Educational programs allow people of all ages to explore firsthand the history of the borough by becoming active participants in the discovery and preservation of the past and present.

Best deals:

  • Free admission to the Museum of Bronx History at the Valentine Varian Historic House and Edgar Allan Poe Cottage at Poe Park for one year for a family of four


Bronx Museum of the Arts
mehThe Bronx Museum of the Arts is an internationally recognized cultural destination that presents innovative contemporary art exhibitions and education programs and is committed to promoting cross-cultural dialogues for diverse audiences. Since its founding in 1971, the Museum has played a vital role in the Bronx. The Bronx Museum Permanent Collection is composed of over 1,000 artworks encompassing all media. including major pieces by artists of historical significance, including Vito Acconci, Alvin Baltrop, Elizabeth Catlett, Juan Downey, Öyvind Fahlström, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, and Martin Wong.

Best deal:

  • 20% discount at the Museum Shop


New York Botanical Garden
greatThe New York Botanical Garden is an iconic living museum and, since its founding in 1891, has served as an oasis in this busy metropolis. As a National Historic Landmark, this 250-acre site’s verdant landscape supports over one million living plants in extensive collections. Each year 900,000 visitors enjoy the Garden not only for its remarkable diversity of tropical, temperate, and desert flora, but also for programming that ranges from renowned exhibitions in the Haupt Conservatory to festivals on Daffodil Hill.

Best deal:

  • Family year-round admission (2 adults & up to 2 Children under age 12)


Wave Hill
sosoWave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.

Best deals:

  • Unlimited free admission for one adult
  • Free admission to the summer Sunset Wednesdays concert series


Wildlife Conservation Society / Bronx Zoo
sosoThe Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. As the world’s largest urban zoo, the Bronx Zoo features more than 600 species from around the globe. The Bronx Zoo’s world-class exhibits such as Congo Gorilla Forest, the Wild Asia Monorail, Tiger Mountain, and our newest exhibit, Madagascar!, get you eye-to-eye with massive crocodiles, majestic tigers, and inquisitive gorillas.

Best deals:

  • Free general admission for one adult to the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo
  • 10% discount at select gift shops and restaurants at the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium and Central Park Zoo
  • Discounts on Education programs and courses

*Registration at Bronx Zoo required



Wildlife Conservation Society
sosoThe Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. As the world’s largest urban zoo, the Bronx Zoo features more than 600 species from around the globe. The Bronx Zoo’s world-class exhibits such as Congo Gorilla Forest, the Wild Asia Monorail, Tiger Mountain, and our newest exhibit, Madagascar!, get you eye-to-eye with massive crocodiles, majestic tigers, and inquisitive gorillas.

Best deals:

  • Free general admission for one adult to the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo
  • 10% discount at select gift shops and restaurants at the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium and Central Park Zoo
  • Discounts on Education programs and courses


Brooklyn Academy of Music
sosoBAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) is a multi-arts center located in Brooklyn, New York. For more than 150 years, BAM has been the home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas – engaging both global and local communities. With world-renowned programming in theater, dance, music, opera, film, and much more, BAM showcases the work of emerging artists and innovative modern masters.

Best deals:

Friends of BAM – Friend level

  • Advance access to purchase live performance tickets
  • 10% off at BAMcafé and over 20 local restaurants


BAM Cinema Club – Movie Buff I level

  • $5 off admission for cardholder all year
  • 2 guest passes for member-price tickets (one time use)
  • 10% off at BAMcafé and over 20 local restaurants



Brooklyn Botanic Garden
greatFounded in 1910, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is an urban botanic garden that connects people to the world of plants, fostering delight and curiosity while inspiring an appreciation and sense of stewardship of the environment. Situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn, the Garden is home to over 14,000 kinds of plants and hosts more than 800,000 visitors annually.

BBG Individual Level Membership:

  • Membership card for unlimited free admission for 1 (good for 1 year); children under age 12 are always free
  • 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 Cafe



Brooklyn Children’s Museum
sosoA pioneer in education, Brooklyn Children’s Museum was the first museum created expressly for children when it was founded in 1899. With award-winning, hands-on exhibits and innovative use of its collections, the Museum engages children from pre-school to high school in learning adventures. It is the only children’s museum in New York City, and one of few in the country, to be accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Best deals:

  • Free general admission to the Museum for 1 adult & 1 child (listed on the card)
  • Member express entry on weekends and school holidays
  • $5 admission fee for an additional guest per visit


Brooklyn Museum
mehThe Brooklyn Museum is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Its roots extend back to 1823 and the founding of the Brooklyn Apprentices’ Library to educate young tradesmen. At the Brooklyn Museum you can explore an extensive and comprehensive permanent collection that includes ancient Egyptian masterpieces, African art, European painting, decorative arts, period rooms, and contemporary art.

Brooklyn Museum Individual Membership Package:

  • Personalized Membership card
  • Unlimited free admission to the Museum
  • Invitations to exhibition openings and Members-only viewing hours
  • Four complimentary parking passes (not valid on Target First Saturdays)



American Museum of Natural History
greatThe American Museum of Natural History is one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1869, the Museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret, and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education, and exhibition. The Museum is renowned for its exhibitions and scientific collections, which serve as a field guide to the entire planet and present a panorama of the world’s cultures.

Best deals:

  • Free unlimited general admission to the Museum (plus up to four additional visitors under the age of 18 when accompanied by NY Membership holder)
  • Free admission to the LeFrak Theater
    Individuals (and individuals accompanied by up to four children under the age of 18) will receive complimentary tickets for Giant Screen Films shown in the LeFrak Theater, which shows 3D films.
  • Individuals will receive a 10% discount on Museum Shop purchases.
  • Discounts in the cafes and food court
    Individuals will receive a 15% discount on Museum restaurant purchases.


Carnegie Hall
sosoCarnegie Hall presents more than 180 concerts each year—from orchestral performances, chamber music, recitals, and choral music to folk, world, musical theater, and jazz. The venue is also home to over 500 independently produced events each year. Through the work of The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, wide-reaching music education programs serve people in the New York City metropolitan region, across the United States, and around the world, playing a central role in Carnegie Hall’s commitment to making great music accessible to as many people as possible. Continually building on its long-standing tradition of excellence and innovation, Carnegie Hall remains one of the world’s premier concert venues.

Best deals:

  • Four complimentary rehearsal passes
  • Half-price ticket offers on select Carnegie Hall presentations
  • Discounts at nearby restaurants, parking, shops, hotels, and more with your Membership Card

El Museo del Barrio
sosoEl Museo del Barrio, New York’s leading Latino cultural institution, welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures. Their richness is represented in El Museo’s wide-ranging collections and exhibitions, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations, and educational programs.

Best deals:

  • FREE gallery Admission for you and a guest
  • 10% discount at La Tienda (museum shop)
  • 10% discount in El Cafe


Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc.
sosoLincoln Center was envisioned as a major performing arts center that would develop and present the finest and brightest in all types of performing arts to a diverse audience drawn from all walks of life. Lincoln Center serves three primary roles: world’s leading presenter of superb artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus.

Best deals:

  • Invitation for two to one Mostly Mozart Festival members-only rehearsal
  • 50% discount on Lincoln Center tours (2 admissions)
  • Subscriptions to the monthly Calendar of Events


Metropolitan Museum of Art
greatThe Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and finest art museums. Its collections include more than two million works of art spanning 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens – businessmen and financiers as well as leading arists and thinkers of the day – who wanted to create a museum to bring art and art education to the American people.

Best deals:

  • All IDNYC holders age 18 or older are eligible for this free one-year Membership at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Free admission for one to the Main Building and The Cloisters museum and gardens;
  • Entry will be extended to children under 18 with accompanied cardholder.


Museum of Jewish Heritage
greatCreated as a living memorial to those who perished during the Holocaust, the Museum honors those who died by celebrating their lives—cherishing the traditions that they embraced, examining their achievements and faith, and affirming the vibrant worldwide Jewish community that is their legacy today. New generations are taught how to recognize and fight contemporary instances of injustice and oppression.

Best deals:

  • Free general admission to the Museum and special exhibitions
  • Free admission for two to select Museum public programs
  • 2 guest passes


Museum of the City of New York
mehThe Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City. It serves the people of New York and visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections.

Best deals:

  • Individual Membership for anyone with a New York City Municipal ID
  • 20% discount in the Museum Shop and 10% discount in Chalsty’s Cafe


New York City Ballet
sosoNew York City Ballet is one of the foremost dance companies in the world, with a roster of spectacular dancers and an unparalleled repertory. The Company was founded in 1948 by George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, and it quickly became world-renowned for its athletic and contemporary style. Jerome Robbins joined NYCB the following year and, with Balanchine, helped to build the astounding repertory and firmly establish the Company in New York.

Best deals:

  • Admission for two to a total of four working rehearsals


New York City Center
sosoNew York City Center, now in its 70th year, has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. It was Manhattan’s first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1943 with a mission to make the best in music, theater and dance accessible to all audiences. Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including City Center’s Principal Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as well as Manhattan Theatre Club; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs.

Best deals:

  • A benefits card entitling the Member to special offers at more than 100 neighborhood sites, including local restaurants and parking
  • 4 Passes to Dance/Other Rehearsals. Rehearsals have limited capacity and will be offered on a first-come, first served basis.


The Studio Museum in Harlem
mehThe Studio Museum in Harlem is the nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally and internationally and for work that has been inspired and influenced by black culture. It is a site for the dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society.

Best deals:

  • Unlimited general admission to the Studio Museum for one
  • Special Members-only visitation hours
  • Free or discounted tickets to education and public programs


The Public Theater
mehThe Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day.

Public Theater Membership Package:

  • Discounted tickets: Members get one ticket at the special member price to each production during your year of membership. You’ll also get an additional ticket to each production for 15% off the full price.
  • No service charges: We’ll waive handling fees and facility fees on all your orders**
  • Save on food and drink: 20% discount on all food and drink in Joe’s Pub, The Library at The Public, and at the Lobby Bar



Flushing Town Hall
sosoFlushing Council on Culture and the Arts, located at historic Flushing Town Hall, was founded in 1979 to be a revitalizing force for its community, a catalyst for developing and promoting the visual and performing arts in Queens, and a bridge to promote intercultural understanding through the arts in the most culturally diverse county in the United States.

Flushing Town Hall Membership Benefits:

  • Discounted Member prices for two on all FCCA ticketed performances and events
  • Free admission to FCCA exhibitions, monthly Jazz Jams and interactive arts workshops
  • 1 FCCA Treat-a-Friend pass (redeemable for one drink or ticket)


Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
sosoJamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) is a non-profit organization that offers visual, performing and literary arts, arts education and artists’ programs to encourage participation in the arts and to contribute to the cultural enrichment of Queens and the Greater Metropolitan area. The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning is a multidisciplinary urban arts center located in the diverse community of Southeast Queens.

Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning Benefits Package:

  • 30% discount on ticketing event


sosoMoMA PS1 is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States. An exhibition space rather than a collecting institution, MoMA PS1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world. A catalyst and an advocate for new ideas, discourses, and trends in contemporary art, MoMA PS1 actively pursues emerging artists, new genres, and adventurous new work by recognized artists in an effort to support innovation in contemporary art.

MOMA P.S. 1 Membership Benefits:

  • Unlimited free admission to MoMA PS1*
  • 10% discount at the M. Wells Dinette

*not including special ticketed events


Museum of the Moving Image
mehMuseum of the Moving Image advances the understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media by presenting exhibitions, education programs, significant moving-image works, and interpretive programs, and collecting and preserving moving-image related artifacts. The Museum maintains the nation’s largest and most comprehensive collection of artifacts relating to the art, history, and technology of the moving image—one of the most important collections of its kind in the world.

Museum of the Moving Image Individual Membership Benefits:

  • Unlimited complimentary admission to the Museum’s galleries, excluding specially ticked exhibitions, for one person
  • Discounts and deals at neighborhood restaurants/businesses


New York Hall of Science
greatNew York Hall of Science presents 450 exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and participatory activities that explain science, technology, engineering, and math. NYSCI was founded at the 1964–65 World’s Fair and has evolved into New York’s center for interactive science, serving a half million students, teachers, and families each year.

Best deals:

  • Admits 2 adults and 4 children for 1 year
  • Free general admission
  • Includes reciprocal admission at 300 other science centers worldwide
  • 50% discount for parking
  • Discounts: 3D Theater Presentations, Rocket Park Mini Golf, Science Shop, birthday parties, camps and clubs, plus much more.


Queens Botanical Garden
sosoQueens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs and demonstrations of environmental stewardship.

Queens Botanical Garden Basic Membership Benefits:

  • A membership card for 1 adult
  • Free admission to the Garden
  • Invitation to seasonal events such as Harvest Fest, Arbor Fest, & Winter Solstice
  • Member Express Entry on event days
  • Two free admission passes for friends or family


Queens Museum
greatThe Queens Museum is dedicated to presenting the highest quality visual arts and educational programming for people in the New York metropolitan area, and particularly for the residents of Queens, a uniquely diverse, ethnic, cultural, and international community.

Best deals:

  • Free admission for 2 adults and up to 4 children


Queens Theatre in the Park
sosoQueens Theatre (QT) is the premier performing arts venue in Queens. QT’s mission is to provide quality and diverse performing arts activities that are economically and geographically accessible to the 2.2 million residents of Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the nation, and the surrounding metropolitan region. To foster greater cultural awareness and appreciation, the Theatre presents and produces programs that reflect this diversity and features international, national and local artists.

Best deal:

  • Exclusive member pricing on all Queens Theatre shows (limit 2 tickets per production)

Staten Island


Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
mehSnug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is the result of more than three decades of restoration and development to convert the first home for retired sailors in the United States to a regional arts center. It is a place where history, architecture, visual arts, theater, dance, music and environmental science come together to provide a dynamic experience for all ages. One of the largest, ongoing adaptive reuse projects in America Snug Harbor consists of 26 historic buildings, nine distinctive botanical gardens, a two-acre urban farm, and 10 acres of wetlands on a unique 83-acre, park-like campus.

Best deals:

  • Complimentary admission for one to Snug Harbor galleries (Newhouse Gallery and Main Hall/Building C Gallery)
  • Complimentary admission for one to New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden
  • Two complimentary guest passes when accompanied by the member


Staten Island Children’s Museum
sosoThe Staten Island Children’s Museum, located on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens in lovely downtown Staten Island, offers an almost 40,000 square foot facility, with nine exhibits, several classrooms, plus a four acre Meadow. The mission of the Staten Island Children’s Museum is to nurture the creativity and curiosity natural to all children, to recognize and celebrate different learning styles, and to demonstrate vividly that learning can be exciting and fun.

Staten Island Children’s Museum Membership Package:

  • Free admission for 1 person per visit to Staten Island Children’s Museum.
  • 10% discount in the Museum gift shop
  • Member discounts on parties and summer mini-camp registrations
  • Invitations to Member-Only Museum events

NOTE: All children must be accompanied by an adult. Unaccompanied adults are not admitted to the Museum. Photo ID required for all members upon Museum entry.


Staten Island Historical Society and Historic Richmond Town
sosoHistoric Richmond Town is a completely authentic, real and original town and farm museum complex featuring unique treasures dating all the way back to the mid-1600s. The museum’s focus is to create opportunities for the public to explore the diversity of the American experience from the colonial period to the present.

Staten Island Historical Society Membership Benefits:

  • Free Regular Admission to Historic Richmond Town.
  • Complimentary Ticket to Decker Farm Pumpkin Picking, Old Home Day, and Independence Day Celebration.


Staten Island Museum
mehFounded in 1881, the Staten Island Museum, New York City’s only general interest museum, engages visitors with interdisciplinary exhibitions and educational programs that explore the dynamic connections between natural science, art and history based on its diverse collections. The Museum is dedicated to making its current and future collections broadly accessible for educators, students, researchers and the general public by providing authentic experiences in the field and at the Museum.

Staten Island Museum Membership Benefits

  • Free Museum admission, year-round!


Staten Island Zoo
mehThe Staten Island Zoological Society was the first zoo in the country to specifically dedicate itself to fulfilling an educational mission. Through effective wildlife exhibitions, promotion of species conservation, educational programs and community outreach the Society has become a powerful instrument for influencing and informing the public about the beauty, value and vulnerability of nature.

Staten Island Zoo Membership Benefits:

  • Free admission for one (1) person to the Staten Island Zoo for period of one year from the date the Municipal ID Card is issued.
  • Invitations to “Members Only” programs.

NOTE: All children must be accompanied by an adult.






Author: Taty (Mom)

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