Picture credit courtesy of the New-York Historical Society: John James Audubon (1785-1851) Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Study for Havell pl. 6, 1820 Pastel, watercolor, oil, graphite, and black ink on paper, laid on card; 25 1/2 x 38 15/16 in. (64.8 x 98.9 cm) Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.6)

By Catharine P. Taylor

Spring and summer are a great time to explore the Library’s museum pass program – and this year, three new Manhattan museums have been added to the program, featuring events and exhibits for people of all ages. If you’ve never looked into the museum pass program, it offers Library patrons free or greatly reduced admission to 19 area museums. The three new museums are:

Children’s Museum of the Arts, Manhattan:  Located in SoHo, its offerings include Saturday Family Studios -- workshops designed to introduce children and their families to the transformative power of the arts by providing opportunities to make art side-by-side with working artists. A new exhibit running into October focuses on the works of sculptor E.V. Day. The exhibit, Breaking the Glass Ceiling, “is a gravity-defying exhibition that encourages viewers to aim high and break through their own invisible barriers.”

Each pass admits two adults and up to three children from the same household. The Museum is closed for general admission on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This museum is just a few blocks from the New York City Fire Museum. Make a day of it – and  see below on how you can use both these passes on the same day. (Oh – and you can also enjoy 10% off your bill at local eateries Adoro Lie and PJ Charlton with the Library’s pass.)

New-York Historical Society (including its restaurant, Storico, and the DiMenna Children’s History Museum): Located on Central Park West, the NYHS is one of New York’s pre-eminent cultural institutions and includes a museum, a children’s museum, a research library, and a restaurant. The museum contains works from artists including Thomas Cole, Rembrandt Peale, Gilbert Stuart, and John James Audubon. At the new Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture, artifacts of the past are used to inform the future.

In the children’s museum, intended for children ages 8–13, families can explore the life stories of children who lived in the City, from Alexander Hamilton, to James McCune Smith, who became the first African American medical doctor, to the newsboys and newsgirls who once sold newspapers citywide. For younger kids, there is even a “Stroller Tour Through History” on selected days.

Each pass admits two adults and up to four children under 18. The Museum is closed on Mondays. Dine inside this landmark building during your visit and enjoy 10% off with the Library’s pass. Also enjoy admission to members of the Empire State Museums Reciprocal Program.

Paley Center for Media, Manhattan: The mission of the Paley Center for Media is to recognize “the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms … “ Among its collection are almost 150,000 radio and TV programs and ads, covering more than eighty-five years, spanning every genre. Through mid-July, there is a retrospective on the 35-year-old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Museum even has a center exclusively devoted to video gaming and people can play on-site. Each pass admits two adults and two children under the age of 12. The Museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

A Note About the Stone Barns Center

The Library will once again have weekend passes to Stone Barns during the warm weather, running through Sunday, November 24. (The Museum is occasionally closed for special events, so check before you go.) Please note that Stone Barns’ weekend programming is primarily geared toward adult visitors age 14+ and includes tours and pop up talks at key locations around the farm. Families with younger children are welcome to explore the farm as always, but please note that guided and hands-on programming for children is not being offered on weekends.

More About the Museum Pass Program

Museums in the program, by location, are:

New York

Katonah: The Katonah Museum of Art

Manhattan: The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, The Frick Collection The Guggenheim Museum, The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, The New York City Fire Museum, the New-York Historical Society

Pocantico Hills: Stone Barns Center

Purchase: The Neuberger Museum of Art

Yonkers: The Hudson River Museum


Greenwich: The Bruce Museum

Mystic: The Mystic Aquarium

Norwalk:  The Maritime Aquarium

Stamford: Stamford Museum & Nature Center 

How does the program work? Passes are open to be reserved by adult Pelham cardholders. Most passes offer free admission and cover multiple people, but some are discount coupons. Details about individual passes, museum websites and pass reservations are available at this link. There may be an additional fee for some special exhibitions. In addition to what was noted above, many museums also offer museum pass participants discounts in the museum shop and or restaurant. Be sure to ask!

To reserve, enter the numbers from the barcode on your library card and your PIN (usually the last four digits of your phone number). Cards must be free of fines.

The Fine Print

Each pass can be borrowed for three days – one day to pick it up at the Library circulation desk, one day to use it, and one day to return it to the circulation desk. Only one pass may be reserved per household, but patrons who are in the Library picking up a pass may check out a second pass to any museum that is available at that time.

There is a $10 charge per day for passes not returned on time ($50 maximum), and an additional $25 fine for lost passes. There is also a $10 book-drop penalty -- passes must be returned to front desk.)

Be sure to take advantage of this great Pelham Library benefit!

This Museum Pass Program is made available by donations to the Friends of the Town of Pelham Public Library.

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