50 Free Museums in Washington & Oregon for Military Families

This summer, military families get free passes into over 50 fantastic Pacific Northwest museums. The Blue Star Museums initiative is a partnership among Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts, and more than 1,000 museums across America. Blue Star Museums offer free admission to active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day, May 30, 2011, through Labor Day, September 5, 2011. Read more at the Blue Star Museums page.

A few of my favorite family museums: High Desert Museum (in Bend, Ore.), Portland Art Museum (Portland, Ore.), University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History (Eugene, Ore.), Kids Discovery Museum (Bainbridge Island, Wash.), KidsQuest Children’s Museum (Bellevue, Wash.), Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum (Leavenworth, Wash.), and the Burke Museum, Museum of Flight, Seattle Art Museum and Museum of History & Industry (Seattle).

Oregon Museums participating in Blue Star Museums

Washington Museums participating in Blue Star Museums

Museum Madness: Free Northwest museum entry on September 25

On September 25, 2010, you and a guest can gain free entry to one of the Pacific Northwest’s fabulous museums, thanks to the Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day.

Go to the site to see the complete list, but for family-friendly options, here are my picks and why you should go:

Portland Area:

Obviously, the Puget Sound offers the most kid-friendly picks, and my money (or lack thereof) would be on enjoying Seattle that weekend.

Read more about Museum Day, including rules and requirements, at the Smithsonian Magazine’s website.

Where do you think you’ll go?