In 2022, dozens of Minnesota museums will again participate in the summer Blue Star Museums program. This national program provides free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families each summer, since 2010. The 2022 program begins on Saturday, May 21, 2022 (Armed Forces Day) and ends on September 5, 2022 (Labor Day).
Find a list of participating museums on the National Endowment for the Arts Website. There are currently over 30 Minnesota museums (12 of which are in the Twin Cities Metro) participating in 2022. Note that between my first update at the beginning of May and a later update towards the end of May, some museums had been added and others subtracted from the Blue Star website. In addition, not every museum that claims to be participating on their own website is listed on the Blue Star website. We recommend calling ahead to avoid disappointment and it never hurts to ask if a museum is participating.
Who Can Participate in the Blue Star Museums Program?
This free admission program is available for anyone currently serving in the United States Military and up to five family members. This includes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. But it also includes members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps. To take advantage of this offer, military personnel will need to show a form of military ID (Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID) or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card).
Twin Cities Metro Blue Star Museums 2022
Note that the American Swedish Institute and the Minnesota Historical Society sites are not listed on the Blue Star map but their websites notes the Blue Star Families discount.
- American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis
- Bakken Museum, Minneapolis
- Hennepin History Museum, Minneapolis
- Historic Fort Snelling, St. Paul
- James J. Hill House, St. Paul
- Landmark Center, St. Paul (these museums are always free)
- Minnesota Children’s Museum, St. Paul
- Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
- Oliver Kelley Farm, Elk River
- Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul
- Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis (always free)
- Works Museum, Bloomington
Northern Minnesota Blue Star Museums 2022
Southern Minnesota Blue Star Museums 2022
- Blue Earth Co Historical Society, Mankato
- Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, Mankato (per website)
- E St. Julien Cox House, Saint Peter
- End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum, Currie
- Historic Forestville, Preston
- Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona
- Nicollet County Historical Society, St. Peter
- Rapidan Heritage Society, Mankato
- Wheels Across the Prairie Museum, Tracy
- Winona County Historical Society, Winona
Things are still a bit up in the air this year. More museums may announce their participation. If you qualify for the Blue Star program and want to visit any of these museums (or any other), we recommend doing a quick check of your own at the Blue Star website.
- Anoka County Historical Society, Anoka
- Bell Museum, St. Paul
- Hopkins Historical Society, Hopkins
- Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
- Scott County Historical Society, Shakopee
- Dorothy Molter Museum, Ely
- Glensheen Mansion, Duluth
- Heritage Village, East Grand Forks
- Kandiyohi County Historical Society, Willmar
- Lake Superior Zoo, Duluth
- Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis (not a listed participant in 2022, but they offer a military discount)
- Otter Tail County Historical Society, Fergus Falls
- Rice County Historical Society, Faribault
- Runestone Museum Foundation, Alexandria
- E. St. Julien Cox House, St. Peter
- Freeborn County Historical Society, Albert Lea
- National Eagle Center, Wabasha
- Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (not a listed participant in 2022, but they offer a military discount).
- Waseca County Historical Society, Waseca
- Wings of the North Air Museum, Eden Prairie (currently closed)