Military families, get in free to 6 PHX museums

Posted at 4:35 PM, May 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-29 20:32:47-04

During the summer, thousands of museums across the country offer free admission to active military members and their families.

They're referred to as Blue Star museums, which is a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums, according to the official website. The initiative was started in 2010.

The program offers free admission between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Special exhibitions and other museum programs may not be included in free admittance. Check with the museum to be sure.

In Arizona, there are 27 museums currently a part of the program, eight of which are in the Valley.

Scroll below to see the eight museums and to learn about eligibility.


Arizona Science Center

The Arizona Science Center is a staple in downtown Phoenix. Nearly half a million people visit the center each year and explore its 98,000 square feet of exhibits, demonstrations and interactive displays. This summer the featured exhibit is "The World of Giant Insects,' which has six larger-than-life robotic insects. You also have to check out the IMAX theatre. 

Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington Street, Phoenix AZ 85004
Open daily, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission: $13 - $18 (not including IMAX or special exhibit pricing)

Heard Museum

The Heard Museum was founded in 1929 by Dwight and Maie Heard. It hosts galleries, exhibits and festivals "dedicated to the sensitive and accurate portrayal of Native arts and cultures."

Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85004
Open Monday - Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission: $7.50 - $18

Mesa Historical Museum
Note: The museum will be closed from June 1 to July 6 to install new exhibits.

The Mesa Historical Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Mesa. It is not to be confused with the Arizona Museum of Natural History, which focuses on natural history and paleontology. The museum opened its doors in 1987, although its history dates back to the 1940s.

Mesa Historical Museum, 51 E. Main Street, Mesa AZ 85201
Open Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission: $3 - $5

Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum is another downtown Phoenix staple. It has hosted more than 400 exhibitions and has over 18,000 pieces of art within its walls. In 2015 it celebrated its 50th anniversary. It features art pieces from across the world.

Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix 85004
Open Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Thursday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed on Monday and Tuesday
Admission: $10 - $15

Pueblo Grand Museum

The Pueblo Grand Museum & Archeological Park is the most recent Phoenix museum to join the Blue Star program. The museum is located on a 1,500-year-old archeological site left behind by the Hohokam culture. It's operated by the City of Phoenix. Guests can view three galleries and walk along a 2/3 mile trial through a prehistoric Hohokam archeological village site.

Pueblo Grand Museum, 4619 E. Washington Street, Phoenix AZ 85032
Open Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4:4 5 p.m. Trail closes at 4:30 p.m.
Admission: $3 - $6

Rosson House - Heritage Square Foundation

The Rosson House is located within Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix and right next to the Arizona Science Center. It's a beautiful fully-restored 1885 Queen Ann Victorian House. You can tour the inside of the house and get a look at how early families lived in Phoenix. Tours are guided only. Each tour lasts 60 minutes.


Explore Downtown Phoenix! Stop by Heritage Square, take pictures and visit the Rosson House Museum #heritagesquare

A photo posted by Heritage Square Phoenix (@heritagesquarephx) on

Rosson House Museum (Sixth Street and Monroe)
A public parking garage is located at Fifth Street and Monroe. Bring your parking ticket for reduced-parking validation.
Tours given Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Last tour at 3 p.m.
Tours leave every hour on the hour. Groups of 8+ require reservation.
Admission: $4 - $7.50

Superstition Mountain Museum

The Superstition Mountain Museum is cared for by the Superstition Mountain Historic Society, Inc. The museum moved to its own facility in October 2003. It includes a museum gallery dedicated to the history of the Superstition Mountains, as well as the last two surviving buildings from the Apacheland Movie Studio.

Superstition Mountain Museum, 4087 N. Apache Trail, Highway 88, Apache Junction, AZ 85119
Open daily, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission: $4 - $5

ARIZONA RAILWAY MUSEUM (closed for summer)

The Arizona Railway Museum is also a part of the program. However,  the museum closed on May 29, 2016 for the season. It will reopen in September.

Under the Blue Star program, free admission to these museums is offered to any active service member and their families. You must bear a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), a DD Form 1173 ID card or a DD Form 1173-1 ID. Each admittance is for the military ID holder and up to five family members, which can be spouse, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents etc. Click here to read more eligibility requirements.