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Boston library cards as museum pass: Get discounts, free admission, and more

Cards for the system covering surrounding cities such as Cambridge and Newton also work

The exterior of the New England Aquarium. There are many people outside. CL-Medien/Shutterstock

Holders of a Boston-area library card can gain free or discounted admission to dozens of museums, cultural spaces, and other institutions—as well as free parking at state conservation and recreation sites.

Such privileges have been in place for a while, but they should gain new prominence as New York City’s various library systems debut a new so-called Culture Pass this summer that provides free—not discounted, but free—admission to 33 institutions.

Like with the passes through the Boston Public Library and the Minuteman Library System—which includes more than 40 libraries, including those in Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, and Somerville—the one in New York City does come with restrictions.

For instance, only so many passes per day are available to certain places; and booking early—especially during the summer—is a good thing.

Some of the spots that the Minuteman and Boston passes cover include the New England Aquarium, the Boston Children’s Museum, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Museum of Science in Boston, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and the U.S.S. Constitution.