Free Admission to the National Automobile Museum for One Day Only

Auto MuseumThe National Automobile Museum, The Harrah Collection, in downtown Reno will be one of more than 1,000 museums and cultural institutions nationwide opening their doors free of charge to Smithsonian magazine readers and visitors to on “Museum Day,” Sat. Sept., 25, 2010.

To take advantage of free admission to the National Automobile Museum on the corner of Lake and Mill Streets in Reno, attendees must present a Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day Admission Card.

 The Museum Day Admission Card is available in the September issue of Smithsonian magazine and a downloadable version is available on the Museum Day website at

Presented by Smithsonian magazine and Toyota, Museum Day celebrates culture, learning, and knowledge and it reflects the spirit of the magazine.  The event follows the free-admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, DC-based facilities.

Anyone can download the Museum Day Admission Card from the Smithsonian website. Museum Day Admission Cards from the magazine or downloaded from the website provide free admission for two people. Only one free admission card is allowed per family; two people maximum.  Additional family members pay the regular price.

“Museum Day is a great opportunity to introduce visitors to the National Automobile Museum and it’s a terrific time for others to rediscover it,” says Museum Executive Director, Jackie Frady.  “Once visitors see our impressive collection, the displays in our Changing Exhibits Gallery and Masterpiece Exhibits they’re very likely to return. Even more importantly, they’ll probably tell their friends about their experience here and that word-of-mouth promotion for us is priceless.”

Last year, approximately 200,000 people participated in Museum Day nationwide.  More than 1,000 museums in all 50 states are expected to participate in the event.

The National Automobile Museum is the only museum in Reno participating in Smithsonian Museum Day.

Auto Museum 2In addition to enjoying the entire collection and two films in the Museum Theatre, Museum Day participants will be able to see two special exhibits at the National Automobile Museum.

Motoring Tourist: National Parks Adventure

See the incredible role the automobile played in shaping how we play in this Masterpiece Exhibit. Discover the role the 1910s automobile-loving public played in the creation of a National Park-to-Park Highway, a 5,000-mile scenic loop through 11 western states, connecting 12 national parks. Automobiles connected man and nature like never before and national parks allowed them to mingle. National parks embraced the motoring tourist and suppliers of car camping gear clamored to meet the needs of the traveling public.

WW I Gets Motorized

 In the Changing Exhibits Gallery see the impact motorized vehicles have had on warfare. Since the dawn of organized warfare, the principle means of military transport was on the backs of men and animals or wagons drawn by them.  World War I would change that. See the 1917 Locomobile Model 48 staff car ordered for General John J. Pershing’s use.  The General would travel by train to battlefields with his Locomobiles on board the train with him. The General would then drive by Locomobile to the battle.  Also see a 1916 GMC WWI ambulance.  The exhibit includes personal treasures of a young WWI sailor – a poignant reminder of the youth who have fought our battles for freedom.

Costs and Contact: The Museum is open Mon. – Sat. from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sun. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $4 for children 6 to 18 years.  Children age 5 and younger are free.   Family memberships are available for $70 per year, which includes parents, their children and grandchildren under the age of 19. Free parking is available in the Museum’s parking lot, off Mill Street.   For more information, call (775) 333-9300 or visit

-Content courtesty of Carol Infranca

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