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You Now Have all of 2016 to Claim Your Free Museum and Zoo Memberships

By Nicole Levy | December 14, 2015 12:12pm
 The city is extending its free municipal ID program into 2016.
The city is extending its free municipal ID program into 2016.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

The city is giving you an early Christmas gift.

It's extending free enrollment for its municipal ID program, which means you don't have to rush to apply for your free-of-charge IDNYC at one of 29 centers by the end of 2015.

The program will now offer free one-year memberships at seven additional cultural institutions around the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement released Monday morning. The government-issued ID card available to New Yorkers age 14 and up had previously afforded free one-year memberships to 33 institutions, including the New York Botanical Garden and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

You can now add the Metropolitan Opera, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art to that list. Card carriers will also qualify for discounted tickets and memberships for Citi Bike, the New York City Football Club, the New York Theatre Ballet and Ballet School, Animal Care Centers of New York, the Alliance of Resident Theatres, and Roundabout Theatre Company. Cardholders have to activate their memberships at each participating institution. (If you want to, you can make an adventure out of it, like this group of New Yorkers.)

 You can now get a free one-year membership at the Guggenheim Museum with your IDNYC.
You can now get a free one-year membership at the Guggenheim Museum with your IDNYC.
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Wikipedia Commons

If you signed up for an IDNYC in 2015 and already claimed some of your free memberships at museums and zoos, you'll need to inquire at each of those institutions about extended benefits in 2016, beyond one year from the date you activated your membership.

An IDNYC gives anyone who can prove residency in New York City identification for interactions with the NYPD and access to city buildings and services.

But there are some limits to how the municipal cards can be used. For instance, they can't be used to get into bars.

More than 670,000 New Yorkers — including de Blasio and Mark-Viverito — have already claimed their cards.