10+ Things to Experience with Your
DIA Beacon Admission Ticket
Wondered about what a visit to DIA Beacon would be like? I’m sure you’ve also wondered, “What does a DIA Beacon Admission Ticket include?”
A Day at DIA: Beacon is a day to remember. Exposure to all this creativity under one roof is infectious. ‘Awe-inspiring’ is just one word to describe a visit here.
As a little girl, I loved all things having to do with art. I took photos, I sang and was a dancer (Ballet was my thing) – all at a very young age. I was also an avid ‘Paint-by-Number’ kinda girl.
I could not draw a straight line to save my life and stick figures seemed my specialty. But, other than that, I did other ‘artsy things’ fairly well.
Going to this Beacon NY Museum for the first time excited me. It is a different kind of art experience:
- Artwork hung ON walls
- Artwork hung FROM the ceiling
- Artwork piled ON the floor
These are just a few of the ways that some of the exhibits are displayed. The types of exhibitions you will see when you buy a DIA Beacon admission ticket are amazing and this world-renowned location belonging to the DIA Art Foundation does not disappoint.
Oh, and don’t miss the artwork that are actually holes IN the floor. It’s fascinating to see this particular piece of art in person. Photos do not do it justice…
So, in case you’re still wondering what you will see with a DIA Beacon Admission ticket, these are some of the 10+ things can only be experienced with a visit.
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Essentials you need for any Hudson Valley Outing:
Personalized Hudson Valley Directory
Personalized Hudson Valley T-shirts
101+ Things to do in the HV for $10 or less
Click below to see items I always have during my Hudson Valley Outings:
- Backpack or Cross Body Purse – These are my First Choice when choosing a bag for my Hudson Valley outings.
- Small, Lightweight Tripod: This is my GO-TO Tripod for every single outing I go on. It’s great for taking photos of yourself that are not selfies. This one comes with a Bluetooth remote that makes that process easier.
- Comfy Walking Sneakers/Shoes: These are my ALL-TIME Favorite sneakers for walking around.
- Portable Power Bank: Because you don’t want to have a dead phone battery when visiting here.
Things to know before your visit to DIA Beacon:
- DIA:Beacon is a large multi-level space. Be prepared to do a lot of walking.
- All exhibits are included in the DIA Beacon Admission Ticket Price. Nothing is off-limits.
- Make sure that you visit the museum periodically, as some exhibits & installations are there for a short period of time.
- They also have several long-term exhibitions within the facility.
- Parking is always FREE on the museum property.
Changes to the Visiting Experience During Pandemic:
- Admission is by advance reservation ONLY
- Hours are now: Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday: 10am – 5pm
- Tours are currently SUSPENDED
Where is DIA: Beacon located in the Hudson Valley?
It’s located in Beacon, NY in Dutchess County.
Beacon NY is an eclectic little city that can be accessed by several major roadways and highways and by the Metro North Train Station that sits next to the Hudson River.
Beacon, Beacon, Beacon… This little city by the river has built quite a reputation for itself.
A few years ago, Beacon was a small town beginning to make a big statement in the Hudson Valley. This now trendy location is home to art galleries, boutique shops, and eateries owned by chefs showcasing unparalleled cuisines from locally-sourced products.
3 Beekman Street
What is DIA Beacon Museum?
Wall Art, Sculptures and ‘People Bird Calls’, Oh My!
Yes, I said “People Bird Calls”
A DIA Beacon Admission Ticket gives you access to a multi-leveled structure that houses permanent pieces of art, as well as, some temporary/traveling exhibits. Each level provides its own layout and level interest. It is an interesting and impressive way to display some of the most captivating artwork around.
- The top level is the smallest and only houses a few pieces of artwork.
- The main level appears to be the largest space with rooms of various sizes. It offers surprises at every turn.
- The lower level is more open than divided and also houses unique installations sure to intrigue and surprise.
- And there are also things to see outside: both at the entrance of the museum and also an area that is only accessed through the museum.
A Little History about the DIA: Beacon Museum:
“DIA: Beacon occupies a former Nabisco box-printing facility that was renovated (by several artists and architects). The museum, which opened in 2003, is one of the largest exhibition spaces in the country for modern and contemporary art.”Wikipedia
Is DIA Beacon the only location owned by the DIA Art Foundation?
The DIA Art Foundation owns several wonderful spaces in the area.
- DIA Chelsea on West 22nd Street
- DIA Bridgehampton on Long Island
According to their website, DIA locations and sites in New York City are free to the public.
Visiting the DIA Beacon Museum:
Is DIA Beacon a Good Place to Take a Day Trip?
Beacon, NY is a wonderful day trip from anywhere in the Hudson Valley, even from NYC. Having the DIA Museum in Beacon as the focal point to your trip makes this an ideal starting point for your day’s itinerary.
Make sure to arrive early, so you can see this Beacon Art Museum and also have time to enjoy the other activities in this wonderful city.
While others may prefer to explore the art museums if New York City, Beacon NY and DIA Beacon offer a different experience for those who choose to visit this unique location nestled in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region of New York State.
How to get to DIA Beacon:
As mentioned above, Beacon is easily accessed by train. It is also easily accessible by car, as it is right off of Interstate-84 and very close to the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.
Located near the Beacon Train Station, this Beacon museum is a great place to visit for those that do not have a car. The Hudson Line trains run along this route from Grand Central Station, with the last stop being Poughkeepsie.
FYI: For your convenience, the Hudson Line Trains run hourly during Museum Hours.
The Metro-North has a special ‘One-Day Getaway Package’. By purchasing this package from the station that your trip originates from, you get a Discounted Round-Trip Train Ticket AND Reduced Admission to the Museum.
When is the Best Time to Visit :
Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday: 10am – 4pm
This Beacon Museum is a popular destination for any Art-Lover and can get quite crowded on the weekends (Saturday & Sunday) compared to the other days that the Museum is open. In addition, weekend DIA Beacon Admission Tickets sell out quicker than the other days that they are open.
If you can, a visit on Friday or Monday may be your best bet if you prefer an emptier atmosphere.
Even on the ‘FREE Day for Hudson Valley Residents‘ (when I last visited), the Museum did not feel super crowded. The large space and sense of openness adds to the magic of this place.
Is the DIA Beacon Museum Free?
Although they offer a Free Day for Hudson Valley Residents (with proof of residency), these free DIA Beacon Admission tickets are only available ahead of time and do sell out quickly. Because of reduced capacity at the museum, a DIA Beacon Admission Ticket is required for all individuals planning a visit.
These are the admission fees: (at time of this posting)
- $15 – General Admission
- $12 – Students & Seniors
- Free – DIA members and Children under 12 yrs
Are Tours Available of the Museum?
Are Visits allowed without a Tour?
Tours were provided and included with the DIA Beacon Admission ticket, but have been suspended since 2020.
You do not need to take a tour in order to enjoy the Museum. The exploration of this space is self-guided and, for your convenience, the artists’ information is available online via QR codes found throughout the facility.
What Makes DIA Beacon so Special?
DIA: Beacon is a celebration for the senses:
- The Sense of Sight
- The Sense of Sound
Yes, I said, “sound”. Sounds can be heard throughout a visit to DIA: Beacon.
- Discussions by the patrons of the Museum
- Commentary from the tours taking place
- Children’s laughter
- Sounds of artist Louise Lawler’s recorded voice in her exhibit, in the West Garden, called “Birdcalls”
The images and exhibitions can be overwhelming to some, empowering to others and, even, fearful to some.
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What is included with your DIA Museum Admission Ticket Purchase:
Every exhibit is included with your DIA Beacon Admission Ticket Purchase. Nothing is off limits.
Some of the artwork commands attention from the visitors and make an impact while other pieces and exhibitions are more subtle. As effortless as some of the pieces seem, they also inspire and are magical in their own right.
It is quite surprising that what looks like a plain faced art gallery in the front houses so much
Bruce Nauman Exhibit
In addition to above pictured exhibit by Bruce Nauman, there are numerous long-term exhibits at DIA Beacon. Nauman’s work is subtle yet impactful and his use of neon bring life to everyday objects. “Mapping the Studio I” is a room with six projectors that each display images of the artist’s workspace, where he was able to capture mice, cats and other critters running around his space.
See for yourself in the photo below. It has an eerie feel to it.
Robert Ryman Exhibit
Robert Ryman is one of the examples of subtle artwork. Originally trained as a jazz saxophonist, Ryman turned to painting after he began working as a guard at the Museum of Modern Art in 1953.
His incredible story shows that we don’t always know the path that life will take us.
Richard Serra Exhibit
One of my favorite exhibits is Richard Serra’s “Torqued Ellipses”. These are large scale steel structures, some of which have openings and allow the viewer to step into the art.
These steel plates are part of Serra’s investigation into the embodied experience of perception.
Louise Bourgeois Exhibit
Another favorite installation is by Louise Bourgeois called “Crouching Spider”. As you see in the photos, the spider is very large and intimidating, especially for a person that does not like spiders, like me.
Dan Flavin Exhibit
With amazing installations of light, Dan Flavin showcases his work in five shapes (one circular and four straight fixtures of different lengths). What one may see as just lights, others see a life work to perfect this medium.
John Chamberlain Exhibit
When you think of recycled material and crushed cars, one does not think of brightly colored structures in a wonderful, airy large space. This abstract artwork is a combination os pop art and pure ingenuity.
Lee Ufan Exhibit
In “Relatum”, (formally known as Iron Field), Ufan combines both steel and sand to create a sense of being in a field of waist high ‘steel’ grass.
Michael Heizner Exhibit
The most impressive exhibit that you can enjoy with a DIA Beacon Admission Ticket is Michael Heizner’s “North, Eats, South West”.
What can be enjoyed without a DIA Museum Admission Ticket:
You can visit the Outdoor Spaces in the front of the Museum, the Bookstore, and Cafe without buying a DIA Beacon Admission Ticket.
Homespun Cafe at DIA Beacon Hudson Valley
The Museum has a Cafe on site that offers soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Seating is available both inside and outside.
The Cafe operates during days and hours the Museum is open.
The Museum Bookshop at DIA Beacon
The Bookshop offers an assortment of Art Books for young art lovers, as well as, older art lovers. It offers a wide variety of books about art, artists and the Hudson Valley. They also have a section for children’s books.
The Grounds outside DIA Beacon Museum
The grounds outside of the museum are not massive but interesting, nonetheless.
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Is the DIA Beacon Museum Child-friendly?
DIA Beacon is an extraordinary place to expose children of all ages to art. And if your child is under the age of 12 years, the best part is that your child will receive a free DIA Beacon Admission Ticket.
Although the child admission to DIA Beacon is free, the child still needs a reservation.
One must be mindful, though, that this is NOT a ‘touch’ museum and you really need to know your child and how they will react to the stimulus and urge to touch some of the art.
DIA Beacon vs Storm King Art Center
DIA:Beacon and Storm King Art Center (in New Windsor, NY) are two exceptional examples of the power of art and how impressive it can be.
Both places are magical and both showcase the brilliance of artwork at its finest. They showcase art in a profound and very different manner.
Storm King Art Center is set along hundreds of acres in the Heart of the Hudson Valley while DIA Beacon showcases the art in a warehouse-style format, similar to Magazzino Italian Art (in Putnam County) but on a much larger scale.
Is this Beacon Museum worth the trip?
If you’re an art lover then I would recommend a visit a visit to this wonderful Beacon art museum. For the price of a DIA Beacon Admission Ticket, you get an afternoon’s worth of interesting, sometimes profound and, also, sometimes thought-provoking art.
If ‘people-watching’ is more your thing, then the DIA Beacon Museum has this and more in a comfortable atmosphere.
If you’re concerned about the $15 admission price and the possibility that you may not enjoy the experience, I would recommend visiting on the Free Days for Hudson Valley Residents. Follow them on social media to find out exactly when they take place.
More Things To Do Near DIA: Beacon:
- THE ONLY LIST OF FREE THINGS TO DO IN DUTCHESS COUNTY THAT YOU’LL EVER NEED
- MAGAZZINO ITALIAN ART IN COLD SPRING, NY
- MAKE YOUR OWN ORNAMENT AT HUDSON BEACH GLASS
Tips for a Successful Visit to DIA Beacon:
- Wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot to see at this Beacon Museum, both inside and outside. These are my favorite ‘walking around’ shoes.
- Have your phone charged before arriving. The information on self-guided tour can be scanned and viewed with your phone.
- This Beacon Museum is very popular, so the best time to visit would not be during their free days.
Contact Info & DIA Beacon Address:
3 Beekman Street
Beacon, NY 12508
Until the Next Adventure…
Jackie is one of the top bloggers in the Hudson Valley. She has been featured (along with some of her photos) in several local and national publications. Read Jackie’s crazy story, “From a Naive NYC Girl to Popular Hudson Valley Blogger & Author“. Feel free to send Jackie a message here.