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Free Admission San Francisco Museums

Exploratorium Exhibits In The East Gallery: Living Systems

San Francisco’s MoMA and deYoung Museums Reopen Sunday

The East Gallery sits in the back of the Exploratorium.

It houses displays on all living things, both big and small, from a large redwood tree to small plants that curl up when you touch them.

Here you will also learn about plant and animal cells. There are several monitors showing live organisms under microscopes.

In addition, they have models where you can look inside a cell. This picture shows what the cell of an animal looks like.

While you are here, make sure you also stop by the Explainer Station. They have some fun games and can tell you more about some of the exhibits in this area. They also have a schedule of activities throughout the day.

San Francisco Fire Department Historical Society

Did you know that the San Francisco Fire Department has long been considered one of the best fire departments in the world?

The work of the men and women of the SFFD has saved the city from destruction multiple times.

Free all year long, shows some of the incredible events and people that forged the city that we have today.

Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery

The Bay Observatory Gallery is on the upper level of the museum toward the back of the building. Here you can learn more about weather patterns. You can also learn about the interaction of natural and human forces in the landscape.

The gallery includes a variety of maps that allow you to research the world in different ways. You can also climb inside their Sky View display to see what the sky in SF currently looks like and how it affects the surrounding cityscape.

The centerpiece of the room is the large monitor that shows current weather patterns and temperatures around the globe.

The fog display and interactive exhibits are also interesting. This is just one of two displays where you can learn more about why SF gets foggy weather throughout the year.

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San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art

Ifyou are an art lover, don’t miss the SanFrancisco Museum of Modern Art, one of the best San Francisco Museums. TheSF MOMA has over 27,000 works of art in its collection, including paintings,sculptures, and media art. They also have new traveling exhibits, so there isalways something new to see each visit.

Address: 151 Third Street , San Francisco CA 94103

Telephone number: 415.357.4000

Hours: Winter hours Friday – Tuesday 11AM – 5:45 PM and Thursday 11 AM – 8:45 PM. Closed most Wednesdays. Summer openat 10 AM. Closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas day.

Tickets: Prices may vary based uponexhibits. $25 adults, $22 seniors 62+, $19 students with ID, children free withadult, active military free. Free first Tuesday each month. Half price Thursdayevening 6 PM – 8:45 PM.

Get discount tickets for San Francisco museums and other popular attractions at

Official San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Free Admission First Thursday Evenings For Bay Area Residents

15 Museums With Free Admission Days In San Francisco


Tickets are free and reserving online is highly encouraged. Tickets go online two weeks in advance. The SFMOMA is one of the largest modern and contemporary art museums in the country with over 45,000 square feet of art-filled public spaces . The public spaces are open daily at 9:30 am with the last admission a half-hour before closing. The free admission on Thursdays is for 4 pm to 8 pm Bay Area residents with proof of residence.Another money-saving tip: Everyone 18 and under gets free admission every day.Whats great for kids: Colorful, interesting modern art exhibitions on every floor.Location: 151 Third Street, San FranciscoWebsite >

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Free Admission To Sf Museums In May

Bank of America is offering free admission for you, plus 1 guest, if you show a B of A ATM, check or credit card, or MNBA card, during the entire month of May.

This includes:

California Academy of Science

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Please note that I am not soliciting for them, but many of you already have these in your wallet, so might as well take advantage of it.

US Army Corps of Engineer’s Bay Model museum in Sausalito is always free. For Mississippi folks, this may be worthwhile to see how fast Katrina recovery has been compared to 1906 Earthquake recovery. It really puts things in perspective.

The huge working model of the Bay is kind of interesting, so are the Sausalito WW2 shipbuilding contributions, etc.

This is a promotion from Bank of America. I would not expect it to be repeated any time soon. There are free days in June, but limited to the first Tuesday or Wednesday of the month. See:

The same info holds true for June. June 5 or 6.

It’s not just SF. B of A is offering this all over CA and a bunch of other states.

Still good for a couple of weeks………..

San Francisco

San Francisco Maritime Park

This museum, located on Hyde Street Pier, right between Ghirardelli Square and Fishermans Wharf, is a fun place to visit for anybody interested in old sailing ships.

Half a dozen old ships are docked at the pier, allowing you to get an up-close view of how the San Francisco waterfront operated in the 1800s.

Admission to the pier is free, but there is a $7 charge to board the ships.

TIP: If youre flying into or out of San Francisco International Airport, dont forget to stop and visit the SFO Museum. It has great historical exhibits that are fun to look at on the way to or from your plane.

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What Is The Dress Code For Their Nightlife Event

There is no strict dress code for the California Academy of Science’s Nightlife event. You will find most people in nice jeans and a dress shirt. You will also find many people in business casual dress including dresses or nice pants.

It is chilly on this side of San Francisco most of the year, so bring along a jacket or a light sweater for the event. You will need it as you enter and leave.

Diego Rivera’s Pan American Unity

San Francisco Museums for All

Rivera painted The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on This Continent, commonly known as Pan American Unity, in 1940. Measuring twenty-two by seventy-four feet and weighing over sixty thousand pounds, the fresco celebrates the artists, artisans, architects, and inventors who use art and technology as tools to shape society.

Rivera painted the fresco not on a wall, but on ten steel-framed cement panels, making it the largest portable mural he ever created. More than half a century after its creation, local and international experts spent years planning its move: In partnership with CCSF, we present Riveras Pan American Unity in the museums free-to-the-public Roberts Family Gallery on Floor 1 through Summer 2023.

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First Thursdays + Free Days At Sfmoma

Thanks to the generosity of our funders, SFMOMA offers regularly scheduled free days and free evenings, and guests 18 and younger always enjoy free admission to the museum. We regularly update this page with upcoming dates and activities, but you can also sign up for our newsletter to be notified when new events, exhibitions, and activities are announced.

First Thursdays at SFMOMA

All residents of the nine Bay Area counties are invited to spend an evening at the museum on us! From 18 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month, Bay Area residents can enjoy SFMOMAs galleries filled with lively and inspiring art and related events for free.

Tickets and event details become available about two weeks in advance, and reserving online is highly encouraged. Limit two adult tickets per reservation. Qualifying counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.

Upcoming Dates

To celebrate Labor Day this year, join us for a special evening of singing and poetry performed in front of Diego Riveras Pan American Unity mural.

First Thursdays SeptemberDecember5:30 p.m.

Every First Thursday from September through December, stop by the Wattis Theater to see a screening of Moving a Masterpiece, which documents the incredible four-year project involved with transporting Diego Riveras largest portable mural, Pan American Unity, from City College of San Francisco to SFMOMA.

Free Family Days at SFMOMA

What Are The Best Ages For The Exploratorium In San Francisco

Is the Exploratorium in San Francisco for toddlers? Will kids that are one, two, three, or four years old enjoy their visit? The answer is yes!

The Exploratorium in San Francisco is a wonderful place for toddlers. There are several hands-on exhibits just for them. In addition, they will love the light and sound exhibits mixed in with the other exhibits.

> > More ideas for those visiting SF with toddlers

Is the Exploratorium in San Francisco for adults? You bet! It’s a playground of fun activities for all levels. If you are an adult that loves to play around and learn, you will really enjoy the experience here. I’ve been here several times on my own and always discover a new and interesting exhibit or activity.

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What’s Near The Exploratorium

What’s nearby the Exploratorium in San Francisco? Located right on the Embarcadero, you will find plenty of fun things to see and do nearby.

Ferry Building: The Ferry Building is just a half mile away. You will find it at Pier 1 along the waterfront. More on visiting the Ferry Building.

Alcatraz Ferries: The Alcatraz ferries are also just a about a half mile away. You will find them on Pier 33. More about visiting Alcatraz.

Pier 39: Only about a mile north, you will find Pier 39 and the start of Fisherman’s Wharf. You can walk or take one of the historic street cars. More about Pier 39.

Union Square: Union Square is about 1.5 miles from the Exploratorium in San Francisco. You can either walk or take one of our street cars to get there. What there is to see and do in Union Square.

Docent Tours At The De Young Museum San Francisco

Free Summer Museum Admission For Benefit Holders

If you want to learn even more about some of the exhibits and special pieces at the de Young Museum San Francisco, check out the different tours when you arrive. This museum offers both audio tours and docent-led tours.

The audio tours are go-at-your-own-pace. There is an additional charge for these tours. You can rent the audio near the ticket counter at the main entrance.

The docent-led tours are free, although special exhibit tickets are required for tours in certain exhibits. Some of the daily tours include:

  • Three Masterpieces in 30 Minutes
  • Exploring World Cultures: Art from Africa, the Pacific Islands, or the Americas
  • American Art: Colonial through Contemporary

Tours and tour times change frequently, so pick up a Daily Tours guide when you arrive for your visit. Advance registration is not necessary for these tours.

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Steinhart Aquarium In San Francisco

The Steinhart Aquarium is another amazing experience inside this San Francisco science museum. You walk directly under the water tunnel – where you can take a seat and watch guys like this one swim right next to you.

After you take a few minutes to rest, you can then head into the heart of the aquarium. Here you will find everything from jellyfish to water snakes.

This is the first tank of fish you will see when you enter the Steinhart Aquarium SF.

The aquarium houses more than 40,000 live animals including almost 9,000 species!

The jellyfish tank is another one of my personal favorites. There are colored lights below and the lights change periodically. This makes the jellyfish easy to watch as they float around their tank.

Good Vibrations Antique Vibrator Museum

The Good Vibrations Museum is a popular museum with a collection of antiques from the 1800s through the mid-1970s.

You can see mail-order catalogs and advertisements for personal massagers and vibrators up through the time when they became taboo.

The museum is easy to get to in the middle of San Francisco and is free to enter.

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Free And Reduced Museum Admission

The Asian Art Museum offers free or reduced admission to its collection galleries and special exhibitions through the programs outlined below. Questions? Contact .

Membership Program

Asian Art Museum members and their guests enjoy unlimited free admission to the museums collection galleries and special exhibitions. Learn more about our world-class membership benefits on the Membership Page.

Current members may reserve their free tickets on our ticketing website using their membership ID. If you have any questions or need assistance in planning your visit, contact .

Corporate Partners

Employees of Asian Art Museums corporate sponsors and corporate members receive one or more complimentary admission tickets to both the collection galleries and special exhibitions. Check our Institutional Partnerships page to see if your employer is a corporate member. Many of our corporate partners can arrange tickets in advance by visiting our ticketing page and applying the organizations promotion code upon checkout. If you have questions about corporate benefits or coupon codes, contact .

Reciprocal Benefits
Free First Sunday

On the first Sunday of each month, general admission is free and tickets to our special exhibitions are offered at a discounted price of $10. On Free First Sundays, we have limited same-day, walk-up availability for both general admission and special exhibition tickets, so we highly recommend reserving your tickets ahead of time by visiting our ticketing page.

Parking Near The De Young Museum San Francisco

An inside look at the New Children’s Museum during Museum Month 2022

The de Young Museum San Francisco is in a very busy location next to the California Academy of Sciences. You will find parking a bit difficult if you arrive anytime after around 11 am. I recommend arriving for your visit as early as possible to allow for time to find parking near the museum.

Street Parking: You might get lucky and find some free street parking near the museum. These spots fill up quickly and don’t turn over very often, but you can look here if you want to try and park for free. The best streets are Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Nancy Pelosi Drive. Once you find a spot, make sure to check the restrictions for your spot. Usually parking is only allowed for a couple of hours , but make sure to double check for the area you are parked in as they do ticket frequently.

Parking Garage: You will find one, large parking garage. It’s below ground and is used by those visiting both the de Young and the California Academy of Sciences. You can enter it on Fulton Street at 10th Avenue or on Music Concourse at MLK, Jr. Drive. This is a great place to park, but fills up really early in the day.

The cost to park in this garage varies by day. It’s about $5.25 an hour on the weekdays and $6.25 an hour for weekends.

Note: This parking garage is not owned or operated by the nearby museums, so if you have problems the de Young will not be able to help. You will find signs in the garage with where to call or contact the owners with problems.

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Free Admission Day At The De Young Museum San Francisco

The de Young Museum in San Francisco offers a free day once a month. You can visit for free on the first Tuesday of the month. On the free day, you will gain access to their permanent collection of more than 25,000 pieces of art.

For a limited time, they are also offering free admission on the first Saturday of the month for all SF Bay Area residents with a local ID. You must reserve your tickets online and in advance and only applies to the permanent exhibits.

There is a charge on their free day for most of their special exhibits.

Make sure to arrive early as admission is on a first come, first served basis.

Free Admission On The First Tuesdays Each Month

de Young Museum

One of the most visited art museums in the country, the de Young showcases a priceless collection of American art from the 17th through 20th centuries along with art from Central and South America and the Pacific, in addition to an impressive collection of textiles. Special exhibition fees may apply. Also free for Bay Area residents every Saturday!Whats great for kids: the de Youngsters Studio was built to get kids, especially ages 3 to 8, exploring art and technology & lots of places to play in Golden Gate Park. Many de Youngsters activities have moved online, so check before you go.Location: 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate ParkWebsite >

Legion of Honor Museum

This exquisite building with an incredible view overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge contains 4,000 years of ancient and European art. Some special exhibition surcharges may apply. Also free for Bay Area residents every Saturday!Whats great for kids: Ok, so this museum is pretty old-school and not very exciting for most children. You might need to take advantage of other nearby perks to amuse the little ones.Location: 100 34th Ave, San Francisco

Conservatory of Flowers

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How Long Should I Plan For My Visit

A visit to the California Academy of Sciences can last anywhere from 2 to 5 hours. I recommend setting aside a minimum of 2 to 3 hours for your visit.

It includes 4 “museums” under one roof, so you really will get a full day of fun here. When I say “museums,” it just means four different exhibit themes. They are all large and could be museums on their own, so they often promote them as if it’s four museums in one.

You might spend an hour just in the Steinhart Aquarium. You might spend another hour in the Kimball Natural History Museum. The rainforest usually has a line and it might take you 10 to 15 minutes of waiting and then about 20 or more minutes to explore.

Your time there will also depend on the timing of your tickets for the Morrison Planetarium. The tickets are set for a specific time, so the earlier you reserve them in advance, the more choices you will have on your visit here.

If you have enough time, you could spend your entire day inside this San Francisco science museum.

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