Free Monthly Museum Days
Generally on the first Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday of each month, these free days are often crowded, but if you arrive early you’ll stand a great chance of seeing some of the Bay Areas best museums for free.
Free Admission to San Francisco Bay Area Museums
California Academy of Sciences
FREE Sundays (only once a quarter) – 9:30am to 5pm
The Academy now only has a few totally free days a year – usually once a quarter on Sundays. Scheduled free dates for 2013 are March 3 and June 2. Other free admission deals – San Francisco Free Days Spring 2013 (for SF residents only)
- 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Asian Art Museum
FREE First Sundays – 10am to 5pm
One of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art with a collection of over 17,000 artworks spanning 6,000 years of history. Special collection surcharges may apply.
- 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco – BART: Civic Center
Legion of Honor
FREE First Tuesdays – 9:30am to 5:15pm
This exquisite Beaux-Arts building located on a perch with an unbelievable view overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge housed a collection of 4,000 years of ancient and European arts. Special exhibition surcharges may apply.
- 100 24th Ave. San Francisco
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
FREE First Tuesdays – Noon to 8pm
Multidisciplinary art center features exhibitions, performances, film/video and rotating art exhibits with a focus on contemporary and emerging artists form the Bay Area and beyond.
- 3rd and Mission, San Francisco – BART: Powell Street
de Young Museum
FREE First Tuesdays – 9:30am to 5:15pm
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 and an impressive collection of textiles. Special exhibition fees may apply.
- 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
FREE Days – Five times a year
The Exploratorium at Pier 15 is a museum of science, art and human perception with hundreds of interactive exhibits, many geared towards children and families. Free days begin Fall 2013 and include Engineering Day (September 29, 2013), Founder’s Day (October 13, 2013), Groundhog Day (February 2, 2014), Pi Day (March 14, 2014), Mother’s Day (May 11, 2014)
- Pier 15, San Francisco
Bank of America Free Days
Free weekends at seven Bay Area museums for cardholders
Holders of Bank of America credit cards and debit cards get free admission to seven Bay Area museums for one weekend each month. Museums include Contemporary Jewish Museum (SF), Legion of Honor (SF), de Young Museum (SF), San Jose Museum of Art (SJ) and The Tech Museum of Innovation (SJ).
Oakland Museum of California
FREE First Sundays – 11am-5pm
Covering four city blocks on Oakland, the museum specializes in collections of art, history and natural science to tell the story of California.
- 1000 Oak Street, Oakland – BART: Lake Merritt
Contemporary Jewish Museum
FREE First Tuesdays – 11am to 5pm
The Contemporary Jewish Museum engages audiences of all backgrounds through dynamic exhibitions and programs that explore contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. And the architecture of the Museum itself is a work of art.
- 736 Mission Street, San Francisco – BART: Montgomery Street
Society of California Pioneers
FREE Third Thursday Evenings – 4-7pm
The Society of California Pioneers is dedicated to advancing the knowledge and appreciation of early California history for audiences of all ages with lectures, book signings, museum visits, walking tours, receptions, auction previews, and sporting events.
- 300 Fourth Street (at Folsom), San Francisco - BART: Powell Street
CLOSED UNTIL 2016 - SFMOMA: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
SFMOMA will be closed for renovations until 2016. Please stay tuned to FuncheapSF to find out about their public events in the interim, and of course, free museum days when the transformed SFMOMA opens up again.
The SFMOMA houses the West Coast’s most comprehensive collection of 20th century art including master works by Ansel Adams, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera and more.
Autodesk Gallery (Embarcadero) – Every Wednesday
Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito) – First Wednesdays
Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley) – First Thursdays
Cartoon Art Museum (SoMa) – First Tuesdays “Pay What You Can” Day
Chinese Historical Society (Chinatown) – First Thursdays
Conservatory of Flowers (Golden Gate Park) – First Tuesdays
GLBT Museum (Castro) – First Wednesdays
Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley) – First Thursdays
Pez Museum (Burlingame) – First Thursdays
San Francisco Zoo (Outer Sunset) – First or Second Wednesdays (SF residents only)
SF Camerawork (SoMa) – Free admission every day
City Guide - Ongoing, Free Museum Day
Submitted by Johnny Funcheap