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San Francisco & Bay Area Museums: What’s Open

Updated May 15, 2021: A list of 50 Bay Area museums, zoos and gardens and any known reopening dates.
By - posted 5/15/2021 No Comment

Here’s a list of all of the Bay Area museums, historical sites, zoos and gardens we could find and their current status and when they may open. Every county is moving at its own pace.

Who did we miss? Know of any museums, zoos or gardens we missed? – email us at events_crew@funcheap.com with the details and links.

Here’s our list. Please note we’ve done our best to get all the details correct, but not that details and dates may change without notice during these times of uncertainty so please contact the venue to confirm first before heading out.

UPDATES:

  • 5/15/21 – Monterey Bay Aquarium reopens. On June 1, tickets become available through September 30. On July 1, tickets become available through December 31
  • 5/13/21 – The Exploratorium announces reopening will take place July 1
  • 5/8/21 – San Francisco Music Hall of Fame celebrates grand opening with two weeks of $5 admission
  • 5/7/21 – Legion of Honor reopens.
  • 4/17/21 – Contemporary Jewish Museum reopens.
  • 3/11/21 – Walt Disney Family Museum and Monterey Bay Aquarium announce tentative reopening plans
  • 3/6/21 – Cartoon Art Museum reopens
  • 3/4/21 – Conservatory of Flowers, Contemporary Jewish Museum and Museum of Craft and Design announce reopenings
  • 3/3/21 – California Academy of Sciences, Aquarium of the Bay announce reopenings
  • 3/2/21 – San Francisco announces reopening of indoor museums at 25% capacity starting March 3
  • 2/23/21 – San Mateo and Marin County now in “red” tier meaning museums can open indoors at 25% capacity starting February 24
  • 11/28/20 – San Francisco moved into the “purple” tier today so all indoor museums in San Francisco will be closing down.

Free Museum Days

Some museums have resumed their free museum days or are running special free days upon reopening

Updated 5/15/21 at 10:24 AM

  • Asian Art Museum – SF (Civic Center) –  Open – Reopened with 25% capacity and timed ticketing. New hours are Thu 1-8p, Fri-Mon 10a-5p and closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday nights open late with discounted admission. First Sundays are free.
  • de Young Museum – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open –  General admission (special exhibits not included) is free for Bay Area residents every Saturday with RSVPs available online. General admission is free for all on first Tuesdays. Essential and Frontline Workers get a $15 discount on tickets to special exhibitions through Dec 2021. Frida Kahlo special exhibit extended to May 2. Calder-Picasso special exhibit runs through Mary 23 and unlikely to be extended.
  • Legion of Honor – SF (Lands End) – Open – General admission is free the first Tuesday of every month. Every Saturday the Legion of Honor offers free general admission to all residents of the nine Bay Area counties.  Free general admission for essential workers — including emergency services, health care, grocery stores, city operations and maintenance, social services, public transit, and delivery services — to receive a $15 discount on tickets to special exhibitions, through December 2021. This discount can be redeemed on-site with your work badge.
  • Conservatory of Flowers – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open  – Admission to the Conservatory will continue to be free every first Tuesday of the month. The Conservatory will also continue offering free or reduced admission through Museums for All, a program to bring free or reduced admission to San Francisco residents who receive public benefits, including Medi-Cal and CalFresh.
  • San Francisco Botanical Garden – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open – Open 7 days a week but onsite programs on hold until further notice. Advanced tickets recommended. Free for San Francisco residents w/ valid ID. Free for all daily: 7:30–9am (enter via the Main Gate). Monthly free day for all the second Tuesday of every month.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum – North Bay (Sausalito) – Open – Admission is free to Bay Area residents the first Wednesday of every other month. The next free day is June 2, 2021. Tickets can typically be reserved 30 days in advance

Opening Soon

Updated 5/15/21 at 10:24 AM

Recently Opened

Updated 5/15/21 at 10:24 AM

San Francisco Bay Area Museums

Updated 5/15/21 at 10:24 AM

Major Museums & Cultural Institutions

  • Asian Art Museum – SF (Civic Center) – Open – Reopened with 25% capacity and timed ticketing. New hours are Thu 1-8p, Fri-Mon 10a-5p and closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday nights open late with discounted admission. First Sundays are free.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum – North Bay (Sausalito) – Open – Indoors and outdoors open Wed-Sun from 10a-4p plus certain holidays. Admission is free to Bay Area residents the first Wednesday of every other month. Reservations or Free First Wednesday are now required due to state and county guidelines on capacity. Tickets are available to reserve starting 30 days in advance of the next Free Day.
  • Berkeley Art Museum – East Bay (Berkeley) – Open – BAMPFA has reopened galleries Fri/Sat/Sun with limited capacity. Advance timed tickets are required.
  • California Academy of Sciences – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open – Timed-entry tickets must be purchased online in advance. Capacity will be limited to 20%. Morrison Planetarium will remain closed until further notice. Free reservations will be required for Osher Rainforest and the Shake House.
  • California Historical Society – SF (Mission District) – Open – New public hours will be Thursday through Saturday, from 12:00 PM to 5:30 PM
  • Children’s Fairyland – East Bay (Oakland) – Open – Children’s Fairyland reopening on March 19th with three day schedule (Fri-Sun) to start and then expanding to Wed-Sun starting March 31st. Two sessions daily with limited capacity. Tickets on sale now.
  • Contemporary Jewish Museum – SF (SoMa) – Open – The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) reopens on April 17, with Member preview days on April 15 and 16. All visitors—including those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine—are required to wear a face covering during their visit, except for children under the age of 2. A limited number of disposable masks are available, free of charge, at the front desk in the Shenson Welcome Center. All visitors will need to book their timed tickets online in advance of their visit, to ensure a contactless check-in process when you arrive at The Museum.
  • de Young Museum – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open – General admission (special exhibits not included) is free for Bay Area residents every Saturday with RSVPs available online. General admission is free for all on first Tuesdays. Essential and Frontline Workers get a $15 discount on tickets to special exhibitions through Dec 2021. Frida Kahlo special exhibit extended to May 2. Calder-Picasso special exhibit runs through Mary 23 and unlikely to be extended.
  • Lawrence Hall of Science – East Bay (Berkeley) – Scheduled to Open on 5/28 – The Lawrence is reopening outdoors this summer Fridays through Sundays for “Summer Fundays at The Lawrence” including some holidays as well. Starting Memorial Day weekend, join them every weekend outdoors on our scenic plaza for some of your favorite, engaging, hands-on activities from The Lawrence. Take in our famous view of the Bay, climb on our DNA sculpture, and explore Giant Geometry, Ingenuity Challenges, and so much more.
  • Legion of Honor – SF (Lands End) – Open – We will require timed tickets for every visitor, including general admission and admission to Last Supper in Pompeii. In the first few months of reopening, we will be releasing tickets in 60 day increments. To ensure your preferred time slot, please reserve your entry date and time in advance online. General admission is free the first Tuesday of every month. Every Saturday the Legion of Honor offers free general admission to all residents of the nine Bay Area counties. Saturdays feature engaging art experiences for the entire family, including art making, gallery guides, and tours with discussion and sketching in the permanent galleries. Free general admission for essential workers — including emergency services, health care, grocery stores, city operations and maintenance, social services, public transit, and delivery services — to receive a $15 discount on tickets to special exhibitions, through December 2021. This discount can be redeemed on-site with your work badge.
  • Museum of Craft and Design – SF (Dogpatch) – Open – All visitors need a daily admission ticket, even those receiving free admission. Tickets may be purchased at the front desk or online up to 60 days in advance. Reserving tickets online is not required, but encouraged. Admission tickets for MCD Members, children 12+ under, EBT holders, active-duty military personnel, first-responders, and members of NARM and ROAM are $0.
  • San Jose Museum of Art – South Bay (San Jose) – Open – The mueums reopens Fridays to Sundays from 11am to 5pm with the first hour dedicated to our most vulnerable guests—seniors, those who are pregnant, and those with underlying health concerns. Admission is $10 for adults.
  • SFMOMA – SF (SoMa) – Open – Timed tickets are required for all visitors, including those 18 and under who always enjoy free admission. New exhibits include “Bay Area Walls” and “Assembly of Images”
  • The Exploratorium – SF (Embarcadero) – Scheduled to Open on 7/1 – Member & Donor Previews: June 24–27. Public Reopening: Thursday, July 1. The Exploratorium is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Walt Disney Family Museum – SF (Presidio) – Open – Pre-purchased, timed tickets are required for entry. During the first few months of reopening, we will release tickets in two-week increments. The museum is closed Mon/Tue/Wed
  • Chabot Space & Science Center – East Bay (Oakland) – Currently Closed as of 5/15
  • GLBT Historical Society Museum – SF (Castro) – Currently Closed as of 5/15
  • Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) – SF (SoMa) – Currently Closed as of 5/15
  • Oakland Museum of California – East Bay (Oakland) – Currently Closed as of 5/15
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts – SF (SoMa) – Currently Closed as of 5/15

Smaller Museums & Cultural Institutions

Bay Area Zoos & Aquariums

Updated 5/15/21 at 10:24 AM

  • Aquarium of the Bay – SF (Fisherman’s Wharf) – Open – After almost 50 weeks of closure, Aquarium of the Bay reopens to the public March 4th, 2021 at 25% capacity. Timed tickets required.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium – Road Trip (Monterey) – Open – Additional tickets will be released on the following dates: On June 1, tickets become available through September 30. On July 1, tickets become available through December 31
  • Oakland Zoo – East Bay (Oakland) – Open – Outdoor exhibits open. All guests must reserve a ticket for a specific date and entry time. No updates yet on indoor exhibits.
  • San Francisco Zoo – SF (Lake Merced) – Open – Limited attendance to 50% capacity. Outdoor exhibits open, but certain indoor “window viewing” areas are closed including the South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary, Great Ape Passage Indoor Dayroom, Insect Zoo along with the Family Farm and Carousel. Timed tickets required.
  • The Marine Mammal Center – North Bay (Sausalito) – Currently Closed as of 5/15

Bay Area Gardens

Updated 5/15/21 at 10:24 AM

  • Conservatory of Flowers – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open – Guests will be required to wear face coverings and the Conservatory will limit the number of visitors to 25 percent of its normal capacity to ensure social distancing. Admission to the Conservatory will continue to be free every first Tuesday of the month. The Conservatory will also continue offering free or reduced admission through Museums for All, a program to bring free or reduced admission to San Francisco residents who receive public benefits, including Medi-Cal and CalFresh.
  • Filoli Gardens – Peninsula (Woodside) – Open – The Garden remains open daily, but the historic House is closed.
  • Japanese Tea Garden – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open – Tea Garden will set up one-way pathways to avoid congestion. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with last entry at 4:30p Discount admission for SF residents. Free Hour for everyone, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 10am
  • Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery – East Bay (Walnut Creek) – Open – Limited entry and masks required. No docent tours currently and picnicing is not allowed.
  • San Francisco Botanical Garden – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open – Open 7 days a week but onsite programs on hold until further notice. Advanced tickets recommended. Free for San Francisco residents w/ valid ID. Free for all daily: 7:30–9am (enter via the Main Gate). Monthly free day for all the second Tuesday of every month. Holiday Free Days: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day. Free admission for anyone presenting valid EBT card.
  • The Gardens at Heather Farms – East Bay (Walnut Creek) – Open – Outdoor public garden areas are currently open for visiting from sunrise to sunset. Visitors should practice safe physical distancing and wear face coverings as recommended by the County Health Department. The building and offices are closed to the public until further notice, access by appointment only.
  • UC Berkeley Botanical Garden – East Bay (Berkeley) – Open – Open Daily, 11 – 5 pm for general public. Online advanced admission tickets are required for all visitors.

What did we miss? Know of any updates? – email us at events_crew@funcheap.com with the details and links.



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