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San Francisco & Bay Area Museums: What’s Open

Updated Oct. 15, 2020: A list of 50 Bay Area museums, zoos and gardens and any known reopening dates.
By - posted 10/15/2020 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.

UPDATE: Starting November 3rd, indoor museums, zoos and aquariums in San Francisco can increase capacity to 50%updated 10/20/20

Free Museum Days

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

Updated 10/15/20 at 12:12pm

  • Asian Art Museum – SF (Civic Center) – Open – Scheduled to reopen Oct 1–2 for members and Oct 3 for the general public. Free general admission October 3–12. Capacity limited to 25% and timed ticketing required.
  • de Young Museum – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open – The de Young museum is scheduled to open to the public on Friday, September 25. (The museum opens for members only from Sept 22-24). Museum limited to 25% capacity.
    – Through December 2021, free general admission for essential workers, who will also receive a $15 discount on tickets to special exhibitions.
    – Free Saturday general admission for all Bay Area residents resumes September 26th.
    – Free general admission for every First Tuesday resumes on October 6th.
  • Legion of Honor – SF (Lincoln Park / Outer Richmond) – Scheduled to open to public on October 30th. Free Saturdays for Bay Area residents resumes October 31st. Free first Tuesdays for all resumes November 3rd. All free days are for general admission and advanced timed tickets required.
  • SFMOMA – SF (SoMa) – Open – SFMOMA is reopening October 4th with two weeks of Free Community Days and free parking at the museum from October 4-18. Free tickets will be available starting 9/25. Museum limited to 25% capacity.
  • Conservatory of Flowers – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open – Reopening on Oct. 1 at 25% capacity. Advanced tickets recommended but not required (tickets are not timed). Masks required. First Tuesdays of the month will be free.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum – North Bay (Sausalito) – Open – Admission is free to Bay Area residents the first Wednesday of every other month. Tickets for Free First Wednesday on 10/7 are sold out. Please join us for the next Free First Wednesday on 12/2. Tickets will be available in early November.

Recently Opened

Updated 10/15/20 at 12:12 PM

Opening Soon

Updated 10/15/20 at 12:12 PM

San Francisco Bay Area Museums

Updated 10/15/20 at 12:12pm

Major Museums & Cultural Institutions

  • Asian Art Museum – SF (Civic Center) – Open – Scheduled to reopen Oct 1–2 for members and Oct 3 for the general public. Free general admission will be available October 3–12. Capacity limited to 25% and timed ticketing required.
  • Bay Area Discovery Museum – North Bay (Sausalito) – Open – Outdoor spaces to general public. Indoor spaces will reopen in phases. First to reopen: Wobbleland and Bay Hall Advanced tickets are required. Advanced tickets required with timed ticketing system. Open Wednesday – Sunday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Goblin Jamboree Tickets are available now. Celebrate the Halloween season at BADM. Admission is free to Bay Area residents the first Wednesday of every other month. Tickets for Free First Wednesday on 10/7 are sold out. Please join us for the next Free First Wednesday on 12/2. Tickets will be available in early November.
  • Berkeley Art Museum – East Bay (Berkeley) – Currently Closed as of 10/15
  • California Academy of Sciences – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Scheduled to Open on 10/23 – The Academy reopens to members and donors on October 13 and the general public on October 23. Masks are required and venue limited to 25% capacity. Timed-tickets on sale for general public starting October 14th
  • California Historical Society – SF (Mission District) – Currently Closed as of 10/15
  • Chabot Space & Science Center – East Bay (Oakland) – Scheduled to Open on “June 2021” – Chabot Space & Science Center plans to reopen for general admission in June 2021.
  • Contemporary Jewish Museum – SF (SoMa) – Scheduled to Open on 10/17 – The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) reopens on October 17, with Member preview days on October 15 and 16. Masks required. Hours are Thursday–Sunday, 11am–5pm, and tickets can be booked in advance.
  • de Young Museum – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open – Museum limited to 25% capacity. Through December 2021, free general admission for essential workers, who will also receive a $15 discount on tickets to special exhibitions. Free Saturday general admission for all Bay Area residents begins September 26th. Free “First Tuesdays” for all begins in October.
  • GLBT Historical Society Museum – SF (Castro) – Open – All visits to the museum must be reserved online in advance; we are unable to accommodate walk-ins at this time. Tickets will be timed at hourly intervals, and the number of visitors will be capped at five people per hour. Daily museum attendance is limited to 25 percent of total capacity. Open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday – 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Adult admission is $10. Admission is free for all visitors on the first Tuesday of every month, thanks to a grant from the Bob Ross Foundation. Through the end of 2020, admission is free on Saturdays for Bay Area residents (please bring an ID card or other proof). Qualifying counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma. All visitors will also need to reserve these free tickets online in advance.
  • Lawrence Hall of Science – East Bay (Berkeley) – Scheduled to Open on “June 2021” – The Hall is closed through at least June 2021
  • Legion of Honor – SF (Lands End) – Scheduled to Open on 10/30 – The Legion of Honor reopens on October 30th with limited capacity and advanced timed tickets required ($15 adults) . Free Saturday general admission for Bay Area residents begins on October 31st. Free First Tuesdays for all resumes November 3rd. Free admission for essential workers through end of 2020. (All free days are for general admission. Special exhibition access is extra)
  • Museum of Craft and Design – SF (Dogpatch) – Scheduled to Open on 10/16 – The Museum reopens to the public on Friday, October 16. All visitors must have a timed-ticket. If capacity is not reached for that hour, walk-ins may be admitted. 10:00 AM–10:45 AM tickets are reserved for visitors who are of high-risk during Covid-19. Timed admission tickets for MCD Members, children 12+ under, EBT holders, active-duty military personnel, first-responders, and members of NARM and ROAM are $0. Open Wednesday–Saturday: 10:00 AM–5:00 PM | Sunday: 12:00 PM–5:00 PM | Closed Monday and Tuesday
  • Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) – SF (SoMa) – Currently Closed as of 10/15
  • Oakland Museum of California – East Bay (Oakland) – Currently Closed as of 10/15
  • San Jose Museum of Art – South Bay (San Jose) – Scheduled to Open on 10/30 – The Museum, Store, and el cafécito will reopen on October 30, 2020, adhering to all the guidelines established by Santa Clara County. SJMA’s new hours will be: Friday–Sunday 11am–5pm.
  • SFMOMA – SF (SoMa) – Open – SFMOMA reopened October 4th with two weeks of Free Community Days and free parking at the museum from Sunday, October 4-Sunday, October 18. Free tickets available beginning 9/25. Museum limited to 25% capacity.
  • The Exploratorium – SF (Embarcadero) – Scheduled to Open on “Spring 2021” – “We do not believe the time is right for us to reopen our doors, and we are postponing our reopening until Spring 2021”
  • Walt Disney Family Museum – SF (Presidio) – Currently Closed as of 10/15
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts – SF (SoMa) – Scheduled to Open on “Early 2021” – In an update on their website on October 6th the YBCA says they plan to “open our Forum building to the public in early 2021.” Please note there is a rather confusing article on their website titled “We Are Open” – but it appears that they mean they have a few outdoor activiations and are hosting local K-5 students by temporarily converting their galleries into remote learning hubs.

Smaller / Local Venues & Museums

Bay Area Zoos & Aquariums

Updated 10/15/20 at 12:12pm

  • Oakland Zoo – East Bay (Oakland) – Open – Through Labor Day weekend, the Zoo will be open from 10am–6pm, with Summer Early Entry for Members and Friends of the Wild starting at 9am. Timed tickets are available in one hour increments, with the last entry ticket being 3pm–4pm. All guests must reserve timed tickets online. Indoor zoo areas (Bug House, Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Room) are closed.
  • San Francisco Zoo – SF (Lake Merced) – Open – Limited attendance to 50% of the Zoo’s capacity to maintain social distancing. Online reservations are required for all guests. Book in advance from noon today for up to the next two weeks. Parking must be pre-paid online for guest parking lot. Face coverings are required for anyone over the age of 2. Many indoor areas are closed including the South American Tropical Rainforest, Insect Zoo and Great Ape Passage.
  • Aquarium of the Bay – SF (Fisherman’s Wharf) – Open – Open 11am-6pm daily. Limited capacity, timed tickets required.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium – Road Trip (Monterey) – Currently Closed as of 10/15
  • The Marine Mammel Center – North Bay (Sausalito) – Currently Closed as of 10/15

Bay Area Gardens

Updated 10/15/20 at 12:12pm

  • Conservatory of Flowers – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open – Reopened on Oct. 1 at 25% capacity. Advanced tickets recommended but not required (tickets are not timed). Masks required. First Tuesdays of the month will be free. 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.
  • Japanese Tea Garden – SF (Golden Gate Park) – Open – Tea Garden will limit guests to 100 and set up one-way pathways to avoid congestion. Bathrooms and certain high-touch areas such as steep bridges will remain closed and masks are required for everyone. Open daily 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Discount admission for SF residents. Free Hour for everyone, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 10am
  • Filoli Gardens – Peninsula (Woodside) – Open – The Garden, Estate trail, and historic House are open, but there is a one-way route through the garden. Social distancing and face coverings required.
  • 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.
  • The Gardens at Heather Farms – East Bay (Walnut Creek) – Open – Outdoor public garden areas open for visiting from sunrise to sunset, but indoor building and offices closed.
  • UC Berkeley Botanical Garden – East Bay (Berkeley) – Open – Open Daily, 12 – 5 pm. 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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