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Art for Everyone: Bay Area Museum Free Admission Days Guide (Part Two)

The cultural landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area is vibrant and diverse. However, many people might not know that experiencing art and history here doesn’t always have to be expensive. In fact, many of the Bay Area’s renowned museums and galleries offer regular free admission days, making cultural experiences more accessible. In this second part of our series, we will introduce some of the Bay Area’s most popular museums and galleries, along with their free admission dates. Whether you are interested in modern art, natural history, technological innovation, or cultural heritage, you will find something that suits your interests in this guide. Let’s explore these halls of knowledge and beauty together and experience the unique cultural charm of the Bay Area!


Conservatory of Flowers

Opened in 1879, the wood and glass greenhouse is the oldest existing conservatory of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. It features 1,700 species of rare, exotic, and endangered plants from more than 50 countries. San Francisco residents and veterans can visit for free any day with valid ID.

  • Address: 100 John F Kennedy Drive, San Francisco

  • Free Admission Days: First Tuesday of each month (everyone), daily (for San Francisco residents with valid ID)

Next Free Dates:

  • July 2, 2024

  • August 6, 2024

  • September 3, 2024

  • October 1, 2024

  • November 5, 2024

  • December 3, 2024

Japanese Tea Garden

Originally created as a “Japanese Village” exhibit for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition, the Japanese Tea Garden is now one of San Francisco’s most popular attractions. It features classic elements such as an arched drum bridge, pagodas, stone lanterns, stepping stone paths, native Japanese plants, serene koi ponds, and a zen garden. Cherry blossom trees bloom throughout the garden in March and April. San Francisco residents and veterans can visit for free any day with valid ID.

  • Address: 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco

  • Free Admission Hours: 9 am to 10 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays (everyone), daily (for San Francisco residents with valid ID)

San Francisco Botanical Garden
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San Francisco Botanical Garden

One of the most diverse gardens in the world, the San Francisco Botanical Garden is a unique urban oasis within Golden Gate Park. It spans 55 acres and showcases over 9,000 different kinds of plants from around the world. San Francisco residents and veterans can visit for free any day with valid ID.

  • Address: 1199 9th Avenue, San Francisco

  • Free Admission Days: Daily from 7:30 am to 9 am (everyone, enter via the Main Gate), second Tuesday of every month, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day (everyone), daily (for San Francisco residents with valid ID)

Next Free Dates:

July 9, 2024

August 13, 2024

September 10, 2024

October 8, 2024

November 12, 2024

November 28, 2024 (Thanksgiving)

December 10, 2024

December 25, 2024 (Christmas)

January 1, 2025 (New Year’s Day)

Walt Disney Family Museum

Introduction: The Walt Disney Family Museum, located in The Presidio, is usually free to the public only on Walt Disney’s birthday. The museum showcases Disney’s life achievements and creative process, making it a must-visit for Disney fans. The exact free date is usually announced in August.

  • Address: 105 Montgomery Street, The Presidio, San Francisco

  • Free Admission Day: Walt Disney’s birthday (usually December 5, date to be confirmed)

Tentative Free Date: December 5, 2024 (to be confirmed)

GLBT Historical Society Museum

The GLBT Historical Society Museum, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro District, is the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history and culture in the United States.  All visitors can enjoy free admission on the first Wednesday of every month.

  • Address: 4127 18th Street, San Francisco

  • Free Admission Day: First Wednesday of every month

Next Free Dates:

July 3, 2024

August 7, 2024

September 4, 2024

October 2, 2024

November 6, 2024

December 4, 2024

California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences used to have quarterly free days and bi-annual free neighborhood days for San Francisco residents. Due to the pandemic, these have not yet resumed. However, residents with EBT, WIC, or Medi-Cal cards can enjoy $3 admission daily, and other discount programs are available.

  • Address: 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

  • Free Admission Day: No regular free community days post-pandemic, rare “Pay What You Can Day” on April 4, 2024, $3 admission for EBT, WIC, and Medi-Cal cardholders daily

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is a multidisciplinary art center featuring exhibitions, performances, films, and rotating art exhibits with a focus on contemporary and emerging artists from the Bay Area and beyond.

  • Address: 3rd and Mission, San Francisco

  • Free Admission Days: Wednesdays and second Sundays of each month

  • Entry to the YBCA Galleries is free on Wednesdays and second Sundays.

Next Free Dates:

  • Every Wednesday plus

  • July 14, 2024

  • August 11, 2024

  • September 8, 2024

  • October 13, 2024

  • November 10, 2024

  • December 8, 2024

Bay Area Discovery Museum

The Bay Area Discovery Museum is a one-of-a-kind indoor and outdoor children’s museum located at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Bay Area residents with valid ID can enjoy free admission on the first Wednesday of odd-numbered months.

  • Address: Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Sausalito

  • Free Admission Day: First Wednesday of odd-numbered months (for Bay Area residents with valid ID)

Next Free Dates:

September 4, 2024

November 6, 2024

Bank of America Free Days

Holders of Bank of America credit or debit cards can enjoy free admission to seven Bay Area museums on specific weekends each month. Participating museums include the Legion of Honor, de Young Museum, Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, and Computer History Museum.

  • Free Admission Days: One weekend each month for Bank of America cardholders at seven Bay Area museums

Next Free Dates:

  • July 6-7, 2024

  • August 3-4, 2024

  • September 7-8, 2024

  • October 5-6, 2024

  • November 2-3, 2024

  • December 7-8, 2024

Free museum days in the San Francisco Bay Area are a fantastic opportunity to explore the rich culture, art, and history of the region without breaking the bank. Residents and visitors alike can immerse themselves in the vibrant local culture. From modern art to natural sciences, each museum offers a unique experience. Mark these free dates on your calendar and plan your cultural journey to embark on an educational and budget-friendly adventure. These opportunities make art and knowledge more accessible and should not be missed!

Click here to see more information on free museum days 👉 Art for Everyone: Bay Area Museum Free Admission Days Guide (Part One)

England Ireland Cultural Tour

Are you looking for more diverse cultural experiences beyond the museums in the Bay Area? Join KTSF host Jiayu Jeng on an exclusive cultural journey through the England and Ireland, exploring both iconic landmarks and hidden gems. Tour London's Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace, and indulge in authentic English afternoon tea in Oxford. Visit Windsor Castle and the British Museum, stroll through Cambridge University, and discover real-life locations from the "Harry Potter" films. Experience the grandeur of Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, along with the Titanic Belfast in Glasgow and Belfast. This journey also includes behind-the-scenes visits, in-depth conversations with key figures, and professional photography to capture unforgettable memories.

Delve into the unique history and rich culture of England and Ireland, from academic institutions and historic castles to literary landmarks and scenic attractions. Interact with locals, savor authentic British cuisine, and enjoy the true essence of these captivating regions. Guided by Jiayu Jeng, this trip promises to immerse you in a cultural experience beyond traditional sightseeing, leaving you with lasting memories.

Book your itinerary here 👉 [England Ireland Cultural Tour]


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