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Free Museum Days in San Francisco

Home > San Francisco > Family | Free | Museums
by Karen the Wordier (subscribe)
I am a world traveller who likes to learn new places and faces, wander with my man wherever the wind blows, and bring my three young adventurers along for the ride. I also love a good coffee.
Published December 17th 2012
Be free, San Francisco
It's not a secret. San Fran is known for top notch free culture.
The trick is to plan well. One false mark of the calendar, and you miss out. At least on the free part.

My New Year's resolve is 'be free.'

Travelling friends: Come the first week of the month. Pick a week without a major holiday - this is when the magic happens.

Fellow locals: Look into the library's museum offerings. If you plan ahead, there's a world of opportunity here. Here's just one of the participating libraries. If you live anywhere in the Bay, check your local library for information.

San Francisco Library Pass

FIRST TUESDAYS of the month:

The dynamic De Young Museum: Free every first Tuesday. De Young website. Located on 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive.
Amadscientist/Wikimedia Commons

The glorious Legion of Honor Museum:
Wikimedia Commons
There's an air of nobility here. The rows of columns and statuary make this a popular place to get married.Legion of Honor website
Location is 100 34th Avenue.

A piece of friendly advice: Bring some $$ anyway for the special exhibits. You don't have to pay and see them, but they're often hard to resist.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum: The Contemporary Jewish Museum website. 736 Mission Street.

Very cool structure. Free first Tuesdays. Cafe serves uniquely Jewish food.
Allan Ferguson/Wikimedia Commons

The supercool Exploratorium: Exploratorium website. It's on 3601 Lyon Street.
Dacreep / Wikimedia Commons

Great science exploration, as hinted at in the name. I loved this place as a kid. Free every first Wednesday of the month

FIRST WEEKEND: (free with conditions)

The Children's Creativity Museum (formerly the Zeum) is free to Bank of America and Merril Lynch cardholders, if brought along with an ID.
Para/Wikimedia Commons

The Iconic Coit Tower:
Kkmd/Wikimedia Commons
It's $7 for elevator to the top, but most people agree. That's not the point of being there. I thought the spectacular view from the parking circle was better than the not amazing murals inside. We've skipped the inside, choosing to walk along the thick stone ledge in the parking circle instead. Bring really warm coats, etc if you do this. If you're fairly athletic, walk the Filbert steps. There are lots of cool houses to see on the way.

The awesome architecture of this walking tour:
War Memorial Opera House
Leonard G/Wikimedia Commons
Okay this one's not free, but it's so close - $5 adults/$3 students. Walking tour of the War Memorial performing Arts Center, Davies Symphony Hall, the War Memorial Opera House, and the Herbst Theatre - these are all jewels in the crown of San Francisco and worth seeing.Starts in front of Davies Symphony Hall.
Davies Symphony Hall
J. Ash Bowie/Wikimedia Commons

Synchronize calendars. See you there!
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Cost: Most are free
Your Comment
I wish I lived there to take advantage of all these opportunities! Great article, cousin :) -R
by randi (score: 0|3) 2907 days ago
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