Free Bay Area Museums This Week

Suffering from cabin fever? Get out and see some great museums without spending a cent.

After days of rain and gloomy weather, you may be ready to get out of the house and savor some beauty.

The Bay Area is home to some world class museums housing original masterpieces that will take your breath away. Entrance fees for some of those museums are quite steep. But lucky for us, many regularly offer free admission.

The first week of each month is when museums typically offer free days. Here’s a rundown of museum freebies this week:


Cartoon Art Museum
655 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 227-8666
First Tuesday of the month is “Pay What You Wish Day.”

The museum is home to over 6,000 pieces of original cartoon and animation art displayed in five galleries of exhibition space. The museum was endowed by Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz.

de Young Museum
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 750-3600
Free on first Tuesday of the month.

The amazing de Young is overwhelming in its enormity. You could spend a full day exploring each individual collection including American Art, African Art, Art of the Americas, Oceania, and more.

Legion of Honor
Lincoln Park
100 34th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 750-3600
Free on first Tuesday of the month.

The Legion of Honor displays a collection of 4,000 years of ancient and European art in a beautiful Beaux-Arts building, pictured with this article.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 357-4000
Free on first Tuesday of the month.

The first museum on the West Coast devoted to modern and contemporary art. SFMOMA continues to exhibit and collect work by both modern masters and younger, less-established artists.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 
701 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103-3138
(415) 978-ARTS (2787)
Free on first Tuesday of the month.

YBCA explores contemporary artistic expressions, currently focused on four areas-- ENCOUNTER: Engaging the social context; SOAR: The search for meaning; REFLECT: Considering the personal; and DARE: Innovations in art, action, audience.


Bay Area Discovery Museum
Fort Baker
557 McReynolds Road
Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 339-3900
Free on first Wednesday of the month.

Gather your little ones and head to Sausalito for a day devoted to exploration and creativity.

3601 Lyon St.
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 561-0360
Free on first Wednesday of the month.

Science meets art at the Exploratorium, which encourages hands-on participation.


Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia
214 California Drive
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 347-2301
Free on first Thursday of the month.

It’s right here on the peninsula, and what’s more fun than a Pez dispenser? Bet you’ll recognize your favorites from childhood!

Chinese Historical Society of America
965 Clay St.
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 391-1188
Free on first Thursday of the month.

Founded in 1963, this museum preserves Chinese American heritage, from the Exclusion Act to architecture of San Francisco’s Chinatown.

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