America, Tips

San Francisco Museums Fit Your Budget

3 Comments 05 August 2010

Art with Heart

As a person with no real ‘stable’ job, I appreciate a good bargain! And after spending the last year living in Vietnam with no real art scene, I’ve been starved for some great art. You may think that budget and art don’t really go together; oh – not so….

While in San Francisco in January, I decided to get my art fix. There’s plenty of museums to choose from there; De Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Legion of Honor, SF MOMA, Asian Art Museum, Disney Museum, and even a Cable Car Museum. I opted for one of my favorites – SFMOMA – I have a special place in my heart for modern art.

Mirror Reflection

To my surprise something has been happening at museums since I’ve been out of the country – they’ve become expensive. Or maybe it’s just that I notice they are expensive now since I don’t have a high paying job! The SFMOMA is $15 for an adult ticket.  However, like most museums these days, if you can be flexible with your visit, you can normally get a discount via special offers.  It pays to do your research.

I hit the jackpot with SFMOMA this visit. I looked on their website for half price days and discovered the first Tuesday of the month is free…yes, free! I arrived there on Muni and they had the ticket booths closed up and anyone could just walk right in. Because of this the museum seemed a bit more crowded than usual, a small price to pay for free art enjoyment!

So be sure to check other museums for their discounts. Just go to the museum website and search their information about hours and ticket prices – you’ll find that most museums have some sort of discounts.   Most large museums have half price days or free days so check before you go and organize a trip around those offers. I’ve compiled a short list of San Francisco Museum discount days, but be sure to check their website before you go in case this gets out of date!

De Young Fine Arts Museum – Free 1st Tuesday of the Month
Legion of Honor – Free 1st Tuesday of the Month
SFMOMA – ½ price Thursday evenings 6PM-8:45PM; Free 1st Tues of Month
California Academy of Sciences – Free 3rd Wednesday of the Month. They also have a complex set of free days depending on your zipcode/neighborhood – you can find the list here –
Exploratorium: Museum of Science, Art, and Human Perception– Free 1st Wednesday of the Month

Your Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. Donna Hull says:

    I appreciate when museums find ways to make entrance fees affordable to everyone. Looks like you hit the jackpot in San Francisco.

  2. Mark H says:

    I think museums are under more pricing pressure as donations and funding have reduced in the recent financial crisis. It is great that museums around the world still seem to find ways to make their places accessible for less at some point of the month or via some deal.

  3. Shannon OD says:

    Checking for the free days is something I just always forget…but museums are getting pricey which is a shame because I feel like it’s much more accessible when they keep the prices low – I know that during the summer months in Florida a lot have special promotions and kid events that give free entry to the whole museum!

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Sherry traveling the world

I'm Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it's not just about travel, it's also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.
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