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Free Museum Admission Days in San Francisco 2024

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: July 1, 2024

Many San Francisco museums offer free admission to their facilities at least once a month and I think it's a great way to visit if you are on a budget. During these days, you gain access to each museum's permanent exhibits.

Most of the monthly free admission days are on the first Sunday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of the month.

While some museums offer a free day every month, a handful of them offer free days just four to five times a year, such as the Exploratorium.

While visiting on the free days helps with your budget, I want to make sure you know that these days are some of the busiest at these museums (not all -- but most). 

Here are a couple of ways I plan in advance to make the most of these days. 

One of the things I do when visiting during the free days is I always try to arrive early to get in. If you plan to visit one of these days, I recommend you do the same. I arrive at least 30 minutes before they open.

The other way I've found to enjoy these free days is to arrive an hour or two before closing. When I visit during these times, I find the crowds have cleared out a bit more and it's easier to visit without so many people around. 

If this is the only time you will visit one of these museums and want to avoid dealing with the crowds, I recommend visiting on a different day. Yes, it's great to save a little on the budget, but sometimes it's also nice to visit on a day when it is less crowded.

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Museums in SF with Free Admission Days

Here are the current free days for each SF museum, in alphabetical order. You can also scroll down for a list of dates for each museum by month.

  1. Asian Art Museum: First Sunday of every month (sponsored by Target)
  2. Conservatory of Flowers: First Tuesday of every month
  3. Contemporary Jewish Museum: First Friday of every month 
  4. de Young: First Tuesday of every month and first Saturday for locals in the 9 Bay Area counties
  5. Exploratorium: Four to five times a year
  6. GLBT: First Wednesday of the month (sponsored by the Bob Ross Foundation)
  7. Japanese Tea Garden: Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for those that arrive between 9 am and 10 am.
  8. Legion of Honor: First Tuesday of every month and first Saturday for locals in the 9 Bay Area counties
  9. Museum of African Diaspora: Free on the second Saturday of every month.
  10. SF Museum of Modern Art: Free the first Thursday of the month from 1 pm to 8 pm for locals in the 9 Bay Area Counties
  11. SF Botanical Gardens: Second Tuesday of every month, as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, & New Year's Day. They also offer free admission for anyone arriving daily at the Main Gate between 7:30 am and 9 am.
Free Museum Admission Days in San Francisco

Month by Month Calendar of Free Days

To make it easier for you, I've also created a month by month calendar for all of the museums mentioned above. Either scroll down or click on these links to jump ahead to a specific month.

Daily & Weekly Free Admissions

  • Japanese Tea Garden: They offer free admission for anyone that enters between 9 am and 10 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Botanical Garden: It's free for anyone that enters through the Main Gate between 7:30 am and 9 am daily.

July 2024

Tuesday, July 2

  • Conservatory of Flowers
  • de Young Museum
  • Legion of Honor

Wednesday, July 3

  • GLBT Museum

Friday, July 5

  • Contemporary Jewish Museum

Sunday, July 7

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, July 9

  • Botanical Garden

Saturday, July 13

  • Museum of African Diaspora

>> More free things to do in July

>> Fun events this July in SF

Tickets to Top SF Museums

Can't make it during these free museum admission days in San Francisco? You can pick up your tickets in advance to enjoy these museums during your stay.

Fun Things to Do Around San Francisco

August 2024

Thursday, August 1

  • SF Museum of Modern Art, 1 pm to 8 pm for all Bay Area residents with an ID

Friday, August 2

  • Contemporary Jewish Museum

Sunday, August 4

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, August 6

  • Conservatory of Flowers
  • de Young Museum
  • Legion of Honor

Wednesday, August 7

  • GLBT Museum

Saturday, August 10

  • Museum of African Diaspora

Tuesday, August 13

  • Botanical Garden

>> Free things to do in August

>> Popular events in August

September 2024

Sunday, September 1

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, September 3

  • Conservatory of Flowers
  • de Young Museum
  • Legion of Honor

Wednesday, September 4

  • GLBT Museum

Thursday, September 5

  • SF Museum of Modern Art, 1 pm to 8 pm for all Bay Area residents with an ID

Friday, September 6

  • Contemporary Jewish Museum

Tuesday, September 10

  • Botanical Garden

Saturday, September 14

  • Museum of African Diaspora

>> Free things to do in September

>> Popular events in September

October 2024

Tuesday, October 1

  • Conservatory of Flowers
  • de Young Museum
  • Legion of Honor

Wednesday, October 2

  • GLBT Museum

Thursday, October 3

  • SF Museum of Modern Art, 1 pm to 8 pm for all Bay Area residents with an ID

Friday, October 4

  • Contemporary Jewish Museum

Sunday, October 6

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, October 8

  • Botanical Garden

Saturday, October 12

  • Museum of African Diaspora

>> Free things to do in October

>> Popular events in October

November 2024

Friday, November 1

  • Contemporary Jewish Museum

Sunday, November 3

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, November 5

  • Conservatory of Flowers
  • de Young Museum
  • Legion of Honor

Wednesday, November 6

  • GLBT Museum

Thursday, November 7

  • SF Museum of Modern Art, 1 pm to 8 pm for all Bay Area residents with an ID

Saturday, November 9

  • Museum of African Diaspora

Tuesday, November 12

  • Botanical Garden

Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving Day)

  • Botanical Garden

>> Free things to do in November

>> Popular events in November

December 2024

Sunday, December 1

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, December 3

  • Conservatory of Flowers
  • de Young Museum
  • Legion of Honor

Wednesday, December 4

  • GLBT Museum

Thursday, December 5

  • SF Museum of Modern Art, 1 pm to 8 pm for all Bay Area residents with an ID

Friday, December 6

  • Contemporary Jewish Museum

Tuesday, December 10

  • Botanical Garden

Saturday, December 14

  • Museum of African Diaspora

Wednesday, December 25 (Christmas Day)

  • Botanical Garden

>> Free things to do in December

>> Popular events in December

Calendar of Free Museum Admission in SF

More Free Things to Do in San Francisco

In addition to these free museum admission days, here are a few other free things to check out during your stay in San Francisco.

Lombard Street: Have you heard about San Francisco's famous crooked street? It's called Lombard Street and it's a fun place to check out during your visit. You can either walk or drive down this famous street with eight hairpin turns. For those walking, you will find a set of stairs on both sides where you can watch others as they try to maneuver around each turn. Learn more here

Painted Ladies of Alamo Square: Another fun thing to do in San Francisco is to check out the famous Painted Ladies of Alamo Square. You will find them next to Alamo Square Park. They are six identical historic Victorians with a wonderful view of downtown SF behind them. Learn more about visiting here

Street Art: One of the cool things about SF is that you will find street art all around town. My guide offers you details on where to find the best pieces and which neighborhoods have the largest concentration. Learn more here

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

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