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Free Museum Admission Days in San Francisco 2021 & 2022

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: November 2, 2021

Many San Francisco museums offer free admission to their facilities at least once a month. 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. These include the California Academy of Sciences and the Exploratorium.

For many of these free days, you are currently required to book your tickets in advance online before you arrive. This helps them manage their capacity. 

Here is the general pattern of 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. California Academy of Sciences: Select Sundays throughout the year thanks to Pacific Gas & Electric Company (on hold due to capacity limitations)
  3. Conservatory of Flowers: First Tuesday of every month
  4. Contemporary Jewish Museum: First Tuesday of every month (on hold)
  5. de Young: First Tuesday of every month
  6. Exploratorium: Four to five times a year
  7. GLBT: First Saturday of the month (sponsored by the Bob Ross Foundation)
  8. Japanese Tea Garden: Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for those that arrive between 9 am and 10 am.
  9. Legion of Honor: First Tuesday of every month
  10. Museum of Craft and Design: First Tuesday of every month (on hold)
  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 mornings.
  • Botanical Garden: It's free to enter for anyone that enters through the main gate between 7:30 am and 9 am daily.

November 2021

All Saturdays in November

  • de Young & Legion of Honor: SF Bay Area residents will receive free admission every Saturday in November. You must visit their site to book your free ticket online. When you arrive at the museum, you must offer proof of residency in one of SF's Bay Area Counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma). This includes admission to the general exhibits and does not include admission to the special exhibits.

Tuesday, November 2

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

Saturday, November 6

  • GLBT Museum

Sunday, November 7

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, November 9

  • Botanical Garden

>> More fun things to do in November

>> More free ideas for November

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.

December 2021

All Saturdays in December

  • de Young & Legion of Honor: Both of these fine arts museums in San Francisco will be offering free admission to SF Bay Area residents every Saturday in December. Make sure to book your tickets on their website before you arrive. Bring along your ticket and then show them your proof of residency for free admission. This includes those living in the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. The ticket includes admission to the general exhibits and does not include admission to the special exhibits.

Saturday, December 4

  • GLBT Museum

Sunday, December 5

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, December 7

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

Tuesday, December 14

  • Botanical Garden

>> More fun things to do in December

>> More free ideas for December

January 2022

All Saturdays in January

  • de Young & Legion of Honor: In January 2022, both of these museums will offer free admission to SF Bay Area residents the first two Saturdays in January (and maybe more). Start the process by booking your tickets online through their website. When you arrive, simply show them your ticket and a current ID for admission. Those in the following counties qualify: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. The ticket includes admission to the general exhibits and does not include admission to the special exhibits, but you can buy special exhibit tickets if you want to visit that part of the museum.

Saturday, January 1

  • GLBT Museum

Sunday, January 2

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, January 4

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

Tuesday, January 11

  • Botanical Garden

>> More fun things to do in January

>> More free ideas for January

February 2022

Tuesday, February 1

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

Saturday, February 5

  • GLBT Museum

Sunday, February 6

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, February 8

  • Botanical Garden

>> More fun things to do in February

>> More free ideas for February

March 2022

Tuesday, March 1

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

Saturday, March 5

  • GLBT Museum

Sunday, March 6

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, March 8

  • Botanical Garden

>> More fun things to do in March

>> More free ideas for March

April 2022

Saturday, April 2

  • GLBT Museum

Sunday, April 3

  • SF Asian Art Museum

Tuesday, April 5

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

Tuesday, April 12

  • Botanical Garden

>> More fun things to do in April

>> More free ideas for April

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

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