Like doing stuff for free? Do you live in San Francisco or will you be visiting anytime soon? Take advantage of some of the fabulous free events and free admissions to an pretty awesome array of culture, music, and science. From seeing the San Francisco Symphony, checking out priceless art or cold chillin’ with some critters, here are five outings for the family pinching pennies.
Cultural Encounters at the de Young Museum
Just last week we made King Tut inspired necklaces, basked in the glory of the seductive sounds of an Egyptian band and got to shimmy with belly dancers. All for free. Whenever we go to one of the Friday Nights Cultural Encounters at the de Young, I am filled with civic pride. Each Friday the de Young museum stays open late and they feature – in their main court – a musical guest, some kind of entertainment such as dancers and a craft for the kids. We’ve seen punk, Persian, folk, opera, rock, and classical music performed there in the past. The crafts always tie in with the current exhibits and the arts table is crowded with kids creating some magic. Oh and they serve booze! So you can sip on a glass of vino while you get your culture fix. Note, that you must pay to get into the museum itself but access to the Friday night festivities is free. More info here.
Museum of Modern Art
The first Tuesday of the month is always free at the Museum of Modern Art. So you can check out some a Khalo, Matisse, and O’Keefe all for the low low cost of nothing. There are always fabulous exhibits so there’s always something special to see. More info here.
Stern Grove Festival
In the southwest part of the city there lies a quaint forest like park with a newly restored amphitheater. This hidden gem features free concerts every Sunday throughout the summer. An example of the music happening in the 2009 season? The San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet, Joan Baez and Bollywood superstar Kilash Kher’s Kailasa. To get one of the prime picnic spots, you have to stake out your area early. More info here.
California Academy of Sciences
The brand spanking new Academy of Sciences features oodles of exhibits about nature, space, an amazing aquarium and an albino alligator named Claude. Tickets for the state of the art Academy usually cost $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for youths. But on the first third Wednesday of the month admission is free thanks to a sponsorship from Wachovia. More Info here.
San Francisco Zoo
The first Wednesday of the every month is free zoo day. But you have to be a San Francisco resident to enjoy the free admission…sorry tourists. If you do live her, just present your ID or a local bill (utility or phone). More info Here.