Oh happy day! With COVID-19 rates dropping in the Bay Area, museums have been able to reopen to visitors and we are so, so thrilled. We got the full scoop on what spots are opening back up, what to expect and how to make the most of your visits to these museums. Get ready to get out!

San Francisco

photo: de Young Museum

California Academy of Sciences
Advanced reservations are required when you visit the Cal Academy as they are limited to 25% building capacity to ensure social distancing. They are opening for members Oct. 13-22 and thereafter for non-members. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

de Young Museum
The museum is now open for visitors with timed tickets available via online reservation. You'll definitely want to check out the Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving exhibit while you are there. It's on exhibit through February and your timed ticket to the exhibit also gets you access to the permanent galleries. Tickets include free same-day admission to the Legion of Honor. Kids 12 and under are free but still need to have a timed entry ticket. Through Dec. 2021, frontline and essential workers will get free admission. Every Saturday the de Young offers free general admission to all residents of the nine Bay Area counties with a timed reservation required. Note: the deYoungsters Studio and the observation deck are currently closed. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

Conservatory of Flowers
The Conservatory of Flowers has reopened at 25% capacity. It will continue to be free every first Tuesday of the month. Face coverings are required at all times and visitors must follow a one-way path through the conservatory. Find their COVID-19 protocols here. 

SF Botanical Garden
The SF Botanical Garden has reopened and on-site enrichment activities are starting. Bean Sprout Family Days are back and you must make a reservation for this in advance. The Garden continues to be free on the second Tuesday of every month, from 7:30-9 a.m. daily and at all times for San Francisco residents. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

photo: Kate Loweth

Aquarium of the Bay 
This aquarium at PIER 39 is back open with lots of new safety protocols in place like one-way directional flow. You can book your timed entry tickets in advance and expect to find fewer visitors there, making for an enjoyable visit. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

Madame Tussauds 
While you are at PIER 39, head over to this Fisherman's Wharf spot that recently reopened Friday-Sunday. Interactive experiences and photo props are currently unavailable. Purchase your timed ticket before you head over. 

Asian Art Museum
The Asian Art Museum is open to all guests and free through Oct. 12. Reserve your timed tickets in advance before you head over. Download the mobile guide for help with navigating the museum while you are there. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

The museum is open and offering free Community Days through Oct. 18 with free admission and parking. Online reservations are recommended as on-site tickets may not be available. While you are there, head to the Bay Area Walls ongoing exhibit to see how artists are depicting 2020 in their works. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

Peninsula/South Bay

photo: Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

This museum and zoo has opened back up to the relief of local parents. During the daytime, only CuriOdyssey's outdoor zoo is open, and outdoor exhibits Illusions and The Nature of Patterns. No hands-on exhibits are available. During Autumn Nights, visitors will experience the gardens with music, lighting, wildlife enrichment and special exhibits. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose has opened Bill’s Backyard, the museum’s half-acre outdoor play space, to families who wish to visit. They will be having a Friday-Sunday schedule for the foreseeable future. Reservations are required for the two play sessions per day: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30-4 p.m., with an hour cleaning break between sessions. Find their COVID-19 protocols here


Bay Area Discovery Museum
Outdoor spaces at the BADM are open to members and the general public. Indoor spaces are reopening in phases with Wobbleland, Bay Hall and Art Studio to open first. Bean Sprouts Cafe is currently closed. Be sure to reserve your ticket to this year's Goblin Jamboree, Oct. 24-31. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

—Kate Loweth


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