[UPDATE: Wow, are you people still reading this old post? O.K., well here’s the 411 on 2011, as far as free days for your neighborhood are concerned. And the Free Third Wednesday of the Month deal, well now that’s now courtesy of the Bernard Osher Foundation. (Wachovia Bank, the former sponsor, is gone, long gone. And do you know where they sent the money from abandoned accounts after that whole FDIC shutdown? Nevada! Man, it took me a while to figure that one out when I was trying to help somebody get their $$$ back. Anyway, forget about Wachovia for the rest of your life…)
You see these people queueing up on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park? They all want to go to the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) on a day when admission is free. But the line to get in at the beginning of the day is a bit long so they can’t even see the place from the end of the line. That’s the problem with getting something for nothing.
But, depending on where you live, you might be able to get in during a less-crazy San Francisco Neighborhood Free Day and you can always go on a Thursday evening at a discounted rate.
Click to expand. (Ignore the overexposed area on the bottom – that’s just the white katana of death indicating your five year old Canon, after taking 140,000 shots, needs a new shutter.)
1. FREE WACHOVIA WEDNESDAYS
“Free admission is available to visitors on the third Wednesday of every month, presented by Wachovia. Admission is on a first come, first served basis, and early arrival is recommended due to the likelihood of high demand. Also, please note that final entry to the museum on free days is 4pm and, finally, that there will be no members-only entrance on free days.”
The photo above is from a recent W.W. If you pine for the spectacle of Opening Day, then you’re in luck. For people with time on their hands, it’s a perfect way to spend half of the day. But you might have to wait a bit to get into the fabulous Rainforest and you might not be able to get into the Morrison Planetarium all that easily.
No matter how you’re coming in, you’ll want to approach from the North, close to the Conservatory of Flowers. So that means taking the 5 Fulton bus or parking near the Conservatory and hoofing it a bit. And of course, you can always park outside of the park on Fulton Street and/or use the Fulton and 10th Avenue entrance to the underground garage. The southern approaches near the Sunset District can get more than a little congested.
2. SAN FRANCISCO NEIGHBORHOOD FREE DAYS
The advantage here is that you can chill with folks from your own hood over the course of six days per year. So let’s say you live in the Mission District. On May 1-3, 2009, you can get in for free when everybody else has to pony up full admission price. Que beuno!
Look for your ZIP Code and mark your calendars, but make sure you can prove where you live in S.F. A driver license is probably not going to cut it, so read the rules below and be prepared:
SAN FRANCISCO NEIGHBORHOOD FREE DAYS – 2009 (Proof of Residency Required*)
|Free admission is available for San Francisco residents in each zip code during the designated dates listed below. Neighborhood Free Days is presented by Bank of America.Please note that Neighborhood Free Days begin in 2009.
||Zip Code Area
||Spring Free Days
||Fall Free Days
|Mission, Bernal Heights
||May 1, 2, 3, 2009
||Oct. 23, 24, 25, 2009
|Sunset, Parkside, Stonestown, Lakeshore, St. Francis Wood
||94122, 94116, 94127, 94132
||May 8, 9, 10, 2009
||Sept. 11, 12, 13, 2009
|Richmond, Seacliff, Western Addition, Pacific Heights, Laurel Heights, Presidio
||94121, 94118, 94115, 94129
||May 15, 16, 17, 2009
||Oct. 2, 3, 4, 2009
|Excelsior, Ingleside, Bayview, Hunter’s Point, Visitacion Valley
||94112, 94134, 94124
||May 22, 23, 24, 2009
||Oct. 9, 10, 11, 2009
|Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill, North Beach, Cow Hollow, Marina
||94109, 94133, 94123
||May 29, 30, 31, 2009
||Oct. 16, 17, 18, 2009
|Chinatown, Tenderloin, Downtown, SOMA, Potrero, Treasure Island, Mission Bay
||94103, 94107, 94130, 94111, 94105, 94108, 94104, 94102, 94158
||June 5, 6, 7, 2009
||Sept. 25, 26, 27, 2009
|Castro, Noe Valley, Diamond Heights, Miraloma Park, Cole Valley, Haight
||94117, 94114, 94131
||June 12, 13, 14, 2009
||Sept. 18, 19, 20, 2009
|*Please provide one of these documents as proof of residency:
- Postmarked envelope, postcard, or magazine label with name and date
- Driver’s license or ID card issued in past six months
- Utility bill (gas/electric/cable), bank statement, or letter from a government agency that has your name and home address (not a P.O. Box)
3. NIGHTLIFE ON THURSDAY NIGHTS
The new Nightlife program that runs every Thursday from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM is off the hook. And it’s just $10 ($8 for members), so that’s almost like you’re getting in for free. Buy your tickets onlineif you can – the debut soiree had thousands of attendees and remaining nights this year should prove popular.
But here’s the deal – you need to be 21 or over go. You kids aged 18-20 who love the Nightlife and got to boogie will have just one more chance to see the CAS under moonlight – February 26, 2009. That’s it, ’cause after that it’ll be strictly 21+.
An attractive gal is approached by yet another ugly customer – Nightlife could be called a kind of a single’s scene, don’t you know.
What: NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences
Featuring music, cutting-edge science, and food and cocktails available for purchase
NightLife is for adults ages 21 and over
When: Every Thursday 6-10 pm
February 12 – October 29, 2009
Where: California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Cost: $10 per person ($8 for Academy members)
Tickets available at the door or online at https://www.calacademy.org/event_tickets/
Details: Visit www.calacademy.org/nightlife for a schedule of upcoming events, and to subscribe to the NightLife email list.
4. BECOME A MEMBER OF THE CAS
Check out the general policies and also the prices of memberships. Chances are, you might find something appealing. Membership has its priveleges, as they say.
Deets after the jump.
So there you have it. The new CAS is a smash success - check it out when you have the chance.
See you there!
Jump into Something Special
The launch of the new Academy is not just an historic moment in the history of the Bay Area, it’s a unique opportunity for individuals to connect and reconnect with the institution. Join the Academy community by becoming a member today. There’s a long list of benefits, including free admission year-round, special membership hours, and more. You’ll also be kept up to date on Academy news and activities with our dedicated Member publication, Live.
What Your Membership Supports
Interactive exhibits, educational outreach, and groundbreaking research will make the new Academy a leader among natural science museums. Your academy membership will show your support for the Academy’s long tradition of scientific discovery, as well as its crucial task to inspire the next generation of children to cherish and protect our planet.
The Academy Guild
A scavenger hunt in Steinhart Aquarium? How about a backstage museum tour with an evolutionary biologist? Guild members can enjoy a year-round schedule of family-focused parties, behind-the-scenes tours, hikes, exhibit openings, and other special events for families with children. Plus, Guild members enjoy academy family member benefits.
Friends of the Academy
Take a step closer, and consider joining Friends of the Academy, our highest level of donors, who support the Academy’s exciting new era of scientific discovery and education. Our Academy Friends enjoy exclusive donor benefits, and memorable behind-the-scene experiences.
All membership packages include these benefits:
Free unlimited admission
Personalized member card
Members only entrance (not applicable on the monthly third Wednesday free days)
Subscription to the Academy member publication
Free admission to Pritzker Members’ Lectures
Discounts on additional lectures and special programming
10% discount at the Academy Store
Access to the international members’ travel program
Please pick the membership plan that works best for you:
Children 6 years old and under receive free general admission.
Includes admission for you and one guest each time you visit, plus all membership benefits.
Includes admission for two adults and all your children or grandchildren 18 years of age and under each time you visit, plus all membership benefits.
Family Plus $250
Includes all Family membership benefits, plus admission for two guests. Guests must accompany members at time of visit.
(All but $20 is tax-deductible)
Includes all Family Plus membership benefits, plus an invitation to the annual Curators’ event and recognition in the Academy member publication.
Academy Guild $750
(All but $100 is tax deductible)
A special family-focused membership group. Enjoy three events each year, including the Family Spring Picnic and nature hikes