These Bay Area Museums & Zoos Are Open for Visitors

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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: Kathryn Whitney

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 March 15-16 and thereafter for non-members. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

de Young Museum
The museum is open for visitors as of March 6 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 May 2 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 is open 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 is open 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

SkyStar Observation Wheel
The 150-ft. tall Observation Wheel located in the Music Concourse of Golden Gate Park, will reopen March 4 at noon. Get your tickets in advance here

photo: SF Zoo/Marianne Hale

San Francisco Zoo
The zoo is back open with timed advanced reservations required. Little Puffer is not currently operating but the playground just opened up. 

Aquarium of the Bay 
This aquarium at PIER 39 is back open with 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

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

SFMOMA
The museum is open at reduced capacity as of March 7. 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

East Bay

photo: Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo
The Oakland Zoo has reopened with advanced tickets required. Some areas like the playground and petting area are still closed. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

Children's Fairyland
This awesome spot for little ones reopens March 19 and we can't wait! Reserve your tickets now. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

Peninsula/South Bay

photo: Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose

CuriOdyssey
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. Coming March 21, you can check out the new Creature FEETures outdoor exhibit. No hands-on exhibits are available. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

Hiller Aviation Museum
Aviation fans will be psyched that this museum is open as of March 8. Private weekday admission is available here and you can get timed admission tickets for the weekends here. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
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.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-4 p.m., with an hour cleaning break between sessions. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo
Happy Hollow is back open with a new program to keep people safe. The initial reopening phase, Walk Through the Zoo, includes a one-way, outdoor walking path through two zoo areas and a virtual tour that allows guests to learn about the animals and wildlife conservation while safely stretching their legs and spending time outdoors. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

Marin

Bay Area Discovery Museum
Outdoor spaces at the BADM are open to members and the general public. Indoor spaces are reopening in phases with Bay Hall and Art Studio open now. Check out the new exhibits coming to the museum in 2021. Bean Sprouts Cafe is currently closed. Find their COVID-19 protocols here

—Kate Loweth

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