Museums Without Walls: Public Art to See for Free

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The Bay Area is home to some world-class art, some of it housed in big name institutions. But you don’t necessarily have to fork out any entrance fees to get your culture fix with the kids. Over the years millions of dollars have been spent on public art, executed by both international artists and critically acclaimed home grown talent. Think Richard Serra, Diego Rivera and Leo Villareal to name a few. It’s kid-friendly, free and just waiting to be discovered. Click through for the best of the Bay Area’s public art for pint-sized patrons.

The Wave Organ, San Francisco

Shaped out of old curbstones and salvaged stone from a nearby cemetery, the Wave Organ is the work of artist Peter Richards. Use the parking lot at the Sir Francis Yacht Club and let the kids stand sentry at the bricked up doors of the little lighthouse that you pass on the way out to the jetty. You won’t be able to see Wave Organ until you're right on top of it. Richards had the idea of capturing the sounds of the Bay and sunk pipes down to the water to amplify the gurgles and splashes of the waves. The sound is best at high tide but at low tide you’ll get a small beach to play on. San Francisco Marina, San Francisco, Ca Online: http://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/wave-organ Photo credit: Emily Myersfuck

What is your favorite piece of public art? Let us know in the comments below.

–Erin Feher, Emily Myers and Garrick Ramirez