While exploring local museums is an interactive and fun activity all year long, February 6 offers an opportunity that is hard to pass up: more than 25 museums are offering free or half-price admission during the 18th Annual Sacramento Museum Day!
Presented by Bank of America, Sacramento Covered and Amtrak® — and to the delight of the greater Sacramento area community — 26 participating local museums will offer free or half-priced admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Most of the more than 25 museums will offer free admission with the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town offering half-priced admission to offset parking and traffic control costs.
Coordinated by the Sacramento Association of Museums (SAM) and the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sacramento Museum Day is a popular cultural tradition designed to encourage all members of the community to experience the Capital City’s incredible wealth of art, history, science and wildlife — at little or no cost. Many of the museums are within walking distance of each other and easily accessible via public transportation.
Event coordinators suggest that guests plan to visit no more than two or three different museums on this day in order to allow adequate time to enjoy the experience and to travel between individual sites. Also note that while the event runs through 5 p.m., last guests will be admitted at 4 p.m.
In addition to offering free or reduced cost admission, many of the destinations are offering special activities during Sacramento Museum Day. A sampling of the special activities include the following:
- The Aerospace Museum of California will offer a special “open cockpit” day where most aircraft will be open for viewing (weather permitting), a children’s art contest and on-site exhibitors such as the Tuskegee Airmen.
- The California Automobile Museum will demonstrate how to make an 1850’s small stationary steam engine run using compressed air (note that the Museum displays several early steam-powered automobiles in its collection), plus a hands-on stamping activity for kids that includes a small prize at the end.
- The Masonic Service Bureau will be on-site at the Powerhouse Science Center Discovery Campus providing free electronic fingerprints of children for their parents plus the Sacramento Public Library will have a booth and prize wheel on-site, and there will even be drop-in visits by local mascots.
- The Roseville Utility Exploration Center will present a hands-on “Bird and Bug Bonanza” with lots of interactive activities such as a creek crawl, build your own bluebird home, story time with the Bug Squad and more.
- The Sacramento History Museum will offer their always-popular gold panning activities for kids outside in front of the Museum.
- The crowd-favorite Sacramento Children’s Museum will present a lively “task party” where guests randomly draw and perform fun tasks such as convincing other guests to “jam” with them for five minutes, draw portraits of strangers (with crayons) or even handing out awards for silly things like Best Eyebrows.
- The Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum will serve cake and provide short lessons by interesting teachers to celebrate the anniversary of Sacramento’s first public school in February 1854.
- Sojourner Truth African American Museum will host a Crocker Art Museum “Block By Block” talent search (from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) plus children will be able to make and take home a Sojourner Truth tile piece.
- Verge Center for the Arts will offer a Free Kids Clay Open Studio from 1 to 5 p.m. where children will receive basic instruction to play and create with clay.
“Every year is unique and offers exciting new discoveries for guests to explore on Sacramento Museum Day,” said Sacramento Association of Museums Chair Lorili Ostman. “We’d like to thank our returning sponsors – Bank of America and Sacramento Covered – plus our first-time sponsor Amtrak for helping us to present this important event and introduce the community to the amazing array of arts, culture and museum offerings available in the greater Sacramento region.”
Half-priced options include the Sacramento Zoo for $6 adults/$4 for children ages 2-11/free for children under two; and Fairytale Town for $2.75 per person/free for children ages one and under.
Due to the popularity of Sacramento Museum Day, some locations must limit the number of admissions for safety reasons. More detailed information about participating museums, addresses, limitations, suggested parking and public transit options is available at sacmuseums.org (click on “News & Events”), or by calling the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau at (916) 808-7777.
Participating Museums for Sacramento Museum Day 2016*:
Aerospace Museum of California
California Automobile Museum
California State Capitol Museum
California State Library
California State Railroad Museum
Don & June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum
Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park
Locke Boarding House Museum
Maidu Museum & Historic Site (Roseville)
Museum of Medical History
Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum
Old Sacramento State Historic Park
Powerhouse Science Center Discovery Campus
Roseville Utility Exploration Center
Sacramento Children’s Museum
Sacramento Historic City Cemetery
Sacramento History Museum
Sojourner Truth African American Museum
State Indian Museum
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
Verge Center for the Arts
Wells Fargo History Museum (Capitol Mall)
Wells Fargo History Museum (Old Sacramento)
*SAM member museums not able to participate in the 2016 Sacramento Museum Day include: California Agriculture Museum (closed for redesign); California Statewide Museum Collections Center; Crocker Art Museum (charging $5 admission that day) and the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park (closed to the public).