Cool Deals


Every third Thursday, join SFMOMA and other cultural institutions for an evening of free and discounted admission, art events, music, exclusive drink specials, and more. Get your culture on with artworks, talks, performances, and interactive events throughout the Yerba Buena neighborhood! More details at

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Below are some free -- or close to free -- events happening around the Bay Area on a regular basis. Please check with their Web sites for more detailed information.

Amoeba Music Record Shop
In addition to the rows upon rows of new and used records and CDs for sale, this Bay Area (and now Los Angeles) mainstay also regularly hosts free live music. From folk to punk rock, jazz to techno, there's sure to be something coming up that will please your ears. The schedule varies from month to month, and is printed in the SF Guardian and other free Bay Area weeklies, as well as the Amoeba Web site.
Where: 1855 Haight St., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 831-1200

Community Music Center
With its weekly free or low-cost concerts and its modest tuition rates, sliding scale fees, tuition-free ensembles, and financial aid programs, the Community Music Center serves a large and diverse population.
Where: 544 Capp St. & 741 30th Ave., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 647-6015 (Capp St.) & (415) 221-4515 (30th Ave.)

Goldstar Events
We all get too much spam in our in-box, but this is one email worth signing up for. Members of Goldstar Events receive weekly late-breaking event alerts offering half-off ticket prices and sometimes offers opportunities to attend events for free. And if you refer a friend, you can get yourself a discount, now that's a good deal!

Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Free Italian film screenings on select Tuesday evenings, and other events regarding Italian art and culture. Get a taste of La Vita Dolce!
Where: 814 Montgomery St., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 788-7142

The Museum of Performance & Design (MP+D)
Housing a vast catalog of books, recordings, videos, and visual arts, the MP+D is a treasure for the history of the stage, from San Francisco's Gold Rush era to modern times. The SFPALM is committed to providing materials and programs related to national and international performing arts, with special emphasis on the rich and diverse Bay Area heritage of dance, musical theater, and theatrical design. Museum entrance is free with a suggested donation of $5.
Where: 893B Folsom St., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 255-4800

The Poetry Center at San Francisco State
Poetry readings are free of charge at the Poetry Center. Off-campus readings range from free to $10.
Where: San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 338-2227

Randall Museum
Great fun for children and adults alike, the Randall Museum hosts interactive exhibits of art and science. Admission is always free -- but donations are gratefully accepted. Youth programs, presentations, and other events are sometimes free. Located right in the heart of San Francisco near Corona Heights Park.
Where: 199 Museum Way, San Francisco
Phone: (415) 554-9600

San Francisco Art Institute
One of the oldest art organizations in California, the San Francisco Art Institute provides resources for artists, students, and art lovers alike. With free galleries, lectures, and a wonderful view of North Beach and Russian Hill, SFAI continues to be an amazing resource for art in the Bay Area.
Where: 800 Chestnut St., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 771-7020

SF Mime Troupe
The San Francisco Mime Troupe does not do pantomime -- in fact they are very vocal and usually politically charged. They use the label "mime" in the older sense of "to mimic" and have experimented with many different forms of theater to achieve their satirical ends. In order to reach the broadest audience possible the SFMT holds to a tradition they started in the 1970s -- during the summer months, they offer many free performances in parks around the Bay Area.
Where: Various venues, check their Web site for a full schedule
Phone: (415) 285-1717

San Francisco Opera
Incorporating a symphony of car horns and sounds of nuclear explosion in some of its modern operas, San Francisco Opera is updating its image and inviting younger patrons by encouraging informal dress and by offering $10 Standing Room tickets for performances at the War Memorial Opera House. Full-time student rush tickets are $25, and senior rush tickets are $30.
Where: 301 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 861-4008

San Francisco Public Library
Lectures, book clubs, art exhibitions, music and other events are always free at the San Francisco Public Library. We recommend "Radar Reading," a monthly event that highlights edgy emerging writers. With several branches throughout San Francisco, there's almost always something happening.
Where: Main Branch, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco
Phone: (415) 557-4400

TIX Bay Area
This is the place (both physically and virtually) to get half-price tickets on the day of a performance to selected events. TIX Bay Area is a program of Theatre Bay Area, a nonprofit organization serving over 300 theatre and dance companies in the 11-county Bay Area.
Where: Tickets sold at The Tix Booth in Union Square at 350 Powell St., San Francisco
When: Daily from 10am to 6pm
Phone: (415) 433-7827

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