The first time we visited the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, we went for the Taiko drummers who were performing for one of the museum’s many special events. We didn’t have kids with us, but it didn’t matter. We discovered a fresh sense of wonder, as if we were children ourselves. We watched families pretend to be pirates at Lookout Cove, the outdoor play area, explored the simple indoor exhibits, and took in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from a delightfully different direction.
The nationally recognized Bay Area Discovery Museum is a one-of-a-kind indoor/outdoor family attraction with a full range of fun activities and unique events for children ages 6 months to 8 years old. If you’re spending the day in Sausalito, you might just wander over and see what’s happening beneath the bridge.
The Bay Area Discovery Museum runs occasional ticket deals, some through secondary sources, and some directly. The museum also offers free admission on the first Wednesday of every month. The free days can get crowded, so go early for the best experience. See the current options below, and check out the savvy tips.
WHAT: Bay Area Discovery Museum. You can get tickets at the door, or get “any day” tickets online via aRes Travel (a savvy ticket source). See various ticket discount offers below.
WHERE: 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito, CA 94965.
WHEN: Open hours vary throughout the year. Closed most Mondays and holidays.
SAVVY TIPS: To make your experience even savvier …
- Parking: Free parking is available in lots next to the Museum. If the main parking lot is full, try The National Park Service parking lot next to the the main entrance. You may also park along the waterfront by the Coast Guard station, or in dirt lots on East Road.
- Getting There: If you’re taking the ferry from San Francisco to Sausalito, the museum suggests taking a cab from the hotel across the street from the ferry landing. The route is only about 2 miles, but walking isn’t recommended on the narrow streets. No buses go directly to the museum.
- Strollers — Strollers aren’t allowed in some exhibit halls (the smaller historic buildings), but you can park strollers anywhere on site.
- Dining — Check out the Bean Sprouts Café onsite, or bring a lunch to eat at the picnic tables by Lookout Cove. (No food or drinks allowed inside the exhibition halls.)
- Best Time To Go — Afternoons or days early in the week tend to be the least crowded. If you’re planning on visiting between October and May late morning (10am to noon), call and ask the museum if they’re expecting school groups. They often have groups of 80 or more visiting during these times.
Best Ways to Save On Tickets
TICKET DEAL: OVER Bay Area Discovery Museum
COMBO PASS: Go San Francisco & Build Your Own San Francisco Passes: Better than they used to be, these city discount cards provide admission to many popular SF Bay Area attractions for one low price — including Bay Area Discovery Museum. You could save up to 55% off. The Build-Your-Own version is a custom card (and this Editor’s Pick) that lets you choose as few as two activities/attractions and you still save around 20% on both. You can show on your smart phone or print and go.
FREE DAYS: Bay Area Discovery Museum Free days are the first Wednesday of each month, from 9am – 4pm.
COUPONS: Currently not available, but check this spot soon for updates.
OTHER WAYS TO SAVE:
The following discounts are available directly from The Bay Area Discovery Museum. (More info on their website).
- Military discount — The museum is a member of the Blue Star program, which means free admission to active duty military personnel and up to five family members.
- Membership discounts — Get $1 off per visitor, up to 5 people if you’re a member of the Automobile Association of America (AAA); California Alumni Association (CAA); or KQED.
- Reciprocal Museums — Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) offers free reciprocal admission to members of other children’s museums, depending on your membership level. Check your membership card for the ACM sticker. Locally, reciprocal members of Habitot and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose receive passes good for two free visits, then $4 admission per person.
- Groups — Reduced rates are available directly for certain groups, schools and organizations that reach under-served children. Families might want to inquire about special admission rates.
- Subscriber perk — Join the museum’s email list and get a coupon for $1 off your visit, up to 5 people.