Tired of going around the block, or the endless stroll to the beach? With California’s reopening plan starting to take effect this week, the entire Bay Area can once again experience the pleasure of visiting a museum, garden or wildlife park, while keeping its mask and respecting social distances.
On September 14, the green light was given to reopen the museums. Although many of them remain closed, four major museums in San Francisco have announced that they will be open to the public again soon. From Friday September 25, the De Young Museum will welcome visitors eager to (re) discover the permanent collections or to finally see the exhibition. Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 am – 5:15 pm. Tickets must be reserved online. The Legion of Honor Museum, which belongs to the same group of Fine Arts Museums as De Young, has yet to announce a reopening date, but it is expected to take place around mid-October.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will open on Sunday October 4, and will be completely free until October 18. Tickets will be available for reservation starting September 25 (September 23 for members); advance reservations are strongly recommended as the museum will only open a quarter of its capacity. You can admire the work of American photographer Dawoud Bey or Calder’s mobiles. SFMOMA is open Friday through Monday from 10am to 5pm, and Thursday from 1pm to 8pm.
The Asian Art Museum is following in the footsteps of SFMOMA by offering free admission to the public from October 3 to 12. Tickets must be reserved in advance online. Among the exhibitions, we will not miss the works of Chanel Miller, including the rape in. 2015 on the campus of Stanford University had caused much ink to flow; his drawings retrace his path to healing. The museum is open Friday through Monday from 10am to 5pm, and Thursday from 1pm to 8pm.
In the “children” category, the Bay Area Discovery Museum, located in Sausalito at the foot of the Golden Gate, reopened its outdoor spaces on August 8, and begins to do the same with its various indoor workshops: since September 19, Wobbleland welcomes toddlers from 0 to 4 years old. Ideal for children up to 10 years old, this “museum” is in reality a giant and enclosed playground (to the delight of parents!) With many activities that appeal to both the imagination and the five senses or scientific exploration. The BADM is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9am to 4pm.
Zoos and aquariums
The two large zoos in the Bay Area were among the first places to reopen to the public. The San Francisco Zoo, located near Ocean Beach, is now open at 50% capacity. Many attractions, such as the merry-go-round, the little steam train, the tropical greenhouse remain closed, but the animals in the open-air enclosures are there. The zoo is open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Advance ticket reservation is mandatory.
As for the Oakland Zoo, it reopened at the end of July. African savannah, Californian flora and fauna, Australian outback, the zoo offers a great diversity of natural environments, populated by many animals. The highlight of the visit is obviously the overflight of “California” by cable car. The zoo is open daily from 10am to 4pm, and online reservations are required.
The region’s first aquarium to reopen, the Aquarium of the Bay, located on Pier 39 in San Francisco, will once again welcome visitors starting September 21, daily from 11am to 6pm. Compared to the Monterey Aquarium, however, the Aquarium of the Bay offers a good overview of the local marine life.
For nature lovers, many gardens now welcome visitors: in San Francisco, the Japanese Tea Garden is open daily from 9am to 5:45 pm, with a limit of 100 visitors at a time. Right next door, the San Francisco Botanical Garden and its 9,000 different plant species invites you to a stroll as colorful as it is exotic. The Botanical Garden is open from 7:30 am to 6 pm, and is free to residents of San Francisco.
In the East Bay, the botanical garden of the University of Berkeley is a pleasant discovery: created in 1890, it offers a bucolic walk through nine regions and more than 10,000 different plants. The botanical garden is only open by reservation, every day from 12 to 5pm.
Further south, the Filoli Gardens at Woodside once again welcome visitors, who are sure to admire the carefully manicured 6 hectares of this historic estate. If the gardens and fountains are remarkable, the house itself is also worth a detour: built by the famous architect Willis Polk in the years 1915-1916, it is world famous for its appearance in the credits of the American series “Dynasty” . Tours are daily from 10am to 5pm.