With 26 museums and local destinations participating, Sacramento Museum Day is back to bring residents of the greater Sacramento area the chance to experience the historical and fascinating delights that the area’s museums have to offer.
During the 19th annual event, participating local museums will offer free or half-priced admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb 4. Most of the more than 25 museums will offer free admission whereas two destinations located in residential areas — the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town — will offer half-priced admission to offset parking and traffic control costs.
Presented by Sutter Health and Bank of America and coordinated by the Sacramento Association of Museums (SAM) and Visit Sacramento, the annual event 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.
In addition to offering free or reduced cost admission, many of the destinations are offering special activities during Sacramento Museum Day. The activities range from special staffing by docents (for some smaller museums not normally open on Saturdays) to the following:
- The California Agriculture Museum is opening Golden Landscapes, a photography exhibit by Carson Jefferies. The museum is also featuring the book California’s Thirst for Tractors and guests can meet the author Jack Alexander at noon that day.
- California Museum will offer free hands-on activities including an interactive family history/immigration project and a selfie photo booth where visitors may pledge to become a unity activist and submit their photos for a chance to be featured in the Unity Center exhibit opening summer of 2017.
- California State Library will offer a 3-D exhibit showing historic photos on a 3D monitor, an historically themed scavenger hunt, a touch-screen of visual images from their collection, a tactile map of California from their Braille and Talking book library along with a special display of technology used by the visually impaired, and a special exhibit on the third floor featuring editorial cartoons.
- Maidu Museum & Historic Site will offer trail tours, children’s activities, tables for grinding acorns and beaded bracelets or necklaces.
- The Sacramento History Museum will offer their always-popular gold panning activities for kids outside in front of the Museum.
- The Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum will serve punch and cake as well as provide short lessons by interesting teachers all to celebrate the anniversary of Sacramento’s first public school in February 1854.
- The Roseville Utility Exploration Center will present a hands-on “Bird and Bug Bonanza” with interactive activities such as a creek crawl, build your own bluebird home, story time with the Bug Squad and more.
- Sacramento Children’s Museum will offer lots of hands-on activities including the popular Mission Imagination.
Half-priced admission locations offer a still-great deal with Sacramento Zoo’s admission priced at $7.50 for adults and $5 for children ages 2-11 and free for children under two; and Fairytale Town costs $2.88 per person and 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. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. but note the last guests will be admitted at 4 p.m.
Participating Museums for Sacramento Museum Day 2017*:
California Agriculture Museum
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 2017 Sacramento Museum Day include: Aerospace Museum of California (closed in preparation to open a major exhibit on 2/6/17); 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).
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 Visit California at (916) 808-7777.
Photo by Gaurav Kavathekar/CC Flickr