Pan for gold, explore a tropical jungle and so much more (for free!) with your Golden State Advantage card. It’s a literal ticket to adventure at lots of California venues – including children’s museums, science centers and so much more!
Simply show your Golden State Advantage Card and a valid ID to take advantage of these exclusive benefits. Unless otherwise noted, you can get in free!
Please note that the museums with green titles are Museums for All participants. These venues accept EBT cards from all 50 states, so you don’t have to be a California resident to get these great deals!
Get museum admission discounts!
For your convenience, we’ve organized our free and discounted museum admission list alphabetically by city.
Victor Valley Museum – $1 per person
As part of the San Bernadino County Museum (below, in Redlands), the Victor Valley Museum charges just $1 per person for up to 9 family members. The Victor Valley Museum showcases the natural history and culture of the high desert. Exhibits include geology (rocks), paleontology (fossils), Native American artifacts and more!
Arboretum of Los Angeles County – FREE
Wander through 127 acres of beautiful landscaping throughout the arboretum, which includes a waterfall, tropical jungle, turtles and more. Click here for more information.
The Arboretum is located at 301 N Baldwin Avenue in Arcadia. Free parking.
Habitot Children’s Museum – FREE
The interactive, multisensory exhibits at Habitot Children’s Museum encourage play for children of all ages. From a fully-stocked grocery store (plastic foods, of course) to a rocketship, a water table to pretend vehicles, the museum is a wonderland for children.
Habitot provides FREE admission to WIC families, too! The museum is located at 5065 Kittredge St in Berkeley. Parking is approximately $2.50 per hour, depending on the lot.
Lawrence Hall of Science – FREE
Each EBT card grants four people free access to the Lawrence Hall of Science. You’ll be able to experiment with turbines, launch rockets, play with stop-motion animation, touch real animals, build models and explore the universe in this in-depth science hall at University of California Berkeley.
Virginia Robinson Gardens – FREE
This early 20th century estate showcases architecture and landscaping from a more gracious and hospitable era. Reservations are required.
The estate is located at 1008 Elden Way in Beverly Hills. There is some free parking available.
Museum of Making Music – $1 per person
The Museum of Making Music is housed in the first floor of the National Association of Music Merchants’ international headquarters. For just $1, your family of up to four people can explore the rich history of music-making, enjoy live music performances and more!
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum – $1 per person
This interactive museum caters to children ages 0-10. With diverse exhibits focused on STEM, cultures, the arts, and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy. With an EBT card, up to four people can receive the discounted admission rate.
Clarke Historical Museum – $3 or less per person
The Clark Museum displays a rich history of Humboldt County, including artifacts from the local Native American cultures, Gold Rush settlements, lumber industry, ranches and more.
Morris Graves Museum of Art – FREE
The Morris Graves Museum celebrates the rich artistic heritage of Northern California. Exhibits from local and world-renowned artists include sculpture, paintings and more.
Sequoia Park Zoo – $3 or less per person
The Sequoia Park Zoo features many wonderful animals. Of course, my favorite are the red panda exhibit and the free-flight zone! Kids of all ages enjoy the close encounters in the barnyard, where they can climb on giant spiderwebs and meet farm animals like rabbits and donkeys.
Pretend City Children’s Museum – $3 per person
As a Museum for All partner, this children’s museum invites families with EBT cards to explore the museum for just $3 per person.
The museum is located at 29 Hubble in Irvine.
La Cañada Flintridge
Descanso Gardens – FREE
More than 100,000 plants, including the largest North American camellia display, are contained in these gardens. Tram tours and walking tours are available. For more information, please click here.
The gardens are located at 1418 Descanso Drive in La Cañada Flintridge. Parking is free.
Museum of Contemporary Art – FREE
The museum showcases various collections and exhibitions. Click here to see what is currently on display.
The museum is located at 700 Prospect St in La Jolla. Up to 4 family members can receive free admission with an EBT card. Anyone under 25 is always free.
Long Beach Museum of Art – FREE
Art workshops and programs are available at LBMA. On the second Sunday of each month, a free Creativity Lab is held.
The museum is located at 2300 E Ocean Blvd in Long Beach. Parking is free in the lot located 1/2 block west of the museum.
Museum of Latin American Art – FREE
Modern and contemporary Latin American art is featured here. On the third Sunday of each month, there are galleries, docent tours and family workshops. Music and dance performances are sometimes included. For more information, please click here.
The museum is located at 628 Alamitos Avenue in Long Beach. Parking is free.
African American Firefighters Museum – FREE
Take a look at the vintage trucks and authentic firefighting equipment at this museum for free. Uniforms, photographs and more help illustrate how firefighting was different during segregation and desegregation. Learn more by clicking here.
This museum is located at 1401 S Central Avenue in Los Angeles. Free parking.
Autry National Center – FREE
Pan for gold, and learn about the American West at Autry National Center. With 12 galleries, including the hands-on Family Discovery Gallery, this museum has something for everyone. For more information, click here.
The Center is located at 4700 W Heritage Way in Los Angeles. Free parking.
California African American Museum – FREE
This museum showcases the history, culture and art of African Americans. On the first Sunday of each month, live entertainment and free art workshops are also provided. EBT cardholders can receive a free gift while supplies last.
The museum is located at 600 State Drive in Los Angeles. Parking is $6.
California Science Center at Exhibition Park – FREE
Over 100 hands-on science exhibits make science enjoyable and easy to understand for guests of all ages. Please know that special exhibits, films and events may not be included with free admission. You can learn more about the CSC by clicking here.
The science center is located at 700 State Drive in Los Angeles. Parking is $6.
Craft and Folk Museum – FREE
Folk art and contemporary crafts improve cultural understanding. Twice a month, free family workshops are held. Please contact the center or visit this link for more information.
The museum is located at 5814 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles. Metered on-street parking is available.
Fowler Museum at UCLA – FREE
Arts and cultures from around the world are showcased in the Fowler Museum. For more information, click here.
The museum is located on UCLA’s north campus in Los Angeles. Parking is $11.
Hammer Museum – FREE
This cutting-edge arts institution connects classic and contemporary art through collections, exhibitions and programs. Parking is $3 for 3 hours with museum validation and $1.50 for each additional 20 minutes. For more information, click here.
The museum is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.
Japanese American National Museum – FREE
Located in the Little Tokyo Historic District, this museum explores the Japanese American ethnic and cultural diversity through exhibitions and public programs. Free admission is limited to the third Thursday of each month and every Thursday between 5pm and 8pm. Click here for more information.
The museum is located at 100 N Central Avenue in Los Angeles.
La Plaza de Cultura Y Artes – FREE
Located in downtown Los Angeles, this is the nation’s premier center of Mexican-American culture. With interactive exhibits and dynamic programs, visitors are introduced and invited to contribute to the ongoing story of Mexican-Americans in Southern California. Click here for more info.
The cultural center is located at 501 N Main Street in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art – FREE
Fine art from ancient times to present is on display at LACMA. Artist-led workshops are available on Sundays. Additional programming is available throughout the year. Click here for more info.
Free parking is available on the north side of 6th street. Parking in the LACMA lot on the corner of Wilshire and Spaulding is $5 with museum validation.
The museum is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles.
Museum of Contemporary Art – FREE
This art gallery also provides free family workshops on the first Sunday of each month. The workshops are held in the afternoon. Please contact the museum or visit this link for more information.
The museum s located at 250 S Grand Avenue in Los Angeles. Parking in the Walt Disney Concert Hall Garage is $9 for 3 hours, with museum validation.
Museum of Tolerance – FREE
This museum promotes understanding and respect for everyone by examining prejudice, discrimination and human rights issues through powerful exhibits. Some of the exhibits, such as the Holocaust exhibit, have a recommended minimum age. Please check out this link for more details.
The museum is located at 9786 West Pico Blvd in Los Angeles. Parking is free under the museum.
National History Museum of Los Angeles County – FREE
Explore 4.5 billion years of history in the largest natural history museum in the Western US. Grand mammal dioramas, rare dinosaur fossils, a gem hall and more await visitors.
The museum is located at 900 Exposition Bvld in Los Angeles. Parking ranges from $8-$10 (cash only) in nearby parking lots.
Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits – FREE
Visit the only active, urban Ice Age excavation site in the world! At the La Brea Tar Pits, paleontologists excavate mammoths, wolves and saber-tooth cats every day of the week. Their findings are then displayed in the Page Museum.
The Page Museum is located at 5801 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles. It is open daily between 9:30am and 5pm. Parking is available for $7 (with museum validation).
Skirball Cultural Center – FREE
Eye-opening exhibits, festivals, storytelling, live music, art projects and other fun family programs are available throughout the year at this location.
The center is located at 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd in Los Angeles. Parking is free.
Southwest Museum – FREE
Study the historical American Indians through “archaeology” digs, story times, gardens and special programming. For more information, visit the website.
The museum is located at 234 Museum Drive in Los Angeles. Parking is free.
USC Fisher Gallery – FREE
500 years of art is displayed at the Fisher Gallery, located at the University of Southern California. Over 1,800 objects are on permanent display. Local, international and emerging artists are also featured.
The gallery is located at 823 Exposition Blvd in Los Angeles. Parking is $4.
Zimmer Children’s Museum – FREE
Explore 10,000 square feet of play space designed for children 0-8 years old. More info is available on their website.
The kids museum is located at 6505 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles. Parking is free.
Chabot Space & Science Center – $1 per person
Golden State Advantage cardholders can be inspired by the universe for just $1 per person. Just 2.5 miles off the freeway, the center has three powerful telescopes, numerous exhibits and a reputation as one of Northern California’s leading science education centers.
The center is located at 10000 Skyline Blvd in Oakland.
Oakland Museum of California – $1 per person
This museum aims to inspire Californians to create a more vibrant future. Multidisciplinary exhibits combine art, history and natural science over more than 300,00 square feet.
It is located at 1000 Oak St in Oakland.
Palos Verdes Peninsula
South Coast Botanic Garden – FREE
Admire 250,000 landscaped plants and trees, including redwoods and flowering trees, across 87 acres at this luxurious garden. Walking and shuttle tours are available. Picnics are allowed on-site.
The garden is located at 26300 Crenshaw Blvd in Palos Verdes Peninsula. Parking is free.
Kidspace Children’s Museum – $3 per person
Children ages 0-11 can enjoy 40 hands-on, interactive exhibits across 3.5 acres of space. Daily activities and programs engage children with arts, science and humanities. For more information, please click here.
The kid’s museum is located at 480 N Arroyo Blvd in Pasadena. Parking is free in Rose Bowl Lot 1. Up to 4 people per EBT card will receive the discounted rate. Kids under age 1 are always free.
Norton Simon Museum – FREE
Degas, Picasso, Rembrandt and van Gogh are among some artists featured at the Norton Simon museum. A sculpture garden and South/Southeast Asia exhibit are also included.
The museum is located at 411 W Colorado Blvd in Pasadena. Parking is free.
Pacific Asia Museum – FREE
A Chinese-style building, relaxing courtyard and art gallery invite visitors to explore the art and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands.
The museum is located at 46 N Los Robles Avenue in Pasadena. Limited parking is available for free in the lot next to the museum. Metered parking is also available.
Pasadena Museum of California Art – FREE
Exhibits feature California art and design from the 1850s on. For more information, check out PCMAOnline.org
The Museum is located at 490 E Union Street in Pasadena. Parking is free on the first level of the museum.
Southern California Children’s Museum – $3 or less per person
SCCM is a new and growing children’s museum in Pasadena! Geared to children under the age of 8, SCCM either has or is planning to construct exhibits featuring a farmer’s market, music, water play, campgin, sensory light, construction zones and more.
Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert – $2 per person
Over 80 hands-on exhibits encourage learning and play at this exciting children’s museum. Children of all ages are invited to play.
The location is 71-701 Gerald Ford Drive in Rancho Mirage.
San Bernadino County Museum – $1 per person
This regional museum provides insight into the cultural and natural history of San Bernadino County. With special exhibits, a live animal discovery center, extensive research collections and more, this is a great (and affordable) place to visit in the Redlands area!
The $1 rate is available for up to 9 family members. According to the museum’s media specialist Jennifer Reynolds, “This $1 rate for EBT cardholders and their families applies to our historic sites and branches, as well, including the Rains House in Rancho Cucamonga, Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery in Colton, and the Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley.”
Richmond Museum of History – $3 per person
Originally operating out of the Carnegie Library basement, the Richmond Museum of History now operates in that building. The museum also owns the SS Red Oak Victory, a WWII era Victory ship that is berthed in the Port of Richmond.
The Richmond Museum of History is a Museums for All partner.
Riverside Art Museum – $1 per person
The Riverside Art Museum provides thought-provoking exhibits and art classes to encourage a love of the arts. The museum features pieces from the best artists in the world, as well as local artists and high school students.
The museum is located at 3425 Mission Inn Ave in Riverside.
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego – FREE
The Museum of Contemporary Art offers special exhibitions and collections. To see what is currently showing, please click here. Up to four family members can receive free admission with an EBT card.
The museum is located at 1100 and 1001 Kettner Blvd in San Diego.
California Academy of Sciences – $3 per person
The California Academy of Sciences features a world-class aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum under one roof! It’s all located within San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
With an EBT card, up to 4 people can visit the California Academy of Sciences for just $3 per person! Need more tickets? Pick up FREE passes for families with 4-6 children form a local public library branch!
Children’s Creativity Museum – FREE
Creativity, innovation and critical thinking are all fostered at Children’s Creativity Museum, a hands-on museum that focuses on art and technology. With a Music Studio, Animation Studio, Innovation Lab, Tech Lab, and Imagination Lab, children will love learning here!
Up to four people can receive free admission per EBT card. Additional guests can enter for a reduced fee of just $6! Photo ID is required.
Exploratorium – FREE
Over 650 hands-on exhibits are divided among six main galleries that explore various topics. The galleries include Tinkering, Living Systems, Human Phenomena, Seeing and Listening, Observing Landscapes and Outdoors. EBT cardholders can visit the Exploratorium FREE through the Museums for All program!
Museum of Craft and Design – FREE
The Museum of Craft and Design (MCD) is the only museum in San Francisco that showcases only modern and contemporary craft and design. Since 2004, the Museum has showcased specific designers, makers and artists through a series of exhibitions.
San Jose Museum of Art – FREE
Four people can explore the visiting exhibits and the extensive permanent collection of 2,500 pieces for free! You can browse the collection on their website.
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum – $3 per person
This 8,400 square foot facility is a children’s wonderland! With an outdoor playscape, three floors of interactive exhibits and an art center, children will never run out of things to do! This museum was specially designed for children up to age 10.
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium – FREE
Just steps away from the Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, this aquarium features Southern California marine life in close-up experiences. For more information, including hours of operation, please click here.
The aquarium is located at 3720 Stephan M. White Drive in San Pedro. Parking costs $7 per car, $9 for a trailer/RV/bus or $5.50 for a motorcycle.
California Heritage Museum – FREE
This historic landmark building offers exhibits of decorative and fine art. For more information, click here.
The museum is located at 2612 Main Street in Santa Monica. Parking is free Wednesday through Saturday. There is a $1 per hour charge to park on Sundays.
Santa Monica Museum of Art – FREE
Interesting and entertaining arts programs are available for adults and families. Local, national and international artists are featured here.
The museum is located at 2525 Michigan Avenue in Santa Monica. Parking is free.
ImagineU Museum – $3 per person
Explore the newest exhibits in this ever-changing children’s museum for just $3 per person, up to four people. From the musical outdoor Harmony Park to the glass wall canvases of the Imagination Station, children will never run out of things to do at ImagineU.
That’s not all your EBT card can do!
Did you know you could use your EBT benefits for purchases from these sellers?
- Farmer’s Markets
- Papa Murphy’s
- Schwan’s Trucks also accept EBT benefits, but the delivery charge must be paid separately.
- Starbucks locations inside grocery stores can also accept EBT for drinks and food items.
In addition to your usual groceries, EBT benefits can also be used to purchase:
- Energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label. Energy drinks that have a “supplement facts” label are not eligible because they are classified by the FDA as supplements and not food items.
- Live lobsters and other shellfish that will be used for food.
- Pumpkins if they are edible and not ornamental only.
- Birthday and other special cakes as long as the non-edible decorations do not exceed 50% of the purchase price of the cake.
- Gift baskets for holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas (including pre-filled holiday stockings and tins) can be purchased with EBT benefits as long as the food value exceeds the non-food value. For example, the federal SNAP website indicates that a stuffed holiday bear holding a small box of chocolate would NOT be eligible because the value of the bear exceeds the value of the food. However, a gift basket with snack foods or candy and a small toy would be eligible because the food clearly accounts for more than 50% of the purchase price.