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!
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.
Bakersfield Museum of Art -up to $3 per person
Over the last 60 years, the Bakersfield Museum of Art has encouraged art appreciation and educational opportunities throughout Bakersfield and Kern County. With a variety of visual arts and rotating exhibitions, there’s always something new to see here.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
Monterey County Youth Museum (MY Museum) – $2 per person
MY Museum is a great place for children to explore! Billed as the place “where children play to learn… and grown ups learn to play,” MY Museum invites families to play across exhibits including a beach, imagitree, golf course, hospital, creation station, theater and more!
The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens – up to $3 per person
Learn about plants and animals at the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens in the Colorado Desert! The conservatory also offers camel rides and giraffe feedings for an additional cost.
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.
The Children’s Museum at the Paso Robles Volunteer Firehouse – up to $3 per person
The Paso Robles Children’s Museum has many interactive exhibits, including a fire station, physical science corner, grape stomp, pizza kitchen, market, creation station, theater, toddler farm, oak tree and Newton’s Playhouse. See more on their website!
Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert – $2 per person
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.
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.
The museum is located at 1100 and 1001 Kettner Blvd in San Diego.
San Diego County Fair – FREE
The San Diego County Fair offers Unemployed Days, which invite EBT cardholders to visit the fair for FREE! This article describes the 2016 program. You’ll need to check with the fair for this year’s dates.
San Diego History Center – FREE
The San Diego History Center is “one of the oldest and largest historical organizations on the West Coast,” according to their website. Founded in 1928, the Center features collections and exhibitions that focus on the unique history and culture of the San Diego area.
San Diego Natural History Museum – FREE
The NAT features exciting exhibitions, events and science programs. Learn more about botany, entomology, herpetology, mineralogy, paleontology and other natural sciences at this incredible resources right in San Diego! Up to four people get in FREE with each EBT card!
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.
Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose – $2 per person
The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose has a dozen fun and engaging exhibits for children. Exhibits include an art gallery, art loft, Bill’s Backyard, bubbles, Mammoth Discovery, Rainbow Market, theatre, Waterways and more. This museum begins participating on October 10, 2017.
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.
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.
The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County has many exciting exhibits for children, including the Science & Imagination Gallery, TOTopia, art studio and garden. Up to six people can receive discounted admission to Children’s Museum of Sonoma County with each EBT card!
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?
I hate being broke - and I always have too much month at the end of my money. As a journalist, I decided it was time to use my skills to investigate ways that my family (and yours) could thrive despite our less-than-ideal incomes... and that's how Low Income Relief started.
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