Got CalFresh (a California EBT card)? We’ve found over 100 incredible EBT discounts in California! You can get FREE or discounted admission to 50+ destinations across California. You can also get discounted Internet service, cheap state parks passes and so much more! If you’ve got California EBT (also known as CalFresh or Golden State Advantage), you won’t want to miss these amazing benefits!
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5 Things You Need to Know about CalFresh
After years of reporting on low income and food stamps topics, I’ve learned that there are several things that most people don’t know about their California EBT benefits.
You can apply online. It’s easy and convenient! If you don’t have EBT yet, apply now!
You may be eligible for more food assistance than you’re getting. The algorithm is complicated and sometimes mistakes are made. Up to 95% of people don’t know about this.
Some people can buy fast food with California EBT cards. The Restaurant Meals Program is part of the federal food stamps law. Here’s what you need to know.
You can buy gardening supplies and more. That’s right! Most people think that you can only buy groceries with EBT, but you can actually buy seeds, fruit-bearing plants and trees, and even some gift baskets. Here’s the full list.
You can get cash back – literally! If you shop with food stamps, you can get extra cash in your pocket. We’ll show you how.
Statewide EBT Discounts in California
Your CalFresh card can qualify you for some amazing benefits. If you’ve got CalFresh benefits, you may also qualify for these incredible programs! You can also shop at Costco, Schwans, and other unusual retailers!
50% off Amazon Prime
Amazon offers discounted Amazon Prime memberships for customers who receive CalFresh or Medicaid benefits! You’ll need to verify that you receive food stamps or Medicaid to get this incredible price.
Internet for just $5 per month?! It’s true! We’ve found a series of low income Internet discounts from providers like Comcast, CenturyLink, AT&T, Cox Communications and more!
Free Cell Phones & Service
Low income families may be able to get free or very low cost computers from several different agencies! Get the full list of organizations that offer free computers for low income families here.
YMCA organizations typically offer discounts for low income individuals and families. Contact your local YMCA for details.
If you’ve got a California EBT card (also known as a CalFresh card), then you may also be eligible for these assistance programs:
- Down payment assistance grants may be available to help you buy a home. Low income California homeowners can receive $10,000 or more in down payment assistance, depending on where they purchase their home!
- Legal aid
- Property tax exemptions for low income seniors and disabled veterans!
- Student loan assistance ($0 per month payments!)
- Summer meals (free for kids ages 18 and under!)
- Tax filing assistance
- Utility assistance (help paying electric bills, free weatherization assistance and more!)
- Pet care assistance (veterinary care grants, free pet food, free boarding and more!)
How to Get Free Admission with EBT Cards in California
Over 50 destinations offer discounts to low income California residents. Many of them even invite you to visit for free!
Always bring your EBT card. To ensure that you meet income guidelines, they simply ask that you show your CalFresh card and valid photo ID. In the list below, green titles indicate an attraction that will accept an EBT card from any state.
You cannot pay for admission with your CalFresh card. You will show the CalFresh card to receive the discount. The remaining admission price, if any, will have to be paid in cash or with a credit/debit card.
There’s another card that can give you free admission, too! If you don’t have EBT or need more free passes than you can get with your food stamps card, be sure to check out our library series. Your library card can get you free and discounted admission to many of these attractions as well!
We have organized this list alphabetically by county and city for your convenience.
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.
Chabot Space & Science Center – $1 per person
Don’t forget your CalFresh card when you go to Chabot! Significantly, this is one of Northern California’s leading science education centers and they invite CalFresh cardholders to visit for just $1 per person!
Fairyland – discounted memberships
If you receive CalFresh benefits, then you may qualify for one of Fairyland’s subsidized family memberships. The membership is good for one year and the benefits include park admission for each member (up to 2 adults and 3 children), a Magic Key for each child, and even more discounts on programs.
Museum of Children’s Arts – $3 or less per person
The Museum of Children’s Arts encourages youth to participate in art through hands-on art experiences. They have a special focus on helping children process violence and other hardships through artistic creation. According to their website, “When there are no words, art can articulate.”
Oakland Museum of California – $1 per person
This museum offers multidisciplinary exhibits combine art, history and natural science over more than 300,00 square feet.
Contra Costa County
Richmond Museum of History – $3 per person
Although the museum operates out of the Carnegie Library basement, they also own the SS Red Oak Victory, a WWII era Victory Ship.
Linday Wildlife Experience – $3 per person
Visit the first and oldest wildlife rehabilitation center in the country! Guests are invited to the Lindsay Wildlife Experience for $3 per person, up to four people per California EBT card.
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.
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.
Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science – up to $3 per person
This museum focuses on displaying the rich history of Kern County. the museum hosts the largest collection of Shark Tooth Hill Miocene Fossils on the planet! Their exhibits explore the unique history, paleontology, anthropology, archaeology, and biology of this area.
Los Angeles County
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. This venue offers free parking. Just show your CalFresh card and your photo ID for entry.
Virginia Robinson Gardens – FREE
This early 20th century estate showcases architecture and landscaping from a more gracious and hospitable era. Reservations are required. You’ll also need to show your California EBT card.
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. Parking is also 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. 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. Parking is free. Don’t forget your California EBT card!
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. 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. 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. 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. Don’t forget your CalFresh card when you go! You can learn more about the CSC by clicking here.Parking is $12.
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. 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. 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.
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.
La Brea Tar Pits & Museum- 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).
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.
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. Free parking is also available.
Museum of Contemporary Art – FREE
This art gallery also provides free family workshops on the first Sunday of each month. 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 significantly provocative exhibits. Some of the exhibits, such as the Holocaust exhibit, have a recommended minimum age due to their content. 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 so much more await visitors. Although the museum is free, parking ranges from $8-$12.
Skirball Cultural Center – FREE
Surprisingly, Skirball features a wide variety of events including exhibits, festivals, storytelling, live music, art projects and other fun family programs are available through the year.. Parking is also free!
Southwest Museum – FREE
Study the historical American Indians through “archaeology” digs, story times, gardens and special programming at Southwest Museum. Parking is also free!
USC Fisher Gallery – FREE
View 500 year old art in detail at the Fisher Gallery, located at the University of Southern California. Parking is $4.
Zimmer Children’s Museum – FREE
Explore 10,000 square feet of play space designed for children from birth til 8 years old. Parking is free!
Palos Verdes Peninsula
South Coast Botanic Garden – FREE
While you stroll through the Garden’s 87 acres, you can admire 250,000 landscaped plants and trees. Walking and shuttle tours are available. Picnics are allowed on-site and parking is free!
Kidspace Children’s Museum – $3 per person
Children ages 0 til 11 can enjoy 40 hands-on, interactive exhibits across 3.5 acres of space at Kidspace Children’s Museum. Parking is free in Rose Bowl Lot 1. If you have an EBT card, then up to four people can get the discount!
Norton Simon Museum – FREE
The Norton Simon Museum features some of the unquestionably great painters of all time, including Degas, Picasso, Rembrandt and van Gogh. A sculpture garden and South/Southeast Asia exhibit are also included. In addition, free parking is available!
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. Limited parking is available for free in the lot next to the museum and metered parking is also available.
Pasadena Museum of California Art – FREE
In addition to exciting exhibits from the 1850s on, the Pasadena Museum of California Art also offers free parking on the first level of the museum!
Southern California Children’s Museum – $3 or less per person
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.
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. While the museum is free, parking is approximately $7 per car.
California Heritage Museum – FREE
This historic landmark building offers exhibits of decorative and fine art.
Clayton Children’s Museum – FREE
If you have EBT or WIC, you can get FREE admission to the Clayton Children’s Museum! This discount is valid for up to six people and can only be used for walk-up tickets only. Many thanks to the Clayton’s corporate sponsor, Entertainment One!
Santa Monica Museum of Art – FREE
Interesting and entertaining arts programs are available for both adults and children.
Bay Area Discovery Museum – $35 per YEAR
Reduced-cost memberships are also available from Bay Area Discovery Museum! To qualify, you must participate in CalFresh, WIC, TANF, CHIP, Medi-cal or another public assistance program. You may also qualify if you are either active military, a veteran or a licensed foster parent.
Marine Mammal Center – FREE
The Marine Mammal Center is open seven days per week. You can explore the center on your own or follow a guided (or audio) tour. Stop by in early Spring (February through May) to see pups!
Monterey County Youth Museum (MY Museum) – $2 per person
MY Museum is a great place for children to explore! At this time, MY Museum exhibits include a beach, imagitree, golf course, hospital, creation station, theater and more!
Pretend City Children’s Museum – $4.25 per person
Pretend City has been a long-time member of Museums for All. However, they recently raised their rates to $4.25 per person with an EBT card and photo ID.
Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center – FREE
The museum collection includes florescent minerals, Indian artifacts and one of the largest collections of Chinese Dinosaur Eggs in North America! You can explore the gardens, museum and gift shop for free with your EBT card.
The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens – up to $3 per person
Whenever you visit the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens, you’ll learn a little more about the plants and animals in the Colorado Desert! Camel rides and giraffe feedings are also offered for an additional cost.
Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert – $2 per person
Since the museum is designed for children of all ages, the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert has over 80 hands-on exhibits to encourage learning and play.
Kiddos 101 – $3 per child
Adults are free! You’ll pay just $3 per child. However, you will also need to buy socks at $2.50 each. The ideal age range for Kiddos 101 is 6 and under, although children up to age 12 can play.
Riverside Art Museum – $1 per person
In addition to renowned pieces from the best artists in the world, the Riverside Art Museum also features local artists and high school students.
San Bernadino County
Victor Valley Museum – $1 per person
Up to nine family members can visit the Victor Valley Museum for just $1 per person! The Victor Valley Museum showcases the natural history and culture of the high desert. Exhibits include fossils, Native American artifacts and more.
San Bernadino County Museum – $1 per person
Since this regional museum is dedicated to the natural and cultural history of San Bernadino County, they feature special exhibits, a live animal discovery center, research collections and more. Surprisingly, The $1 rate is available for up to 9 family members. In fact, 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.”
San Diego County
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!
California Center for the Arts Escondido Museum – FREE
This museum features rotating exhibitions, so you can always see something new here! Anyone with an EBT card can visit free. A total of four people will be admitted free per EBT card.
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.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography – $3 per person
With over 60 environments for invertebrates and fish, this beautiful aquarium features habitats from the cold waters of the northern Pacific and even tropical Mexico!
Museum of Contemporary Art – FREE
The museum showcases various collections and exhibitions. Click here to see what is currently on display. Up to 4 family members can receive free admission with an EBT card. Anyone under 25 is always free.
Barona Cultural Center & Museum – FREE
The Barona Cultural Center and Museum offers 40-Minute tours describing how the Barona Indians live today, as well as how their ancestors lived in ancient times. You’ll discover their heritage, language and more through a series of hands-on interactive exhibits.
Legacy Center – $3 for adults
If you visit the Legacy Center with a CalFresh card, you’ll get free admission for children (age 17 and under) and a discounted rate of just $3 per person for adults. They also offer free admission for frontline workers(healthcare, firefighters and police) with a valid ID.
Mingei International Museum – $3 or less
This museum focuses on folk art, craft and design. As of October 2020, the Mingei website indicates that the museum is closed for renovation but the Museums for All websites indicates that the Mingei is a partner.
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego – FREE
The Museum of Contemporary Art offers special exhibitions and collections.
New Children’s Museum – $1
The New Children’s Museum features immersive art studios, interactive art installations, workshops and more. Guest with CalFresh cards can visit for $1 per person up to 4 people.
San Diego Archaeological Center – FREE
During your visit to the San Diego Archaeological Center, you will discover 10,000 of history in San Diego County! If you have California EBT, you can bring four guests in free!
San Diego Art Institute – FREE
If you have a California EBT card, then you can visit the San Diego Art Institute for free!
San Diego County Fair – FREE
The San Diego County Fair offers Unemployed Days, which invite CalFresh cardholders to visit the fair for FREE! You’ll need to check with the fair for this year’s dates.
San Diego History Center – FREE
Since the San Diego History Center began in 1928, it’s one of the oldest and largest historical organizations on the West Coast. Accordingly, they feature collections and exhibitions that focus on the unique history and culture of the San Diego area.
San Diego Museum of Art – $3 per person
Want to save even more on your visit to SDMA? All San Diego County residents can visit for free on the third Tuesday of each month! You’ll need a valid ID with a San Diego County address in order to get free admission.
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 and so much more at this incredible resources right in San Diego! If you have a CalFresh card, up to four people can visit free!
Timkin Museum of Art – FREE
The Timkin Museum of Art has been named one of the finest small art museums in the world. It offers free admission.
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! If you have a CalFresh card, you can bring up to four people for just $3 per person! Your local library may have free passes for larger families, too!
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 both art and technology. This museum includes a Music Studio, Animation Studio, Innovation Lab, Tech Lab, and Imagination Lab and even more awesome features!
If you have a CalFresh card, then you can bring up to four people for free! At this time, additional guests are just $6.
de Young Museum – FREE
Guests with CalFresh cards (or EBT cards from any state) can receive free admission to the permanent collection galleries. To see the special exhibitions, you will need to pay full-priced admission.
Exploratorium – FREE
Over 650 hands-on exhibits are divided among six main galleries that explore various topics. To illustrate, the galleries include Tinkering, Living Systems, Human Phenomena, Seeing and Listening, Observing Landscapes and Outdoors.
GLBT Historical Society Museum & Archives – FREE
This museum promotes the understanding of LGBTQ history, culture, and arts. With a California EBT card, up to four people can visit for free! As of October 2020, you must email the Manager of Museum Experience to get free tickets. Instructions can be found on the GLBT Historical Society website.
Museum of Craft and Design – FREE
At this time, 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 Luis Obispo County
Central Coast Aquarium – $3 per person
Visit the Central Coast Aquarium during scheduled feedings for an even greater experience! You can watch them feed the octopus, moon jellies, swell shark and more when you arrive during scheduled feedings.
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!
San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum – $3 per person
In short, this 8,400 square foot facility is a children’s wonderland! Children will never run out of things to do in this incredible playground that also includes an an outdoor playscape, three floors of interactive exhibits and an art center.
San Mateo County
CuriOdyssey – FREE!
CuriOdyssey is a “serious science playground” that includes a science museum and zoo. With an EBT card, the primary account holder, their spouse and up to four children can visit completely FREE with their Golden State Advantage card!
Filoli Historic House & Garden – FREE
When you arrive, just show your EBT card and you’ll get free admission for up to four people! Admission includes a walk around the house and gardens.
Santa Clara County
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. Some of my favorite exhibits, in particular, include an art loft, Mammoth Discovery zone, Rainbow Market, theatre, and waterway.
San Jose Museum of Art – FREE
So long as someone in the group has an EBT card, up to four people can explore the visiting exhibits and the extensive permanent collection of 2,500 pieces for free! What’s more, you can browse the collection on their website!
The Tech Interactive – $1 per person
Starting on July 1, 2019, The Tech Interactive will charge $1 admission for guests with an EBT card. In the meantime, they have an Open Access policy that allows low income guests to enter the museum for a donation only.
Santa Barbara County
Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum – $3 per person
Explore over 13,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits and play spaces! With your EBT card, you can visit the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum for just $3 per person! Kids ages two and under are free. Admission is good for the whole day, so you can come and go as you please!
Santa Cruz County
Village Santa Cruz
If you are a low income senior in Santa Cruz County, then you may be eligible for a subsidized membership to Village Santa Cruz! Since this is a neighborhood organization for seniors throughout Santa Cruz County, the program connects people and helps them develop relationships through social activities. Thus, a membership includes social activities, free or reduced access to presentations, an online bulletin board and more.
Turtle Bay Exploration Park – $3 per person
The Turtle Bay Exploration Park includes 300 acres of adventure! There is a Sundial Bridge, a museum, a forestry and wildlife center, arboretum, botanical gardens and more.
Imagine That! – $3 per person
Imagine That museum encourages children of all ages to develop their creativity through both science and art programs.
California Indian Museum & Cultural Center – FREE
The California Indian Museum and Cultural Center tells the story of the California Indians through exhibits, educational programming and cultural activities. At this time, one CalFresh card can provide a discount for up to four people.
Children’s Museum of Sonoma County – $2 per person
Without a doubt, the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County‘s Science & Imagination Gallery, TOTopia, art studio and garden are a wonderland for kids. If you have a CalFresh card, up to six people can receive this discounted rate!
ImagineU Museum – $3 per person
From the musical outdoor Harmony Park to the glass wall canvases of the Imagination Station, there is undoubtedly a lot to do at ImagineU! Presently, up to four people can visit for just $3 per person!