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 the state.
You can also get discounted Internet service, cheap state parks passes and so much more! If you’ve got California EBT (also known as SNAP, CalFresh or Golden State Advantage), you won’t want to miss these amazing benefits!
Getting Started with CalFresh
After years of reporting on low income and food stamps topics, I’ve learned that there are a lot of things that California residents don’t know or are missing out on when it comes to their food stamps benefits.
You can apply online.
If you don’t have an EBT card yet, it’s easy to get one. NPR has estimated that 30% of eligible people in California haven’t applied yet. If that’s you, don’t wait – apply now!
When you apply, you will need documentation about your household expenses and income. You’ll also need to provide data about each of your household members, including their names and ages.
You may be eligible for more benefits.
A lot of people make critical mistakes when they apply for food benefits and that can reduce the amount of benefits you receive. If you aren’t getting enough to get by, you need to make sure your paperwork was done correctly.
One of the most common mistakes involves incorrectly reporting your household size. When it comes to CalFresh, a household includes people who live together and share food together. We’ve got more information about all this in our guide to getting more food benefits.
You can buy more than just groceries.
With CalFresh benefits, you can buy more than just groceries! You can also buy seeds, food-producing plants, fruit trees, certain gift baskets, and more!
In fact, some people can even buy fast food with CalFresh. The Restaurant Meals Program is part of the federal Food Stamps law, and allows certain people who meet strict criteria to buy food from restaurants like McDonalds and even Denny’s. There are over 200 restaurants in California that accept CalFresh. Here’s the list.
You may be able to get cash back with these apps.
If you submit your receipts to a rewarded shopping app like Ibotta or Fetch Rewards, you may be able to get cash back on your food purchases! This is a great way to buy essentials like toilet paper and diapers that you can’t get with food benefits.
You can start now by downloading Ibotta or Fetch Rewards.
EBT Discounts in California
Although most of the EBT discounts in California are local, there are several statewide options that can help you no matter where you live!
Amazon – 50% Off!
If you get CalFresh benefits, then you’re eligible for Prime Access. Prime Access is a discounted Prime offering for people who participate in qualifying government programs. CalFresh recipients are automatically eligible, as are people who receive Medicaid, TANF, SSI and other qualifying benefits.
FREE Cell Service
You may be able to completely eliminate your cell phone bill with the Lifeline program! This program has the same eligibility requirements as CalFresh, so you will automatically be eligible if you have food benefits.
There are more than a dozen providers that offer free service through the Lifeline program. The plans are all a little different. Pick your provider now!
You may be able to get FREE Internet if you have CalFresh benefits! We’ve found over a dozen Internet providers that offer service for $20 or less per month… and when you add the Affordable Connectivity Program subsidy to that, you could pay $0 per month for Internet service!
Many YMCA locations provide discounts for low income individuals and families. If you would like to visit your local YMCA but can’t afford the membership fee, it’s always to ask about low income discounts or community access programs.
Local EBT Discounts in California
We have found dozens of discounts for low income California residents. Many of these venues will even invite you to visit for free!
However, before you take advantage of these EBT discounts, there are a few things you need to remember.
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, you may be able to borrow a pass from the library. 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. Unless otherwise noted, the listed price is per person.
USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum – $2
Save 90% off admission to the USS Hornet Museum when you use their EBT discount! You just need to show your card at the admissions desk to get this great price.
Habitot Children’s Museum – $2
Habitot Children’s Museum offered one of the best EBT Discounts in California, but the museum is now 100% mobile and does not have a permanent location. They expect to reopen the Habitot Museum in the next few years, and hopefully they’ll bring back this incredible offer when they do!
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.
Extra activities, like the 3D Theater films, are not included in the free admission.
University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley – $3
The Botanical Gardens at the University of California Berkeley have joined Museums for All, so you can visit for just $3 per person with your EBT card! There is a limit of four people per EBT discount. You can bring a picnic to the gardens, as well!
Camron-Stanford House – FREE
The Camron-Stanford House brings you back in time with a tour through their period-themed rooms, each decorated in a specific 19th century way. The house was built in 1976 and is not fully ADA accessible, although the lower exhibit galleries are accessible to everyone.
Chabot Space & Science Center – $1 per person
Don’t forget your CalFresh card when you go to Chabot! This is one of Northern California’s leading science education centers, home to NASA Ames Visitors Center, an Observatory, Planetarium, exhibits and more!
Fairyland – REFERRAL REQUIRED
Fairyland has nearly 60 storybook sets, friendly animals, and acres of gardens to explore. It is a delight geared to children under 8 years old.
This amazing destination has welcomed more than 9,000 guests for free through their Community Engagement program. They also have a scholarship for youth program. In order to get assistance with your visit, you will need to get a referral from one of their community partners or apply directly with Fairyland.
Museum of Children’s Arts – $3 or less
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. The museum welcomes EBT cardholders for just $1 per person, but this does not include any specially ticketed events. If you want to visit one of their special exhibitions, you’ll need to pay an additional $6.
Contra Costa County
Richmond Museum of History – FREE
Although the museum operates out of the Carnegie Library basement, they also own the SS Red Oak Victory, a WWII era Victory Ship.
Lindsay 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.
Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery – FREE
Explore this 3.5 acre garden that features drought-tolerant gardening. As a Museums for All Member, the Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery offers one of hte m
Clarke Historical Museum – FREE
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. Now that they’ve joined Museums for All, they welcome EBT cardholders for FREE!
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. The museum welcomes guests for free through their EBT discount program.
Sequoia Park Zoo – $4
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. Visit for just $4 per person, with your EBT card.
Bakersfield Museum of Art – Free
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. And four people can get free admission with each EBT card.
Buena Vista Museum of Natural History & Science – $2 per person
This museum focuses on displaying the rich history of Kern County. the Buena Vista 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. Your EBT card can get up to 4 people in for just $2 each.
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.
According to LA County, the Arboretum offers free admission for two adults and their children under age 18 when they visit with an EBT card.
We offer complimentary tickets for those who use EBT. Cardholders are allowed their self, another adult 18 or older, and any number of their kids 17 and under. They may use their EBT cards by displaying their EBT card and their state/government I.D. If they have more than 2 adults in their group, they do need to purchase an additional ticket, present another unique EBT card, or presenta nother membership with us.Keanu E., Visitor Services for the LA Arboretum (via email)
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.
When I confirmed this deal in March 2023, I was cautioned that the tours often fill up in advance. The gardens were booking one month ahead at that time. You will need to call the gardens ahead of time and let them know you would like to book a tour, and then bring your card with you when you attend the tour.
California Botanic Garden – FREE
Bring a valid photo ID and your SNAP EBT card to visit the California Botanic Garden for free! You can bring up to three guests for a total of four free admissions per visit. If you prefer, you can buy a membership for $25.
Raymond M Alf Museum of Paleontology – FREE
The Raymond M Alf Museum of Paleontology is located on the campus of The Webb Schools. That’s a high school campus, making this the only nationally accredited museum at a high school! This creates an awesome opportunity for students to participate in unique research programs.
Now that they’ve joined Museums for All, you can visit with a discount when you have an EBT card!
Museum of Neon Art – $3 or less per person
This is the only museum in the world that is exclusively dedicated to electric media like neon signs. If you have an EBT card, you can enjoy their Museums for All discount when you visit.
La Cañada Flintridge
Descanso Gardens – FREE
More than 100,000 plants, including the largest North American camellia display, are contained in the Descanso Gardens. Tram tours and walking tours are available. A family of up to 2 adults and 4 children can enter for free with your EBT card and photo ID. Parking is also free!
Agape Children’s Museum – $3 or less
The Agape Children’s Museum is now a Museums for All partner! The museum’s website is very outdated but their Facebook page is active. For more information, I recommend following them on Facebook.
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 outdoor sculpture park is free every day. 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. Free parking.
Autry Museum of the American West – 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. Free parking.
When you bring your EBT card to the Autry Museum of the American West, you can get free admission for up to two adults and up to four children (for a total of 6 guests) per EBT card.
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. The museum offers one of the most generous EBT discounts in California: you can visit for FREE with your EBT card!
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. LA County residents are free Monday-Friday, after 3pm. 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.
Natural 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
A dynamic Jewish cultural center, 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.
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
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.
American Museum of Ceramic Art – $3 or less
The American Museum of Ceramic Art currently requires guests with an EBT card to make a reservation online or by email. You can choose “Museums for All” as an option in their online form and you will need to present your EBT card at the desk when you arrive.
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.
Cayton Children’s Museum – FREE
If you have EBT or WIC, and valid ID, you can get FREE admission to the Cayton Children’s Museum! This discount is valid for up to six people and can only be used for walk-up tickets.
Santa Monica History Museum – FREE
The Santa Monica History Museum includes six permanent exhibitions and one main exhibition, which rotates several times per year so there’s always something new and interesting to see. You can visit free with your SNAP or EBT card.
Bay Area Discovery Museum – $1
This fun discovery museum is a wonderful place to play, explore and experience hands-on STEM and art learning activities. $1 per family member, with EBT card.
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!
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens – $2 per person
Show your EBT or WIC card upon entry to visit the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden. That’s 90% off with your EBT card! The gardens span 47 acres and have many trails and paths that you can follow.
Kids Discovery Station – $3 or less per person
Kids Discovery Station invites children to explore science, agriculture, art and more through play. Their carefully-planned zones are bright and welcoming, full of adventure for young children.
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!
Monterey Museum of Art – FREE
The Monterey Museum of Art celebrates all California art – past, present and future.
KidZone Museum – $3 or less per person
KidZone has joined Museums for All, which means they will offer admission for $3 or less per person for up to four people per EBT card. However, the museum is currently closed until further notice due to the impact of COVID-19. (3/26/2021)
Corona del Mar
Sherman Library & Gardens – $3 or less per person
Visit the Library and Gardens with an EBT discount!
Pretend City Children’s Museum – $4.25 per person
Pretend City is a child-size city, where children try out real-world roles in a fun and creative way. With EBT card and photo ID, entry is $4.25 per person (limit of 4 people).
The Children’s Museum of La Habra – $3 per person
Explore 10,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on exhibits. Through the Museums for All program, the Children’s Museum welcomes guests ages two and older for just $3 per person.
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.
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.
Sacramento Children’s Museum – $3 or less per person
Sacramento Children’s Museum has joined Museums for All! They are currently open for 90 minute play sessions, but reservations are required.
California Museum – $3 or less
The California Museum showcases the story of inspirational Californians who have made a mark on history. See and experience their stories with an EBT discount since they’ve joined Museums for All!
Crocker Art Museum – FREE
Crocker Art Museum focuses primarily on Californian art. It also holds a large number of European drawings and international ceramics. It is the only museum in the Sacramento area that is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
Sacramento History Museum – $2 per person
The Sacramento History Museum is located in the heart of Historic Old Sacramento. It is two buildings away from the California State Railroad Museum.
SMUD Museum of Science & Curiosity – FREE
MOSAC is a STEAM-focused museum that encourages people of all ages to discover and explore. Their 100+ exhibits focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and math concepts in a fun and engaging way. Admission is typically about $17 per person, but you can visit FREE with up to four guests per EBT card.
SSVMS Museum of Medical History – FREE
The Museum of Medical History of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society focuses on showcasing medical developments that came from the local area. From historic advancements from the 1800s through today, the Museum is organized into different themes. There are patents, medications, laboratory technology, surgical tools and more. There’s even an exhibit on medical quackery!
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!
San Diego Botanic Garden – $1 per person
Explore 37 acres of urban oasis! The San Diego Botanic Garden includes four miles of trails and the West Coast’s largest children’s garden. You can visit for just $1 per person, up to four people, with your EBT card!
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. Entrance is always free, but show your EBT card and you’ll also receive 20% off educational merchandise at the Museum Store.
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.
Maritime Musuem of San Diego – $3 per person
The Maritime Museum of San Diego has a world-class collection of boats, sailing ships and even a submarine! The museum is ranked as one of the top attractions in the United States, so this is a can’t-miss opportunity for anyone with an EBT card to visit at a discount!
Marston House Museum & Gardens – $3 or less
The Marston House is a 8,500 square feet museum. The home was originally designed by an internationally renowned architect and was occupied by civil leader George W. Marston.
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.
Museum of Photographic Arts – FREE
MOPA features photography, film and video exhibits.
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, entry for up to four people is 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 Automotive Museum – $3 or less per person
The San Diego Automotive Museum is usually $14.50 per person. However, through the Museums for All program, this museum is $3 or less for up to four people per EBT card!
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 admission for $3 each, for up to 4 people.
San Diego Model Railroad Museum – $2 per person
Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum offers a discounted admission price for anyone with an EBT card, SNAP card or WIC card. You will also be required to show photo ID. The discount is valid for up to four people per card.
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, your family of 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 for all.
The Warner-Carillo Ranch House – $3 or less per person
Step into local history at the Warner-Carillo Ranch House, which now offers an EBT discount!
American Bookbinders Museum – $3 or less per person
The American Bookbinders Museum is the only North American museum dedicated to preserving the history and art of bookbinding. Their exhibits showcase hand binding, the first bookbinding machines and more.
Asian Art Museum – $3 or less per person
The Asian Art Museum is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Asian Art. You can experience more than 18,000 amazing artworks from ancient jades to contemporary video installations.
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!
Conservatory of Flowers – $3 or less per person
The Conservatory of Flowers offers an up-close experience with rare and unusual plants throughout the Conservatory’s five distinct galleries. Each gallery features a different ecosystem, from the dense rainforests of Sumatra to the cloud forests of Ecuador and more.
Contemporary Jewish Museum – FREE
The Contemporary Jewish Museum (the CMJ) offers free admission to people with EBT cards, as well as those with CalFresh or Medi-CAL cards, through the Museums for All program.
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!
International Art Museum of America – FREE
The International Art Museum of America recently joined Museums for All, but the museum is free for everyone! This museum showcases only the best art, requiring all artists to have a value of $200,000 per square foot or more before they can be showcased in the museum.
Japanese Tea Garden of San Francisco – $3 or less per person
Enjoy a Japanese-style garden in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate State Park! As a Museums for All member, the Japanese Tea Garden offers admission for $3 or less per person an EBT card. There is usually a limit of four people per card.
Letterform Archive – $1 per person
The Letterform Archive welcomes people with EBT cards for just $1 per person! This museum showcases over 100,000 items related to lettering, calligraphy, typography and other letter-related arts. Just ask for the Museums for All rate at the admissions desk to get your EBT discount.
MoAD – $3 or less per person
MoAD celebrates Black cultures, ignites conversations and inspires learning through a global lens. They joined Museums for All in August 2021.
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.
Museum of the African Diaspora – $3 or less per person
Visit MoAD, a Smithsonian Affiliate dedicated to celebrating Black cultures and igniting conversations. According to their website, they are one of the few museums focused exclusively on the African Diaspora.
San Francisco Botanical Garden – $3 or less per person
“Travel the world in 55 acres” at San Francisco Botanical Garden, where you can enjoy more than 8,000 different plants from around the world. As a Museums for All partner, this venue charges $3 or less per person for up to four people per EBT card.
San Francisco Zoo & Gardens – $3 per person
Visit the San Francisco Zoo for just $3 per person with EBT cards! You will also need to show a valid driver’s license or identification card. There is a four-person limit on the EBT discount.
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 – $1!
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 for just $1 each, 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
Cupertino Historical Society – FREE
Discover the history of Cupertino at the Cupertino Historical Society and Museum! It does not appear that this museum charges admission, but they are included in this list of EBT discounts in California because they have joined Museums for All.
New Museum of Los Gatos – FREE
The New Museum of Los Gatos is free for up to four people per EBT card!
Palo Alto Art Center – FREE
The Palo Alto Art Center offers a gallery with rotating exhibitions, as well as classes. It is not clear what is covered by the EBT discount as it appears admission to the gallery is always free.
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. Up to 4 people can get admission at this fabulous price.
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!
San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles – FREE
Get FREE admission to the San Jose Musuem of Quilts & Textiles with your EBT card! As the name states, this museum features fabric-based art.
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
Goleta Valley Historical Society – FREE
The Galeto Valley Historical Society are the stewards of the Rnacho La Patera and the Stow House. As a Museums for All partner, they welcome low income families.
Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes Center – $3 or less per person
The Dunes have a fascinating history. In 1923, filmmaker Cecil B DeMille built the largest set in movie history here. The Dunes also features an art gallery, exhibits, activities, education programs, group hikes and more.
Lompoc Museum – $2 per person
The Lompoc Museum explores the history of the Lompoc Valley across two floors of exhibits.
Casa del Herrero – FREE
The Casa del Herrero is the House of the Blacksmith. Admission includes a house and garden tour, as well as access to rotating exhibitions. The tours are usually $25 per person, but they offer FREE admission for those who receive food assistance and have an EBT card! Make sure to book your tour through their special Museums for All link at the bottom of this page.
Art, Design & Architecture Museum – FREE
The Art Museum at UC Santa Barbara has joined Museums for All! This museum collects and preserves architecture and design, primarily from Southern California.
Casa de La Guerra – FREE
Visit the home owned by José de la Guerra, the fifth comandante of the Presidio, which once served as a center of social, political and cultural events for the city. This home has been restored and furnished for your exploration. Admission is FREE through their EBT discount program, but it’s usually $5 without.
El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park – FREE
Visit the last of four military outposts built by the Spanish along the coast of Alta California! The Presidio features restored buildings, and fascinating history.
Ganna Walska Lotusland – FREE
Lotusland is a garden wonderland, with subtropical and tropical plants from around the world. This venue’s standard adult admission is $50, so the fact that they offer free admission with EBT is an incredible opportunity!
MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration & Innovation – $1 per person
MOXI has something for everyone! The museum features exciting exhibits and activities for families, kids, teens, adults, and people of all ages! Check out their website for details.
Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara – FREE
The Museum of Contemporary Art showcases exhibitions three times per year, and each is usually on view for about 14 weeks. Check the museum’s calendar to see the schedule!
Museum of Sensory & Movement Experiences – $3 or less per person
Known as MSME (pronounced Miss-Me), this interactive museum encourages you to experience art in new ways. The artwork here is designed to be interacted with through movement of the body. As a Museums for All partner, they offer a discount for EBT cardholders.
Old Mission Santa Barbara – $3 or less per person
Old Mission Santa Barbara is located on 15 beautiful acres, which overlook the ocean. The grounds include the old Mission Church, cemetery, mausoleum, gardens, and a nine-room museum.
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden – $3 or less per person
Enjoy 78 acres of gardens with more than 1,000 native Californian plants! This museum has a beautiful conservation program as well.
Santa Barbara Historical Museum – $3 or less per person
The Santa Barbara Historical Museum preserves and shares local history. The museum is always free to anyone under 18, and offers a generous EBT discount as well. .
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum – $2 per person or $20 Membership
Unlike many museums that cap the EBT discount at four participants, the SBMM generously welcomes all individuals in the same group to use the EBT discount. Instead of one-time admission, you can also purchase a discounted Crew Membership.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art – FREE
The SBMA welcomes individuals and families with SNAP or CalFRESH benefits to receive free admission! Limit 4 per EBT discount.
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History – $3 per person
Show your CalFresh EBT card and photo ID at the admissions desk and you’ll get admission to either the Museum or Sea Center for just $3 per person.
Santa Barbara Zoo – $3 or less per person
The Santa Barbara Zoo is now a Museums for All partner! They offer a generous EBT discount for people with EBT cards. Photo ID is required.
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!
Elverhøj Museum of History & Art – FREE
Enjoy free admission to this museum, which preserves and shares the Danish culture and history of Solvang.
Wildling Museum of Art & Nature – FREE
Explore the Wildlings Museum for free with a CalFresh or EBT card! You’ll need photo ID, and the discount is limited to four people per visit.
Santa Yez Valley Historical Museum & Parks – $3 or less per person
SYV Historical Society includes the Ellen Gleason Memorial Library and Parks-Janeway Carriage House. Explore local history with an EBT discount at this location!
Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery – $3 per person
Visit the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery in the Capitola Mall for a great EBT discount!
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.
Sonoma Botanical Garden – $3
Explore this picturesque botanical garden with a great discount! The Sonoma Botanical Garden welcomes guests with EBT cards for just $3 per person. Please remember that the garden closes at 4pm daily and is not open on Tuesdays.
Robert Ferguson Observatory – FREE
The Robert Ferguson Observatory offers free admission for up to four people per EBT card. The discount includes access to the observatory and admission to public star parties. Parking fees for star parties are also waived.
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.
Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center – $2 per person
The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center welcomes up to four people per EBT card for just $2 per person!
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! And you can also apply for a Family Access Membership, for just $20.
Museum of Sonoma County – $3 or less
Learn the history of Sonoma County through this extensive museum! The campus includes two buildings, multiple galleries and a sculpture garden.
Modesto Children’s Museum – $3 or less
Modesto Children’s Museum is still being developed. However, it has already pledged to join Museums for All after it is built, which means that low income families will be able to visit for $3 or less per person with their EBT card.
ImagineU Museum – $7 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! ImagineU is currently listed on the Museums For All site, but after finding the entry price change on their site, we reached out to them. They verified that with rising costs, they need to raise the fee. It’s still a great deal and significant discount over the regular entry price.
Channel Islands Maritime Museum – $2 per person
The Channel Islands Maritime Museum offers $2 admission to people with EBT cards, although children under the age of 6 are still free. You’ll need to show your EBT card and a valid form of ID at the admissions desk to get this EBT discount.
Of course, if you get SNAP benefits in California, you may be eligible for other discounts and assistance programs as well. Here are a few things you could be eligible for!
Questions about EBT Discounts in California
We’ve received a lot of questions about EBT discounts in California over the years.
How did you decide which museums to include on your list?
At Low Income Relief, we strive to have the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of EBT discounts in California. However, in recent years we have started removing certain discounts from our list because they weren’t really discounts; they were marketing ploys.
For example, the Hermosa Beach Museum in Hermosa Beach, California, is technically a Museums for All participant that welcomes EBT cardholders for free… but they also welcome everyone for free. It’s a free museum, not an EBT discount.
As our list has soared to over 100+ EBT discounts in California alone, we have decided to remove the museums that are free for everyone. After all, if basically impossible to discount something that is already free.
Here are a list of always free museums that have been removed from our EBT discount list:
- California African American Museum (Los Angeles)
- California Science Center at Exhibition Park (Los Angeles)
- Craft & Folk Museum (Los Angeles)
- Fowler Museum at UCLA (Los Angeles)
- Hammer Museum (Los Angeles)
- Hermosa Beach Museum (Hermosa Beach)
- Institute of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles)