This Saturday more than 25 local museums will offer free admission as part of Free Museum Day, which will kick-off Sacramento Museum Week running Feb. 2-9.
Guests will have the opportunity to get a glimpse into the region’s unique offerings, ranging from art to science to history. The 22nd edition of the annual event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last museum entry accepted at 4 p.m. See a full list of participating museums here.
Susan Voskuil, education manager at the Sacramento History Museum, said her museum and others in the Sacramento area work together to make sure people know about local museums and the things they have access to.
“It’s really important for people in the area to know about all the different museums that they have access to,” said Voskuil. “It’s not just museums that are in the Sacramento area, the museums go up to Roseville and Folsom and down to Locke and in Woodland. ”
Voskuil said that the Sacramento History Museum is hoping for around 3,000 visitors and will have a variety of special activities.
“Outside we always do gold panning and we’ll also have a couple examples of old gambling games that people used to play, we’re going to have sarsaparilla for sale which is a lot like root beer,” said Voskuil.
When it comes to navigating Free Museum Day, Voskuil said it’s about execution.
“Look at the list of the museums, see where you want to go and just kind of plan it out. There’s a lot of really great things that go along with free museum day.”
There are 28 museums in Sacramento according to Visit Sacramento, some of which are off the beaten path.
Dr. Bob LaPerriere, retired dermatologist and curator at the Museum of Medical History in East Sacramento, said the museum participates every year. His aim is to share the museum with as many people as possible and to give insight into how medicine has changed over the past 150 years.
LaPerriere said there will be unique things to see and explore this Saturday as part of the event. Throughout the day, guests can watch demonstrations of an iron lung and a newer model respirator. Admission to the Museum of Medical history is always free, La Perriere said, but being open Saturday for Museum Day is a big draw and they do a lot of special things.
“We [will] have about five retired physician docents that are available for questions, a display of old anatomy textbooks going back to the mid 1800s and a variety of things that normally would not be available during the week,” said LaPerriere.
LaPerriere said they expect anywhere from 200-400 visitors to come through the museum on Free Museum Day.
While most of the museums participating in Free Museum Day are within walking distance of each other, the Sacramento Regional Transit District has partnered with Sacramento Area Museums to offer free transportation on all buses and light rail trains for museum guests traveling with a printed SacRT Museum Day flyer or a screen-shot of the flyer on a smartphone. For visitors from out of town who want to check out Free Museum Day, Sacramento Area Museums partnered with Amtrak to provide 45% off tickets to Sacramento on Feb. 1.
Free admission and transportation isn’t the only perk of Free Museum Day. A variety of restaurants will offer discounts and specials to guests who show an “I Love Sac Museums” sticker, which are given out at participating museums.
While admission is waived on Feb. 1, regular admission cost applies at all museums throughout Sacramento Museum Week. There will be special events and activities throughout museum week at many local museums.