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Free Museum Day Provides Opportunities To See Rare Historic Pieces


The Center for Contemporary Art, the Sacramento Children's Museum, and Roseville Utility Exploration Museum are among the institutions taking part in the 16th Annual Free Museum Day. 

The Center for Sacramento History has typically supplied other museums with artifacts to display for the event. But this year, Curator Veronica Kandl says you'll be able to tour the center's vault, which is where all of the archives are kept.


A Fax Machine developed by the Sacramento Bee in the 1930s is just one of the many pieces house in the center. Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio


"We're very well known as a place for people to come in and do research on their house history and a lot of records as far as death records and those types of things," Kandl said. "Because we don't have an exhibition space we can't bring out our three-dimensional objects and that's why we use the other places."

Shoes -freemuseum 13014

A display of women's shoes and fashions will be one of the many exhibits on display at the center. Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

"That gives them a much better understanding of how people lived back than just saying, 'Well, you know, people's shoes were narrow or women wore corsets'," Kandl says.

The newly-opened California Statewide Museum Collections Center at McClellan Park is also new to the event.

Other museums taking part include the Governor's Mansion, the Aerospace Museum, the California Pharmacy Museum, and the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical History Museum, where you can see this lovely box of eyeballs.



Here's a map detailing the participating museums.

If this isn't your first Free Museum Day you know the big name musuems will be packed, some of the museums on the list are free year-round, and some are free but rarely open. So, we broke it down so you can get the most bang-for-your-buck from this special day.


Normal General Admission Price

Aerospace Museum of California


California Automobile Museum


California Museum


California Statewide Museum Collections Center

Not normally open to the public

California State Capitol Museum


California State Military Museum


California State Railroad Museum


Center For Contemporary Art


Center For Sacramento History


Crocker Art Museum

$10 (free on the 3rd Sunday of the month)

Discovery Museum Science and Space Center

$6/$8 on weekends and holidays

Don and June Salvatori California Pharmacy Museum

Free, but the museum is usually only open by appointment

Fairytale Town*

$4/$5 on weekends

Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park


Heidrick Ag History Center (Woodland)


Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park

Guided tours only

Maidu Museum & Historic Site

$4.50 (free the 3rd Saturday evening of the month)

Museum of Medical History


Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum


Old Sacramento State Historic Park


Roseville Utility Exploration Center


Sacramento Children’s Museum


Sacramento Zoo*

$11.25 (Free on December 24th)

Sacramento History Museum


Sojourner Truth Multicultural Arts Museum


Sacramento Historic City Cemetery


State Indian Museum 


Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park


Wells Fargo History Museum (Old Sacramento and Downtown locations)


*Half price on Free Museum day

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