Day at the museum(s)

Free shuttle buses are available throughout Museum Day, with the California Museum at 1020 O Street serving as the central hub.

Fact: Sacramento has some cool museums. How do we know? Twenty-six of them are offering free admission this Saturday during Sacramento Museum Day. The event is run by the Sacramento Association of Museums to highlight local wildlife, art and science. The annual event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., meaning you have until 4 p.m. to enter as many museums as you’d like before they all close at 5 p.m. The problem is, with 26 to choose from, you can’t see them all. Last year, 85,000 people turned up at participating museums. That means parking, exhibits and even bathrooms will be crowded. Event coordinators recommend that participants only visit two or three museums to allow adequate time browsing each museum and to have enough time for transportation between them.

A lot has changed since last year’s Museum Day. For one, the new Crocker opened, and that’s my first recommendation, even though it’s likely to be crowded. In addition to the Crocker, organizers warn that you should stay away from the Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park and the Sacramento Zoo, due to their popularity. Taking that into account, the California Museum is my second recommendation. Its special exhibitions include an engineering-based look at California’s State Water Project, psychedelic rock posters and the newly inducted members of the California Hall of Fame. It’s also got a handful of ongoing exhibitions, including a particularly thought-provoking one on Japanese internment camps during World War II. Parking in the two state parking garages closest to the California Museum will be free. The California Museum will also serve as a central hub for a free shuttle service to other participating museums.

For a full list of participating museums and more information, visit