Free fun activities in San Francisco

August 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Free fun in San Francisco. From comedy shows to pizza and beer, Patrick Heigh, San Francisco editor of City Search, shows us seven great places to visit.

"The best things in life are free." True, but they're even better when they usually cost money. We're talking free concerts from major artists, free museum days, free oysters, BBQ and pizza; we're even talking free beer. Whether you're broke or just cheap, spend a little time checking out this list of the city's best freebies -- it won't cost you a thing.

El Rio

The super cheap beers and drinks ($1 PBRs, and $2 well drinks) make Monday nights at this tiny Outer Mission bar--and its huge backyard patio--hard to beat, but Fridays are even better: free oysters at 5:30pm and free barbecue at 7pm (be on time because they will run out).

Anchor Brewing

Each weekday, Anchor does a free tour where you'll learn about the history and craft of brewing from this legendary SF company, followed by a one-hour tasting session?where you'll attempt to drink as much of their brew as possible in one hour. As with anything this amazing and completely free, there's a long wait--currently about two months--but you can reserve a spot (by calling 415-863-8350) for up to 10 friends.

SFMOMA

Tour the stunning collection of this post-modern treasure trove of a museum on the first Tuesday of the month, when entry is free, and don't forget to check out the three-years-in-the-making, $18-million-in-the-costing rooftop garden, which apart from beautiful, sun-lit sculptures features the artistic baristas of Blue Bottle coffee.

SF Comedy College

During the week, you'll pay $5 to catch talented comics-in-training at this Union Square comedy club, and on the weekends, cough up a measly $10-15 to see seasoned pros. OK, so that's cheap, but what's free? SFCC's very loose "no-corkage" policy: BYOB whatever you want--from a nice Pinot Noir to a fifth of Jameson--for a hilarious night on the town so cheap it might as well be free.

Palio D'Asti

The free wood-fired pizza during the happy hour (Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm) at this Italian restaurant/bar in the Financial District was once a well-kept secret, but the word's officially out on this deal. Buy the two drinks you needed after work anyway (beers are $6, specialty cocktails are $9) and get a complimentary--and pretty darn tasty--Italian-style pizza of your choice.

Academy of Sciences

The Academy's ticket prices ($25 for adults) are pretty steep--especially if you're chaperoning and paying for a gaggle of young 'uns--but all SF residents get in for free on Locals Free Days. Check the museum's website to see when your zip code gets you in gratis, and if you are bringing your kid and his friends, well, make sure they're all from your 'hood.

About Patrick Heig:
Patrick Heig, Citysearch's San Francisco City Editor, is a 6th generation, born-and-raised San Franciscan. He has been covering the city professionally for years and still loves exploring it. He's not hard to find, whether gorging on truffles at a four-star restaurant downtown, or slugging whiskey down at a Tenderloin dive bar or window shopping for the flashy sneakers he should have grown out of long ago. He does it all in the name of keeping Citysearch users up on what's hot, what's new, what's undiscovered and what's cool in San Francisco.


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