Awesome Free Things to do in San Francico

things to do for free in san francisco

Awesome Free Things to do in San Francisco

It may not seem like it, but if you look hard enough in the right places, there are plenty of activities that you can do without handing over another penny. That’s right, tell your wallet it can finally rest.

No, we’re not going to say “walk on the Golden Gate Bridge.” You’ve seen the post card already, and we don’t have to tell you it’s there. Go take a stroll on it if you haven’t, though. Once you’ve covered the main attractions, you’ll be pleased to find you have all sorts of educational, artistic, and downright kinky events at your fingertips. Here are some of the best you should definitely check out.


Amoeba San Francisco (Photo Credit Sarah_Boston_Flickr)

Free Shows at Amoeba

Even though music stores have certainly seen better days, Amoeba is doing everything they can to make sure people can have quality tunes in their lives. They do this through CD, tape & vinyl sales, of course, but they go a step further and let people experience new sounds for free.

Almost every weekend, the San Francisco store (along with the ones in Berkeley and Hollywood) brings in all sorts of musical talent from across the spectrum, including DJs, saxophonists, rock bands, and more.

Be sure to visit their website for details on who’s performing when you’ll be around.


sailing lessons

Sailing Lessons

Given that there’s an entire bay next to the city (the area including & surrounding San Francisco is known as the Bay Area), it makes sense that there are sailing lessons offered on its waters.

It makes significantly less sense, however, that they’re free. We’re totally fine with this, don’t get us wrong. We hope you are, too.

Once a month, 10 months a year, you can take an introductory lesson with the Cal Sailing Club, where they’ll take you out on the water and teach you the fundamentals of the ancient art.

It lasts about a half hour, and they’re held during 1-4 PM on Sundays. Be sure to arrive beforehand on especially nice days; it’s a pretty popular activity, and spots can fill up quicker than you’d think.


fortune cookie factory

Fortune Cookie Factory

They’re one of the most recognizable baked goods in the world, with a unique shape made to hold guiding wisdom for all. I’ve always wanted to know how they’re made & I’m hoping there are a couple of you that want to know as well, since I’m going to talk about it anyway.

For fellow fortune fanatics, San Francisco is essentially a pilgrimage, since the ubiquitous treat calls this city its home. One of the hubs of this art is known as the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, and you’ll likely smell it before you see it (in a very good way).

Once you’re pulled into its warm embrace, you can take advantage of a free tour they offer through the factory, where you can see the process step by step & even try some of the cookies as they’re freshly made. You can also buy some x-rated chocolates, if that’s what you’re feeling.

Take the memory of the experience with you, sure, but be prepared to pay if you decide to take a photo. That sounds more menacing than it is; you’d just have to cough up 50 cents, but you can take photos of other stuff for free so it’s kind of a ripoff.


bison san francisco park

Bison in the Park

Unless you live in very specific sections of the middle of nowhere, you likely don’t see bison running around on a regular basis. This fact has never sat well with the good people at Golden Gate Park, and they’ve sought to provide people with this glorious sight since 1890.

The first two were named Sarah Bernhardt & Ben Harrison, and the bison have held the hearts of the public hostage from that moment on.

They’ve had a shaky history as the years have gone on, with disease & poachers threatening them on more than one occasion, but they’ve always remained in the general area while shifting between specific habitats.

The ones there currently are descendants of some bison the former mayor Dianne Feinstein received as a birthday present from her husband in 1984, and they’re every bit as handsome as the ones that came before.


san francisco city hall

City Hall

“But I’m not a nerd,” you’re thinking, “so why would I tour a City Hall building?” Well, this is no ordinary City Hall. San Francisco’s other pride & joy is one of the most impressive buildings in the country, rooted in a French architecture style from the 19th century called Beaux-Arts.

Along with operating as a government building, it’s also a preferred destination for those that want a jaw-dropping wedding venue without an equally jaw-dropping bill. You can enter the building for free Monday through Friday any time between 8:00 AM & 8:00 PM.

The building also features an art exhibit, and free tours are offered at various times throughout the week during the morning & afternoon.


yerba buena gardens san francisco

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

If you’re looking for the ultimate education in the culture of San Francisco, you don’t even have to step in a classroom. Every year, for 6 whole months, Yerba Buena Park hosts 75 events that are free to the public.

These events include everything from plays & poetry readings to jazz performances and circus acts, all intended to showcase the many cultures that make up the city. When you want to have an extra special lunch during the spring & summer, there’s no better place to find yourself.


folsom street fair

Folsom Street Fair

Lastly, this event is a cultural education in its own special way, although it involves much more leather. Like, a lot of leather. However much you’re thinking of, it’s more than that. Specifically, it’s 250,000 outfits worth, although most of the outfits have minimal coverage.

Why, you ask? It’s a fetish event, of course, and it’s in the middle of one of the most popular streets in the city. For those in the appropriate demographic for such an event, which they stress is anyone above the age of consent, this is a sight to behold.

With 200 booths displays toys & fetish gear, a massive array of live music performances, and live BDSM demonstrations, you’ll find something to catch your eye.



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