Cheap Things to Do in the Bay Area: Budget-Friendly Bay Area Activities

Cheap Things to Do in the Bay Area

Introduction to Cheap Things to Do in the Bay Area

The Bay area is one of the most beautiful places in America. A bit expensive, but we’ll give you some tips to save money while visiting this amazing city.

Go to a free museum day

When you think of museums, you probably imagine a building full of paintings and sculptures. 

But the Bay Area is home to some amazing free museums open daily and offer something for everyone.

The Exploratorium: This museum’s mission is “to inspire wonder-inspiring people.” 

It has exhibits on science and art but also features interactive exhibits where visitors can make their inventions at the Maker Station or use their senses in other ways (like touch) with Art & Science Lab. Plus, there are always fun activities like laser tag.

Museum of Science & Industry: SFMOMA may be more well known than MSI because it’s located in downtown San Francisco, but both buildings have tons of cool stuff inside them. 

Their main attraction is The Hall Of Progress which houses over 50 interactive displays on technology ranging from steam engines to computers; there are also many other cool things that kids will enjoy learning about, like how cars were invented in ancient times by accident. 

Another great thing about this museum? They do free admission every Tuesday, so even if your wallet says otherwise, today might be worth checking out one day soon.

See a free outdoor movie

If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to spend an evening, consider watching a free outdoor movie. 

Several options are available in the Bay Area, including Marin County and San Francisco. 

The best thing about these events is that they’re free. All you have to do is show up with blankets, picnic supplies, snacks, and water bottles if you want them. 

You can also bring a flashlight or headlamp so that you only need electricity from nature itself; after all, who wants their fun ruined by bad weather?

If there’s one thing we know about dogs, they love being outside under the stars, so if your pup isn’t good at sitting still during movies but loves sleeping outside on his pad at night. 


Then we’ve found just the thing for them too. We recommend bringing along some tennis balls (the kind made of plastic), so they will stay energized while waiting around all night while everyone else enjoys their movie event without them there too.

Hit up a local bay area park

Crissy Field, located on the edge of Golden Gate Park, is an open-air park with beaches and trails. 

You can also walk along the Bay Trail that runs along its perimeter. If you’re looking for something more active, plenty of sports facilities are available in this area. 

Head to a free or cheap concert

A great way to spend an afternoon is by heading out to a free concert. Many local parks host free performances, including Golden Gate Park and Crissy Field. 

You can also find some great local museums that offer free admission on certain days of the week, such as the DeYoung Museum or Legion of Honor (the latter two are part of our list). 

If you’re looking for something different than what’s offered at your neighborhood park or library, consider heading to festivals where they’ll usually have live music playing all weekend long.

Hang out in an art gallery or artist’s studio

If you’re looking for something more active, consider visiting an art gallery or artist’s studio. 

Art galleries are great places to hang out because they often have events that allow members of the public to interact with artists and their work. 

You can also learn about the history of art and why certain styles have become popular over time.

If you’re interested in learning about different artistic styles, try visiting an artist’s studio where they’ll create new pieces for sale or exhibition. 

You’ll see firsthand what goes into making these beautiful creations.

Sit in on a college lecture

If you’re a student, there are plenty of opportunities to check out free lectures and seminars on campus. 

You can also take advantage of the free tutoring services offered by the school’s department chairs. 

If your professor has a particular area of expertise in mind for their lecture series, make sure that they are giving it at a time when there will be enough students around so as not to feel isolated while speaking aloud their thoughts.

If possible, bring a notebook and a pen and paper so that you can take good notes without relying solely on memory alone; this is especially important if this is something that could prove useful later on down the line.

Visit some historic sites around the Bay area

Golden Gate Bridge – The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most iconic structures in California. It connects San Francisco to Marin County and spans a total of 7,984 feet (2 miles) across two decks. 

The bridge was completed in 1937 and has been designated as an official National Historic Landmark since 1986.

Alcatraz Island – Alcatraz Island is located just off the coast of San Francisco Bay and has played a role in American history since it was first inhabited by Native Americans, who used it as an important trading post during their travels between different tribes. 

Today, visitors can enjoy tours both inside and outside the prison walls while learning about its history through guided tours or self-guided walking tours through tunnels under the island where prisoners were once held before being transferred elsewhere after being arrested for crimes against society.

However, these types weren’t allowed entry into places like this one until recently due mainly because they didn’t meet certain requirements needed before entering, so instead, only adults aged 18+ years old were allowed entry into places like these which means children weren’t allowed access either unless accompanied by adults over 21 years old who had already been approved prior registration process conducted earlier today.

Do some TV pilot filming spotting

If your interest in the Bay area is limited to TV and film, you can still get a taste of what it’s like to be a production assistant. 

You’ll find that most productions are based out of San Francisco or Los Angeles, but there’s always some filming being done in the Bay area.

If you’re looking for some fun stuff to do while wandering around town, look for signs with “Pilot” on them and follow them down streets until they lead you into an area where there are other people working on their own pilots. 

The best way to spot these locations is by looking at signs; these will usually have an entrance fee, so that they don’t need as much lighting equipment or crew members. 

There’s usually also going to be someone who can tell us what kind of show it was so we know if our favorite characters were involved.

Go to the beach

The weather is warm and sunny, the waves are crashing against the shoreline, and there’s sand everywhere. 

If this sounds like your idea of heaven (or hell), then go ahead and make it happen. 

The beach is one of those places where you can relax without having to worry about anything else except enjoying yourself. 

It’s also an excellent place to meet new people. If you’re feeling shy or introverted, just try chatting up someone while they’re walking along the sand with their dog by their side; chances are they’ll be more than willing to talk with someone as friendly as yourself.

Take a hike, walk, or bike ride at one of the many Bay area trails

If you’re looking for a cheap way to get out and about in the Bay area, consider taking a hike, walk, or bike ride at one of the many trails that are available. 

Golden Gate Park is home to some of the best trails around. It’s also where many dog owners take their dogs on walks while they enjoy being outside during their lunch break or after work hours.

Golden Gate Park has over 30 miles worth of hiking trails with everything from easy strolls through natural areas like Muir Woods and Lands End to more challenging hikes up Mount Sutro.

Visit golden gate park

Golden Gate Park is the largest urban park in the United States, with around 1,000 acres of land. It has a botanical garden and arboretum, a Japanese tea garden, and children’s playgrounds. 

The park also features several museums, including the California Academy of Sciences (CAS), de Young Museum, Legion of Honor, and California Palace of the Legion of Honor (Lola Soares Theater).


You might be surprised at how many free things there are to do in the Bay area! We hope this list has helped you find a few ideas for your next trip. 

If we still need to include something, please let us know, and we will add it to our list.

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