I’ve never been to Golden Gate Park. Couple of questions. I read under the FAQ that entrance is free, but is there a charge to park your car at certain locations ? Does every exhibit charge a fee such as the Snakes & Lizard exhibit ? I understand that cars are off limits on 1/2 day Saturdays and all day Sunday but are cars off limits Saturday in the AM or PM ??
To answer your questions….
Fees for Exhibits
The park is free to enter for gaining access to the picnic areas, dog runs, lakes, and other natural scenery. There are fees to enjoy most of the main attractions, such as the deYoung Museum and California Academy of Sciences (CAS). Separate exhibits do not charge a fee except for special events, like lectures, Thursday Nightlife at CAS, etc (usually held in the afternoon). Admission to CAS includes access to all museum and aquarium exhibits, including the rainforest, the planetarium, the living roof, and “Snakes & Lizards” during regular admission hours.
Depending on when you visit, you can take advantage of free admission days. For example, the first Tuesday of the month is free admission to Conservatory of Flowers. Every third Wednesday of the month, there is free admission to the California Academy of Sciences. CAS also hosts free “neighborhood” days for San Francisco residents (proof of residency required) two times per year. Zip codes are designated their own weekend to take advantage of this. Friday Nights at deYoung Museum is a free event with tons of cultural exhibits, live music, dance, film, and art activities – fun for all ages. This is from 6pm to 8:45pm. Sometimes, deYoung Museum has announced free museum days.
Golden Gate Park – Several streets run through Golden Gate Park, the main thoroughfares being JFK and MLK drives. Time-limit parking on these and smaller streets within the park are available, but these opportunities are rare during the weekends.
Ocean Beach Parking and Shuttle – During weekends, a shuttle service operates between the free parking lot at Ocean Beach and major attractions within the park. The shuttle runs every 15 to 20 minutes from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and major holidays.
Underneath de Young Museum – The Music Concourse pay-per-hour parking facility accommodates 800 vehicles, including 15 accessible spaces, and is located directly underneath the de Young Museum. This garage is close to the California Academy of Sciences, Botanical Garden and Stow Lake. Visitors access the garage on the north side of the park at 10th Ave. and Fulton St. or from JFK Drive in front of the museum. The garage is open from 7:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily.
Millberry Union Garage – Millberry Union Garage on Parnassus St. opens on weekends. Charges an hourly fee.
Kezar Stadium Parking Lot – Located near the Stanyan St. entrance, this parking lot is open daily. Charges an hourly fee.
Hope this helps.