San Francisco’s vibrant culture offers many off-campus opportunities to enjoy the arts, but what is sometimes unknown is that students can get substantial discounts that make it affordable to attend these programs given their limited time and budget constraints.
The San Francisco Symphony’s season began this past week and offers college students 50% off of their ticket prices (up to two seats per student ID) to college students. Students can learn more about the student series and how to save 50% by calling Ticket Services at (415) 864-6000. In addition, a limited number of rush tickets will be sold in person at the Box Office window during regular business hours on the day of select concerts. Rush tickets are $20 each and limited to two tickets per person. For rush availability, call their Rush Information Hotline at (415) 503-5577. Availability information will be recorded on this hotline by 6:00 p.m. on the day before the concert or by 6:00 p.m. on the Friday before weekend concerts.
The San Francisco Opera season also just started this last week and offers a similar 50% discount on performances to students and teachers. All that is required is a USF ID. In addition, the SF Opera offers student rush tickets for $25, subject to availability, to anyone with a student ID starting 11 a.m. on the day of the performance up until 30 minutes before curtain. Students are limited to two tickets per ID. For more information about the SF Opera you can call their box office at (415) 864-3330. Also, the San Francisco Opera is hosting a free Opera in the Ballpark show of “Il Trovatore” on Sept. 19 at the Giants stadium.
The Lamplighters perform a range of musicals that are a lot of fun. This year they are offering student rush tickets one hour prior to their performances for $13. This is a real bargain considering that regular tickets are normally priced at $50. All that is needed is a student ID. The performances are usually held at the Novellus Theater at Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. To reach their box office, call (415) 227-4797.
All of San Francisco’s major museums offer special days, usually around once a month, when admission prices are free or substantially discounted. These free days are at the beginning of the month and usually the first Wednesday. What follows is a brief summary of the museum deals organized by day:
Free 1st Tuesday of the Month
SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), located at Third Street between Mission and Howard. This museum is dedicated towards modern and contemporary art and has photography, painting and sculpture, architecture and design, and media arts. (Regular hours and prices: 11 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. Friday to Tuesday and 11 a.m. – 8:45 p.m. Thursday $ 15 adults, $9 seniors, $ 9 students w/ID).
California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, 34th and Clement. This museum has a collection of ancient and European art and has unforgettable views of Golden Gate Bridge. (Regular hours and prices: Tues – Sun 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. $10 adults, $7 seniors 65+.)
Free 1st Wednesday of the Month
M.H. deYoung Museum, Golden Gate Park. Newly reopened museum with city view tower and with American art, native American, African, and Pacific art. (Regular hours and prices: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tues to Sun. $10 adults, $7 seniors 65+, $6 students w/ID.)
Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon. Science museum with hands on exhibits and experiments that reveal the beauty of the universe. (Regular hours and prices: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. $14 adults, $11 students w/ID, $11 seniors 65+.)
Free 3rd Wednesday of Every Month
California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park. Newly reopened museum that has an acquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and a 4 story rainforest. (Regular hours and prices: 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday. Thursday nights the museum opens up for Nightlife for adults 21 and up. For admission to Academy of Sciences: $ 24.95 adults, $19.95 students w/ID, $19.95 seniors 65+, Nightlife is $12. $3 dollars off general admission for those taking public transportation or bike.)
These special offers for students and free days during the month are good options for students on a budget. However, be aware that other people know about these deals and so it is a good idea to plan ahead. Enjoy the art and music of San Francisco while you are a student at USF!
Eric Fischer is a graduate student in the Economics department. He also plays violin professionally with the San Francisco Sinfonietta.