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Best Free Art Activities On The Peninsula

Just because most flowers wilt in the winter, doesn't mean your imagination has to. It's tempting during the winter months to nestle inside with your favorite TV shows and drink copious amounts of hot beverages, that is when you're not running around manically preparing for the holidays. Even when the the season gets colder and busier, you can still take a moment out of your day to appreciate art and learn something new. The following free activities provide a hit of art and culture in the winter.

Rodin Sculpture Garden and Galleries Tour
Cantor Arts Center
328 Lomita Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 723-4177

Hours: Wednesdays at 2 p.m., Saturdays at 11:30 a.m., Sundays at 3 p.m.

The Cantor Arts Center on the Stanford University campus is open to the public and free year round. The Rodin collection is one of the largest in the world and encompasses three indoor galleries as well as the outdoor Sculpture Garden. The 20 bronze works in the garden remain lit and available for viewing even when the museum has closed. The docent-led tours of the entire Rodin collection allow you to get the most out of your visit and are available three days a week while group tours can be arranged in advance. You can continue enjoying the works of Rodin during your visit to the cafe which overlooks the garden and through browsing the attached bookstore.


Exhibit: Inventing the 20th Century
Museum of American Heritage
351 Homer Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 321-1004

Hours: Now through January 13, 2013

This small museum, located in an historic building, is dedicated to exploring the intersections of technology and society. In addition to offering classes on quilt cutting, ham radio and its popular "Design for Superheroes," the museum has permanent and rotating exhibits that remain free year round. The overall focus of the museum is on technology from the 19th and 20th centuries, with a special focus on the earlier half of the century, and includes pieces from private collections that are otherwise unavailable to the public. The current rotating exhibit shows the progression of modern technology from the turn of the century to World War II.

Related: Best Book Clubs On The Peninsula

San Mateo History Museum

Free First Fridays
San Mateo County History Museum
2200 Broadway
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 299-0104

Hours: General admission 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Guided Tour 2 p.m., Pre-school activity program 11 a.m. 12 p.m.

The San Mateo County History Museum is one of several enterprises for the the San Mateo County Historical Association. Current exhibits explore the many facets of the county's history including immigration, law, technology and nature. The museum boasts accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums and specializes in hands-on learning activities for youth. On each first Friday of the month, admission is waived. Guests can take a guided tour and pre-school children can enjoy the day's special program, "Playing in the Past," which includes a story and an activity.

Related: Best Art Galleries On The Peninsula

Lollie Hopper loves to drink deeply from the well of culture. If it's beautiful, interesting or timely, this Bay Area native wants to cover it. Her work can be found on

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