The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) may be one of the city’s most recognisable buildings, but things are rather quiet at the landmark right now.

That’s because a $610m renovation has just commenced that will add approximately 225,000sqft to the museum, slated to reopen in 2016 with more free-to-the-public spaces and expanded educational programmes, as well as a large-scale vertical garden and an outdoor terrace with expansive views of the city skyline.

However, while the site is undergoing its mega-expansion, its 650,000 annual visitors can still get their culture fix. SFMOMA’s On The Go programme is bringing exhibits and experiences to partner museums around the Bay Area and California, as well as directly to various San Francisco neighbourhoods, for the next two years. Highlights include SFMOMA’s internationally acclaimed Henri Matisse collection on display at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor museum (9 November 2013 to 7 September 2014), and Gorgeous, a provocative exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco’s Civic Center area that presents key works to chart the boundaries of beauty (20 June 2013 to 14 September 2014)

Children can also discover modern art through SFMOMA’s Sunday Streets programme, where free hands-on activities, from hat making to doodle drawing, are brought to a different San Francisco neighbourhood one Sunday each month through 2016. Sunday Streets comes to the Tenderloin on 18 August followed by the Western Addition on 8 September.

San Francisco’s other museums and arty outlets are worth a peek too, and especially noteworthy is the autumn lineup at the renowned de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, which brings a collection of 150 stunning jewels from Bulgari (21 September 2013 to 17 February 2014) and an impressive assemblage from David Hockney (26 October 2013 to 20 January 2014), the first comprehensive exhibition of the British painter and photographer’s work since 2002.

Kimberley Lovato is the San Francisco Localite