I don’t know about the rest of you, but FREE is one of my favorite F words. Get free, be free, freedom…and then – there are the free things in life that make our already glorious lives that much sweeter. For the last few seasons, I’ve shared my assorted adventures gallivanting through some of the most gorgeous gardens, arboretums and parks on the West Coast. in search of the perfect picnic plot, a summertime reading nook or simply a splendid location for an afternoon stroll. From Southern California through Utah and Colorado, Northern California into Oregon, Washington and Canada – I’ve loved them all, and I’m still on the hunt for more. With the Getty, Getty Villa, Huntington Gardens and UC Berkeley’s Botanical Garden – though the main attraction truly is the astounding grounds they all reside on, the museums that each facility boasts is creme of the crop, top notch and has international acclaim.
At the end of the month, some of the best museums in the Los Angeles area are pairing up the local Metro to celebrate a decade of free education at the “Museum Free-For-All”. On January 31st (and, for some, February 1st), assorted museums are slashing their admission prices so the general public can ogle for free. Any specialty ticketed exhibitions are except from the offer and regular parking does apply, but that’s a small fee to fork over for an amazing, mind opening day. Participating museums are as follows – and if the museum is offering a Sunday admission, it’s noted.
- Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Annenberg Space for Photography
Armory Center for the Arts
California African American Museum
California Science Center
Chinese American Museum
Craft Folk & Art Museum
Fowler Museum at UCLA
The Getty Center
The Getty Villa (Timed Tickets Required)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Los Angeles Fire Department Museum and Memorial
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
Museum of Latin American Art
Museum of Tolerance (Sunday, Feb 1)
The Paley Center for Media
The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
Pasadena Museum of California Art
Santa Monica Museum of Art
Skirball Cultural Center
The Torrance Art Museum
USC Pacific Asia Museum
William S. Hart Museum
Zimmer Children’s Museum (Sunday, Feb 1)
Whether you’re a science nut, a nature nerd or an art afficianado – there’s absolutely something for everyone, and a perfect excuse to get your family, friends and favorites together for a wonderful weekend at the museum. After rummaging through the list, I realized that I’ve only been 20% of the museums – most likely, I’ll be running around between the California Museum of Sciences, the Annenberg Space for Photography and hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze in the Getty Villa one more time too. I love learning, I love expanding my center of knowledge and I love doing it with the people nearest and dearest to me. If you can’t make it out that weekend, don’t sweat it – there are loads of museums and gardens that offer spotted free admission once a month.
The Arboretum – Free the 3rd Tuesday of Every Month
Descanso Gardens – Free the 3rd Tuesday of Every Month
The Huntington Botanical Gardens – The First Thursday of Every Month
Getty Villa – Admission is always free, Parking is on a Pay Basis
What are your favorite museums? Do you have any tricks of the trade for free admission? Let everyone know in the comments below!