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Free Museums, Happenings

SoCal’s Massive Museum Free-For-All Day is Back in January

December 27, 2017 by Brian Champlin

Another January, another museum-free-for-all day!

Each year a group of marketing and communications professionals from museums throughout Southern California collaborate to organize a special day you won’t want to miss. On Sunday, January 28, 2018 more than 30 SoCal museums will offer free admission as part of the 13th Annual Museums Free-for-All.

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As in years past, the 2018 free-for-all includes both museums that normally charge admission such as Natural History Museum, LACMA, MOCA, and Descanso Gardens, along with museums that regularly offer free admission such as both Getty campuses and The Broad. A quick glance at the list of participants also reveals two museums that rarely offer free admission: The Petersen Automotive Museum and the GRAMMY Museum (something to consider when deciding which locations you might want to visit)

For those unable to take advantage of this promotional day keep in mind there are plenty of L.A. museums that are always free or offer monthly free admission days.

You can check the full list of participating museums for the free-for-all after the jump. And be sure to read the end of the post for a list of considerations and additional details for planning your day.

Urban Light at LACMA

Urban Light at LACMA. Photo Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

Free Museum Participants

Annenberg Space for Photography

Autry Museum of the American West

The Broad

California African American Museum

California Science Center (General admission only. A timed reservation with a convenience fee is required for Space Shuttle Endevour.)

Columbia Memorial Space Center

Craft & Folk Art Museum

Descanso Gardens 

Forest Lawn Museum

Fowler Museum at UCLA

Getty Center

Getty Villa (Free, timed tickets are required. Visit www.getty.edu)

GRAMMY Museum

Hammer Museum

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Japanese American National Museum (Free tickets available at janm.org/freeforall.)

Kidspace Children’s Museum

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum (General admission only; free tickets available at tarpits.org/freeforall)

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes

Los Angeles County Museum of Art<di

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Museum of Latin American Art

Museum of Tolerance 

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (Free tickets available at nhm.org/freeforall)

Orange County Museum of Art

The Paley Center for Media

Palm Springs Art Museum

Pasadena Museum of California Art

Petersen Automotive Museum

Pomona College Museum of Art

Riverside Art Museum

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Skirball Cultural Center (Noah’s Ark timed-entry, one-hour tickets are limited and distributed first-come, first-served)

Sunnylands Center & Gardens(Excludes tours of the historic house and grounds)

University Art Museum, CSU Long Beach (includes the opening reception of Robert Irwin: Site Determined)

USC Fisher Museum (Offering free admission on Saturday, January 27, instead of Sunday, January 28)

USC Pacific Asia Museum

Zimmer Children’s Museum


What: SoCal Museum Free-For-All Day (official site of free-for-all-organizers)

When: Sunday, January 28, 2018

Where: Various locations throughout Los Angeles and Southern California

Remember that the free admission offer is for general museum admission only at participating museums and does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. Regular parking fees apply.

Because the free-for-all day is one of the most popular times to visit for the entire year, it is advised that you plan your visit(s) as early in the day in possible. In other words, expect a crowd!

For transit options, keep in mind Museums Free-for-All has partnered with Metro, encouraging visitors to Go Metro to explore the participating museums, many of which are a short walk away from Metro bus or rail. For fair discounts visit metro.net/discounts.

Check individual museum websites for hours, directions, and other visitor information.

And most of all, have fun!

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