30+ SoCal Museums Are Now Offering K-12 Educational Resources Online

Posted by
The Getty Center Courtyard
The Getty Center Courtyard / Photo by: Christina Champlin

You might recognize ‘SoCal Museums’ as the marketing entity behind the SoCal Museum Free-for-All, an annual event that takes place at the end of January. This year’s 15th annual edition included over 40 regional museums.

Of course, with museum entrances shuttered and families abiding the statewide stay-at-home order, local arts and culture centers have to find new (and mostly online) ways to reach their audiences. And they’ve come through in a big way.


SoCal Museums has curated a list of more than two dozen local cultural institutions that are now providing at-home educational programming tools.

Jennifer Caballero, SoCal Museums President and Marketing Director at the Skirball Cultural Center, emphasized the need for these cultural centers to do their part to support families and students given the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For more than fifteen years, SoCal Museums has made arts and culture more accessible to our communities, including visitors from outside the region. In the face of this global crisis, our member museums are finding a way to bring exciting and transformative cultural experiences to our younger audiences,” Caballero said in a release.

The digital programming covers a variety of formats and subjects, customized for Pre-K–12 students.

The Getty, for example, has a photography program for teens called Getty Unshuttered. The series includes lessons on perspective, composition, shot size, lighting, and portraits.

The California Science Center offers Stuck at Home Science!, a family-oriented science program offering live video broadcasts and easy-to-follow activities using household supplies (today’s broadcast, scheduled for 10 a.m., features a ball python!).

For the complete list of museums and a description of programming, see below or visit socalmuseums.org.

Annenberg Space for Photography offers educational resources, tools, and support for educators, including documentaries and resource guides from past exhibitions. All ages.

Armory Center for the Arts offers links to 12 training videos and lesson plans for math and art integration. Grades 2 and 3.

Autry Museum of the American West offers standards-based and self-paced lessons that engage students with Autry collections through interactive activities and connections to home and today (downloadable in PDF). Plus, themed digital tours featuring Autry collections. All ages. 

Aquarium of the Pacific offers an Online Academy, which includes live classes for students, animal webcams, resource kits and activities, an online learning center, educational videos on demand, the Daily Bubble puppet show, and more. All ages.

The Broad offers weekly art activity tutorials inspired by artists from the Broad collection. They’re released every Friday morning on social media. Grades K–6.

Bowers Museum offers BOWERS AT HOME, a portal with digital exhibition access, virtual learning, community resources, and more. All ages.

California Science Center offers #StuckAtHomeScience for families to explore and learn together using household supplies. All ages.

Catalina Island Museum offers projects related to the “Catalina Ambassadors Program,” coloring pages, and digital puzzles created from paintings in their exhibitions. All ages.

Cayton Children’s Museum offers #CaytonRecess with storytelling, sing-alongs, creative exercises, and art-making every weekday on Youtube. Toddlers–10, families.

City of STEM Science Festival offers STEM resources from over 100+ partner organizations, curated in a way that is easy and accessible for kids, parents, and teachers. Grades Pre-K–12.

Columbia Memorial Space Center offers its most popular, creative, and engaging activities online from engineering to chemistry. Grades Pre-K 8.

Craft Contemporary offers Craft at Home, a new series of easy-to-follow craft activities for the whole family. All ages.

Descanso Gardens offers #DescansoatHome, which includes virtual tours and nature and science activities, including how-tos on taking a nature walk and crafts. Ages 2–10, families.

FIDM Museum offers the FIDM Museum Family Activity Book, which encourages kids to observe and interact with objects in the collection. All ages.

Fowler Museum at UCLA offers a curriculum guide designed for educators, which includes eight lessons inspired by the exhibition Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Grades K–12.

Getty Museum offers lessons on the fundamentals of photography as part of a teen-centric education program, Getty Unshuttered. The lessons include perspective, composition, shot size, lighting, and portraits. Teens.

Glendora Historical Society & Rubel Castle offers the history of the castle, tours of the grounds, exhibitions, property, and the Tin Palace Museum. All ages.

GRAMMY Museum offers educational lesson plans, such as GRAMMY In The Schools Mini-Lessons, paying tribute to our musical heritage. All ages.

Hammer Museum offers indoor inspiration on Pinterest featuring artmaking activities inspired by the collection. Ages 5–10.


Heroes Hall Museum and Education Center offers curriculum guides covering topics like the local military history of Orange County and WWII in general. Grades 6–12.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens offers virtual classroom instruction for educators. Grades K–12.

Japanese American National Museum offers educational content and resources for the classroom and at home, including at-home hands-on activities and virtual interviews. Grades K–12, families.

Kleefeld Contemporary at CSULB offers salon and art-making experiences. These thoughtful activities help students and families explore their feelings through art. All ages.

Kidspace Children’s Museum offers Kidspace-At-Home a curated program and resource developed to spark connection, creativity, laughter, and inspiration designed for ages 10 and under.

Laguna Art Museum offers at-home art activities inspired by the museum’s exhibitions and collections. All ages.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) offers online curricular resources that foster creativity, inspire personal growth, and enhance learning. Grades K–12. Additionally, LACMA@Home offers more digital resources to think and learn about art. All ages.

Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust offers guides for educators to teach about the Holocaust through primary sources and Holocaust survivor testimony, as well as short student-created films about the lives of Holocaust survivors. Grades 6–12.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) offers Virtual MOCA: Back to School. Every Monday, MOCA Educators lead a new family-friendly activity through interactive workshops, virtual talking tours, and classroom curriculum discussions. Grades K–12.

Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) offers explorations of its exhibitions, collection, and beyond. All ages.

Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County offers NHMLAC Connects, a new digital portal to discover and learn about nature, science, and culture from the safety of our homes. Grades K–12.

Norton Simon Museum offers ways to explore the Museum’s collection from home through art projects, videos, meditations, and more. All ages.

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute offers an online high school speech and debate competition. Grades 9–12.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art offers art-centric lessons in the subjects of science, social studies, english, art, and mathematics. Grades K-12.

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Sea Center offers activities for indoors, outdoors, or online, including guides for neighborhood birding and backyard observations, stargazing guides, coloring sheets, nature games, and more. All ages.

Skirball Cultural Center offers weekly #SkirballAtHome family-friendly art projects, plus suggestions for ways to build community even from our homes. Ages 4–12.

Wende Museum offers #WendeOnline, featuring educational resources, including creative activities based on exhibitions, access to the online collection, and interactive museum programs. All ages. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *