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Free Museums, Happenings

This Year’s SoCal Museum Free-For-All is in February

January 11, 2019 by Brian Champlin
Urban Light at LACMA

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

Free museum day hunters in Los Angeles are thoroughly familiar with the annual Museum Free-For-All Day put on by by SoCal Museums. Now in its 14th year, the event bands together dozens of Southern California cultural institutions to offer free admission over the course of one weekend. In years past the event has taken place over the final weekend of January, but for 2019 it’s getting pushed back a week, until first Saturday and Sunday of February.

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Over 40 institutions will take part in this year’s event. Some, like the Getty, Hammer Museum, and The Broad, are already free year-round. Others, like Natural History Museum, Kidspace Museum, or the La Brea Tar Pits Museum, offer only monthly free admission, meaning the upcoming February weekend is a bonus for visitors.

Based on reader feedback from previous years, you can expect major crowds if you choose to go to the more famous of the museums on the list, so I’d definitely recommend going earlier in the day and doing a little planning if you plan to check out more than one location. On the plus side, this is one of the the rare dates on the calendar when you can hit up multiple top notch attractions for little to no cost (other than time!).

Check below for the rundown of participating museums, plus which days (Saturday, Sunday or both days) they will be offering free admission.

Both Saturday (February 2) and Sunday (February 3)

  • Armory Center for the Arts
  • Automobile Driving Museum
  • The Broad (Free advance general admission tickets strongly recommended to avoid waiting in the standby line. Visitwww.thebroad.org to make a reservation.)
  • California African American Museum
  • California Science Center (General admission only. A timed reservation with a convenience fee is required for Space Shuttle Endeavour.)
    Craft and Folk Art Museum
  • Forest Lawn Museum
  • Fowler Museum at UCLA
  • Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art
  • The Getty Center
  • The Getty Villa (Timed tickets are required for the Getty Villa. Visit www.getty.eduto make a reservation.)
  • Hammer Museum
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • Laguna Art Museum
  • La Plaza de Cultura y Artes
  • Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
  • Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Orange County Museum of Art
  • Pomona College Museum Art Museum
  • Sunnylands Center & Gardens
  • USC Pacific Asia Museum

Saturday (February 2) Only

  • Academy Museum of Motion Pictures (opening late 2019; Free-for-All pop-up accessible via Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
  • Autry Museum of the American West
  • Columbia Memorial Space Center
  • Descanso Gardens (Free tickets available at descansogardens.org/tickets.)
  • Japanese American National Museum (Free tickets available at janm.org/freeforall.)
  • Kidspace Museum
  • La Brea Tar Pits and Museum (General admission only; free tickets available at tarpits.org/freeforall.)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Sea Center
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art
  • USC Fisher Museum of Art
  • Wende Museum of the Cold War

Sunday (February 3) Only

  • Bowers Museum
  • Muckenthaler Cultural Center
  • Museum of Latin American Art
  • Museum of Tolerance
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (General admission only; free tickets available at nhm.org/freeforall.)
  • Palm Springs Art Museum
  • Skirball Cultural Center (Noah’s Ark timed-entry, one-hour tickets are limited and distributed first-come, first-served.)
  • Valley Relics Museum
  • Zimmer Children’s Museum by Sharewell

For more information, visit socalmuseums.org.

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