Before the pandemic, I always looked forward to the last week in January. That’s when a group of marketing and comms pros from museums across Southern California banded together to offer a single day of free admissions at their respective institutions. They call it a SoCal Museums Free-For-All, and for a freebie hound such as myself, it was hands-down one of the best days of the year. Well, after a three-year hiatus, it’s now set to return on Sunday, February 5, 2023.
In a press communication released earlier today, Briana Sapp, SoCal Museums President and Director of Marketing and Communications for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History heralded the return of the initiative, “We are thrilled to be able to collectively welcome visitors from across the region on this special day once again. The Museums Free-for-All has always been a celebration of the varied and remarkable institutions in Southern California, and it is meaningful to continue this tradition of accessibility and joy.”
This year’s lineup of participants boasts more than 30 names, and includes some locations that are free year-round (The Getty, Hammer Museum, Fowler Museum) along with many others that normally charge admission fees (The Academy Museum, La Brea Tar Pits Museum, Descanso Gardens). And if your mind has already jumped to auxiliary costs, then let me break the news to you: regular parking fees still apply at all locations.
If for some reason you can’t carve out time to take advantage of the special date in February, remember that we complied a big list of free museums and museum days in L.A. you can peruse, so maybe pick out another day that works better for your schedule.
Either way, check out the full free-for-all lineup below, and enjoy the day!
SoCal Free Museum Day Participants (Feb. 5, 2023)
- Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
- American Museum of Ceramic Art (advance tickets required)
- Armory Center for the Arts
- Bowers Museum
- Catalina Museum for Art & History
- Cayton’s Children’s Museum (advance tickets required)
- Craft Contemporary
- Descanso Gardens (advance tickets required)
- Fowler Museum at UCLA
- Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University
- Hammer Museum
- The Getty Center
- The Getty Villa (timed tickets are required for the Getty Villa)
- Japanese American National Museum
- La Brea Tar Pits & Museum (advance tickets required)
- LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
- Lincoln Memorial Shrine
- Long Beach Museum of Art
- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) (advance tickets strongly recommended)
- Muckenthaler Cultural Center
- Museum of Latin America Art (MOLAA)
- Museum of Tolerance
- Museum of Ventura County
- Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum
- Santa Barbara Museum of Art
- Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
- Santa Monica History Museum
- Santa Paula Art Museum
- Skirball Cultural Center (advance tickets strongly recommended)
- The Wende Museum
- The Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum
- USC Fisher Museum
- USC Asia Pacific Museum
You can visit socalmuseums.org to find out more information about the free day and all participants.
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