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    Get into these museums free on Saturday, March 23
    • March 13, 2024

    Do you like free stuff? Do you like to wander through museums? Then I’ve got a deal for you.

    This coming Saturday — March 23 — dozens of Southern California museums in Southern California are opening their doors and inviting you to visit. For free. Yes, I said no charge. (Sadly, sometimes the parking is not free, but still …)

    Note that some places ask you to reserve in advance, so read up on the details. And the free admission applies to the general museum, not any specially ticketed exhibitions. If I were you, I’d get there right when they open, because this will be one crowded day.

    Here’s the freebie list, courtesy of the website. It’s a good idea to check for new additions. And note that some of these museums are free all the time!

    Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, 6067 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Exhibits on the movies, film showings and more. (Advance reservations are sold out, but you can still show up and try to get in.).

    A pair of Judy Garland’s ruby slippers on display at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles DailyNews/SCNG)


    American Museum of Ceramic Art, 399 N. Garey Ave., Pomona. One of the largest collections of ceramic art in the nation. (Make mandatory advance reservations at  or by email to [email protected] or call 909-865-3146).

    Armory Center for the Arts 145 North Raymond Ave., Pasadena. No reservations required. Note that this place in Old Pasadena is always free! Offers exhibitions, workshops and more.

    Autry Museum of the American West  4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles. (Advance reservations required. Visit to make a reservation). Interesting museum exploring the frontier of the American West, including Native American culture, cowboys, artwork and rotating exhibitions. Free parking.

    Teepees make up part of the American Indian Arts Marketplace at the Autry Museum of the American West Sunday afternoon. The event featured Native American arts, crafts, dance and music. (Photo by Andy Holzman/Contributing photographer).

    Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College, 120 W. Bonita Ave., Claremont. This museum of contemporary and historic art is always free.

    Bowers Museum, 2002 North Main St., Santa Ana. Museum of arts and crafts from cultures around the world. Free admission and discounted $10 tickets to the Asian Comics exhibition.

    The Broad 221 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Contemporary art museum across from Walt Disney Hall downtown that’s fun and highlights the extensive collection of the late Eli Broad. Always free. Paid parking. If you don’t make reservations, you’ll be standing in a long walk-up line. (Visit to make a reservation)

    California Botanic Garden 1500 N. College Ave., Claremont. Features 86 acres with 22,000 California native plants.

    California Science Center 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. Always free. Excellent museum with many fine exhibits for families. Paid parking in Exposition Park.

    Visitors enjoy the Kelp Forest exhibit at the California Science Center. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

    Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum. Cal State Long Beach. Horn Center, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach. Always free but paid parking on campus.

    Catalina Museum for Art & History 217 Metropole Ave., Avalon. Explores the history and creativity of Catalina Island.

    Cayton Children’s Museum 395 Santa Monica Place, level 3, Santa Monica. Kids’ touch and play museum. (Advanced reservations required. Visit

    Columbia Memorial Space Center 12400 Columbia Way, Downey. Educates students about science and technology.

    Craft Contemporary 5814 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles. Museum devoted to high quality crafts with exhibits and workshops.

    Forest Lawn Museum 1712 S. Glendale Ave., Glendale. Museum in a huge cemetery that includes reproductions of famous works of art.

    Julika Lackner’s “Twilight 81 (Forest Lawn Museum Looking West),” 2021, oil and acrylic on canvas, was on exhibit at Forest Lawn in Glendale. (Photo courtesy of Julika Lackner)

    Fowler Museum at UCLA 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Los Angeles. Always free. Paid parking. Specializes in ethnic arts and culture.

    Frederick R. Weisman of Art at Pepperdine University, Lisa Smith Wengler Center, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu Contemporary art museum. Always free. Paid and free parking.

    The Getty Center 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. The richest museum in the world, it cost $1 billion to build. Always free. Paid parking. Get a free timed ticket online.

    Admission to the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades is free but timed admission tickets must be obtained online before visiting. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Getty Villa 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades. Stunning replica of a Pompeian villa and gardens, filled with ancient art. Always free, Paid parking. Advance tickets required.

    GRAMMY Museum at LA Live 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. Museum that covers the top echelons of the music industry. Paid parking.

    The Grammy Museum’s exhibit on Shakira at the downtown Los Angeles museum,  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Hammer Museum at UCLA. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Always free. Paid parking. Art from around the world.

    Holocaust Museum LA 100 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. Founded by Holocaust survivors, it explores the horror of the concentration camp and Jewish experience during World War II. Free every Sunday and always to students. Paid parking. Reserve tickets at

    An archive image at the Holocaust Museum LA shows families living in the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto in the 1940s. (Photo courtesy of Carla Schalman/Holocaust Museum LA)

    Institute of Contemporary Art, LA  1717 E. 7th St., Los Angeles. Showcase of current art, as well as special events. Always free.

    The International Printing Museum 315 W. Torrance Blvd., Carson. Learn about printing and book arts.

    Japanese American National Museum 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. Excellent look at the Japanese experience in the U.S. Reservations recommended. Paid parking.

    TAIKOPROJECT performs during the 2020 Oshogatsu Family Festival at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan 05, 2020. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Contributing Photographer)

    Laguna Art Museum 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. This museum, on a bluff overlooking the ocean, exhibits art that “embodies and preserves the California experience.”

    La Brea Tar Pits & Museum 5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Fascinating look at the local Ice Age, complete with skeletons of extinct creatures. Advance tickets required. Book online.

    LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes 501 N. Main St., Los Angeles, adjacent to Olvera Street, Community center and museum housed in two historic buildings next to Olvera Street.

    Lincoln Memorial Shrine and Civil War Museum 125 W. Vine St., Redlands, Always free. Educates about the legacy of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Large and exciting museum with art of many cultures. Reserve tickets online at Paid parking.

    The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) 50 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Always free. Changing exhibits of contemporary art in a landmark sandstone building. Paid parking. Advance tickets recommended.

    Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach. Features art from local and international artists. Always free on Sundays. Free parking.


    The Museum of Latin American American Art in Long Beach offers free admission on Sundays. (Photo by Steven Georges/Press-Telegram)

    Museum of Ventura County 100 E. Main St., Ventura (main museum). History, arts and culture of Ventura County and the Channel Islands. Spread over four locations.

    Orange County Museum of Art 3333 Avenue of the Arts, Costa Mesa. Always free. Contemporary art in a new building at the Segerstrom Center. Free advance tickets required; order them online. Paid parking.

    Artist Jennifer Guidi’s eye-catching art, “And so it is,” is the newest exhibit at Orange County Museum of Art in Costa Mesa on Sunday, October 8, 2023. The museum celebrates its one-year anniversary with a week of activities for the public.(Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Santa Barbara Museum of Art 1130 State St., Santa Barbara. Large collection of current and historic art covering a wide period and numerous cultures. Advance tickets recommended at

    Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History 2559 Puesta del Sol, Santa Barbara. Animatronic dinosaurs,astronomy, planetarium and more. Free admission does not include the Sea Center. Free parking. Advance reservations recommended.

    Santa Monica History Museum 1350 7th St., Santa Monica. Diverse history exhibits on Santa Monica Bay area. Paid and street parking. Visit to make a reservation.

    Skirball Cultural Center 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. Changing exhibits of historical and cultural interest, especially of Jewish traditions. Workshops and events. Reservations for March 23 are full, but walk-ups might get lucky.Visit

    Wende Museum 10808 Culver Boulevard, Culver City. Features art, culture and an archive of Cold War history. Always free. Free parking.

    The Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo will have a free event featuring classic and custom cars on March 23. (Photo by Gil Castro-Petres, Contributing Photographer)

    Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum  610 Lairport St., El Segundo. Collection of more than 130 vintage classic cars, including owned by Howard Hughes and Eleanor Roosevelt.

    There you go. Hope you find something to do that day! And note that many museums have one or more days each month that are free to the public. Check their websites.

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    ​ Orange County Register