Autry Museum of the American West
Guided tours, gold panning, dress-up stations, and family-friendly programs. Closed Mondays. Admission: Free – $14. Free admission day: second Tuesdays.
Griffith Park. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles
Beall Center for Art and Technology
Revolving exhibits that explore relationships between art, science and engineering. Special family events are held throughout the year. Closed until October 5, then closed Sundays. Free admission.
712 Arts Plaza, University of California, Irvine
Bowers Museum and Kidseum
Kidseum offers hands-on exhibits and programs designed around art and culture that include after-school programs, classes and workshops, birthday party packages, and family events. Upcoming exhibits include: Knights in Armor, September 22 – January 13; and Kings, Queens and Castles, September 29 – February 18. Admission: $8-10 for everyone over age 2 (subject to change, please check website).
1802 N. Main St., Santa Ana
California African American Museum
Art, history, and culture of African Americans, with a focus on California and the West. New exhibit this season: The Notion of Family charts a trajectory of African American family and togetherness over generations. Open September 26 – March 3. Special events for children and family programs throughout the year. Closed Monday. Free admission; parking, $12-15.
Exposition Park, 600 State Drive, Los Angeles
California Science Center
This year’s temporary exhibit includes King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, on display through January 2019. The new immersive exhibition will display more than 150 real artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb. Plus, prepare to be (a little) scared with the exhibit “Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear” that will give you a chance to experience fear through a fear challenge course, a fear lab, and more in a safe, enjoyable environment to see how you respond. Permanent exhibits include Space Shuttle Endeavour, Ecosystems, Air and Space Gallery, World of Life and Creative World. Separate reservations needed for Space Shuttle Endeavor. Free general admission to all permanent exhibits (excludes IMAX and special paid exhibits). Parking, $12 cash only. Avoid traffic and ride the Metro Expo Line, exit at the USC/Expo Park station.
700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles
Chapman University Exhibits
Huell Howser Archive located in the basement level, Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free.
Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library located on the 4th floor, closed Saturday and Sunday. Free.
The Hilbert Museum of California Art, Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free.
One University Drive, Orange
167 N. Atchison St., Orange
Child Creativity Lab
A specialty children’s museum that includes educational outreach programs to schools, libraries, community events, after-school programs and churches. Families can explore their own creativity at the lab on community makerspace days. Call ahead for dates and times.
1815 E. Wilshire Ave. #906, Santa Ana
Children’s Museum at La Habra
Hands-on exhibits, plus, enjoy themed family programming on the weekends throughout the year. New temporary exhibits for ages 3-8, include: Lindo Mexico, featuring a piñata decorated pueblo, then and now fiesta, and an Aztec open-air market, through December 31; and “If I Lived in a Castle,” an imaginative trip to the past where kids can practice archery, swordsmanship, dress up in the Queen’s Gallery and more, January 22 – August 25, 2019. Closed Mondays. Admission: $10.
301 S. Euclid St., La Habra
Discovery Cube Los Angeles
Take in 71,000 square-feet of interactive fun. This season: Spooky Science, October 6-31 and Science of Gingerbread, November 23 – January 6.
11800 Foothill Blvd., Los Angeles
Discovery Cube Orange County
Interactive and hands-on exhibits in themed areas. This season, don’t miss: Spooky Science, October 6-31; Science of Gingerbread, November 23 – January 6; and The Lion Guard, the first-ever museum exhibit based on Disney Junior’s hit series, September 22 – January 13. Field trips, birthdays, outreach, special events, sleepovers, and teacher workshops are also available.
2500 North Main St., Santa Ana
Getty Center and Villa
Getty Center is closed Mondays. Getty Villa is closed Tuesdays. Admission, free; parking, $15 (the Pay Once, Park Twice program provides a flat $15 parking fee for a same-day visit to both locations). An advance timed ticket is required for the Getty Villa; one ticket includes up to three kids (15 and under).
Getty Center: 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles
Getty Villa: 7985 PCH, Pacific Palisades
Download a family or teen guide from their website for an interactive experience in this art museum and cultural center. Closed Monday. Free admission daily.
10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
Visit the interactive Children’s Garden (2-7) and the Conservatory for Botanical Science with hands-on science activities (8+). Closed Tuesday. Admission: $13-29. Free for children under 4. Free admission: first Thursday, with reserved tickets.
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino
Japanese American National Museum
Closed Mondays. Admission: $6-12. Free admission: Thursdays, 5-8 p.m. and all-day on the third Thursday of the month.
100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles
Kidspace Children’s Museum
Classes, camps, family nights, workshops and special events offered. Recommended for ages 1-10. Admission: $14. Free admission on Family Night, first Tuesday, 4-8 p.m.
480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Visitors can watch fossil excavation and assembly in the Fossil Lab. Plus, Titans of the Ice Age 3D and Ice Age Encounters (separate tickets required). Admission: $5-19. Free admission: first Tuesdays.
Hancock Park, 5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Laguna Art Museum
Docent-led tours at 11 a.m. every day (other than Wednesdays and holidays). Admission: $7. Free admission: first Thursday of each month, 5-9 p.m.
307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach
Long Beach Museum of Art
Free family art workshops 3rd Sunday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Closed Monday – Wednesday. Admission: $6-7. Free admission days: Thursday night, 3-8 p.m.; and all day Friday.
2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Kids can join NexGen, a free youth membership program that offers free admission for kids (17 and under) and one accompanying adult. Family activities include painting in the Boone Children’s Gallery, Family Days with tours and artmaking on Sundays. Family Guides for kids (6-12) are available at the ticket office. Also, pick up an Art Tote for family-friendly activities. Closed Wednesdays. Admission: free – $20. Kids (17 and under), free daily. Free general admission day: second Tuesday of the month, select federal holidays and Monday – Friday, after 3 p.m. for Los Angeles County residents.
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Museum of Latin American Art
Free admission: fourth Friday of each month, from 5-9 p.m., plus every Sunday.
628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach
Museum of Music Making
Explore and try out a large selection of instruments. Closed Monday. Admission: $7-10.
5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad
Museum of Tolerance
The exhibit, “Anne,” explores the legacy of Anne Frank, separate paid ticket required. Closed Saturday. $11.50-15.50.
9786 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles
Temporary and often changing exhibits on heritage, culture and arts. Annual Muzeo Express holiday model train exhibit, November – January; call for dates. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission: $6-10.
241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Explore the natural world, past and present, with dinosaur specimen exhibitions, North American and African diorama halls, and gem and mineral collections. The Nature Gardens allow visitors to spot birds and butterflies and explore an edible garden. The Nature Lab features live animals, touchable specimens, citizen science projects and multi-media. Dino Lab allows visitors to watch the assemblage of real dinosaur fossils. Plus, enjoy seasonal exhibitions, such as the Spider Pavilion, September 16 – November 25; and Wildlife Photographer of the Year, through January 6. Admission: $7-15. Free admission day: first Tuesdays.
Exposition Park, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles
Norton Simon Museum
Free family programs focus on the permanent art collection and exhibits. Kids are free. Closed Tuesday. Admission: free – $15. Free admission: first Fridays, 5-8 p.m.
411 Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Pennypickle’s Workshop Temecula Children’s Museum
Hands-on inventions, gadgets and experiments. Workshops and special events offered. Closed most Mondays. Admission: $5 (price may differ for special events).
42081 Main St., Temecula
Petersen Automotive Museum
Collection includes Hollywood cars, race cars, and vintage cars. Admission: $8-16.
6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology
Discovery days select Saturdays throughout the year. Closed Sunday. Admission: adults, $9; kids (4 and under), free.
1175 W. Baseline Road, Claremont
Skirball Cultural Center
Exhibitions, music, theater, comedy, film, family and literary programs, plus Noah’s Ark (advance tickets recommended). New temporary exhibit: Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, suited for grades 5-8, October 19 – March 10, 2019. Closed Monday. Admission: $7-12. Free admission day: Thursdays.
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles
Southern California Children’s Museum
Pretend and dramatic play areas, imagination and Tegu block areas, sensory stations, clay corner, and more. Admission: $8. “Twosdays” Special: 2-for-1 admission on Tuesdays after 2 p.m.
459 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Tankland American Military Museum
Download tour guide book online for more information on the military vehicles. Closed Monday – Thursday. Admission: $1-5.
1918 Rosemead Blvd., South El Monte
The Paley Center for Media
Public accessible archives of television, radio, and new media content, over 160,000 programs and advertisements spanning the history of media. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Admission: free, donations welcome.
465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills
Wells Fargo History Museum
Features interactive exhibits, an original Concord Coach, a historically re-created agent’s office, a working telegraph, and samples of gold. Closed Sunday and most Saturdays. Free admission and cell-phone tour. Metered parking.
333 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
Zimmer Children’s Museum
The Zimmer Children’s Museum is moving to a new location at Santa Monica Place in November; call to confirm location. Closed Saturday. Admission: $7.50.