Autry Museum (323) 667-2000
Art and history of the American West. Guided tours, gold panning, Autry Explorers, and an annual American Indian Arts Marketplace. The new exhibit, Play!, explores the role of toys and games across cultures and over time, open through January 7. Closed Mondays. Admission: Free – $14. Located in Griffith Park. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles. www.theautry.org. Free admission day: second Tuesdays.
Beall Center for Art and Technology (949) 824-6206
Revolving exhibits that explore relationships between art, science and engineering. Special family events throughout the year. Closed Sunday. Free admission. University of California, Irvine, 712 Arts Plaza. www.beallcenter.uci.edu
Bowers Kidseum (714) 480-1520
Kidseum offers hands-on exhibits and programs designed around art and culture that include after-school programs, classes and workshops, birthday party packages, family events and camps. Plus, enjoy the new exhibit Future Park: Art and Technology which creates a unique, digital playground, open through January 15. Admission: $8-10 for everyone over age 2 (subject to change, please check website). 1802 N. Main St., Santa Ana. www.bowers.org
Calif. African American Museum (213) 744-7432
History and culture with a focus on the African American journey from the west coast of Africa to the Western United States. Special events and family days throughout the year. Closed Monday. Free admission; parking, $12-15. Exposition Park, 600 State Drive, Los Angeles. www.caamuseum.org
California Science Center (323) 724-3623
This year’s temporary exhibit includes Body Worlds: Pulse, on display through February 20. 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. Avoid traffic and ride the Metro Expo Line, exit at the USC/Expo Park station. 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. www.californiasciencecenter.org
Chapman University Exhibits (714) 997-6815
Huell Howser Archive includes images, text and artifacts, which outline Howser’s career and legacy in California. Located in the basement level. Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library includes permanent and rotating exhibits of those affected by the Holocaust. Located on the 4th floor. Closed Saturday and Sunday. Free. One University Drive, Orange. The Hilbert Museum of California Art exhibits California artists portraying California from the 1920s to present day. Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. 167 N. Atchison St., Orange, (714) 516-5880. www.tinyurl.com/huellhowser, www.tinyurl.com/holocaustmemoriallibrary, www.hilbertmuseum.com
Children’s Museum at La Habra (562) 383-4236
Hands-on exhibits, plus, enjoy Target Free Sundays throughout the year. The temporary exhibit, Ocean Zone, features live creatures of the sea where kids learn about different forms of sea life and how they adapt to each of the ocean’s mysterious “zones,” open through January 7. Closed Mondays. Museum closed for renovation through September 25. Admission: $8. 301 S. Euclid St., La Habra. www.lhcm.org.
Discovery Cube Los Angeles (818) 686-2823
Take in 71,000 square feet of interactive fun. Whether you want to take a simulated helicopter tour or experience their own Santa Ana winds, there’s something for everyone to explore. This fall, check out Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit, and don’t miss the return of real snow at Winter Wonderfest over the holidays! Field trips, outreach, special events, scout programs, sleepovers and teacher workshops are also available. 11800 Foothill Blvd., Los Angeles. www.discoverycube.org
Discovery Cube Orange County (714) 542-2823
Discovery Cube Orange County is filled with interactive and hands-on exhibits in themed areas including: Discovery Theater, Inspector Training Course, Boeing Rocket Lab, Eco Challenge, Science of Hockey, and more. Visitors will explore science like never before with a virtual earthquake, hurricane simulator, a cloud maker and more! This fall, join the Monster Academy at Spooky Science, and don’t miss the return of real snow at Winter Wonderfest over the holidays! Field trips, outreach, special events, scout programs, sleepovers and teacher workshops are also available. 2500 North Main St., Santa Ana. www.discoverycube.org
Getty Center and Villa (310) 440-7300
The Getty Center offers free GettyGuide family audio tours and Family Art Detective Cards. The Getty Villa’s activities include the Family Forum and the TimeScape room. Until April 2018, the Getty Villa is undergoing a reinstallation of its collection, requiring the temporary closure of some gallery and garden areas. To plan your trip, visit www.getty.edu/visit/villa/plan for updates on closures. Getty Center: 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. Getty Villa: 7985 PCH, Pacific Palisades. 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). www.getty.edu
Hammer Museum (310) 443-7000
Family programs include Hammer Kids and art workshops, family days and family flicks. Plus, download a family or teen guide from their website for an interactive experience in the galleries. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. www.hammer.ucla.edu. Closed Monday. Free admission daily.
Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens (626) 405-2100
Visit the interactive Children’s Garden (2-7) and the Conservatory for Botanical Science with hands-on science activities (8+). Closed Tuesday. Admission: $10-25. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. www.huntington.org. Free admission: first Thursday, with reserved tickets.
Japanese American National Museum (213) 625-0414
Japanese American culture and history. Closed Mondays. Admission: $6-10. 100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles. www.janm.org. Free admission: Thursdays, 5-8 p.m. and all-day on the third Thursday of the month.
Kidspace Children’s Museum (626) 449-9144
Interactive activities in the arts, sciences and humanities, including water features, plus classes, camps, family nights, parenting workshops and special events. Recommended for ages 1-10. Admission: $13. 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena. www.kidspacemuseum.org. Free admission on Family Night, first Tuesday night, 4-8 p.m.
La Brea Tar Pits and Museum (213) 763-3499
Interactive displays of the Tar Pits and Southern California during the Ice Age. 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. Hancock Park, 5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. www.tarpits.org. Free admission: first Tuesdays.
Laguna Art Museum (949) 494-8971
Kids’ Art Studio, a free, drop-in family art time, third Sundays, 2-4 p.m. Docent-led tours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. www.lagunaartmuseum.org
Long Beach Museum of Art (562) 439-2119
Free family art workshops on the 3rd Sunday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Closed Monday – Wednesday. Admission: $6-7. 2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. www.lbma.org. Free admission days: Thursday night, 3-8 p.m.; and all day Fridays.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (323) 857-6000
Kids can join NexGen, a free youth membership program that offers free admission for anyone 17 and under as well as free general admission for one accompanying adult. Family activities include painting in the Boone Children’s Gallery, Family Days with tours and art-making on Sundays. Closed Wednesdays. Admission: free – $15. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. www.lacma.org. 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.
Museum of Latin American Art (562) 437-1689
Dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach. www.molaa.org. Free admission: fourth Friday of each month, 5-9 p.m., plus every Sunday.
Museum of Music Making (760) 438-5996
Try out instruments and explore who makes them, covering 1890s to today. Closed Monday. Admission: $7-10. 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad. www.museumofmakingmusic.org
Museum of Tolerance (310) 553-8403
Interactive exhibits encourage visitors (recommended for 10+) to find solutions to social problems, learn about hate groups and experience the events leading up to the Holocaust and World War II. 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. www.museumoftolerance.com
Natural History Museum of LA County (213) 763-3466
Explore the natural worldpast and presentwith dinosaur specimen exhibitions, North American and African diorama halls, and gem and mineral collections. Dino Lab allows visitors to watch the assemblage of real dinosaur fossils. Plus, enjoy seasonal exhibitions such as the spider pavilion. Admission: $5-12. Exposition Park, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles. www.nhm.org. Free admission day: first Tuesdays (every Tuesday in September).
Norton Simon Museum (626) 449-6840
Free family programs focus on the permanent collection and exhibits. Kids are free. Closed Tuesday. Admission: free – $12. 411 Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. www.nortonsimon.org. Free admission: first Fridays, 5-8 p.m.
Pennypickle’s Workshop Temecula Children’s Museum (951) 308-6376
Hands-on inventions, gadgets and experiments. Workshops, kids’ night out and special events offered. Closed most Mondays. Admission: $5 (price may differ for special events). 42081 Main St., Temecula. www.pennypickles.org
Petersen Automotive Museum (323) 930-2277
View Hollywood cars, race cars, vintage cars and more in their collection. Admission: $7-15. 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. www.petersen.org
Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology (909) 624-2798
A diverse collection of dinosaur fossils, footprints and trackways. Closed Sunday. Admission: adults, $9. Kids (4 and under), free. 1175 W. Baseline Road, Claremont. www.alfmuseum.org
Skirball Cultural Center (310) 440-4500
Exhibitions, music, theater, comedy, film, family and literary programs, Zeidler’s Cafe, plus Noah’s Ark. Closed Monday. Admission: $7-12. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. www.skirball.org. Free admission day: Thursdays. Note: Advance tickets to Noah’s Ark are highly recommended on weekends and during school breaks; tickets for free Thursdays are first-come, first-served only (no advance tickets), subject to availability.
Southern California Children’s Museum (626) 657-0357
Early-childhood educational exhibits. Admission: $8. 459 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. www.socalkids.org
Tankland American Military Museum (626) 442-1776
Tanks and military vehicles on display. Closed Monday – Thursday. Admission: $1-5. 1918 Rosemead Blvd., South El Monte. www.tankland.com
The Paley Center for Media (310) 786-1000
Public accessible archives of television, radio, and new media content, over 160,000 programs and advertisements, including collections focused on LGBT, African-American, and Hispanic achievements in television. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Admission: free, donations welcome. 465 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills. www.paleycenter.org
Wells Fargo History Museum (213) 253-7166
Features interactive exhibits, an original Concord Coach, a historically re-created agent’s office, a working telegraph, and samples of gold, including a 27-ounce gold nugget. Closed Sunday and most Saturdays. Free admission and cell-phone tour. Metered parking. 333 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. www.wellsfargohistory.com/museums/los-angeles
Zimmer Children’s Museum (323) 761-8984
Kids can be a star at the Mann Theater, pilot the Zimmer Plane, explore music at Rhythms of the World, make a splash at Water Ways and more. Closed Saturday. Admission: $7.50. 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 100, Los Angeles. www.zimmermuseum.org
Autry Museum (323) 667-2000