Free Museum Admission in SoCal on Smithsonian Museum Day


Museum Day is an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. The Museum Day ticket provides free admission for two people on Saturday, September 21, 2019. Check out these participating Southern California museums!



Autry Museum of the American West | Los Angeles

Discover the art, history, and cultures of the American West at the Autry in Griffith Park. In museum galleries spanning two floors, see Native American art and artifacts, photography, film memorabilia, cowboy tools, and more.


California African American Museum | Los Angeles

The California African American Museum (CAAM) explores the art, history, and culture of African Americans, with an emphasis on California and the West. This museum is free everyday.


California Surf Museum | Oceanside

The California Surf Museum serves as a repository and resource center on the lifestyle sport of surfing through capturing, preserving, and chronicling its art, culture and heritage for the education and enjoyment of future generations.


Dr. Willella Howe Waffle House and Medical Museum | Santa Ana

The Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum is a beautifully restored Queen Anne Victorian Home. It was built in 1889 and belonged to one of the first female physicians in Orange County.


EcoVivarium | Escondido

EcoVivarium is a Living Museum featuring live reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods. Their animal ambassadors are 98% rescue and 2% donated, they do not purchase their animals. EcoVivarium is home to over 60 different species and 200+ animals.


Flight Path Museum & Learning Center at LAX | Los Angeles

The Flight Path Museum and Learning Center at Los Angeles International Airport features a gallery of exhibits and displays that showcases the glamour, adventure, and excitement of aviation and aerospace. It’s a place to experience the magic of the Golden Age of Aviation as visitors watch the modern jet age take flight at one of the busiest airports in the U.S.


Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum | San Diego

See 31 historical aircraft up close at this family-friendly, indoor-outdoor museum in San Diego that preserves the stories and celebrates the legacy of the men and women of U.S. Marine Corps Aviation. This museum is free everyday.


GRAMMY Museum | Los Angeles

The GRAMMY Museum is an interactive space where all aspects of music are experienced, explored, and celebrated.


Heritage Museum of Orange County | Santa Ana

The Heritage Museum of Orange County is a cultural and natural history center in Southern California. The centerpiece of the museum, which covers nearly 12 acres in all, is an historic plaza featuring several buildings from the 1890s set amid extensive floral gardens and citrus groves.


Japanese American National Museum | Los Angeles

Established in 1985, the Japanese American National Museum promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.


LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes | Los Angeles

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes celebrates the past and inspires the future by sharing the untold stories about the history, cultures, values, and traditions of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and all Latinos in the founding and continuing evolution of Southern California. This plaza is free everyday.


Los Angeles Maritime Museum | San Pedro

Discover the history of the Port of Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum! Find out how a sleepy mudflat was transformed into the nation’s busiest port!


March Field Air Museum | Riverside

Tour extensive exhibits focused on March Field, the development of aviation, Hollywood personalities, and much more! See early aircraft including a full-size replica of the 1903 Wright Brothers pioneer which launched the era of powered flight; World War II bombing icons and Cold War fighters; even an MQ-1 Predator.


Mission Inn Museum | Riverside

Exhibitions and artifacts reflect the history of the Mission Inn and inland Southern California. The Mission Inn Museum will offer 5 interpretive tours of the hotel on Museum Day. This museum is free everyday.


Museum of Latin American Art | Long Beach

The Museum of Latin American Art expands knowledge and appreciation of modern and contemporary Latin American and Latino art.


Museum of Making Music | Carlsbad

The museum’s galleries consist of more than 450 vintage instruments and artifacts on display, hundreds of audio samples of popular music and an area for visitors to interact with a variety of live, hands-on instruments.


Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center | Anaheim

The Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center engages the community in exploring and celebrating our diverse heritage, culture and arts through creative programming.


Orange County Museum of Art | Santa Ana

The Orange County Museum of Art enriches the lives of a diverse and changing community through modern and contemporary art. This museum is free everyday.


San Diego History Center | San Diego

Discover the secrets of San Diego’s rich history through family-friendly interactive displays.


The International Printing Museum | Carson

The International Printing Museum is a dynamic museum devoted to bringing the history of books, printing, and the book arts to life for diverse audiences.


The New Children’s Museum | San Diego

The New Children’s Museum is a new model of children’s museum whose mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art. With three-floors of installations and hands-on activities, there’s always something new to discover!


The Santa Ana Fire Museum | Santa Ana

The Santa Ana Fire Museum is housed in a working fire station where docent guided tour- goers can view vintage equipment and memorabilia dating back to the late 1800′s alongside state of the art contemporary fire trucks and equipment.


USC Pacific Asia Museum | Pasadena

USC Pacific Asia Museum is the only museum dedicated to Pacific Asia at a major research university in the United States. Since 1971, the museum’s mission is to further intercultural understanding through the arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands.


Which museums are you visiting on Smithsonian Museum Day? Visit their website to see even more participating museums and to get your ticket!






This post was written by Alina Na

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