Your Family-Friendly Guide to SoCal Museums’ Free-for-All Day

 

Over 30 museums and attractions in Southern California are participating in Free-for-All Day on Saturday, March 23, 2024! That means, general admission will be free for museums that normally charge a fee.

With museums from Long Beach to Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, there’s so much to explore! We highlighted the best museums offering kid-friendly activities, but there’s a full list of participating museums below.

Note: This offer is for general museum admission only and does not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. Regular parking fees apply at each museum. Visit each museum’s website for hours, directions, and other visitor information.

 


 

Museums with Kid-Friendly Activities

 

 

Autry Museum of the American West | Los Angeles

What can kids do?: Visit the Family Play Space full of engaging activities where kids can discover all kinds of things about the American West. The Family Play Space is only open on weekends.

Is it normally free?: Museum admission is normally $14-18. Reservations are required for Free-for-All Day. Register here.

 

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The Broad | Los Angeles

What can kids do?: Check out their mobile museum guide with activities for kids and adults to do together and you explore the museum. There’s also a free kid’s audio tour featuring LeVar Burton (from Reading Rainbow), which encourages young art lovers to look, listen, and learn. Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room is mesmerizing for kids and grown-ups alike, but reservations are required (and all booked out for Free-for-All Day). Definitely check it out during the rest of the year!

Is it normally free?: Yes! General admission is always free at The Broad. Reservations are encouraged.

 

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California Science Center | Los Angeles

What can kids do?: What can’t they do? This science center lets kids explore galleries with hands-on exhibits on topics like fire science, ecosystems, life, air and space, and a whole lot more. Right now, there’s the special exhibit, Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear that’s free to explore!

Is it normally free?: Yes! Admission to permanent galleries are always free and do not require a reservation. Paid tickets are required for IMAX Theater and their newest special exhibition, Leonardo da Vinci: Inventor. Artist. Dreamer.

 

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Columbia Memorial Space Center | Downey

What can kids do?: Snap a photo in a spacesuit, check out the Apollo capsule, and a variety of hands-on space exploration exhibits.

Is it normally free?: Normal admission is $3-5 per person. CMSC hosts a lot of cool programs and events like Parents Night Out, Astronomy Night, and a Girls in STEM Drones Day (coming up this Saturday, March 9th for free!) and Family Nite (on Friday, March 29 for free too!).

 

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The Getty Center | Los Angeles

What can kids do?: Pick up Art Detective Cards in the Museum Entrance Hall to hunt for clues and uncover answers to trivia questions while exploring the center. Prepare for your family visit to the Getty Center with more tips on their website and visit their calendar for tour times happening on Free-for-All Day.

Is it normally free?: Yes! The center is always free, just reserve a time for your visit. *Advanced tickets required. Visit museum website to make a reservation.

 

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The Getty Villa | Pacific Palisades

What can kids do?: Pick up Art Detective Cards in the Entry Pavilion to hunt for clues. Listen to the immersive audio tour, The Demigods. Inspired by the popular Percy Jackson book series, this immersive audio tour takes you on a personal quest around the Getty Villa, where you’ll meet heroes, dodge monsters, and avoid a certain unfriendly god. Find more family tips on their website and visit their calendar for tour times happening on Free-for-All Day.

Is it normally free?: Yes! The villa is always free, just reserve a time for your visit. *Advanced tickets required. Visit museum website to make a reservation.

 

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Hammer Museum

What can kids do?: While there’s not a designated kids area, Hammer Museum has a printable Discovery Guide for families and K-12 students. The guide is designed to help kids make meaningful connections to the artwork. They also have great tips on looking at art with kids.

Is it normally free?: Yes! Museum admission is always free.

 

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La Brea Tar Pits & Museum | Los Angeles

What can kids do?: Check out the only Ice Age fossil site int he world that’s being actively excavated in the middle of a city! Discover large animals like mammoths, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, giant sloths, and more that once roamed Ice Age L.A.  See scientists working in the Fossil Lab and feel what it was like to get stuck in sticky tar.

Is it normally free?: Museum admission for non-members is normally $7-15, but free on Free-for-All Day. Advanced tickets required. Visit museum website to make a reservation.

 

 

LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) | Los Angeles

What can kids do?: Throughout the day, all ages are invited to enjoy free art-making activities at the Boone Children’s Gallery (first-come, first-served) and at the roving Drawing Cart. Join a scavenger hunt and pick up a free Dogs of LACMA sticker set and LACMA Loves Los Angeles art kit (while supplies last).

Is it normally free?: Sorta! Tickets are normally $16-25, but admission is free to LA County residents after 3pm on weekdays. LA County youth and teens are always free. BUT kids under 17 can sign up for NexGenLA, a free membership program where kids and teens can visit for free anytime AND bring one guest for free. Advance tickets are required for Free-for-All Day.

 

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Orange County Museum of Art | Costa Mesa

What can kids do?: OCMA is hosting a Family Fun event on the same day as Free-for-All Day! Family Fun is hosted on the Upper Plaza located on Level 2. Families are invited to create your own comic strips inspired by their Tony Lewis: CASUAL T exhibition.

Is it normally free?: Yes! General admission is always free. Check their calendar for other fun family events happening each month.

 

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Skirball Cultural Center | Los Angeles

What can kids do?: There’s lots happening on Free-for-All Day! Check out the Archaeology Dig to unearth replicas of ancient artifacts. The Family Art Studio will also be open for families to make a one-of-a-kind art project. Visit the Amphitheater for Music Jams, a chance to play a variety of instruments. There’s also the Noah’s Ark interactive exhibition (free reserved tickets are sold out, but they will have a limited number of walk-up tickets available). Visit their calendar for activity times.

Is it normally free?: General admission is normally $13-18, but on Thursdays, it’s free for everyone!

 

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Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum

What can kids do? See a collection of 130+ vintage, antique, and muscle cars. Kids can also participate in a scavenger hunt, play with cars and tracks, dress-up, and more. They also have a 1950s themed ice cream parlor!

Is it normally free?: Admission is a suggested donation of $5-15. Children under 10 are always free.

 


 

More Participating Museums

Academy Museum | Los Angeles

American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) | Pomona

Bower’s Museum | Santa Ana

Armory Center for the Arts | Pasadena

California Botanic Garden | Claremont

Catalina Museum for Art & History

Cayton’s Children’s Museum | Santa Monica – sold out for 3/23/24

Craft Contemporary | Los Angeles

Forest Lawn Museum | Glendale

Fowler Museum | UCLA

Frederic R. Weisman Museum of Art | Pepperdine University

GRAMMY Museum | Los Angeles

Holocaust Museum | Los Angeles

Institute of Contemporary Art | Los Angeles

The International Printing Museum | Torrance

Japanese American National Museum | Los Angeles

Laguna Art Museum | Laguna Beach

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes | Los Angeles

Lincoln Memorial Shrine | Redlands

The Museum of Contemporary Art | Los Angeles

Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) | Long Beach

Museum of Ventura County | Ventura

Santa Barbara Museum of Art | Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Santa Barbara

Santa Monica History Museum | Santa Monica

The Wende Museum | Culver City

 

 

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This post was written by Kidsguide

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