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Los Angeles Museums For Free

August 25, 2010 12:56 PM

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Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California

A visitor attends the American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915″ exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

The California Science Center in Los Angeles, California

Viewers look at a 13th century mummy of an adult female from ancient Peru at the "Mummies of the World" exhibition at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Who says great art has to come at a high price? That’s definitely not the case in LA where residents and tourists can visit dozens of museums, galleries, cultural centers and more without paying a single penny. Here’s a list of 10 such places that are absolutely free all the time. – Nicola A. Menzie

The Armory Center for the Arts in Los Angeles, California

The Armory Center for the Arts (photo credit: http://www.armoryarts.org)


Armory Center For The Arts

145 North Raymond Avenue
Pasadena , CA 91103
(626) 792-5101

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

This Pasadena venue describes itself as a community arts center and not only hosts contemporary art exhibits and performances, but also offers classes (some of which are free) and will even host your kid’s or teen’s “art party” for a fee, of course. If you’re not looking to shell out any kind of cash, however, there’s no need to but the Armory Center for the Arts would appreciate a $5 donation… but only if you feel like it.

Director John Singelton visits an exhibition of African American film posters at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, California

Director John Singelton visits an exhibition of African American film posters at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)


California African American Museum

600 State Drive
(in Exposition Park)
Los Angeles, CA 90037
(213) 744-7432

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Located in South Los Angeles, the California African American Museum (CAMM) houses three exhibition galleries, a theater gallery and a Sculpture Court. The museum was designed by African American architects, Jack Haywood and Vince Proby, and shares with patrons the history, art and culture of African Americans in California and along the western U.S.

Viewers look at a 13th century mummy of an adult female from ancient Peru at the Mummies of the World exhibition at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California

Viewers look at a 13th century mummy of an adult female from ancient Peru at the Mummies of the World exhibition at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)


California Science Center

700 Exposition Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90037
(323) 724-3623

Hours: Daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Both adults and kids can have fun while learning at the California Science Center in South Los Angeles. The center has a three-fold Master Plan to become the largest science center on the West Coast and its organizers have been doling out creative and stimulating hands-on exhibits to encourage an interest in the sciences for more than 10 years. Learn about the benefits and consequences of inventions and innovations, the common connections between all forms of life, aircraft design and space exploration, and more.

Museum goers attend an event party at the Fashion Institute Design & Merchandising (FIDM) Museum & Galleries in Los Angeles, California

Museum goers attend an event party at the Fashion Institute Design & Merchandising (FIDM) Museum & Galleries in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images)


FIDM Museum & Galleries

919 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 623-5821

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Located on the campus of the Fashion Institute and Design Merchandising, the FIDM exhibitions are, of course, mostly clothes. The facility boasts over 12,000 costumes, accessories and textiles from the 18th century through the present day, including film and theatre costumes. In addition, the FDIM Museum and Galleries houses The Annette Green Perfume Museum, which is solely dedicated to the “historical and cultural roles of fragrance around the world.”

Guests look at works of art at the "The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama" exhibition at the UCLA Fowler Museum in Westwood, California

Guests look at works of art at the "The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama" exhibition at the UCLA Fowler Museum in Westwood. (photo credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


Fowler Museum At UCLA Los Angeles

North campus UCLA (@ Westwood Boulevard and Sunset Plaza)
Westwood, CA 90095
(310) 825-4361

Hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.; Thursday until 8 p.m.

The Fowler Museum on campus of the University of California, Los Angeles in Westwood “explores global arts and cultures with an emphasis on works from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas, past and present.” The Fowler Museum also hosts lectures, performances and workshops for patrons of all ages.

A bronze sculpture titled "Funerary Geniuses" by the French artist Barthelemy Prieur is seen on display at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California

A bronze sculpture titled "Funerary Geniuses" by the French artist Barthelemy Prieur is seen on display at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)


The Getty Center Museum

1200 Getty Center Drive
(enter via the main gate on North Sepulveda Boulevard)
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 440-7300

Hours: Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Saturday from 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; Sunday from 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

The Getty Center, one of two locations of the John Paul Getty Museum, aims “to further knowledge of the visual arts and to nurture critical seeing by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting works of art of the highest quality.” Entrance to this Brentwood museum is absolutely free and in addition to the art, the Getty Center offers spectacular views, dramatic architecture and tranquil gardens.

The Getty Villa in Malibu, California

The Getty Villa in Malibu (photo credit: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)


The Getty Villa

17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
(310) 440-7300

Hours: Wednesday through Monday from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The Getty Villa, located in the Pacific Palisades area of LA, is the second part to the John Paul Getty Museum. Visitors to this educational center and museum can expect to be enlightened on the cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. Although admission is free, visitors are required to acquire an advance, timed ticket. Each general admission ticket for exhibitions allows adults to bring up to three children ages 15 and under.

People visit the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California

People visit the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)


Griffith Observatory

2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(213) 473-0800

Hours: Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

One of LA’s most popular attractions, the Griffith Observatory, located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park directly above the Los Feliz neighborhood, offers not only a great view of the heavens, but breathtaking views of the city as well. Entrance to the observatory is free of course, but there is a fee to see shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.

The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles, California

The Paley Center for Media (photo credit: http://www.paleycenter.org)


The Paley Center for Media

465 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills,, CA 90210
(310) 786.1091

Hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The Paley Center for Media, located in the Beverly Hills area, focuses on everything related to TV and radio and its former name is the Museum of Television and Radio. The Paley Center, which has a sister site in New York City, aims to stimulate visitors to consider the cultural, creative and social significance of the TV and radio as well as emerging platforms for the professional community and media-consuming public.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California

A visitor attends the American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life, 1765-1915" exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles. (photo credit: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)


Los Angeles County Museum Of Art

5905 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles , CA 90036
(323) 857-6000

Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 12 p.m .- 8 p.m.; Friday from 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Unfortunately, the LACMA is not absolutely free all the time, but there are enough free hours to make it seem like it. If you’re looking to dodge the $15 adult ticket price, stop by the museum on the second Tuesday of every month or after 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (there’s also Target Free Holiday Mondays). Three to four hours should be enough to take in a good number of the exhibits from various periods and regions — hopefully.

More: The following museums aren’t free all the time, but there are some days where you can get in scot-free. Check their websites for details.

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