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Los Angeles Guide To Free Admission


If you're looking for things to do, Los Angeles boasts a wide range of free activities to enjoy. Numerous cultural institutions and museums offer visitors free admission throughout Los Angeles, and we aren't just talking about crowded, once-a-month deep discounts. From museums, parks and attractions to galleries, the following places offer free admission year-round.

Getty Center
(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 440-7300

The Getty Center houses one of the West Coast's most amazing and diverse collections of European drawings, paintings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, photography, and decorative arts from the middle ages through the 21st century. In total, there are more than 119,000 articles within the collections. In addition to viewing the amazing art on display, you can meander through the stunning gardens, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy special programs including the Sounds of LA, evening concerts, and family events. Admission to the Getty Center is always free, although parking is $15/car.

Visitors enjoy the garden at the Getty Villa
(credit: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

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

An extension of the Getty Center, the Getty Villa, located in Pacific Palisades, is a beautiful environment for enjoying the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. At the Villa, you can enjoy art, live performances, family activities, lectures, and theatrical presentations, located adjacent to the natural beauty of the mountains and Pacific Ocean. Admission to the Getty Villa is always free, although parking is $15/car.

Travel Town

Travel Town
5200 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 662-5874

From model trains to full size antique locomotives, the Travel Town Museum is a great place to visit for train lovers of all ages. The free museum includes access inside many of the trains, and a look at working models of all dates and sizes. For a very small fee, you can ride around the peaceful outdoor park on board a miniature train that the kids will fall in love with. A snack bar and museum store are also on site.

griffith obs
(credit: Griffith Observatory)

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

One of LA's most famous icons, Griffith Observatory is located on the slope of Mount Hollywood, just above Los Angeles. The Observatory, which opened in 1935, boasts public star parties, public telescopes, and numerous hands on exhibits in The Hall of the Eye, the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky, the W.M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda (with Foucault Pendulum), Cosmic Connection Corridor, and Gunther Depths of Space galleries. Admission to the Griffith Observatory is free, although planetarium shows are offered for a nominal fee.


FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design Merchandising
919 South Grand Avenue, Suite 250
Los Angeles, CA. 90015
(213) 623-5821

A visit to the FIDM Museum & Galleries offers a glimpse into the roles of historic fashion, accessories, textiles, and more. Established in 1978, this nonprofit museum boasts approximately 15,000 objects covering more than 200 years of fashion history, including ready-to-wear, non-Western dress, film costumes, textiles, haute couture, jewelry, and fragrance. Admission to the FIDM Museum and Galleries is always free.

California Science Center

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

As one of the nation's premiere science centers, it is amazing that the California Science Center's permanent exhibits remains free to visitors. With exhibits covering air and space, the world of life, ecosystems, and the creative world, there is enough activities here to fill more than one day. While visiting, you must see the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Although technically free to visit, a reservation is required on weekends and holiday weeks, which is available for a $2 convenience fee per guest. Parking is $10.

hammer museum
(credit: Hammer Museum)

Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 443-7000

Thanks to the generosity of longtime Hammer benefactors, the Hammer Museum now offers free admission every day of the week. The Hammer's exhibitions feature contemporary and historical work in all media of visual arts. Public programs, including lectures, symposia, film series, readings, and musical performances, keep The Hammer as one of LA's premier cultural institutions. Parking is $3 for three hours with validation.

MOCA Pacific Design Center
(credit: Wikipedia)

MOCA Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(213) 626-6222

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is located at three different locations, with free admission offered every day at the Pacific Design Center venue. The MOCA Pacific Design Center features rotating exhibitions of architecture and design, as well as shopping at the MOCA Store. In addition, free admission is offered at MOCA's other two sites (Grand Avenue and The Geffen) on Thursday evenings from 5-8pm.

California African American Museum
(credit: California African American Museum)

California African American Museum
600 State Dr.
Exposition Park
Los Angeles, CA 90037

Opened in 1981, the California African American Museum boasts a wide collection of African American history, traditional African art, contemporary art from the African Diaspora, modern art, and academic and naturalistic paintings. Traveling exhibits, special programs, and guided hands-on art projects take place monthly. Parking is $10.

Fowler Museum at UCLA
(credit: Fowler Museum at UCLA)

Fowler Museum at UCLA
308 Charles E Young Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 825-4361

Part of UCLA's School of Arts and Architecture, The Fowler Museum at UCLA features art and cultural artifacts and exhibitions from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas. Contemporary artists are also featured as they engage political, cultural, and social commentaries on society. The museum is free to visit and one hour parking starts at $3, with a max of $12 in one day.

Fisher Museum of Art
(credit: Fisher Museum of Art)

USC Fisher Museum of Art
823 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles , CA 90089
(213) 740-4561

LA's first art museum (that remains solely to the exhibition and collection of fine art), founded in 1939, features art from five centuries, boasting 1,800 objects from 19th century America, 16th and 17th century Northern Europe, 18th century Britain, 19th century France, and 20th century works of emerging artists. Located on the USC campus, the museum is part of Exposition Park and offers free admission daily.

LAMOTH Los Angeles Museum of The Holocaust
(credit: LAMOTH)

Los Angeles Museum of The Holocaust
100 S. The Grove Dr.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90036
(323) 651-3704

With a goal of complete objectivity, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust can help. Visit the powerful and interactive Memory Pool, explore a virtual photo album, view actual footage from the Holocaust, or walk through the Deportation & Extermination, Labor/Concentration/Death Camps room that depict the Nazi world in all its severity. The goal of the museum is to enlighten a new generation to the depravity of the Holocaust, and in turn encourage visitors to make commitments to ensure that the world is a better place. Admission is free and limited free parking is available.

Annenberg Space for Photography
(credit: Annenberg Space for Photography)

Annenberg Space for Photography
2000 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Explore contemporary photography exhibits at the Annenberg Space for Photography and Skylight Studios for free. You can plan to spend one-two hours exploring the impressive collection of pictures at Annenberg, located in Century City. Parking is $3.50 or $1 on the weekends.

Bergamot Station
(credit: Courtesy of Santa Monica Museum of Art, Photo by Elizabeth Pezza)

Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 453-7535

This art gallery complex, named for the historic 1875 Red Line trolley Bergamot Station, is an arts center composed of multiple galleries, a museum, and a cafe. Nearly 50 independent art galleries are housed on the eight acre complex, including the Santa Monica Museum of Art, which although free, has a suggested donation of $5/person. Artists talks, public events, and special activities take place at Bergamot on a regular basis.

hollywood bowl museum
(credit: Los Angeles Philharmonic Association)

Hollywood Bowl Museum
2301 N. Highland Ave
Los Angeles CA 90078
(323) 850-2058

For an inside look into the history of the Hollywood Bowl, visit the Hollywood Bowl museum, located on the Bowl grounds. Here you can explore historic pictures, artist posters, videos, and memorabilia from special events and concerts. Visitors can also take the free, self-guided Bowl Walk, open to only ticket holders on concert days.

Los Angeles Fire Department Museum and Memorial

Los Angeles Fire Department Museum and Memorial
1355 N. Caheunga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 464 - 2727

To explore the largest collection of model fire engines anywhere, head to the LA Fire Department Museum and Memorial, located both in Hollywood, and with an additional location in San Pedro. The Hollywood Museum is housed in Old Fire Station 27, which was once the largest station west of the Mississippi. Included in its 20,000 square feet are hundreds of artifacts, firefighting tools, engines, and plenty of opportunities to learn fire history. The museum is only open on Saturdays.

Wells Fargo History Museum
(credit: Wells Fargo History Museum)

Wells Fargo History Museum
333 S Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 253-7166

The Los Angeles History Museum features the unique history and impact of Wells Fargo's influence in Southern California. Exhibits include an original Concord Stagecoach, real gold, a recreation of a historic Express office, and more. An audio guide and guided tours (advance reservations required) are also available for free. Parking is expensive downtown, so public transportation is recommended ($4/10 minutes!)


Japanese American National Museum
369 East First Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
(213) 625-0414

Every Thursday from 5pm to 8pm and every third Thursday, admission is free to the country's largest Japanese American museum. Learn about the history, art, and culture of Japanese Americans.

La Brea Tar Pits (Credit, Niki Payne)
(credit, Niki Payne)

The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 934-7243

Step back to the time of dinosaurs at the Tar Pits where more than 3 million fossils from the last ice age are housed. Admission is free the first Tuesday of every month.

(credit: Yvonne Condes)

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

Admission is free on the first Tuesday of the month where you'll get to visit dinosaur exhibits, learn about ancient mammals, or visit the museum's Children's Discovery Center where kids can touch a cockroach or other live animals.

View Los Angeles Guide To Free Admission in a full screen map

Katie Bodell is the Blog Editor for Trekaroo, the largest family travel website in the U.S. She is also a freelance writer, a happy wife to her best friend, and a mom to three sweet California girls. See more on: Trekaroo | CheapOair | Google+ | Twitter.

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