Free Museums and Museum Free Days Around Los Angeles

Free Admission Days at Los Angeles Area Museums

Kids on a tour of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
••• Kids on a tour of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo © 2007 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

Going to a museum these days can be expensive, with some museums charging up to $25 for admission. But many museums in Los Angeles have at least one day a month, or sometimes one day a week, where they offer free admission to make sure the museum experience is available to everyone. LA also has a bunch of excellent museums that are free all the time. However, with rare exceptions, parking at them is usually not free, so you might want to take the Metro when possible.

Be aware that museums that charge admission are significantly more crowded on free days, especially when they only happen once a month.

To learn more about LA museums see my full annotated Los Angeles Museums Guide that will help you find museums that interest you by subject, or if you already know the name of the museum you're looking for, check my Alphabetical List of over 230 LA Museums.

Free Museums in Los Angeles

Annenberg Space for Photography, Century City, Los Angeles
The Broad, contemporary art museum in Downtown Los Angeles 
California African American Museum, Exposition Park
California Science Center, Exposition Park
UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Los Angeles
The Getty Center, art museum, Brentwood, Los Angeles
The Getty Villa, ancient arts and antiquities, Pacific Palisades/Malibu
Griffith Observatory and space museum at Griffith Park
Hollywood Bowl Museum, history of the Hollywood Bowl
UCLA Hammer Museum, art museum in Westwood
The Los Angeles Fire Department Museum, Hollywood, only open Saturdays 10-4
MOCA PDC, at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood
Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton
The Nethercutt Collection and Nethercutt Museum, car museum in Sylmar
Southwest Museum at Mt.

Washington, part of the Autry National Center, Open Saturdays 10-4
Travel Town Museum, train museum at Griffith Park (free parking!)
STARS Center Sheriff's Museum, 11515 Colima Rd. at Telegraph Rd., Whittier

Free Weekday Afternoons

Los Angeles County Museum of Art is free for LA County residents after 3 pm on weekdays.

Weekly Free Museum Days

Free Every Thursday

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Downtown Los Angeles - Free every Thursday from 5 to 8 pm
MOCA Geffen Contemporary, Downtown Los Angeles - Free every Thursday from 5 to 8 pm
Skirball Cultural Center - Free Thursdays 
Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles - Every Thursday 5 to 8 pm, and 3rd Thursday all day
Long Beach Museum of Art - Free all day Friday and Thursdays 3-8 pm

Free Every Friday

Long Beach Museum of Art - Free all day Friday and Thursdays 3-8 pm

Free Every Sunday

Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach - Free on Sundays
Craft and Folk Art Museum, Mid Wilshire, Museum Row, Los Angeles - Sunday is Pay What You Want Day

Monthly Free Museum Days

George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits on Museum Row, Los Angeles - Free the first Tuesday of the month
Natural History Museum, Exposition Park, Downtown Los Angeles - Free the first Tuesday of the month
Huntington Library, Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino/Pasadena - Free first Thursday of the month. Free advance tickets required, available beginning the 1st of the preceding month (i.e. August 1 for Sept 6).
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena - 1st Fridays from 5 to 8 pm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) - Mid-Wilshire, Museum Row, Los Angeles - 2nd Tuesday, check for other sponsored free days
Autry National Center in Griffith Park, Los Angeles - the 2nd Tuesday of the month
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia - free every 3rd Tuesday of the month
Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles - 3rd Thursday all day and every Thursday 5-8
USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena - 2nd Sunday of the month

For Bank of America credit or debit card holders, several LA museums are free the first weekend of the month by showing your card through their Museums on Us program.

Free on Holidays

The Nixon Library is free on Presidents' Day
Los Angeles County Museum of Art is free on Monday holidays for Martin Luther King Day, Presidents' Day and Memorial Day

This information was accurate at the time of publication, but museums change their free day availability based on sponsorships. Please check with venues for the most current information.