Free Museum Days: Culture

Skirball Cultural Center
Skirball Cultural Center
My exploration of FREE museum days continues with a look at some of Los Angeles’ finest cultural museums. See my previous article for information on free days at art museums.


Skirball Cultural Center

All exhibitions FREE to the public on Thursdays
Entry to the Ruby Gallery exhibitions (a small gallery), grounds, giftstore, & cafe are FREE everyday

2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 440-4500

Tues – Fri 12noon – 5pm
Sat & Sun 10am – 5pm
Closed Mondays

$10 Adults, $7 Seniors & Full-Time Students, $5 Children (2-12)

The Skirball Cultural Center has established itself as one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions, and among the most prominent cultural venues in the United States. Its mission is to explore the connections between four thousand years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideals. It seeks to welcome and inspire people of every ethnic and cultural identity in American life.

California African American Museum

FREE admission every day

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

Tue-Sat from 10am-5pm, and Sun from 11am-5pm
CLOSED on Mondays

Parking $10

Located within the USC adjacent Exposition Park, the California African American Museum was chartered by the State of California in September 1977, and finally opened its doors to the public during the Los Angeles held Olympic Games in 1984. The museum conserves more than 3,200 objects of art, historical artifacts and memorabilia; with a permanent collection that includes paintings, photographs, sculpture and artifacts representing the diverse contributions of African Americans to California, United States, and the Wold. The museum contains 3 full size exhibit galleries, a theater gallery, and an out door sculpture garden.

Autry National Center

Free Admission on the second Tuesday every month, New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents’ Day

Autry National Center
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA, 90027-1462

(323) 667-2000

Tues – Fri: 10am – 4pm (Museum Store is open until 4:30 p.m.)
Sat – Sun: 11am – 5pm

Summer Hours: On Thursdays, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum and Museum Store are open from 10am to 8pm. The Golden Spur Cafe is open from 9am to 9pm.

CLOSED on New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas.

$10 Adults, $6 Students & Seniors (60+), $4 Children (3–12)

The Autry National Center is a museum and cultural center that celebrates the history and diversity of the American West with historical artifacts and large scale recreations.

Southwest Museum of the American Indian

FREE admission every day

Mt. Washington Campus
234 Museum Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90065-5030
(323) 221-2164

Open every Saturday 10am to 4pm

The Southwest Museum of the American Indian is the oldest museum in Los Angeles and houses one of the finest collections of Native American material in existence. The permanent galleries feature the people of the Plains, southwest, California and the northwest coast.

Heritage Square Museum

Occasionally FREE, check website for free days during special events.

3800 Homer Street
Los Angeles, California 90031
(323) 225-2700

Fri, Sat, Sun, & most holiday Mondays 12pm – 5pm
During daylight Saving Time, hours will vary from November to March (11:30am to 4:30pm)

Heritage Square Museum offers a living history of the settlement and development of Southern California from the Civil War to the early 20th Century, and alows visitors a look into the everyday lives of Southern Californians at the close of the 19th Century.

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument

FREE entry every day
guided tours Tue – Sat: 10am, 11am & 12 noon.

(213) 628-1274

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument is a historic district located at the oldest section Downtown of Los Angeles. The district, centered around the old plaza, was the city’s center under Spanish (1781-1821), Mexican (1821-1847) and United States (after 1847) rule through most of the 19th Century. The area was designated a state historic monument in 1953. The site contains several preserved buildings to explore, offering free guided tours at varying times throughout the week.

Chinese American Museum

FREE admission w/ Suggested Donation: $3 Adults, $2 Students & Children

425 N. Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 485-8567

Tues – Sun 10am – 3pm
CLOSED on Mondays & holidays

The Chinese American Museum is the first in Southern California to document the experience of the Chinese in America. It is housed within the Garnier Building, the oldest surviving Chinese building in Los Angeles. The museum’s mission is to become an educational resource for all ethnic communities, and each February it celebrates the Chinese Lantern Festival with a spectacular outdoor display.

The museum is divided into three parts, with artifacts and interview footage on the 1st floor, and displays of artwork by Chinese American students from various communities on the 2nd & 3rd.

Japanese American National Museum

Free general admission every Thursday 5pm to 8pm
and FREE all day every 3rd Thursday of the month.

Other selected dates are also occasionally FREE, check the Event Calendar on website for details.

369 East First Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
(213) 625-0414

Tue – Wed & Fri- Sun 11AM to 5PM, Thur 12PM to 8PM
CLOSED Mondays & major holidays

Located in the Little Tokyo area near downtown Los Angeles, The Japanese American National Museum is is devoted to preserving the history and culture of Japanese Americans through a moving image archive, artifacts, textiles, art, photographs, and oral histories of Japanese Americans.

  • FREE Parking for JANM is the same as for the The Geffen, with unrestricted parking East of Alameda on 3rd St & 4th St, all the way down to Santa Fe St. You can also park on 2nd St, East of Rose St; and on several cross streets including Garey St between 2nd & 3rd, and Hewitt St between 1st & 2nd. There is also free 4 hour parking 6am-4pm (& then unrestricted after 4pm) on Temple just East of Alameda. And, if you are willing to walk, there is plenty of totally free parking on Santa Fe St. Remember to read the posted parking signs.
  • FREE Tours, Events, & performances scheduled regularly. Check website for more information.

Don’t forget to stop by the Chado Tea Room at the Terasaki Garden Café and sample 300 different varieties of teas from more than 10 countries. This special Tea Room located on the museum grounds and is open daily 11am – 6pm.

Adults: $9.00
Seniors, Students, & Youth (6-17): $5.00
Children 5 and under FREE.

Pacific Asia Museum

Free admission on the 4th Friday of every month

46 North Los Robles Avenue
Pasadena, California 91101
(626) 449-2742

Open Wed – Sun: 10am – 6pm

$10 General Admission, $7  Students & Seniors, Children Under 11 FREE

Established in 1971, the Pacific Asia Museum is one of only four U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The museum’s mission is to bring art and people together for self-discovery, learning, and enjoyment and to promote cross-cultural understanding.

About John Glass 15 Articles
John Glass is a travel blogger and author of the book “Things To Do At Disneyland 2013”.