Enjoy Free Museum Days in Los Angeles

Night view of Chris Burden's "Urban Light" at LACMA
Chris Burden - "Urban Light" (2008) at LACMA | Photo: Discover Los Angeles

Many of LA's top museums and cultural attractions offer free admission on select days of the week. From ancient artifacts to modern art, read on for our guide to free museum days in Los Angeles.

Exterior of USC Pacific Asia Museum
Photo courtesy of USC Pacific Asia Museum


Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA): Founded in 1996, MOLAA is the only museum in the United States dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art. Since its inception, MOLAA has doubled its size, added a 15,000 square foot sculpture garden and expanded its permanent collection, ranging from works by Tamayo and Matta to Cruz-Diez, Los Carpinteros and Tunga. Free admission every Sunday.

USC Pacific Asia Museum: The museum's collection has grown to more than 17,000 objects, including rare and representative examples of art and ethnographic objects from Asia and the Pacific Islands, spanning more than five thousand years. Free admission on the second Sunday of every month and pay what you wish on Thursdays.

Night view of Chris Burden's "Urban Light" at LACMA
Chris Burden - "Urban Light" (2008) at LACMA | Photo: Discover Los Angeles


Autry Museum of the American West: Located in Griffith Park, the Autry features world-class galleries filled with Native American art and artifacts, film memorabilia, historic firearms, paintings, and more. The Autry’s collection of more than 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, one of the largest and most significant collections of Native American materials in the country. Free admission on the second Tuesday of every month. Free for Autry members, active-duty military, veterans, and children under age 3.

Descanso Gardens: Located in La Cañada Flintridge, the 160-acre Descanso Gardens was originally developed in 1936 by newspaper magnate Elias Manchester Boddy, whose numerous interests included horticulture and politics. Descanso Gardens offers numerous areas for exploring, including a bird sanctuary, five-acre rosarium, Japanese tea garden, water-wise garden, Oak Woodland, California garden, and the world’s largest collection of camellia flowers. Free admission the third Tuesday of every month.

Kidspace Children's Museum: Founded in 1979 by members of the Caltech community and the Pasadena Junior League, the museum nurtures the potential of all children through kid-driven experiences, inspiring them to become joyful, active learners. Admission to the museum is free on First Fridays.

Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden: Founded in 1947, the L.A. County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a 127-acre garden located across the street from Santa Anita Park. The Arboretum is home to plant collections from all over the world, including many rare and endangered species. The Arboretum also houses several historic structures, including the 1885 Queen Anne Cottage, best known for its appearance in the opening of TV's Fantasy Island. Free admission on the third Tuesday of the month.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA): The largest art museum in the western United States, LACMA houses a collection that includes nearly 130,000 objects dating from antiquity to the present, encompassing the geographic world and nearly the entire history of art. Free admission on the second Tuesday of every month. Free admission for L.A. County residents with ID weekdays after 3pm. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, General Admission is free to all active-duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families.

Noah's Ark exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center
Noah's Ark | Photo: Skirball Cultural Center


The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens: Founded in 1919, The Huntington is an oasis of art and culture on 207 acres. Explore breathtaking themed gardens, a conservatory, four art galleries and an extraordinary collection of rare books like the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a Gutenberg Bible on vellum, the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon’s Birds of America, and a world-class collection of the early editions of Shakespeare’s works. Free admission on the first Thursday of every month with advance tickets, which can be reserved online.

Japanese American National Museum: Located in Little Tokyo, JANM is internationally recognized for its commitment to exploring the meaning of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the experience of Japanese Americans through exhibitions, public programs, an award-winning museum store, and resource center. Free General Admission every Thursday.

Skirball Cultural Center: Open to the public since 1996, the Skirball has established itself as one of the world's most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions and among the leading cultural venues in Los Angeles. The center welcomes people of all communities and generations to participate in cultural experiences that celebrate discovery and hope, foster human connections, and call upon us to help build a more just society. Free admission every Thursday.

"Dueling Dinos" in the Grand Foyer of the Natural History Museum
"Dueling Dinos" at the Natural History Museum  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa


La Brea Tar Pits: 50,000 years of Southern California history gurgles in the prehistoric puddles of asphalt that make up the world-famous La Brea Tar Pits. At this active excavation site, paleontologists are constantly at work: 3.5 million fossils have been recovered from the black pitch since the pits were discovered - skeletons of saber-toothed cats, mammoths, ground sloths, Western horses, and dire wolves. Active excavations are ongoing, and visitors can check out paleontologists at work throughout the park. L.A. County Residents get free Museum Admission from 3-5 pm Monday through Friday. Tickets are available on-site only at the Museum ticketing desk or kiosks.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA): Located in Exposition Park, NHMLA has amassed one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history — more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. Free L.A. County Resident tickets are available from 3-5pm Monday through Friday at any museum ticketing desk.

Griffith Observatory | Photo: Justin Donais, © Friends Of The Observatory
Griffith Observatory | Photo: Justin Donais, © Friends Of The Observatory

Free Museums

Some of LA's most famous and popular cultural destinations, including the Griffith Observatory, Getty Center and The Broad, offer free admission year-round! Discover more than 20 LA museums with free admission.