Top Museums to Visit in Los Angeles on Free Museum Day

In Art, Arts & Entertainment, Lifestyle
An illustration of three museums in SoCal that will have free general admission on Feb. 2 and Feb. 3.
(Anita Huor / Daily Titan)

Is Super Bowl Sunday not your thing? Instead of watching Chance the Rapper sing a remix of “I Want It That Way” in the new cringe-worthy Doritos commercial, take a trip to a museum this weekend to celebrate SoCal Museums’ Annual Free-For-All Day.

Forty-five Southern California museums will be open to the public for free on select days this weekend. The annual event encourages visitors to explore local museums, and serves to remind them that most Southern California museums offer free admission on certain days of the year.

The only fees visitors will have to worry about will be for parking and tickets to special exhibits.

With an overwhelming number of participating museums, choosing which ones to visit may be difficult, but here are a few museums that are definitely worth the drive.

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (Both Saturday and Sunday)

Located on North Main Street in Los Angeles, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is devoted to Mexican and Mexican-American culture/influences in Southern California and Los Angeles. A couple of its exhibits include “¡Ya Basta! The East L.A. Walkouts and the Power of Protest” and “LA Starts Here!”

“¡Ya Basta! The East L.A. Walkouts and the Power of Protest” revolves around the civil rights Chicano student movement in East Los Angeles. The exhibit features photographs, memorabilia, music, documents and other elements on display to tell the story of the East L.A.  walkouts and Latinx activism. This exhibit will be available until Feb. 25.

In the 50th anniversary commemoration of the walkouts, learn how those students fought to change the unequal conditions in their high schools.

“LA Starts Here!,” an ongoing bilingual exhibit, is centered around Mexican-American culture and how it has shaped Los Angeles.

Take a dive into Los Angeles history through a Mexican-American lens at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, and see the influence Spanish colonization and the Chicano movement had on the city.

California African American Museum (Both Saturday and Sunday)

This museum, found on the corner of Exposition Boulevard and Figueroa Street, features African-American culture, art and history in California. A couple of its exhibits include “Los Angeles Freedom Rally, 1963” and “California Bound: Slavery on the New Frontier, 1848–1865.”

“Los Angeles Freedom Rally, 1963” is primarily focused on Martin Luther King Jr.’s address to 40,000 people in South Los Angeles. This historical event was named one of the largest civil rights rallies in the country.

Visitors will be able to view photographs and other memorabilia in this exhibit, and discover the reason why Wrigley Field played a crucial role in this rally. This exhibit will be on display until March 3.

The “California Bound: Slavery on the New Frontier, 1848–1865” exhibit takes its visitors through the 19th century when California was undergoing an “underrecognized involvement with slavery,” according to the museum’s website.

Historical documents and photographs from this exhibit will be open to the public until April 28.

Autry Museum of the American West (Saturday only)

Across from the L.A. Zoo, visitors can find this museum on Western Heritage Way in Los Angeles at Griffith Park. The Autry Museum brings attention to the American West as it connects the past and present through artifacts, art, film and memorabilia. Some of the museum’s exhibits include “LA RAZA” and “California Road Trip.”

“LA RAZA,” which will be open through Feb. 10, highlights a 1970s bilingual newspaper by the same name that had a lasting impact on the Chicano movement.

Visitors will be able to view the archives and learn how photographers and journalists at the publication paved the way for Chicano activism.

“California Road Trip” is an ongoing exhibit that is perfect for those wanting to experience the beautiful views of Joshua Tree National Park or the airy desert of Death Valley all from the comfort of a single room.

For a complete list of the participating museums visit:

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