After several months of pandemic-related closures, a number of regional cultural destinations, theme parks, aquariums, and other spots are gearing up for reopening, or have already welcomed guests back.
The announcements began soon after Los Angeles County entered the less-restrictive
Red Tier on March 15, permitting visitors inside a number of places, including museums and aquariums, at a limited capacity.
Important: Do keep in mind that every place on the list below has new safety protocols in place, which could include advance timed tickets. Knowing what to expect and prepare for ahead of time is a solid plan.
Reading up on masks, social distancing, and other safety guidelines at each site, before purchasing tickets, is strongly recommended.
Take a look at some of the firm-to-expected plans of local places below; this list will be updated and possibly revised in the weeks to come.
Los Angeles Master Chorale returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, Sept. 25 with a host of stirring pieces, including music by Nilo Alcala, Shawn Kirchner, Reena Esmail, and Morten Lauridsen. Something sweet? Teachers are invited to attend the 2 p.m. show on Sept. 25 for free; just get in touch with the box office ahead of time and have ID.
Ultra-artisanal cocktails, live entertainment with vintage vavoom, and a setting inspired by a fantastical forest?
Clifton's Republic, a downtown landmark, recently revealed that it will reopen in October 2021. That beloved cafeteria will soon re-debut, too, though no date has been given.
Old Town Music Hall
Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, the home of the Mighty Wurlitzer, reopened on Sept. 19 with "The Black Pirate." There'll be special screenings of "The Wizard of Oz" to round out the final weekend of September, and slate of spooky classics, including "The Bride of Frankenstein," in October.
The Magic Castle fully reopened on Monday, Aug. 9. That means that guest passes may now be used, and the landmark Hollywood club will be open seven nights a week, with all performing theaters open. Guests must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within the prior 72 hours. For all your need-to-knows, magic mavens, materialize at the
Magic Castle site now.
Genghis Cohen/Mel's Drive-In
Restaurants with lots of local cred and neighborhood history? They continue to welcome guests ready to return to in-person dining.
Genghis Cohen, the 35-year-old Fairfax Avenue favorite, reopened its dining room on Aug. 1, and, for sure: They're still serving Mu Shu classics and savory noodles aplenty, every single day of the week. Want to dine outside? There are 24 seats on the patio. And Mel's Drive-In, the neon-bright diner near Hollywood & Highland? The '50s-fun spot held a Grand Reopening on Aug. 4, in partnership with The Hollywood Museum next door (which also re-debuted on Aug. 4).
Bob Baker Marionette Theater
Bob Baker Marionette Theater, which has offered its fans a caboodle of cute online activities over the last 16 months, including the chance to "Zoom with a Puppet," recently opened its doors again at its historic Highland Park venue. When did the in-person sweetness commence? The lauded troupe's "Re-Opening Revelry!" began on July 31.
The Hollywood Museum
The Hollywood Museum reopened on Aug. 4 with the prop-filled, costume-cool "Back To The Future" Trilogy Exhibit. The starry evening will be a benefit for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, with Donelle Dadigan, the founder and president of the museum, presenting the foundation with a check on behalf of the Hollywood Museum and Bill & Patrick Shea /Ruptured Ducks Team Fox. For hours, admission prices, and more, visit the
Hollywood Museum's site now.
Smorgasburg LA, billed as our city's "largest outdoor food market," returned to ROW DTLA on Sunday, July 4. The foodie wonderland, which covers about five acres, is turning 5 this year. Ready to again pick up your favorite taco, ice cream cone, or both? Check out all the vendors now, from Churro Boss to Moo's Craft BBQ.
Hollywood Heritage Museum
Hollywood Heritage Museum reopened on Friday, July 9. The repository of Tinseltown artifacts, which is located on Highland Avenue near the Hollywood Bowl, will be open Fridays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with occasional special events happening at other locations. First up? A screening of "Our Hospitality" at Paramount Ranch on July 10, part of the Silents Under the Stars series in support of the ranch's restoration. Admission is $40 per car.
Have you perfected your roll, burnished how you select a card, and polished how you slide a piece across several squares? Then you sound like the board game pro, through and through. Be cheered, lovers of RPGs, classic dice-throwers, and all sorts of take-a-seat, gather-'round pastimes:
Game Häus Cafe in Glendale has officially reopened as of July 3.
Fowler Museum at UCLA
The Fowler Museum at UCLA reopened on Thursday, July 1 with two new exhibits: "Photo Cameroon: Studio Portraiture, 1970s-1990s" and "The Map and the Territory: 100 Years of Collecting at UCLA." Images: Jacques Toussele (b. Bamessingué, Cameroon, 1939-2017);
Emmanuel Lucky Sparrow, the backdrop painter, and his girlfriend; 2021; Inkjet print from digital scan of original undated negative; © Jacques Toussele's Estate and Thomas Baldwin (b. 1750, England; d. 1820) Airopaidia, 1786; leather binding, ink on paper; William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA
Interior tours have returned to the
Gamble House, the august Craftsman landmark. Interested in looking inside this Pasadena gem, which is known for its woodsy details and exquisite stained glass? Be sure to book your tour in advance (they're available Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays). Also? The bookstore has reopened, too.
A bench, some dappled sunlight, blooming bushes, a bit of solitude: The
Fullerton Arboretum at Cal State Fullerton reopened on Wednesday, July 7. Note that the path-filled, nature-nice wonderland is open Wednesdays through Sundays to the public and members, and Tuesdays to members only. And we do mean "nature-nice": Fullerton Arboretum fills out 26 leafy acres.
Crumbs & Whiskers
Feline fans, here's news to purr by:
Crumbs & Whiskers, our city's "original kitten & cat cafe," reopened on Saturday, June 26. "Up to 25 kittens —all previously at risk of euthanasia — will once again happily frolic with their human guests in Crumbs & Whiskers' comfy lounge at 7924 Melrose Ave. Do remember your mask when visiting. Cats Meow, a rescue nonprofit, is partnering with Crumbs & Whiskers on finding kittens forever homes.
Pastrami people, rejoice: The dining room at
Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant reopened on Tuesday, June 15. The historic deli's big re-debut set the scene for a special "Ribbon-Cutting For The Reopening Of California," with several officials in attendance. "City Attorney Mike Feuer, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, local and state elected officials, and union leaders (joined) Norm Langer to remind everyone what it is like to smile as California reopens."
Angel di Bilio
Have the recent eclipses and other astronomical wonders caught your sky-loving fancy? Be cheered, universe-obsessed aficionados: Both the 60-inch and 100-inch telescopes have reopened at
Mt. Wilson Observatory. You can make a reservation for an up-the-mountain astronomy appointment via the Mt. Wilson site; sessions are available from June 15 through Nov. 21.
Feinstein's at Vitello's
Fancy an intimate space that celebrates the timeless classics of the American Songbook, witty banter, Broadway gems, and spins on modern ditties, too? This get-dressy club, which sits just above the Italian restaurant, will return in
July 2021 with a bevy of stars on the stylish stage, including its beloved namesake, Michael Feinstein.
We're just a few weeks out to the
OC Fair, the colorful and convivial Costa Mesa extravaganza. Tickets are on sale to the popular and venerable event, and do keep in mind that you'll need to purchase your ticket in advance. The 2021 spectacular glitters on select dates from July 16 through Aug. 15.
Zane Russell/Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in DTLA has reopened. On the screens at the stylish arthouse? "A Quiet Place II," "Cruella," and several more summer's-nearly-here treats.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County reopened on April 1, 2021. The outdoor Butterfly Pavilion is one of the ticketed features, as well as the institution's famous dinosaur displays. Please review
all safety guidelines before purchasing your advance tickets.
Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum
Live theater returns to a lush and fanciful outdoor setting on July 10.
Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum, a Topanga treasure, will present "Julius Caesar" and "A Midsummer's Night Dream," as well as other gems presented in the airy, leaf-dappled venue. The S. Mark Taper Foundation is the sponsor of the season.
Discovery Cube OC
Discovery Cube OC and Discovery Cube LA both opened on Friday, May 28. Look for "all new STEM Exhibits & Activities" at the science-minded museums, as well as "enhanced science adventures."
Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge in Garden Grove, known for its tube slides, raft rides, and attractions like a miniature bowling alley, reopened on Saturday, May 22.
Aero Theatre in Santa Monica reopened on June 10. "In the Heights" will be the special centerpiece of the venue's reopening night (it's an event for members, do note).
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda reopened on May 19. The museum was renovated in 2016 and includes over 70 "highly visual exhibits."
Getty Center reopened on May 25; reservations are free but you do have to make them in advance. A quartet of new exhibitions, including "Photo Flux: Unshuttering LA" will be on view. There's a new GettyGuide app to download, too, before you begin to explore.
Knott's Berry Farm
It's a Bear-y big week for
Knott's Berry Farm: The Buena Park theme park reopened on Friday, May 21. Something as sweet as a boysenberry? The all-new, oh-so-nostalgic dark ride "Knotts Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair" is part of the grand reopening fun, which is also spotlighting Knott's 100th anniversary.
Grammy Museum reopened on May 21, 2021. Music mavens visiting the DTLA realm of rock, R&B, pop, and more will have three new exhibits to look forward to, as well as an extension of the show celebrating Nat King Cole. The debuting displays? Look for "Dave Matthews Band: Inside and Out," "Y Para Siempre… Marco Antonio Solís," and "Motown: The Sound Of Young America" presented by City National Bank, a previously announced exhibit.
Members of the
Magic Castle, Hollywood's world-famous magicians' club, began to again materialize at the mysterious landmark on May 21. The reopening date for "invited non-members" will be announced at a later date.
The Spare Room... Somewhere Else
The Hollywood Roosevelt's celebrated bar The Spare Room opened a fresh chapter "Somewhere Else" on the historic property on Thursday, May 13. The "alfresco cocktail experience" will feature "small Italian-inspired dishes" and a lively line-up of games to play, including Battleship.
The Spare Room... Somewhere Else is open on select days and hours; reservations may be made here.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor reopened to members on Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16 and the general public on May 22. The waterpark, which has slides, pools, and other splash-around features, is located next to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia.
Two Bit Circus
Two Bit Circus, the game-filled "micro amusement park" in the Arts District, has reopened. There are new outdoor elements, including a place to grab a sip.Hoping to swing by? You'll want to make a reservation before you go.
Knott's Soak City Waterpark
Knott's Soak City Waterpark will begin its splashy summer scene with a May 29 return. The 15-acre waterpark, which is in Buena Park, is home to "... one of the longest lazy rivers in the country." It'll remain open through Sept. 12 on "select dates."
New Beverly Cinema
One of Movieland's most mythical one-screen cinemas,
the New Beverly, reopened on June 1. The announcement appeared on the theater's social pages on May 1, 2021.
USC Pacific Asia Museum
USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena will return on May 29 with several artworks and exhibits to enjoy, including "We Are Here: Contemporary Art and Asian Voices in Los Angeles." The museum will an observe a pay-what-you-wish system through June 6, 2021, but all tickets must be secured in advance of visiting.
Dreamscape Immersive, the virtual reality company, is again taking adventurers into the whale-filled deep, on a sepia-toned adventure for treasure, and through an Alien Zoo at Westfield Century City. It reopened on May 6.
The Autry Museum of the American West reopened on March 30, 2021 with advance reservations. But as of April 21, no advance reservation is necessary, eve as the museum is "carefully controlling capacity." The Griffith Park-based museum will feature two limited-time exhibits, with more to come: "Masters of the American West" and "When I Remember I See Red." Advance reservations are necessary.
Heal the Bay Aquarium is offering an "outdoor patio experience" on select dates, so visit the Santa Monica go-to of aquatic wonders to find out more about opening hours, what to expect, and what critters you'll see.
Norton Simon Museum
Norton Simon Museum reopened on Thursday, May 20. If you're a member of the Pasadena art museum, you're invited to a trio of preview days, happening from May 15-17.
Western Museum of Flight in Torrance is again taking to the skies, or rather welcoming guests who are interested in aviation, beginning on Saturday, April 17. The plane-nifty museum will be open on the weekends, with "limited" tours on weekdays (you'll need to arrange those ahead of time).
Photo by Joshua White
The Broad in DTLA announced on April 15 that it will reopen on May 26, with ticket reservations kicking off on May 12. Fresh digital features, a new museum guide, and a free-to-see exhibition on the first floor (it's free) are part of the reopening. Image credit: Jean-Michel Basquiat; 'Obnoxious Liberals,' 1982; 'Pink Devil,' 1984; 'Deaf,' 1984; 'Santo 2,' 1982; 'Wicker,' 1984; Installation view at The Broad. © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo by Joshua White.
Photo: Elon Schoenholz/© 2018 J. Paul Getty Trust
The Getty Villa reopened April 21, 2021. A "limited-number of visitors" may enjoy the free reservations. One-way paths will guide visitors through the galleries at the Pacific Palisades museum, which features a treasure trove of antiquities. The Getty Center is expected to open later in May.
Museum of Neon Art in Glendale has offered a luminous line-up of virtual events since the start of the pandemic closures. Now the night-bright museum (which has traditionally kept daytime hours as well as offering evening walks and drives) reopened on April 24 with a members preview. The reopening dates for the general public were May 1 and 2.
Deen van Meer
After 20 months, the footlights will again shine at the Ahmanson Theatre in DTLA starting on Nov. 30, 2021. A full season of musical greatness is on the docket, including "The Prom" later in the summer of 2022. For more information, visit the
Center Theatre Group now.
George Rose/Getty Images
Hammer Museum in Westwood reopened on April 17 with a vibrant and oh-so-local exhibition: Made in L.A. 2020: a version. It's free to visit, but be sure to make your reservation ahead of time.
The Ford's much-anticipated season—featuring a rich diversity of local and regional Southern California artists, including perennial favorites and national acts—will open in late July and run for 15 weeks," revealed the LA Phil on April 9. "The Ford is committed to representing Los Angeles County on its stage and in its audience and will make the first six shows of the season free to the public." Programming details will be announced on May 25.
Hollywood Bowl will reopen, with smaller audiences, for the summer of 2021. Four free concerts for healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers will take place in May and June, with made-for-the-public concerts beginning in July. A line-up announcement is expected on May 11.
Laemmle Theatres reopened on Friday, April 9. You'll want to read up on the new guidelines and advance ticketing procedures before choosing the film you'd like to see.
Kidspace Children's Museum
Kidspace Children's Museum, a Pasadena gem devoted to educational enrichment, reopened to members on Earth Day (April 22). The general public return date? It's slated for some time in May. Something sweet: Butterfly season is on at the museum, which is close to Rose Bowl Stadium. Also sweet: The spot is known for its airy, stretch-a-leg outdoor spaces.
Ocean Institute in Dana Point is one of our region's must-visit spots for neato knowledge related to the Big Blue. It reopened on April 10, with two new exhibits in tow. One will focus on sharks, so cool, and the other will take a deep dive into the topic of marine mammals.
David Zaitz/Petersen Automotive Museum
Petersen Automotive Museum, the auto wonderland located on the Miracle Mile in mid-city Los Angeles, reopened on March 25. Check out The Vault presented by Hagerty, where several new inductees, including a K.I.T.T. car, are on view.
Skirball Cultural Center
Skirball Cultural Center will reopen on May 15 with "Ai Weiwei: Trace." The intricate installation "... features portraits made up of thousands of plastic LEGO® bricks, each assembled by hand and laid out on the floor." Look also for "The Animal That Looks Like a Llama But Is Really an Alpaca" a colossal installation featuring a composition created from gold-hued wallpaper.
The California African American Museum reopened on Saturday, March 27. Visitors can find a quintet of exhibitions on view, including "Men of Change. Power. Triumph. Truth." Advance reservations are required, but admission? It's free:
Find your ticket now.
Annenberg PetSpace in Playa Vista again began raising the woof on March 31. There's a "specialized hour-long experience" called the PetSpace Experience that includes a visit to the brand-new Critter Corner and a nifty peek behind the scenes. You'll need to book in advance; start that process here.
Art Theatre of Long Beach
The Art Theatre of Long Beach, the beloved indie cinema, is again open. "Nomadland" and "Minari" are currently screening. For info on tickets and what to expect,
La Brea Tar Pits Museum
La Brea Tar Pits Museum reopened on April 8. Travel back in local time at the "Mammoths & Mastodons" exhibit and check out what paleontologists are studying at the Fossil Lab.
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor
Amoeba Music debuted in its brand-new space on April 1, 2021. There's a special with-purchase poster giveaway on opening day, and other celebratory happenings. Remember your face mask and keep in mind that capacity will be limited.
© The Huntington/John Sullivan
Visitors may access the flowery grounds of
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens now, but the galleries are currently closed. That's changing on April 17, when a trio of galleries at the San Marino landmark, including the one with Thomas Gainsborough's "The Blue Boy," will open.
California Science Center
California Science Center reopened on Saturday, March 27. The pavilion where the Space Shuttle Endeavour is displayed will again be open, as well as the center's exhibits, including the one devoted to LEGO bricks. Look also for the on-site IMAX Theater to resume screenings.
Aquarium of the Pacific
Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach reopened on March 16, following an earlier opening for members. The outside areas, including the Lorikeet Forest and shark pools, had already been open, but the indoor spaces had been closed prior to mid-March.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia reopened on April 1. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Jeff Gritchen | Orange County Register | Getty Images
Disneyland park and Disneyland California Adventure both reopened on April 30. A Touch of Disney, a food experience, opened at Disney California Adventure on March 18.
AaronP/Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images
AMC Theatres says it will have 98% of its U.S. movie theaters open on Friday (March 19) as a bunch of theaters reopen in California. Even more theaters are expected to open by March 26 following a year when families stayed home and watched from their couches."
The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana reopened on Wednesday, March 17. Several exhibits are on view, including a large-scale show devoted to the Walt Disney archives. That exhibit, which includes movie props, costumes, and artifacts related to Disneyland, has been extended to June 20.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art reopened on April 1 with six new shows, including a Yoshitomo Nara exhibit.