It's not uncommon to hear about a museum hosting a free day -- that happens at dozens of Southern California institutions every month -- as well as wider no-admission events, the kind with 30 or 40 museums on board. Those happen, delightfully, a couple of times a year, too.
But more unusual is the multi-museum event that's based around a distinctive geographical feature. The free Museums of the Arroyo Day qualifies here, as the six participating cultural/historical spots are all located near, or pretty near, the Arroyo Seco.
If you know the fabled gully that runs through Highland Park and up into Pasadena, you can probably guess at least some of the six museums and destinations that shall play a part on Sunday, May 15.
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The Gamble House is on the list, yes, as is its down-the-way neighbor, the Pasadena Museum of History. Heritage Square, LA Police Museum, Lummis House, and The Autry's Historic Southwest Museum will also offer a host of activities during the pay-nothing day.
Want to see one place? Fantastic. How about all six? You can do that, too, just get an early start (and see if riding the Metro Gold Line dovetails with your plans).
Want to delve into history, architecture, and the stories of a bygone Los Angeles? Those topics are at the heart of the happening, which is marking its 26th outing in 2016.
There's always an "Out of the Vault" item to ponder, and finding characters in Victorian costumes, as well as fact-smart docents, is also the way it goes on MOTA Day.
A day that both adores the lovely arroyo that lends its name to the proceedings and the early Angelenos who built along it, or close by.
Save the afternoon: Noon to 5 o'clock are the hours, and there's a whole century-plus to take in, if you're up for the tantalizing task.