Southern California

Museums Free-for-All Day

Save money, see great things at a number of SoCal institutions.

Quite often, when one engages with a complex and awesome painting, the hard work needs to be done upfront. What is the painting saying? Is it a product of its time or timeless? How does it challenge who I am?

That's part of the whole process of loving art, and while thousands of SoCalers will be out loving art, for free, on Saturday, Jan. 30, we feel like some of the more challenging questions regarding Museums Free-for-All Day should come at the outset.

Is parking free? It's not, if there's typically a charge to bring your car to the institution, so plan on paying. Is every museum throughout the region waiving its get-in fees? It's best to check on where you want to go first, to make sure the place you have in mind is participating (the list of participants is quite long).

Will my free admission included any ticketed exhibits at the museum I visit? No, but you'll have plenty to see throughout the rest of the place. Is every museum on the list free on Jan. 30? Not every place: The Skirball Cultural Center and a few other spots will observe free hours on Sunday, Jan. 31.

Okay, those are the top-line, need-to-know questions for Museums Free-for-All, which is presented by SoCal Museums. Now for the overriding theme of the day: A whole slew of amazing Southern California museums will be free, free, free. You can waltz right in with your wallet well-stowed, and proceed to enjoy art, cultural displays, and cars.

Oh, yes, about those cars: The newly renovated Petersen Automotive Museum is on the list, if you haven't seen it yet. Other participating institutions include the Museum of Latin American Art, the Bowers Museum, and the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.

Like a painting often has an overriding theme, so does Saturday, Jan. 30 in LA: Many museums will be free. This is an excellent theme, one we can all embrace.

The only question is this: Do you revisit a beloved museum again or try someplace new? It's like returning to a favorite painting you've seen a lot. Do you say hello to the artwork again or pay a visit to the painting next to it, the one you're unfamiliar with?

What would art, and free museum days, be without their challenging questions of the heart and mind?

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