Memorial Day to Labor Day? There are nearly 100 days lining the calendar between the two holidays — 98, to be specific — which seems like a stretch of time that's big enough to encompass most any lofty project or goal one might dream up over the summer season.
But what if seeing several hundred museums, all for free, was the plan? Museums located that happen to be located all over the country?
Perhaps it could be done, with enough time, gas money, and snacks, but the best bet with the popular, gratitude-filled Blue Star Museums program is for an active-duty military member to find a few local art or history or science or cultural institutions, gather the family, and go.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Members of the National Guard and Reserved are also included in the pay-nothing museum program.
The Blue Star Museums initiative, which has no less than the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Defense, and Blue Star Families behind it (as well as the participation of the aforementioned "several hundred museums"), is all about thanking those who serve and their families via free admission a plethora of interesting, mind-growing, joy-producing institutions.
It's year eight for the program, and a lengthy roster of California-based museums are all on board. The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, Pasadena Museum of California Art, and Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard are just five of the many.
While Blue Star Museums generally stick to a Memorial-Day-to-Labor-Day schedule, sometimes, on occasion, one place gets going early on the program, as was the case with San Diego Botanic Garden in early May. So perhaps you and your family have already been in the Blue Star swing in 2017, an early jump on a popular annual-return happening.
But now that Memorial Day has arrived, so, officially, has the opening of Blue Star Museums. Find your local favorites, or a museum that's near wherever you and your kin are headed this summer, and enjoy.