Free Museums: ArtNight Pasadena

Stroll through local institutions and feel the visual wow, all without paying a cent.

Your money? It's tucked up in your wallet. Your evening? It stretches before you, unfettered by obligations or must-dos.

Your goal? To stop by 18 art and cultural institutions, or some of the 18, or at least the one special place you hold dearest to your art-obsessed heart.

ArtNight Pasadena is the topic we're trekking towards here, that twice-a-year evening affair which invites visitors to the Crown City to visit the area's primo museums, galleries, and creativity centers for nothing, as in nada dollars, as in save your money for delicious dinner or a snack.

Snacks, of course, help keep one's mind well-focused, which is a plus when it comes to fully consuming, and considering, paintings, sculptures, films, and live performance.

The fall 2017 happening is on Friday, Oct. 13, but there's nothing unlucky about calling upon the Norton Simon Museum, the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the USC Pacific Asia Museum, and the Armory Center for the Arts for a few hours of brain-building enjoyment and the sort of looking and listening that adds to our personal joy banks.

The time? A spacious four-hour window awaits you, from 6 to 10 p.m., and if that means slipping out of the office a bit early, you know the answer: Invite your work crew, and definitely your boss, along for the art enjoyment.

The Boston Court Performing Art Center, the Jackie Robinson Community Center, Pasadena Playhouse, and several more spots are all on the participant list, yes yes. And the to-dos found at each place? They might include storytelling, trying your hand (and the rest of you) at improvisational theater, a Golden Age of Radio presentation, and "hands-on printmaking and stampmaking."

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Food trucks, too, will be out, so keep that money you've stowed, because you don't need it for museum admission, at the ready, should you desire an empanada or ice cream sandwich or both.

Good to know: Some of the destinations are walkable from other locations on the list, but a free shuttle will whisk attendees to museums that are further afield.

A free shuttle, free admission, free joining-in, activity-wise, and food trucks that offer vittles that aren't too dear? In addition to all of the nearby restaurants dotting plate-worthy Pasadena?

Friday the 13th, as in Oct. 13, is looking very lucky, if you adore art, experiences, and not spending a bundle, or even a fraction of a bundle, along the way.

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