Free Or Cheap Things Angelenos Can Do From Home

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Kid Koala/CAP UCLA
Join DJ Kid Koala on a pencil-to-paper journey called, intriguingly, "Music to Draw To." The event, which is totally free? It's presented online by UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance. The date is Dec. 5, the time is 3 p.m. (PST), and "an unfolding universe of wintry soundscapes and enchanting vocal journeys" will provide drawing inspiration. Eric San, who is an animator as well as a DJ in Montreal, will helm the creative livestream.
Petersen Automotive Museum
"Cars and Coffee," the popular meet-up at the Petersen Automotive Museum on the Miracle Mile, continues as a virtual happening. Didn't have a chance to see the sweet machines featured in the Nov. 8 event? Catch the gleam of the chrome and the roar of the engines in this vroom-vroom video.
Center for the Arts Eagle Rock has a host of virtual arts classes, including courses covering doodling, creating a Magical Theatre Puppet Box, and experimenting with fabric and paint. Some classes are free and some have a small fee.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Watching critters cavort live? Many California animal parks and aquariums have cameras tuned into their furry residents. Monterey Bay Aquarium is currently featuring rescued otters on its Sea Otter Cam.
Yuji Arikawa
Explore "The Science of Slime" with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The Exposition Park museum, which is temporarily closed, has a number of online happenings related to slimy-sensational nature facts, as well as a slime-tastic behind-the-scenes tour. It's all free to see (but if you want to DIY slime at home, you'll need materials, yep).
Niphon Subsri/EyeEm
Look back at "A Century of Votes for Women" while perusing a free and virtual exhibit from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. "Rise Up L.A." honors " ...everyday women who shaped the suffrage movement and the political landscape through voting, community organizing and by fighting for rights in the workplace, classroom, and community from the turn of the century through the current moment."
The Museum of Neon Art in Glendale remains temporarily closed, but there are a few free walks you can download, if you'd like to check out neon signs in East Hollywood, Glendale, or Koreatown on your own. There's a free Family Guide, too, if your youngsters would like to go on a neon adventure where you live.
Growing a mustache to raise money and awareness for men's health? Much of that kind-hearted process is, yes, going to occur at home. But Movember, the annual all-November, grow-a-'stache fundraiser, will also have a virtual element in 2020, one that gives everyone who wants to help a chance to play a role. Here's where to start if you'd like to host your own from-home happening.
Peggy Ryan
PlayhouseLive, a new streaming platform from the Pasadena Playhouse, launched on Sept. 30. A host of theatrical pay-per-view events, including performances by the Bob Baker Marionettes, are on the schedule, as well as four new series. Want to check it out? There's a free trial on for members through Dec. 2020. Pictured: The Ojai Playwrights Conference
Winchester Mystery House
Taking an online tour of the Winchester Mystery House? You can. Other attractions are also offering behind-the-scenes peeks, so check in with your favorite place now, online, to see what's new.
Arnon Panram/EyeEm
PAM@Home, a selection of online happenings from the USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, offers a host of activities for kids and adults. Crafts, meditation, art, and action are all covered by the line-up of virtual offerings. Take a look now.
OC Fair
The OC Fair has gone virtual in 2020, with a do-it-from-anywhere fun run, behind-the-scenes videos, Pig Cam, and at-home contests, too.
The Getty
Coloring pages from The Getty? Download them for free at the museum's "Color Our Collection" site and spend a happy hour filling in fanciful forms taken straight from medieval manuscripts.
Sean Teegarden/Knott's Berry Farm
Love eating at Knott's Berry Farm? You can recreate the famous mashed potatoes from Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant in your own kitchen. The Buena Park eatery recently shared the recipe and step-by-step video online. Needed? Yukon gold potatoes and a few other ingredients; see everything here.
LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Do the spring babies of the LA Zoo make you melt? Several sweet youngsters are now appearing in coloring book form, thanks to the new Spring Babies Mini Coloring Book by Brian Kesinger, based on the photography of Jamie Pham.
Mitch Diamond
Enjoy virtual talks, on a host of topics, from a favorite museum. The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana is temporarily closed, but it continues to offer at-home events for fans, including family festivals filled with music. Check the calendar for the great things just ahead.
The Cayton's Children's Museum in Santa Monica is holding a virtual recess twice each day, giving tots who love art both guidance and inspiration.
Petersen Automotive Museum
Submit a video of your car for the Petersen Automotive Museum's global (and virtual) "Cars & Coffee" meet-up.
Jay Tayag/AotP/Charles O'Rear
School's out in several spots, but the online learning and activities continue. Find kid-ready happenings with a nature focus, each weekday, at both the Aquarium of the Pacific and OC Parks.
Have a tot who loves the ocean? The Aquarium of the Pacific has a new Online Academy for families learning at home.
Getty Images
From easy crafts to storytimes to other keep-busy fun, this round-up has plenty of ideas for younger people to stay engaged.
Mt. Wilson Observatory
Can you see Mt. Wilson Observatory from where you live? You can request for Sunstar, a prism-producing art installation, to be pointed directly at your home.
Karen Ilagan
Procuring pro tips on what film to watch next? AFI and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are offering free lists, picks, and ideas.
Dreaming of Disneyland days? The Mattercam at the Howard Johnson Hotel & Water Playground is keeping an eye on The Happiest Place on Earth.
Leren Lu
Several art institutions, including the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, have an array of projects for kids to do at home.
Two Bit Circus
Love Two Bit Circus, the Arts District arcade? The team behind it is now offering parents and kids cool streams of at-home activities via Twitch.
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