Hasta Mañana, Admission: Museums' Free-For-All Day

A few dozen of our finest brain-expanding institutions kick their fees to the curb.

If months carried actual volume and mass, they'd likely be on the large side. Too large to put our arms around, probably, but we'd want to, because if ever a month needed some reassuring and a little love, it is the first month of the year.

We humans we grapple with our resolutions, and our bills, and we regret the things eaten during the month that came before. But January, around Southern California, always has something a little sparkly up its very large sleeve, and, nope, we don't merely refer to that one winter week where it is always like 80 degrees and pool-ready.

You guessed it: We speak of Museums Free-For-All Day, that ever-popular January staple.

The "museums" part means that a whole line-up of local cultural institutions are involved, the "free" part means they're ditching admission, and the staple part -- okay, we added that -- says this is an Established Thing. It marks 10 years of putting Angelenos in front of good/interesting sights to look at and ponder, and a decade immediately means something can be called a staple. 

As for the exact day? It's just under the wire, January-wise: January 31, a Saturday, is the date when places like The Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, the Annenberg Space for Photography, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Pasadena Museum of California Art all jump on the bandwagon, or whatever wagon best symbolizes saving money while eyeing fascinating objects and facts.

Parking will not be free, if it is normally not, so let there be no huffing nor puffing should your parking voucher inform you you'll need to pay a few bucks to leave. 

And, true true true: Some of the museums on the list already are free every day -- helloooo, Hammer Museum, and you, too, Getty Center and Getty Villa -- but it wouldn't make sense to leave the already admission-waived spots off the mega free list, because fans would scratch their head in the way people do when they're confused. Shouldn't the free places be on the free day roster?

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Well, yes, and so they are. 

SoCal Museums is the organization behind this decade-old delight. And, for sure, there are some asterisks -- specially ticketed exhibits at some places will not be included in all the freeness-to-seeness -- so perhaps do a lick of research before planning your one or two or six stops for the day.

December does see some serious spending, so it is a dandy sight to see some of Southern California's iconic museums open their doors wide on what will likely be a fine January day.

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