Looking for somewhere to have fun while learning something new? You’ve come to the right place, as Los Angeles museums can do exactly that. Even better, here’s when you can explore them that’ll be completely free.

(UPDATED: November 30, 2017)


Free for all the second Tuesday of every month. Free for LA County residents on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 3 pm–5 pm and Friday from 3 pm–8 pm. 

You can see plenty of modern art here, of course, but LACMA is constantly rotating through new impressive exhibitions, so every visit will reveal something new.

5357402780_be7c0d6809_baepg via Flickr

Japanese American National Museum

Free every Thursday from 5-8 p.m. and all day on every third Thursday of the month.

Learn Japanese American history through unique art, photography, and audio guided tours.

Los Angeles Natural History Museum

Free Museum admission the first Tuesdays of every month (except July and August) and free Museum admission every Tuesday in September for Wells Fargo members.  

From the history of old Los Angeles to the Insect Zoo and Butterfly Pavillon to (yes!) the Hall of Dinosaurs, the NHM is the perfect place to spend a day.

6747600263_380a936ce2_bAllie Caulfield via Flickr

Autry Museums of the American West

Free admission the second Tuesday of every month. 

Explore the beauty of all things Western in this museum, which also features work done by high schoolers (!). Bonus: you can spend the rest of the day hiking in Griffith Park next door.

The Huntington

Free admission on the first Thursday of the month. Tickets must be reserved and printed at home to be scanned at the museum.

If you’re a literature geek, then this is the place for you. Check out the grand library, then head over to look at some elegant art and get some fresh air by stepping out into the botanical gardens.

California Science Center

Free admission every day to the permanent exhibition; special exhibitions and entrance into the IMAX Theater excepted.

Become a scientist (or get in touch with your inner kid) through hands-on exhibitions and live demonstrations at this museum. Don’t forget to visit Tess, the 50 foot body simulator, at the BodyWorks show!

Vince Tran

California African American Museum

Admission is free every day. However, donations are welcomed on the website.

Take a look at some gorgeous pieces from artists of African descent, explore immersive, multi-media installations, and learn the history of African Americans specifically in California and the western United States at this rich museum.

Fowler Museum at UCLA

Admission is free every day. 

Explore archeological collections from around the world, including Africa, the Americas, and Asia and the Pacific. Photography, textiles, art, and tons of other creative work routinely cycle through their unique exhibitions.

Getty Center 

Both the Getty Center and the Getty Villa are free every day.

Check out the amazing modern architecture and tune into some lectures to learn something new at the Getty Center. Feel like really getting away without leaving LA? Take a day trip to Greece and Rome by visiting the Getty Villa.

Chris Martino

Skirball Cultural Center

Free every Thursday. 

View art and paintings that express Jewish Heritage, then take a tour through Noah’s Ark, a fun, hands-on exploration of the 40 day, 40 night journey that both kids and adults can get into.

Griffith Observatory

Admission is always free.

Drive or hike up to the telescopes and take a peak at the city from up above, then explore the museum inside.

Richo.Fan via Flickr

La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

Free admission the first Tuesdays of every month (except July and August) for Wells Fargo members. 

You live in LA, but have you ever actually explored the La Brea Tar Pits? Discover Ice Age fossils and see how many prehistoric creatures met their downfall.


Free admission every Thursday from 5-8p.m.

Discover what advant-garde is really all about at this museum, which showcases some of the wildest contemporary art out there.

This post originally appeared on March 4, 2016. It was updated May 4, 2017. 

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