Arts & Entertainment

A guide to SoCal's free museum day Jan. 31

"Andy Warhol: Shadows" at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Zhou Jia via Flickr

>>> See map with all participating museums

On Saturday January 31, over 20 Southern California museums will offer free general admission. From mammoths to Roman art, the event gives visitors the opportunity to see photographic exhibits, cultural artifacts and scientific wonders.

This will be the 10th annual Museum-Free-For-All. And for the first time, Metro will offer discount prices to visitors who use its services. 

Each museum has something special to offer. Here's what you can expect (scroll to the bottom for a map of all participating museums): 

1. Go back in time at The Page Museum at the La Brea Tarpits

(Columbian Mammoth. Photo: Daniel DeCristo via Flickr.)

Ever wonder what kind of plants and animals inhabited L.A. during the Ice Age? A visit to The Page Museum at the La Brea Tarpits will introduce you to excavated fossils, plants and animals like Columbian mammoths that roamed the area long ago. See over a million ice age fossils from 650 species — most of which were pulled right under the museum — and check out bubbling tar pits or watch paleontologists prepare remains for exhibits. Create your own day’s itinerary or see what the museum itself recommends here.

2. See Esterio Segura’s perspective of Cuba at the Museum of Latin American Art

(Esterio Segura. Photo: Brian De Los Santos.)

Cuban-based artist Esterio Segura’s exhibition at the MOLAA is an artistic expression of Cuba’s current socio-economic and cultural state. Segura uses sculptures, drawings and other mediums to project his social critiques of the country’s isolation, consumerism and migration. Through satire Segura creates social and political statements, but his exhibit also celebrates Cuba. Segura features Cuban cultural symbols like vintage cars and highlights Afro-Cuban influences.

This is Segura’s first solo U.S. exhibition.

“I think it’s important to make a connection with the [United States],” Segura told KPCC’s the Frame.  “We are only a half-an-hour difference from the States and people here don’t really know much about Cuba. For people in Cuba … we have a very old idea about what the United States is.”

3. Explore Noah’s Ark at The Skirball

Noah’s Ark is an interactive display that allows you to create your own experience aboard one of religion's most famous vessels. Climb up rafts, discover animals and make a rain storm at this kid-friendly exhibit. Want to know what other fun you can create? Watch the video above to see what awaits you. 

Noah's Ark is a specially ticketed exhibition. Tickets for this event are $10 and will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Admission into the Skirball is free. 

4. See a different side to Andy Warhol at the Museum of Contemporary Art

("Andy Warhol: Shadows" at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo: Zhou Jia via Flickr.)

Make your way out to the heart of Los Angeles for renown pop artist Andy Warhol’s exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. “Andy Warhol: Shadows” is different than what you'd typically expect from the artist. It stays true to Warhol’s signature use of repetitive images. But in this exhibit, he also brings in darker colors to create positive and negatives prints of shadows.

5. Soak up some sun at The Getty Villa

(Panoramic view of the grand peristyle garden at the Getty Villa. Photo: Mary Harrsch via Flickr.)

Located in the beautiful Pacific Palisades, The Getty Villa is a great option for those who don’t want to stay indoors all day.  Once you’re done looking at hundreds of ancient art pieces — including sculptures and other antiquities ranging from the end of the stone age to the Roman Empire — take a walk through one of the Getty’s four gardens. The gardens are surrounded by breathtaking architecture, ponds and plants. While you're there, take a culinary garden tour to learn more about the Getty Villa's plants and herbs.  

6. Learn about Endeavour at the California Science Center

(Endeavour. Photo: nate2b via Flickr.) 

Get a glimpse of space at the California Science Center’s exhibit Endeavor. "Endeavour: The California Story" doesn’t just share the history of the shuttle’s trips to space, but it also highlights the shuttle’s special relationship with California. This exhibit is full of fun shuttle facts and artifacts. After you’re done learning all you need to know about the shuttle, see the massive space ship on display at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion. 

Time reservations are required for this exhibit. See more information here

7. Watch the sun set while street lamps light up at Los Angeles County Museum of Art

("Urban Lights" at LACMA. Photo: Amy Dozier via Flickr.)

Whether it’s taking a selfie in front of the “Urban Light” street lamps or checking out exhibits ranging from paintings to film, LACMA has a great mix of outdoor art and indoor exhibits. When you’re there, check out “Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s,” an exhibition on German Expressionist cinema during the democratic Weimar era. Posters, manuscripts and set models illustrate an artistic experimental time in Germany. 

Want to visit more than one museum? Check out this map for multiple museum locations.

View Museum free-for-all in a full screen map

What are your favorite museums and exhibits in SoCal? Tell us in comments.