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The Ultimate LA Family Guide ™
Fowler Museum at UCLA
The museum is located on the UCLA campus in Westwood. The parking lot for this museum is found by entering Parking Lot 4 at Westwood Plaza off of Sunset Blvd. The price is $10 on the weekends. During the week the lot is metered, self-service and varies by length of time.
The Fowler is open Wednesday-Sunday, 12 pm-5 pm, except on Thursday when it stays open until 8 pm. The museum has no admission fee. The collection is composed of permanent and changing exhibits and is focused on global culture. There are many special events and programs for kids including a monthly “Kids in the Courtyard” series which offers families an opportunity to create artwork together based on the changing exhibits. We chose to visit the museum on a Sunday when this courtyard workshop was being held.
This museum can serve many purposes, one of which is to introduce young children to a university campus. We had a fantastic experience at the Fowler as our visit gave our kids a glimpse into college life and what beautiful architecture is on display at UCLA.
After following the directions given by the Fowler on their website for parking and paying in the lot, we started to walk around UCLA to find the Fowler. A passing student pointed us in the right direction. We entered the building and went straight to the current changing exhibit, Nick Cave’s Meet Me at the Center of the Earth. The artist created 35 soundsuits which are huge multi-layered costumes that make sound when worn. The soundsuits were amazing and visually captivated my kids with the unusual objects, textures and colors. I found the museum staff to be friendly and helpful and not overbearing, even when kids were getting very close to the exhibit pieces.
In addition to the changing exhibits, your family will want to check out the permanent collection which includes artifacts and clothing from Central and South America and a huge textile collection from Southeast Asia. Reflecting Culture, a permanent exhibit of decorative objects made from silver and mixed metals, is also a standout.
We headed upstairs to the art project room and the kids got right to work making a 3-D Valentine. There were many tables filled with all kinds of materials including candy, ribbon, styrofoam, bells and pipe cleaners. This activity was also free and I was impressed to see a variety of supplies which the friendly staff kept refilling. It was neat to walk around and look at what all of the kids were creating.
After we finished the projects we took a walk to the main campus library to show our kids what a college library looked like. They loved the huge quad area between Royce Hall and the library and raced around, creating games and enjoying the open space.
The Fowler Museum is a terrific outing for families: admission is free, there are always new exhibits to see along with the permanent collections of global art, and there are also great family programs.