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The Ultimate LA Family Guide ™
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, commonly known as LACMA.
LACMA is probably in one of the best locations in los Angeles given that it is literally across the street from the Petersen Automotive Museum (a subject of a previous podcast) and next door to the PAGE Museum (often known as the dinosaur museum) and La Brea Tarpits. It is also right down the block from the Zimmer Children's museum and close to the LA Farmer's Market and The Grove shopping center. The major cross street for the location is the corner of Fairfax and Wilshire and the exact address is 5905 Wilshire Blvd.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has grown to at an incredible rate since our last visit a few years back. Upon arrival we noticed a brand new parking structure. Having children, I generally just park in venues parking lots. There were however open meters around the museum and if you bring quarters and are ready to feed the meter, you could save a few dollars off the 7 dollar parking fee. There is much to say about LACMA, but I will try to focus on what makes this museum great for kids:
First of all, they have a program called Next Gen, or Next Generation.
By filling out the form you will have free membership for each child in your household. The program gets even better in that each child gets to take an adult with them for free when they attend the museum. That means if you have two children, you will pay nothing to introduce the whole family to the arts.
Here are the museum's hours:
LACMA is open every day except Wednesdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Monday 11 am–5 pm
Tuesday 11 am–5 pm
Thursday 11 am–5 pm
Friday 11 am–8 pm
Saturday 10 am–7 pm
Sunday 10 am–7 pm
Adult admission is $15 and seniors and students are $10.
Here are times to come and save the cost of admission:
After 5 pm, you may pay what you wish.
Evening special: Vehicles entering the 6th Street parking garage after 7 pm park for free.
On the second Tuesday of each month, general admission to the permanent galleries and non-ticketed exhibitions is free to all.
There is also a program sponsored by Target at many museums in Southern California. For LACMA it is called Target Free Holiday Mondays. There is Special programming and also free admission for all on: Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day.
As for the Nex Gen program. LAwithKids has made it easy for you get this form. Simply go to LAwithKids.com, click on Free Museums on the first page and then click on the link for the NexGen Membership form.
Only 3 clicks to LACMA.
The first thing we did at LACMA was ride an ultramodern glass elevator from the parking structure to one of the museums courtyard area. Within minutes we turned in the children's membership form for LACMA, and they were given membership cards with an nice strap to go around their necks. How often are your children members to something, and you are their guests?
I have been to LACMA several times in the past but it was our first time to the newly installed Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA. Los Angeles is fortunate to have two incredible philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad (prounounce OAD as in Road) While LA has Moca, a museum that the Broads have also given to, this new art museum within the larger LACMA is truly unbelievable in both size and collection. While there is a lot on display in this new museum and its core exhibit I will mention the works of art that stood out to my kids. There is Large Balloon animal referred to as Balloon Dog that was about 100x larger than a typical ballon sculpture. My kids loved looking at it. There were also these basketballs in water that my children found interesting. Don't ask why my kids liked it or the meaning of the particular work of art, but they liked it.
Another work of art that my husband and my children liked was large stainless steel train. My husband is also a train enthusiast and owns the site Traintopia.com so perhaps that explains his interest in this one. There was also large sculpture of Michael Jackson and bubbles. What is interesting to me is that the children simply saw a man with a monkey, and have no idea who Michael Jackson is and all the hoopla around him. After all, the work of art, although modern, was from 1988. On the other hand, the children felt very comfortable seeing an LC 1 modern chair similar to that owned by their grandparents on display in this room. While there is already so much to be seen in this new building they are building a lot more both in this particular building and in an adjacent building.
We then walked to another building and viewed some very well crafted wood furniture and not the pine type stuff that is so common today. There was a lot more to see in this building but soon went to an outside area with booths and a restaurant that we did not go to and a snack stand/concession. There were ample outside tables allowing our family to relax and quickly enjoy a snack.
After spending a few hours there we were done for the day because of my children's age, but fortunately we have so much to see when we come back soon, including collections of art from around the world as well as the Americas and a whole pavilion of art from Japan.
We probably saw less than 10 percent of the museum and much of what we saw will be replaced with new exhibits within a few months. We are very excited about LACMA and we are sure that you will have the same enthusiasm after your visit.