Family Travel: Los Angeles – Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Last Sunday, thanks to SoCal Museum’s Free-For-All day, I took the kids for an adventure into LA to visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Don’t worry if you missed it, I am sure there will be another one – you can keep up with SoCal Museum’s calendar of events here. Plus there is another way to visit for free… but we will get to that in a minute!
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is the largest art museum in the western US. It is home to more than 150,000 works of art spanning from ancient times to the present. There are 6 buildings to walk through at LACMA plus several outdoor exhibits that you will not want to miss. Click here to find the LACMA current exhibits.
They have fascinating displays, some that are constantly changing, giving us many reasons to return regularly! I had never taken my littles to an art museum before so I thought this would be the perfect one to start at!
Our Family Day at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
We arrived around 10am and parked in the parking garage there. It is $14 to park here, you can take your ticket in to pay at a kiosk or pay with a credit card as you exit. There is also metered parking along the side streets that looked safe and not an overly long walk in to the museum.
Family Travel tip: If you go to LACMA on a Sunday, the meters are free to park at, if you can find one!
It was very busy and I was pleased to see such a great turn out for the Free-for-All day. We got our tickets, as you do need to get extra tickets for certain exhibitions. Prices are General Admission Adult $15, kids 0-17 free; Specialty exhibit admission adult $25, kids 0-17 free.
I noticed a table signing kids up for the NexGen program and wanted to go check it out.
The NexGen program is a free youth membership for anyone under the age of 17 allowing for one adult to have a general admission pass to the museum with a NexGen member for free anytime!! (Remember how I said there was another way to go for free?!) 😉
This encourages families to make LACMA a regular family outing destination. By making numerous shorter visits to LACMA the kids will develop a stronger understanding (and hopefully love) of art.
Of course we signed up! And I am so glad we did because we had such a good time, we are already planning to go back again!
After which we decided to start in the Broad Contemporary Art Museum. On the first floor is a super cool exhibit called The Metropolis II by Chris Burden. It is a live, mini combination of all of the large cities with cars and trains going all around it. This fascinated my littles and we had fun walking around it, taking it all in.
We checked out the rest of the contemporary art exhibits and decided that we are not huge contemporary art fans! It was fun looking at it though with my littles and engaging them in conversations on what we like, don’t like, what we feel and why. I explained to them how art is such an expression of one’s soul and we should appreciate it even if we don’t connect with it.
We next went across the way into the Resnick Pavilion to see the Renaissance and Reformation Art. Now this we all liked! It was a great display of art work and artifacts from that time period that really made you feel. I asked my littles to pinpoint various differences between the contemporary artwork and this and really enjoyed their creative answers.
We had been walking for close to an hour and a half by this point and we were starving. So we stopped into Ray’s and had a lovely lunch. It is reasonably priced and their food is good.
After lunch we covered the Ahmanson Building. We were all intrigued by the diversity here. And this is where we got to see some original Monet’s, which we all agreed were amoung our favorites! The galleries in this building are fantastic and it was fun to switch between time period’s and cultural differences from room to room.
We then walked all the way down to the Pavilion for Japanese Art and really like how they had it set up, it was a fun space for the kids who were inspired by the structure and the way the art seemed to tell a story. From here we made our way into the Hammer building where I was pleased to discover the Boone Children’s Art Gallery.
At LACMA, not only do kids learn about art history, but they get to become an artist too! Mine had so much fun painting in a giant studio with other kids, make sure you save at least 30 minutes to pop in here!
By this point, we had been there for quite a while and the littles were getting tired. Knowing that we could come back again anytime for free now, thanks to the NexGen program, we decided to call it a day and head home!
Tips for Visiting Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Wear very comfortable shoes and dress in layers. There is a lot of walking involved, so if you have really littles, you will want to consider bringing a stroller. You will want layers because you will be warm walking so much, but some of the exhibits can be on the cooler side.
Don’t forget your camera, however please be mindful and respectful when you see a no camera sign next to some of the art work. But there are plenty of beautiful things that you can photograph and lots of fun spots for selfies and family photos!
Whether you are just visiting LA or live here, sign up for the NexGen program, just like we did. It is for everyone and is a great program for kids to be involved in!
— Malibu Mama Loves® (@MalibuMamaLoves) February 2, 2017
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