If you’ve never visited LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, you’re in for a treat. Kids and parents can spend hours exploring inside and outside of the museum. In our guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about LACMA parking, tickets, exhibits and the NextGen program that allows children 17 and younger a free membership for them and one companion.
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Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday 11:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
closed on Wednesdays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is home to more than 130,000 objects from around the globe and dating back to ancient times all the way to the present. LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States and houses Asian art, Latin American art, Islamic art, European art, and modern art.
Children will find much to do and enjoy at LACMA. Whether they want to walk through Urban Light, marvel at the modern art exhibits (such as Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s Soup Can), stand in awe at the size of David Hockney’s Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio, or take in the outdoor sculpture garden, LACMA’s extensive collection is sure to delight, entertain, intrigue, and inspire visitors of all ages.
Related: All the Best Museums for Kids in Los Angeles.
Outside, don’t miss Levitated Mass, weighing in at 340 tons, as well as the Magic Carpet/Home — an outdoor installation that invites families to stand on it, walk on it, and interact with it.
You also can’t miss a visit to Metropolis II, the ongoing kinetic sculpture that represents the pace and noise of living in a busy city. Kids will love watching the more than one thousand miniature cars zooming around the roadways. (Metropolis II runs during select days and times so be sure to check the website first).
Then be sure to stop by the Boone Children’s Gallery which allows kids (and adults) to pick up a paint brush and make some art of their own as they gain first-hand knowledge about brush painting from Korea and China. The Boone Children’s Gallery also offers story time every Monday and Friday at 2:00 pm.
LACMA also hosts a variety of special events including its annual summer music series, tours, and lectures as well as its weekly Andell Family Sundays event. The next events are scheduled for October 8, 15, 22, 29 from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm. These weekly drop-in events feature artist-led workshops, gallery tours, and thematic activities based on LACMA’s collection.
Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage is currently at LACMA until January 7, 2018. The exhibit “highlights the principal role that music and dance played in Chagall’s artistic practice.” Visitors will view costumes and set designs for four productions for the stage. (Some of them have never been displayed since they first appeared on stage). “In bringing these pieces together, Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage communicates the moving and celebratory power of music and art, and spotlights this important aspect of the artist’s career.” (The exhibit is not included in general admission and does require a special ticket, though it is free for members).
Families should also view the exhibits on display as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, Latin American and Latino Art in LA. Exhibits include HOME – So Different, So Appealing: Art from the Americas since 1957; Playing with Fire: Paintings by Carlos Almaraz; A Universal History of Infamy; Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915-1985; and Painted In Mexico: Pinxit Mexici, 1700-1790.
Admission to LACMA provides access to the Museum’s permanent collection though some special exhibits do require an additional charge.
Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (65 and older), and free for children 17 and under through the Museum’s NexGen program. NexGen provides free membership to anyone 17 and younger as well as one adult companion.(You can enroll at the museum or by mail).
Los Angeles county residents receive free admission each weekday after 3:00 pm.
Membership to LACMA provides visitors with the opportunities to see select exhibits before they open to the public, receive discounts on guest admission, and more.
Visitors may park in LACMA’s parking garage (entrance on 6th Street) for a $16 charge. Depending on the day and time you visit, you may also be able to secure street parking, but be sure to carefully read the signs for any restrictions and adhere to the meters’ limits. Also keep in mind that there is a lot of construction in the area due to Metro’s expansion of the Purple Line Extension. Allow yourself extra time to navigate road and/or lane closures.
Families have several dining options when visiting LACMA. Most popular is the LACMA Cafe which serves grab-and-go items as well as freshly-made sandwiches, grilled options, a seasonal salad bar, and more. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. C+M (Coffee and Milk) is described as a “craft coffeehouse” featuring beverages as well as baked goods. Ray’s & Stark Bar may be best visited without children so parents can enjoy a date night at this popular restaurant.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is located on famous Museum Row. There are several other nearby museums to visit, but it really is too much to do in one day. See our post, Family-Friendly Guide to Museum Row in Los Angeles, for more information. This part of town, is also referred to as Mid-Wilshire. Check out our post, 9 Things To Do In (Or Near) Mid-Wilshire With Kids, or the Guide to the nearby Marciano Art Foundation, to give you some ideas about other fun spots to visit in the neighborhood.
Wendy Kennar is a mother, writer, and former teacher who has lived her entire life in the same Los Angeles zip code. You can read more from Wendy at her website WendyKennar.com where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability).