Free Admission to Museums of the Arroyo Day Sunday May 19!

Free Admission to Museums of the Arroyo Day Sunday May 19!

Got your watch? Get set. Go! You’ve got five hours to see five museums for FREE!

The museums are all devoted to the art, architecture and history of the Arroyo Seco area of Los Angeles. On Museums of the Arroyo (MOTA) Day, these five museums in Pasadena and Highland Park are open for FREE— all on one day! See the Gamble House, Heritage Square, Lummis House & Garden Los Angeles Police Museum, and Pasadena Museum of History, which includes the Feynes Mansion and the Finish Folk Art Museum.

Free L.A. Harbor Tours Saturday May 18!

Free L.A. Harbor Tours Saturday May 18!

Launch into your weekend with a FREE hour-long boat tour of L.A. Harbor!

This seaworthy free thing to do in L.A. happens Saturday, May 18 when the Port of Los Angeles offers free narrated boat tours of one of the nation’s busiest harbors. Get in line early for the free tours, offered on the hour 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The free fun tours leave from Berth 43, 2293 Miner St., San Pedro, next to the S.S. Lane Victory.

Free Admission to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens, Descanso & More May 10!

Free Admission to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens, Descanso & More May 10!

For  a free thing to do in Los Angeles this Friday, May 10, smell the flowers at a botanic garden for National Public Gardens Day!

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens (RSABG) and other L.A.-area gardens are participating in this annual free admssion event. Visit  RSABG, the  largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California native plants. Admission to its 86 acres in Claremont is usually $8 for adults., so free entry is a real treat!

Free Open House at L.A.’s Theatricum Botanicum Saturday May 4

For a spectacular free thing do in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 4, celebrate the 40th anniversary one of L.A.’s almost hidden gems — the Theatricum Botanicum!

Tucked away in beautiful Topanga Canyon, the Theatricum Botanicium will celebrate its anniversary with an open house 11 am – 5pm, featuring a full day of food, games, theater and fun for the whole family.

Will Geer Founder of Theatricum BotanicumIt’s not just any old celebration! There are several free mini-classes in juggling, theater games, improv, Elizabethan dance, stage combat and fencing. There will be story telling, garden tours and a photo gallery displaying archival photos.

The day includes a sneak peek of the upcoming five-play summer repertory season and comedy improv from Off the Grid at 3 pm.

This special place owes its vibrant theatrical legacy to actor Will Geer.  Blacklisted during the McCarthy Era, Geer set up a homestead here, opened a theatre for blacklisted actors and folks singers and cultivated a garden so he and his wife could surive by selling fruits and vegetables. Finding successful work as the Grandpa character on the popular TV series The Waltons, Geer was able to further his theatrical reach by forming the non-profit The Will Geer Theatrical Boticanicum.

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*Disclosure: No compensation was received in exchange for this post.

Free L.A.Times Book Festival April 20 – 21!

Open your mind, not your wallet (unless you buy books!) at the free admission Los Angeles Times Festival of Books April 20 -21! The book fest has always been one of my favorite places to go for free fun and to peruse and buy books from every genre.

As the largest public literary event in North America, the free book festival hosts 400 award-winning and celebrity authors and chefs, local musicians, political experts and entertainers.  Note: A favorite local comic artist and political commentator Lalo Alcaraz (syndicated comic strip “La Cucaracha”) will be I will be at the fest on Saturday at the KPFK Booth #210 at noon and at the USC Civic Engagement Booth at 3pm for a Kids MiniWorkshop.

Lalo AlcarazOther celebrity appearances include Paul Anka, Margaret Atwood, Brian Boitano, Carol Burnett, Cassandra Clare, Susan Feniger, “Iron Chef” Alex Guarnaschelli, beloved children’s author Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket), Jon Klassen, Ludo Lefebvre, Demetri Martin, Heather McDonald, Danica McKellar, Aida Mollenkamp, Debbie Reynolds, Molly Ringwald, John Scalzi, Tom Sizemore and Nia Vardalos.

 With dozens of family and kid-friendly events it’s one of the best free admission entertainment values in Southern California. The Target Children’s Free L.A. Times Festival of Books
Stage is the place for families with kids to hang out. Each day offers a full schedule of children’s and young adult authors plus new musical acts.

Not sure what you want to do at the free book fest besides browsing the booths? Check the schedule here before you go!

For transportation to the festival, consider leaving your car at home, especially on Sunday with CicLAvia taking place. Instead, take advantage of the Metro Expo Line’s new Jefferson/USC station, directly across from the event’s main entrance. Metro Riders who present a valid TAP card at the fest save 10% official 2013 Festival of Books merchandise.

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*Disclosure: No compensation was received in exchange for this post.

Traverse a Car Free L.A. at CicLAvia Sunday April 21!

If you ever wanted travel down L.A. streets car free, Sunday April 21 is the day to do it! CicLAvia offers the chance to walk, run, skateboard, cycle from the Pacific Ocean in Venice to El Pueblo in the heart of downtown.

A full 15 miles filled with pedestrians and pedal pushers enjoying the streets without the traffic congestion. In fact, no cars at all! This family-friendly free admission fun follows Venice Blvd. from Venice Beach, through Culver City and Mid-City connecting to Downtown L.A. via Alvarado, 7th and Main. CicLAvia is all about non-motorized transportation so leave the minibikes at home.

Want to share the free fun? Meet up with other bicycle enthusiasts at Feeder Rides where a group of people meet up and ride to CicLAvia route together. Other free events include the free Motor Avenue Bikefest and Westside WalkLAvia.

Live Free!

*Disclosure: No compensation was received in exchange for this post.

Celebrate L.A. Heritage Day April 14 with Dozens of Free Fun Things to Do!

If you think Los Angeles has no history, then think again at the FREE L.A. Heritage Day this Sunday, April 14 at the place where the city began. That would be at El Pueblo Historical Monument where the marketplace is known as Olvera Street, right across from Union Station.

Discover L.A.’s rich history with free tours, free museum admission and free children’s activities, 11am – 4pm. Learn about the legacy of Los Angeles through it’s people — the indigenous Native American tribes and Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, Italian and African immigrants.

Chinese American Museum

From the Chinese American Museum in L.A.

Much of the day’s activities takes place inside the historic Pico House, featured above, as well as at the Plaza at El Pueblo Historical Monument, which commemorates the birthplace of the City of Angeles in 1781. Special tours of Olvera Street, Avila Adobe, Chinese American Museum, and Plaza Firehouse Museum will be available, as well as the newly opened América Tropical Interpretive Center.

Instead of driving to the L.A. Heritage event, consider taking the Metro and admire the historic cars on display from various museums, including the Petersen Automotive Museum. You can take the train or the the Metro Red, Purple, or Gold Lines to Union Station and walk across Alameda Street to El Pueblo Historical Monument.

Live Free!

*Disclosure: No compensation was received in exchange for this post.

L.A. Puppet Festival 2013 Free Puppetry Events!

Enjoy the first Puppet Festival in Los Angeles during April 2013 with several free puppetry events! L.A., still the hot seat of the entertainment industry, has a unique history of innovative pupptery arts so the L.A. Puppet Festival is a natural for this town. And these events are not all for kids!

Here’s a list of seven free fun things to do during the month of the L.A. Puppet Festival:

A Turnabout Puppet Theatre Lecture April 20, 2pm: Who knew that Hollywood’s gay culture was tied up in strings? This Los Angeles Public Library lecture on the Yale Puppeteers and Turnabout Theatre will turn your ideas about puppetry upside down! Hear about the trio of “marionette maestros who who illuminated early gay culture and changed the course of American puppetry.” Plus images of the cabaret theatre from the LAPL collection.

Snakes R Us” – Art & Craft of Shadow Theater, April 20 2pm: Participants at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony present their work in shadow puppet theatre with a performance at 2:30pm.
Change the World free puppet event
Change the World, a Shadow Puppet Performance, April 20, 7 – 9pm: A family-friendly overhead projector shadow show along with a free shadow puppet workshop conducted by director Leslie K. Gray at The Mercado La Paloma. The focus is about possible ‘fracking’ projects in local neighborhoods.

Awesome Puppet Films & Filmmakers, April 23, 8pm (doors open at 7:30pm): Film shorts offered by the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry / Handmade Puppet Dreams has mature humor and features a Victorian horror story. Recommended for ages 12+.

Sneak Peek: A visit to International Puppetry Museum, April 23 & 24, 10:15am – 5pm: Perfect for kids. Tour the space, see the latest exhibit.

Puppetry Potpourri by Puppet School at The Skirball Center, April 24, 7:30 -9:30pm: For older kids & adults, this Puppetry School Open House showcases different types of puppetry arts that you can take classes in. Only the first people to enroll get to experience these wonderful two hours of puppetry arts demonstrations from Muppet-style to theatre style to writing puppet shows and puppet making.

Free Million Puppet March

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The Million Puppet March, April 28, 11am:L.A.’s largest puppet parade promenades around Santa Monica’s Promenade. Bring your own puppets or create new ones at the puppet making tables 10 – 11am. The parade leads the way to mont-long fest’s closing ceremonies.

Even though Bob Baker Marionette Theater is not free, we cannot leave this L.A. icon out of the mix. Bob Baker Marionnettes have entertained thousands of little and big Angelenos and his shows are not to be missed. On April 13, the theater offers a special Puppet Festival performance called “Pulling Strings & Funny Things” featuring Lloyd the Tap Dancing Toad! Tickets are $10. Ongoing is “Something to Crow About,” the theater’s latest show. Tix are $15.

Live Free!

*Disclosure: No compensation was received in exchange for this post.

Free Admission Thursday to Top L.A. Museums!

Sure, you’ve heard of Free Fridays, but what about all the great L.A. museums that have FREE admission on Thursdays?

On Thursday, March 28, three Los Angeles area museums are open for free after 5pm:  the Japanese American National Museum,the Long Beach Museum of Art and MOCA at Grand Avenue are all open from 5 to 8pm.

Two museums that regularly charge admission are also free all day on Thursdays: the UCLA Hammer Museum is open 11am to 8pm and the Skirball Cultural Center is open noon to 5pm. Be sure to check out the Skirball’s new “Exodus Steps” interactive art installation. A great opportunity for kids to to experience art and culture.

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*Disclosure: No compensation was received in exchange for this post.

Free Admission to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Saturday, March 23!

A rare free treat is being offered Saturday, March 23 — FREE admission to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont! The largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants, this Los Angeles-area gem is holding a Spring Open House 8am – 5pm with plenty of free things to do.

Caifornia Poppy

Make the most of the garden’s open hours to explore its wondrous 86 acres of California botanic bounty. Take advantage of the two free guided walking tours at 11am and 1pm with RSABG nature interpreters. The walks continue through June but are only free with the regular admission price.

Stop by the RSABG Gallery 10am – 4pm to see “”Where They Grow Wild,” an exclusive display of original artworks from the garden’s archival collections, complementing the “When They Were Wild” collaborative exhibition at The Huntingon and The Theodore Payne Foundation.

The open house includes complimentary refreshments and free prize drawings at the California Garden Gift Shop.

Regular admission to the California native garden is $8 adults; $6 seniors and students; $4 children 3-12.

Live Free!

*Disclosure: No compensation was received in exchange for this post.