free-museum-dayIf you’ve been lacking a bit of imagination in your day to day routines recently, we have your remedy! Plan ahead for some inspiring fun and mark your calendar for the annual Museum Day Live! event sponsored by Smithsonian magazine. On Saturday, September 24th you and a guest can enjoy free admission to any of the several participating museums and historical sites.

Although Museum Day Live! is actually a nationwide event, there are several outstanding options in Orange County that are participating. All you have to do to sign up in advance is enter your email address and download your two free tickets to the museum of your choice.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of three of the most amazing museums in Orange County that you can visit for free on Museum Day Live!

Laguna Art Museum– This gorgeous museum is unique because it collects, cares for, and exhibits works exclusively done by California artists or containing subject matter that represents the culture of our beloved Golden State. The stunning cultural center was built in 1929, and after being used as a gallery for several decades became the Laguna Beach Museum of Art in 1972.

Today, the museum showcases works from its collection, special exhibits, and several rotating fantastic events including artist talks, concerts, family days, and more! Make sure to take advantage of the current exhibits’ last few days and check out the dozens of incredible pieces by the undeniably talented Peter Krasnow, as well renowned photographer Anthony Friedkin’s The Wave Portfolio.

Heritage Museum of Orange County The breathtaking cultural and natural history center in Santa Ana covers nearly 12 acres in all. The centerpiece of the museum is a historic plaza of extensive floral gardens and citrus groves that feature several buildings from the 1890’s. Among those is the Kellogg House, one of the most popular field trip destinations for students in Orange County for over 30 years, which showcases what daily life was like in the late 19th century.

Take a stroll down some of the easily accessed walking trails to find a fully operational blacksmith shop as well as a newly added traditional produce farm maintained by local high school and college students. The natural beauty and unique charm found here has made this museum a highly sought after wedding venue, and regularly hosts outstanding educational tours and events.

Catalina Island Museum– Although technically located within Los Angeles County, we just had to include the fabulous Catalina Island Museum on our list. This museum, founded in 1953, just opened a brand new state-of-the-art building in the heart of Avalon that has to be seen to be believed. The Catalina Island Museum also boasts the first museum exhibition in California dedicated to the iconic “Queen of Pinups”— Bettie Page.

Also on display, of course, is a permanent exhibit of hundreds of artifacts and photographs that bring to the life the rich history of Santa Catalina. Make this a weekend trip to remember by taking advantage of some of the other fantastic leisure and adventure activities that the island offers before catching the ferry back home!

Orange County has a rich historical and artistic culture, and we are so excited to have the opportunity to explore more of our local treasure troves! If you have questions, make sure to check out Museum Day Live!’s FAQ’s here. We hope to see you out and about!