Top 10 museum memberships in LA
Discover outstanding Los Angeles museums that offer countless benefits, reasonably priced annual memberships, and perks.
Los Angeles is home to quality art museums and a thriving contemporary art scene. In fact, Los Angeles has the most museums in the country. But also many independently run galleries and public artworks are putting fine arts into the community. Museums and galleries have a presence in every neighborhood from Venice to Downtown. As well as enriching your life with culture, museum memberships in L.A. are also a cool way to tour neighborhoods. It’s always a good idea to get to know your neighborhoods when you move to a new city.
Guests in Blueground apartments benefit from the Guest App, which offers handy local guides to steer them in the right direction from the beginning of their stay. Go beyond your neighborhood and get an insider’s look at Los Angeles’s buzzing cultural scene with a museum membership. Museums and galleries are more than just exhibition spaces. These days cultural institutions worth their salt often has events programs, talks, classes, and editorial publications. They are also housed in incredible buildings, worth a visit for the architecture alone. Museums and galleries often have stylish cafes and restaurants, where it’s cosmopolitan to hang out. And don’t forget museum stores, with curated products that can make a killer gift or memento of your visit.
With more late night-openings, the way to visit and enjoy museums and galleries is being redefined. If you’re new in town, a membership to a museum or gallery can be a great long-term investment for the year. A great way to spend a long weekend, to see exhibitions, or simply hang out. Memberships often have access to premium areas with the option to bring a guest – a great way to treat a friend. As a guide, we’ve selected 10 memberships in L.A. that are worth signing up for.
The Getty Center membership
Enjoy art and architecture at the top of Los Angeles at The Getty Center. Renowned for its permanent collections of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, it’s mostly synonymous with photography. Additionally, it is known for its lush gardens and skyline city views.
A dual membership deal is $89 per year, with:
- Unlimited free admission to the Natural History Museum, the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, and the William S. Hart Museum
- Free tickets to 3D films at NHM and the La Brea Tar Pits
- Invitations to Member Only events throughout the year
- Free subscription to NHM’s magazine, the Naturalist, and the E-Newsletter
- Access to the Members Lounge
Alternatively, if you find yourself wanting to give back in a bigger way, consider becoming a Getty Center volunteer.
Centrally located between the beach and downtown Los Angeles, LACMA features artwork from ancient to contemporary. The largest art museum in the western United States, it has a collection of over 135,000 objects. The artworks span over 6,000 years of art history from new and unexpected points of view.
Individual membership is $60 per year, with:
- One year of free admission to LACMA for one adult
- Member previews of select exhibitions before they open to the public
- Invitation to one of LACMA’s popular Art 101 classes per year
- Discounts on more than 300 films, concerts, lectures, and classes
The Museum of Contemporary Art is the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles, dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. A hot-bed of compelling collections is presented in ground-breaking, historically-significant exhibitions. It’s located in Downtown L.A., an area known for its arts district and renovated industrial buildings.
A contributing membership costs $200 per year, with:
- Free admission for four people
- Purchase up to four discounted admission tickets per visit
- Skip the box office line and check-in at the lobby
- Quarterly Insiders Tour, including the history and architecture of MOCA
- Reciprocal benefits through the Museum Alliance Reciprocal Program (MARP) including SFMOMA, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Guggenheim
The Griffith Observatory membership
The most visited public observatory in the world, The Griffith Observatory sits on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood. The breathtaking views take you across the Los Angeles Basin, Downtown, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Known as the most iconic building in the city, it’s even popped up in movie classics like The Terminator.
The plant membership costs $50 per year, with:
- Member-only access to advance reservations (up to eight people) for the Samuel Oschin Planetarium shows
- Guaranteed parking with planetarium show reservation
- “Speed of Light Access” line with seating in South Gallery before planetarium shows
- One-year subscription to the Griffith Observer magazine and FOTO newsletter Update
- 10% discount at the Café at the End of the Universe and at the Stellar Emporium
The Huntington membership
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is collections-based attraction. The art gallery currently displays approximately 1,200 objects of European art from the 15th to the early 20th century. Once the house of Henry E. Huntington (1850–1927), the Beaux-Arts mansion – built by architects Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey – is known as one of the great Gilded Age residences of America.
The Contributor membership is $249 per year, with:
- One year of free admission for up to two named adult cardholders
- Discounts on select lectures and classes
- Members’ Summer Evenings
- Early entry to the Gardens (8 a.m.) Saturday & Sunday
- 20% discount at the Huntington Store
California Science Centre membership
The Science Centre is a place to explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibitions, live demonstrations, and inspiring films. The most well-known exhibit on display is the Endeavor Space Shuttle. The center-added attractions include a High Wire Bicycle and Ecology Cliff Climb. And their popular program of IMAX films is projected onto a 7-story tall, 90-foot widescreen.
An Explorer Membership is $65, with:
- 4 free IMAX films per Member
- 2 free parking vouchers – Please allow 14 business days for the mailing of vouchers.
- 4 free High-Wire Bicycle Rides or Ecology Cliff Climbs per Member
- Free admission to more than 350 other science centers and museums nationwide
- Invitations to Members-only exhibit and IMAX viewings
The Hammer Museum membership
The Hammer Museum is a progressive exhibition space and cultural center, known for its free admissions and public art programs – making contemporary art accessible. Investing in membership is also investing support in the museum’s mission to ‘champion the art and artists that illuminate our lives and build a more just world’.
The participate membership costs $100 per year, with:
- Free entry to opening receptions
- Exclusive members-only events
- Monthly membership e-newsletter
- Priority seating at public programs
- Reciprocal benefits at 77 university art museums
Norton Simon Museum membership
Situated in the Pasadena district, the Norton Simon art museum is home to a remarkable collection of artworks from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Highlights of the collection include paintings by Pablo Picasso and sculptures by Edgar Degas. The museum also hosts lectures on topics like ‘Matisse and his Models’. Along with film screenings and performing arts performances, with the bonus of a sculpture garden to explore.
The Participating Membership costs $85, with:
- Free unlimited admission for two adults
- Free audio tour rental for two
- 20% discount on class registration
- 10% discount in the Garden Café
- Subscription to the quarterly Member Newsletter
The Autry Museum membership
The Autry explores an inclusive history of the American West through exhibitions and events. They also host drop-in events, festivals, lectures, and workshops. The world-class gallery space features Native American art and cultural materials – one of the large collections of Native American materials in the United States
The Individual Membership costs $55, with:
- Unlimited free museum admission
- Free admission to select public programs and special events, including Sizzling Summer Nights and American Indian Arts Marketplace
- Discounted price to ticketed events and performances
- Opportunity to become a volunteer or docent
The Broad Museum membership
A contemporary art museum in Downtown L.A., known for housing the world’s most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art. General admission to The Broad is free for rotating exhibitions and public artworks. They also have a mobile app and audio tours, alongside free public tours. The Otium, a contemporary restaurant with New Mexican cuisine, can be found onsite for informal dining.
This gallery is free! Without a membership, you can enjoy:
- General admission tickets are timed and available every half hour, up until one hour before the museum closes
- Separate signup admission to Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room —The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013
- Download the free app featuring “Artists-on-Artists” audio tours