Los Angeles dazzles when the sun goes down, with museums staying open late to give after-hours access to their one-of-a-kind collections and exhibitions. Whether you want to beat the crowds, experience installations in a new light, or just need evening plans, L.A. has no shortage of arts and culture to explore into the night.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Top museums open late into the evening in Los Angeles include The Broad until 8pm, the Getty Center until 9pm, LACMA until 8pm, and The Museum of Contemporary Art until 8pm on Thursdays.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll highlight over a dozen museums and their late hours so night owls and travelers with packed daytime schedules can still experience the best of L.A.’s arts scene.
Major Museums Open Late
Los Angeles is not only known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, but also for its rich cultural scene. In recent years, many major museums in the city have started to open their doors late into the night, catering to the growing number of night owls and art enthusiasts who prefer to explore the city’s cultural offerings after sunset.
This trend has provided a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the magic of these renowned institutions in a whole new light.
The Broad is one of the most popular contemporary art museums in Los Angeles. With its striking architecture and impressive collection, it has become a must-visit destination for art lovers from all over the world.
Thanks to its late-night opening hours, visitors can now immerse themselves in the world of contemporary art until 10 pm on select nights. This allows for a more intimate and contemplative experience, as the crowds thin out and the artworks take center stage.
The Getty Center, perched on a hilltop overlooking the city, is another museum that has embraced the late-night trend. With its extensive collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, it offers a captivating journey through art history.
On certain evenings, the Getty Center extends its opening hours, allowing visitors to enjoy breathtaking sunset views from its gardens and explore the galleries until 9 pm. It’s a truly magical experience that shouldn’t be missed.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, commonly known as LACMA, is renowned for its diverse collection spanning thousands of years and various cultures. With its late-night programming, LACMA has become a hub for art enthusiasts who want to engage with art in a more dynamic and interactive way.
From special exhibitions to live performances, visitors can expect a vibrant atmosphere when they visit the museum after dark.
The Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is committed to showcasing the cutting-edge works of contemporary artists. By staying open late, MOCA provides an opportunity for visitors to delve into the world of modern art at their own pace.
With thought-provoking exhibitions and innovative installations, the museum offers a unique perspective on the ever-evolving art scene.
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, set to open in Los Angeles in 2021, is dedicated to the art, science, and history of cinema. As a testament to the city’s deep connection to the film industry, this museum will surely be a haven for movie buffs and cinephiles.
With its extended opening hours, visitors will have the chance to explore the fascinating world of filmmaking late into the night.
Petersen Automotive Museum
Last but not least, the Petersen Automotive Museum celebrates the history and artistry of automobiles. With its collection of classic cars, interactive exhibits, and engaging displays, it offers a unique experience for car enthusiasts and those interested in the intersection of design and technology.
By opening late, the museum allows visitors to take a journey through automotive history when the city is less crowded and the streets are quieter.
So, whether you’re a night owl or simply looking for a different way to experience Los Angeles’ cultural scene, be sure to take advantage of the late-night openings at these major museums. It’s a chance to see their collections in a new light and create lasting memories.
University Museums Open Late
Los Angeles is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, and its museums are no exception. For those night owls who can’t get enough of art and history, several university museums in the city have extended their hours, allowing visitors to explore their collections well into the evening.
Whether you’re a student looking for a study break or a local resident wanting to experience something new, these university museums offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in art and culture after dark.
Fowler Museum at UCLA
The Fowler Museum at UCLA is one of the premier university museums in Los Angeles. Known for its diverse and extensive collection of art and artifacts from around the world, the museum offers a wide range of exhibits that highlight the cultural traditions and practices of different societies.
From ancient artifacts to contemporary art, visitors can explore the rich tapestry of human creativity. During their late-night openings, the Fowler Museum often hosts special events, such as lectures, live performances, and interactive workshops, providing a dynamic and engaging experience for visitors.
USC Fisher Museum of Art
Located on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC), the Fisher Museum of Art is another institution that opens its doors late into the night. With a focus on contemporary art, the museum showcases works by both emerging and established artists.
The Fisher Museum is committed to fostering a dialogue about the role of art in society, and its late-night openings provide an opportunity for visitors to engage with thought-provoking exhibits and participate in discussions and workshops led by artists and scholars.
Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or just curious about contemporary art, the USC Fisher Museum of Art is definitely worth a visit.
UCLA Hammer Museum
The UCLA Hammer Museum is a hub of artistic exploration and experimentation. With a focus on contemporary and modern art, the museum showcases works by both emerging and established artists, pushing the boundaries of traditional art forms.
The Hammer Museum’s late-night openings offer a chance to experience art in a unique and immersive way, with live performances, film screenings, and interactive installations. Whether you’re interested in painting, sculpture, performance art, or film, the UCLA Hammer Museum has something to offer everyone.
So, if you find yourself craving a dose of art and culture after dark, don’t worry! Los Angeles’ university museums have got you covered. With their extended hours and diverse collections, the Fowler Museum at UCLA, USC Fisher Museum of Art, and UCLA Hammer Museum provide a unique opportunity to explore the world of art and expand your horizons.
So grab a friend, or go solo, and embark on a late-night adventure through the fascinating world of art!
Specialty Museums Open Late
The Grammy Museum
For music lovers and aspiring musicians, The Grammy Museum is a must-visit. Located in downtown Los Angeles, this specialty museum not only showcases the history and evolution of music but also offers interactive exhibits and educational programs.
What sets The Grammy Museum apart is its commitment to preserving and celebrating the art of recorded music. From the early days of vinyl records to the digital age, visitors can explore the impact of music on popular culture. And the best part?
The Grammy Museum stays open late, allowing night owls to immerse themselves in the world of music even after the sun goes down.
California Science Center
For those with a passion for science, the California Science Center is a haven of knowledge and discovery. With interactive exhibits that cover a wide range of scientific disciplines, this museum is perfect for both children and adults.
From exploring the wonders of space at the Space Shuttle Endeavour exhibit to getting up close and personal with marine life at the Ecosystems exhibit, there is something for everyone. And the best part?
The California Science Center extends its opening hours, giving night owls the opportunity to delve into the fascinating world of science late into the evening.
For art enthusiasts looking for something a little different, Craft Contemporary is the place to be. This specialty museum focuses on contemporary craft and design, showcasing the work of local and international artists.
From ceramics and textiles to jewelry and furniture, Craft Contemporary celebrates the beauty and craftsmanship of handmade objects. The museum hosts rotating exhibits that explore different themes and techniques, providing visitors with a fresh and unique experience each time they visit.
And the best part? Craft Contemporary offers special late-night events, allowing night owls to appreciate the artistry and creativity of contemporary craft after regular museum hours.
Museum of Tolerance
The Museum of Tolerance offers a profound and thought-provoking experience for those seeking to learn about the history and impact of prejudice and discrimination. This museum explores various topics, including the Holocaust, human rights, and social justice, through interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations.
By encouraging visitors to confront the difficult realities of the past, the Museum of Tolerance aims to promote understanding, empathy, and respect in today’s society. And the best part? The museum extends its opening hours, providing night owls with the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations and reflections late into the night.
Tips for Making the Most of Late Night Museum Visits
Exploring museums at night can be a unique and exciting experience. If you’re a night owl and want to make the most of your late-night museum visits in Los Angeles, here are some helpful tips:
Arrive close to closing time to avoid crowds
If you prefer a more intimate and peaceful museum experience, consider arriving close to the museum’s closing time. This way, you can avoid the crowds that usually flock to popular exhibits during the day.
You’ll have more space and time to appreciate the artwork without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Plus, you might even be able to strike up a conversation with the museum staff who are more readily available during quieter hours.
See outdoor art and architecture after dark
One of the advantages of visiting museums at night is the opportunity to see outdoor art and architecture illuminated against the night sky. Many museums in Los Angeles have stunning outdoor installations that come alive with lights and shadows after dark.
Take a leisurely stroll through the museum’s outdoor spaces and enjoy the unique ambiance created by the interplay of art, architecture, and nighttime surroundings.
Attend evening events and programs
Several museums in Los Angeles organize special evening events and programs designed to enhance the night-time museum experience. These events often include live performances, music concerts, lectures, and interactive activities.
Keep an eye on the museum’s website or social media accounts to stay updated on upcoming events. Attending these evening programs can add an extra layer of excitement and entertainment to your late-night museum visit.
Dine or drink at onsite restaurants and cafes
Many museums in Los Angeles have their own onsite restaurants and cafes that offer a unique dining experience. After exploring the exhibits, take a break and indulge in a delicious meal or sip on a refreshing drink at one of these establishments.
Not only will you satisfy your hunger or quench your thirst, but you’ll also be able to soak in the museum’s ambiance and continue immersing yourself in the artistic atmosphere.
Remember, late-night museum visits offer a different perspective and a chance to experience art and culture in a whole new light. So, embrace your inner night owl and make the most of these unique opportunities to explore the museums of Los Angeles after hours!
With acclaimed institutions like LACMA, The Broad, and the Getty staying open into the night, Los Angeles offers incredible after-hours access to world-class art, culture, science, and more. By taking advantage of later hours, you can beat daytime crowds, see installations in a new light, and enjoy unique evening programming.
So next time you’re seeking inspiration or entertainment after sunset, look no further than L.A.’s exceptional museums open late. Wander illuminated sculpture gardens, marvel at masterpieces, and immerse yourself in human ingenuity – nocturnal adventures in art and culture await.