Curiosity is a crucial element in the development of happy and healthy kids. Luckily there are plenty of ways to nurture those busy minds. One of our faves is a trip to the museum. Children's museums are an obvious stop for fun, but history, art, and specialty museums, zoos and aquariums still offer a wealth of cultural and educational opportunities for kids of all ages.
Curating all those fantastic experiences in one museum does come at a steep cost, and the resulting admission prices can be a barrier for many families. Thankfully, there's a program you may not be familiar with that offers free or very low-cost admission to 1,200 museums across the country for families with a Cal Fresh / SNAP EBT card: Museums for All.
Museums for All partners with museums nationwide to provide families receiving food assistance free or reduced admission - the max admission under Museums for All is $3.
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This unique program allows all families to visit and enjoy museums, along with zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums, historic sites, and much more. All you have to do is present a photo ID and your EBT card. Since the program launched in 2014, more than 8 million visitors nationwide have visited 1,200 museums using Museums for All.
Imagine spending the day exploring world-renowned museums like the Boston Children's Museum, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, or the Exploratorium in San Francisco without opening your wallet.
Publisher's Note: Use the links below to find out more about each museum, botanic garden and zoo. While some locations are worthy of all day experience some may only take an hour or two to explore. Hours and days open vary by location so be sure to plan ahead. Depending on the location and your kids ages you may want to plan to visit more than one as some museums tend to be close together. You will find quite a diverse offering of museums, botanical gardens and zoos participating in this program. You'll find over 40 participating locations in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Orange County alone.
Local Participating Location
Los Angeles County Participating Museums
- Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles
- Santa Monica History Museum
- Cayton Children's Museum, Santa Monica
- La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, Los Angeles
- Museum of Neon Art - MONA, Glendale
- Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
- Hermosa Beach Historical Society & Museum
- Japanese American National Museum - JANM, Los Angeles
- The African American Firefighter Museum, Los Angeles
- Kidspace Children's Museum, Pasadena
- Southern California Children's Museum, Pasadena
- Agape Children's Museum, Long Beach
- Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach
- The Children's Museum at La Habra
- American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona
- Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, Claremont
- California Botanic Garden, Claremont
Ventura County Participating Museums
Santa Barbara County Participating Museums
- Casa del Herrero, Montecito
- Ganna Walska Lotusland, Santa Barbara
- Santa Barbara Zoo
- Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
- MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, Santa Barbara
- Santa Barbara Historical Museum
- Casas de la Guerra, Santa Barbara
- Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara
- El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park
- Santa Barbara Museum of Art
- Old Mission Santa Barbara
- Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
- The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Museum of Sensory & Movement Experiences, Santa Barbara
- Art, Design & Architecture Museum, Santa Barbara
- Goleta Valley Historical Society, Stewards of Rancho La Patera & Stow House
- Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Parks-Janeway Carriage House
- Elverhøj Museum of History & Art, Solvang
- Wildling Museum of Art and Nature, Solvang
Orange County Participating Museums
- Muzeo Museum and Cultural Center, Anaheim
- Orange County Children's Museum, Fountain Valley
- Sherman Library & Gardens, Corona Del Mar
- Pretend City Children's Museum, Irvine
Learn more about the Museums for All program and find more participating museums and attractions nearby and across the U.S. - get ready for a day filled with adventure, learning, and time together.
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Find your family fun exploring with your kids!