5 Museums—All Free This Sunday

May 14, 2012

Lummis Home; Photo from

They’re dubbed “Museums of the Arroyo.” In actuality, they are the Gamble House, Heritage Square, the Lummis Home & Garden, the Pasadena Museum of History, and the Los Angeles Police Museum. And they are all open this Sunday—free of charge.

These museums are located off the 210 and 110 freeways and several of them—Gamble House and PMH, then Heritage Square and Lummis H&G—are within walking distance of each other. Now, you only have a 4-hour window, so it may be worthwhile to check out their schedule of events and prioritize.

At Gamble House, visitors can tour the historic 1908 Greene & Greene tour de force and children can create crafts in the spacious back yard. Walking to PMH will offer the opportunity to check out their current exhibit “Contemporary Masters, Artistic Eden III,” visit the Finnish Folk Art Museum, partake in a craft workshop, and hear live classical music.

You can pop down the 110 to tour the home and garden at Lummis House, as well as see their exhibit “The Weapons of the California Wars,” which includes two cannons actually used during that period.

Photo from Victorian Tea and Dance Society website

Heritage Square will be busy with an exhibit of historic fashions in relation to the movies, costumed docents sharing their oodles of knowledge, an area where children can play with Victorian toys and dolls, woodcarving and blacksmith demonstrations, and a Victorian Tea and Dance Society event at the top of each hour.

For those looking for something more hardened, the L.A. Police Museum has an exhibit on the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short, the famous “Black Dahlia,” as well as an exhibit on Patty Hearst and one about the 1997 North Hollywood shootout. Other historical memorabilia dates all the way back to the 1800s. Kids can also get a thrill climbing into a police helicopter, trying on police gear, and getting “locked” into a real jail cell. A bonus for parents: you can snap your own free police booking photo—it’s fun, funny, and a life lesson all at the same time.

Museums of the Arroyo
Sunday, May 20th, 12-4 p.m.
Location: Heritage Square, the Gamble House, the Pasadena Museum of History, Lummis House, and the Los Angeles Police Museum
Admission: Free
For more info, visit


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