Museums for Free: MOTA Day

May 13, 2013
The Gamble House

The Gamble House

It’s one of our favorite days of the year: MOTA.

Five museums for free. One day. Museums of the Arroyo Day, Sunday, May 19th.

Besides free access to the Gamble House, Heritage Square, the Los Angeles Police Museum, the Lummis Home & Garden, and our own Pasadena Museum of History—which is a whopping gift in and of itself—each location will have a variety of music, storytelling, art, crafts, and entertainment.

The Gamble House is offering tours of this 1908 Arts and Crafts treasure and kids can do crafts in their lovely backyard.

Heritage Square will observe the Spanish American War by having a “live” encampment, and there will be woodcarving demonstrations and traditional dancing. Children can play with Victorian toys, do crafts, and learn about plants and flowers in the Ford House Kitchen garden.


The L.A. Police Museum features private collections and historical memorabilia dating back to the 1800s, including the newly constructed vehicle shelter and a restored 1955 paddy wagon. Kids can clamor into a police helicopter, try on gear, and get “locked” into a real jail cell, while parents can snap free police booking photos (a family keepsake!). Attendees can also tour the current exhibit, “Gangster Squad,” as well as the permanent exhibits: Onion Field murders, the Patty Hearst kidnapping, and the 1997 North Hollywood Shootout.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The Lummis Home and Garden will be open for self-guided tours and historian Dennis Harbach will use a newly developed computer app to be able to answer such burning questions as “Did my grandmother dance the fandango with Lummis or Rudolf Valentino in this place?” From 1897-1928 the Lummis Home was a “place to see and be seen” for “visiting and local dignitaries, artists, and controversial public figures.”

Photo courtesy of Pasadena Museum of History

Photo courtesy of Pasadena Museum of History

Pasadena Museum of History is offering mini-tours of the newly remodeled Fenyes Mansion and the Finnish Folk Museum, which is housed in a replica of a 19th century Finnish farmhouse. Pasadena Society of Artists will be displaying, selling, and creating works during the afternoon. Don’t miss the fantastic I Do! I Do! Pasadena Ties the Knot exhibit and the juried art exhibition Relationships. Kids can take home three different art projects involving a rain stick, a Japanese brush painting, and a family colla. Pie ‘n Burger (celebrating its 50th anniversary) will be on site with their food truck, ready to satisfy hungry museum goers.

Museums of the Arroyo Day
Sunday, May 19th, noon-5 p.m.
Free of charge
For complete info including parking, shuttles, metro, etc., visit

Hale House, Heritage Square Museum

Hale House, Heritage Square Museum

1 Response for “Museums for Free: MOTA Day”

  1. Scott Piotrowski says:

    Unfortunately missing is the Southwest Museum from the list. Why? Because the rats that infest the Autry National Center have closed it. So the pride of the Arroyo – Los Angeles’ oldest museum – is closed not just on Museums of the Arroyo Day but year-round. Way to go Jackie! Good job stealing from not only Highland Park and Mount Washington but all of Los Angeles!



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