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Museums offer free admission for active-duty military families this summer

May 24, 2011 | 10:49 am

Flag Museums around the country are offering free admission to active-duty military families this summer in an initiative led by the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families, an organization to support families of military personnel. 

The free period begins Monday, which is Memorial Day, and ends Labor Day, Sept. 5. This is the second year for the Blue Star Museum program, which features more than 1,300 museums around the country, including more than 500 museums new to the program this year.

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman helped to inaugurate this year's Blue Star Museums program at an event in San Diego on Monday.

Active-duty personnel need to show valid military ID, which will give free access to up to five additional immediate family members. Active duty National Guard and Reserve members also are eligible.

Among the participating institutions are the National Air and Space Museum and other Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. You can find a list of museums in your state using the NEA's interactive map. Here's a list of participating museums in the L.A. and San Diego areas.

L.A. area

Autry National Center (Los Angeles)
Carnegie Art Museum (Oxnard)
The Children's Museum at La Habra (La Habra)
Chinese American Museum (Los Angeles)
Columbia Memorial Space Center (Downey)
Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum (Santa Ana)
The Grammy Museum at LA LIVE (Los Angeles)
Gull Wings Children's Museum (Oxnard)
Hammer Museum (Los Angeles)
The J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles)
Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles)
Laguna Art Museum (Laguna Beach)
Leonis Adobe Museum (Calabasas)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles)
Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach)
Museum of Ventura County (Ventura)
Newport Harbor Nautical Museum/ExplorOcean (Newport Beach)
National Training Center & 11th Cavalry Regiment Museum (Fort Irwin)
Orange County Museum of Art (Newport Beach)
Pacific Asia Museum (Pasadena)
Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (Long Beach)
Palm Springs Art Museum (Palm Springs)
Pasadena Museum of History (Pasadena)
Placentia Founders Society (Placentia)
Point Fermin Lighthouse (San Pedro)
Pretend City Children's Museum (Irvine)
Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch & Gardens (Long Beach)
Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden (Claremont)
Reagan Ranch Center (Santa Barbara)
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (Santa Barbara)
Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (Santa Barbara)
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium (Santa Monica)
Simi Valley Historical Society & Museum (Simi Valley)
Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library (Burbank)
Southern California Medical Museum (Riverside)
Ventura County Maritime Museum (Oxnard)
The Zimmer Children's Museum (Los Angeles)

San Diego area

California Surf Museum (Oceanside)
Escondido History Center (Escondido)
Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum (San Diego)
Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation (San Diego)
Japanese Friendship Garden (San Diego)
Lux Art Institute (Encinitas)
Mingei International Museum (San Diego)
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (San Diego and La Jolla)
Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego)
Oceanside Museum of Art (Oceanside)
San Diego Archaeological Center (Escondido)
San Diego Botanic Garden (Encinitas)
San Diego Children's Discovery Museum (Escondido)
San Diego Chinese Historical Museum (San Diego)
San Diego Hall of Champions (San Diego)
San Diego History Center (San Diego)
The San Diego Museum of Art (San Diego)
San Diego Museum of Man (San Diego)
Timken Museum of Art (San Diego)
Veteran's Museum and Memorial Center (San Diego)
Visions Art Museum: Contemporary Quilts + Textiles (San Diego)


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-- David Ng

Photo credit (top): Oli Scarff / Getty Images

Photo (bottom): The Getty Center in Brentwood. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times