New Year’s 2011 Events at Los Angeles Museums

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No plans for New Year’s weekend yet?  Well, here are some great New Year’s events and activities at Los Angeles museums for kids and grown-ups. I’ve listed holiday hours for each museum at the end of the post.

New Year’s Eve: Most major L.A. art and cultural museums are open New Year’s Eve (Saturday, December 31, 2011) — a perfect opportunity to see more art and Pacific Standard Time (PST) exhibitions before the year ends. Some excellent PST exhibitions are closing in January.  I recommend seeing these on Saturday:  The Hammer’s Now Dig This! (closes 1/8), the Craft and Folk Art’s Golden State of Craft  (closes 1/8), and the Huntington’s The House that Sam Built (closes 1/30).

Not a PST exhibition, but definitely one not to miss is the Getty Villa’s Modern Antiquity (closes 1/16). This is a stunning show illuminating the relationship between modern works of art by Picasso, de Chirico, Léger, and Picabia, and ancient classical art. My husband and I brought our kids to see it the day after Christmas, and the extraordinary artworks on display blew us away. Although my 9 yr  old son Henry knows enough about art to be awed by the Picassos; you may want to go through the exhibition at a quick pace with younger kids, and/or break it up by going to the museum’s interactive kids space the Family Forum or a walk in the herb garden.

If you’re in the mood for a family party, the Kidspace Children’s Museum has an early way to celebrate New Year’s Eve with their Noon Year’s Eve Balloon Drop.  Arrive early to make festive party hats, noise makers and enjoy live music and dancing before the balloon drop, which is at noon sharp.

Or, if you’re up for a real grown-up party, the Golden Stag New Year’s Eve Party sounds like the place to be. Hosted by LACMA Muse, this roaring ’20s themed celebration will be held at L.A.’s legendary Park Plaza Hotel.  Dress up, sip cocktails, and dance to an 18-piece Big Band in the Grand Ballroom, and ring in the New Year with a champagne toast and fireworks display at midnight.  For you foodies, LACMA’s Rays and Stark Bar (recently touted as one of L.A.’s best restaurants) just tweeted that they’ll be offering a New Year’s Eve prix fixe menu with several savory courses like chestnut and lobster veloute (reservations).

New Year’s Day: There are lots of things to do at L0s Angeles museums on New Year’s Day (Sunday, January 1) as well.  At the Kidspace you can mark the beginning of a new year by making natural party poppers and time capsules to open next year.  For something more low-key, the Huntington and LACMA are both open Sunday.  I can’t think of a better way to spend New Year’s Day than strolling around the beautiful Huntington gardens (especially if this balmy weather continues), or enjoying a leisurely brunch at LACMA’s Rays and Stark Bar after seeing the PST exhibition California Design.

Monday, January 2: The majority of L.A.’s art and cultural museums are closed on Monday, but the Getty Villa, LACMA, and MOCA are open.  You can check-out the exhibitions I mentioned above on Monday at the Getty Villa (Modern Antiquity) and LACMA (California Design), or see MOCA’s PST exhibition Under the Black Sun  (closes 2/13).  Note that the Rose Bowl football game is on Monday this year so plan your travels accordingly.

Tuesday, January 3:  Celebrate the Chinese New Year Celebration at the Kidspace Children’s Museum Tuesday, January 3 (4:00-8:00 pm). This family festival includes storytelling about Chinese myths and folklore and a calligraphy workshop.

However you decide to spend your last weekend of 2011, I wish you a very happy, healthy, and artful New Year.  And special thanks to all my subscribers for following me on my L.A. museum adventures, and making Museum Stories’ first year such a memorable one.

Happy 2012!

Craft and Folk Art Museum: Open Saturday 12-6 pm – Closed Sunday & Monday

Fowler Museum at UCLA:  Open Saturday noon-5 pm – Closed Sunday & Monday

Getty Center Museum: Open Saturday 10 am-5:30 pm – Closed Sunday & Monday

Getty Villa Museum: Open Saturday 10 am-5 pm – Closed Sunday – Open Monday

Hammer Museum: Open Saturday 11 am-3 pm – Closed Sunday & Monday

The Huntington: Open Saturday 10:30 am-4:30 pm – Open Sunday 10:30 am-4:30 pm – Closed Monday

Kidspace Children’s Museum: Open Saturday 10 am-3 pm – Open Sunday 10 am-5 pm – Closed Monday

LACMA: Open Saturday 11 am-5 pm – Open Sunday 11 am-8 pm – Open Monday

MOCA: Open Saturday 11 am- 3 pm – Closed Sunday – Open Monday

Museum of Latin American Art: Open Saturday 11 am-5 pm – Closed Sunday & Monday

Norton Simon Museum: Open Saturday 12-4 pm – Closed Sunday & Monday

Pacific Asia Museum: Open Saturday 10 am-3 pm – Closed Sunday & Monday

Santa Monica Museum of Art:  Closed Saturday, Sunday, Monday

Skirball Center – Open Saturday 10 am-5 pm.  Closed Sunday & Monday

Zimmer Children’s Museum: Closed Saturday, Sunday, Monday


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