Mae Mei's Free Adventure's!

Hello Everyone,

I am Mae Mei, Leanna’s proud mom.  During the pandemic, Leanna reached out to customers through social media, PopShop Live, and IG Live art gallery previews. With your loyal support, Leanna Lin’s Wonderland managed to survive and thrive. My sincere thanks for keeping her dream alive.

I have been working at Leanna Lin’s Wonderland since it’s inception in July 2010. After my retirement, the shop allowed me a creative outlet to stay socially active and sane. Once the lockdown in March 2020 happened, I stopped working at Leanna’s. I began working just occasionally as needed. I miss everyone very much, so if you see me, stop in to say “Hi”.

I enjoy reading, gardening, nature walks, art, culture, live theater, DIY, recycling, all things vintage, and children. I especially love my 7-9 hours of blissful nightly sleep to recharge and refresh.  

Being frugal comes natural for me, so Leanna thought it would be cool for me to write and tell you about some of the free activities I enjoy. After such a long timeout, I have been rediscovering the serenity of botanic gardens and art museums. Some are always free, and some offer a free day each month. The only drawback is planning ahead to make advance online reservations, but it's totally worth it for the experience. Enjoy!


{ Tonnie and I at the San Diego Botanic Gardens } 


Please check out their websites for dates to get the monthly free tickets; especially for the first 3 gardens below (some tickets gone within minutes).  


Botanic gardens (in no particular order):   

The Huntington / Free on the 1st Thursday of each month (must secure ticket in advance).

The Arboretum / Free on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (must secure ticket in advance).

Descanso Gardens / Free on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (must secure ticket in advance).

South Coast Botanic Garden / Free on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (must secure ticket in advance). 

California Botanic Garden / There are 4 free days a year (9/9/21 and 11/26/21 remaining).

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden / Senior Free days every 3rd Wednesday during even months (no ticket needed). Dog friendly every day!

Ventura Botanic Gardens / Free weekly Fridays & certain holidays (no ticket needed).

Gardens of the World / Free (no ticket needed).

Arlington Garden / Free (no ticket needed – small gem).  Dog friendly!            


 { Tonnie and our grandkids at the Outdoor Art: Civic Center Park in Newport Beach }


Art and cultural museums (in no particular order): 

LACMANexGenLA / Free membership youth program available (each child + 1 guest can visit free anytime). 

LACMA / Free on weekdays after 3pm for LA residents & free on the 1st Tuesday of each month (must secure ticket in advance).

The Broad / Free (must secure ticket in advance).

MOCA  / Free (must secure ticket in advance).

Getty Museums / Free (must secure ticket in advance).

Autry Museum / Free every 2nd Tuesday of each month (no ticket needed).

Skirball Cultural Center / Free every Thursday (must secure ticket in advance).

Hilbert Museum / Free (no ticket needed – small gem).

Forest Lawn Museum / Free (no ticket needed - small gem).

Natural History Museum / Free on the 1st Tuesday of each month (must secure ticket in advance).

California Science Center / Free except special exhibit and IMAX (must secure ticket in advance).

California African American Museum / Free (must secure ticket in advance).

Japanese American Museum / Free every Thursday (must secure ticket in advance).

Holocaust Museum LA / Free for CA residents (must secure ticket in advance).

Wende Museum / Free (no ticket needed).

Craft in America / Free (no ticket needed).

Maloof Foundation / Free (no ticket needed).

Outdoor Art: Civic Center Park / Free (no ticket needed). Dog friendly and there is a dog park here too!


I only mention locations which have reopened and continue to offer free days. There are several more places of interest (prior to the pandemic) that may open up free days again when more funding allows. Some gardens and museums are outside of LA, but worth the time to explore.  

You can easily do your own online search for “Free Happenings in LA” and “Free museum days”. My hope is this list saves you time and will open your eyes to what is available in and near our fair city.     

Congrats to those who made it through 2020 stronger, and with a new respect and kindness for everyone in our new normal. 

Take care, stay safe, and remain true to yourself!!!

Mae Mei