Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Treat Yourself to a Free Museum Experience

Photo By The Eyes Have It!
If you live in Santa Ana, chances are you've heard of the "free day" when residents can visit the Bowers Museum on the third Tuesday of every month (bring proof of residency y'all).

For those of us who don't live in Santa Ana, Bowers also offers "Target Free First Sundays" when they allow access to the museum as well as Kidseum, which is practically next door. The only thing you need to pay for is parking, but even that's only two dollars.

I had the opportunity to go this past Sunday with the parents and I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people taking advantage of access to one of the most most beautiful museums I've ever visited.

There are activities in the courtyard for those not into history: from being taught the Macarena (no this wasn't the 90s), to Native Americans performing cermonial dances. People sat or stood watching, little kids ran up and down the staircase, and a lot of us went inside to view the latest exhibits or re-visit the permanent ones.

It's not a big space, I think we went through it in about two hours - my dad stopping to read about each piece on display, my mom breezing through it, only stopping at anything she found pretty. They were both fascinated with the Native Americans in California gallery and we all loved the California rancheros exhibit, with saddles, dresses, and other artifacts from the 1800s when Orange County was sliced up in big plots of land among some of the most powerful families in California history, before and after it became the United States.

I'm currently obsessed with 19th century Mexican history (don't ask) so wandering the grounds that's designed like a rancho or hacienda of that era is a thrill for me. I'd highly recommend an outing some Sunday when the kids are already bored of summer, or you're tired of visiting the same places over and over again.

For more information visit  http://www.bowers.org/
My favorite view (photo by Trader Chris)

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