Check Out These Free or Cheap Things to Do in Los Angeles

Want to explore LA but don't want to spend a lot of money? No worries — there's plenty of fun things to do in Los Angeles that cost next to nothing.

67 photos
Gary Leonard
The final, oh-so-mega open streets happening of the year will take place on Sunday, Dec. 8 as CicLAvia visits The Valley. It's free, so show with your bikes, your skates, or simply a desire to stroll along several blocks of Canoga Park, Winnetka, and Reseda.
Gary Leonard
The final, oh-so-mega open streets happening of the year will take place on Sunday, Dec. 8 as CicLAvia visits The Valley. It's free, so show with your bikes, your skates, or simply a desire to stroll along several blocks of Canoga Park, Winnetka, and Reseda.
Getty Image
One of the most venerable of the California holiday spectaculars sails from Dec. 18-22, 2019. It's free to see.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
The Broad, a Downtown Los Angeles Museum that opened in September 2015, offers stunning displays of contemporary art at no cost.The Broad's free price and cutting edge displays, however, bring with them high demand. Tickets are available a month ahead of time and often sell out. Visitors are welcomed to join the standby line, but this could very well come with a two or three hour wait. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images
The Griffith Observatory is a great place to explore the stars without breaking the bank. The observatory offers free public telescopes that can be used whenever it's open and the skies are clear. It also hosts "star parties" one Saturday a month, where volunteers from several local astronomy organization's bring their equipment and their knowledge to the public. Observatory visitors can also stop by the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon to enjoy free hourly programs. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Scott Ebright
The oldest commercial building in Los Angeles, the Bradbury Building is famous for its breathtaking Victorian-era design. Visit to get a chance to look at this architectural wonder for free.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
In Los Angeles, your backyard can be your museum. Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles provides a free online database of the city's murals and where to find them. Check it out to see where in the city your love for art can take you. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
One of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles, Philippe’s is famous for its French Dip sandwiches and its old-school atmosphere, but the best part is that it’s hard to walk out paying more than $10 for your meal. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images
Grand Central Market is a great way to see the many different culinary gems that Downtown Los Angeles has to offer. The historic market features vendors of every type of food you can imagine. The food ranges in price, but the atmosphere and wonderful smells are free. On Thursdays, the venue also hosts a free game night. n(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
The Republic of Korea gifted this beautifully embellished bell to Los Angeles in 1976 to mark a friendship between the two countries and honor veterans of the Korean War. The bell is 12 feet tall, rests within a pagoda-like structure and overlooks the Los Angeles Harbor. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Tickets to go see the “The Price is Right” are free if you register for them ahead of time. Even better— contestants on the show are chosen from the television audience, meaning that you might get more than just free entertainment from going to watch, you could even come into some cash. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Olvera Street is a vibrant Mexican Marketplace in Downtown Los Angeles. Visitors can take a free tour of the historic area through the organization Las Angelitas del Pueblo. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
At the California Science Center, you can get educated on everything from marine life to space technology without breaking the bank. Admission is free and the museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images
While buying anything at popular shopping area The Grove is far from free or cheap, it’s still a fun place to poke around even if it’s out of your budget range. You can window shop at some lavish stores or even try to catch the filming of “Extra,” which is recorded in the area. n (Photo by Rochelle Brodin/Getty Images for Simply Stylist)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
You can get up close and personal with jelly fish, sharks and more at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, located in San Pedro, right by the Port of Los Angeles. The suggested donation is $5 for adults and $1 for children. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Getty Images
It's the glitter-iest, pay-nothing-est party in the Inland Empire, and it is set to shimmer beginning on the day after Thanksgiving with a big flip-the-switch ceremony. The 5,000,000 lights will glow right through Jan. 5, 2020.
Union Station
The train-iest destination in all of SoCaland is about to get mighty festive, thanks to a series of free-to-see concerts. Four select nights are coming up, with the final evening taking place on Dec. 20. Live music, cocoa bars, and marshmallow-eating contests are on the get-merry schedule.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
This Los Angeles landmark is a great place to catch an amazing view, grab a bite to eat or just people watch. The attractions at the pier, like the famous ferris wheel, aren’t free, but it’s still a great place to kick back and enjoy the beach weather no matter what you decide to do there. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images
It’s not too often you can get your hands on fancy coffee for free, but Los Angeles’ Counter Culture Coffee Training Center — located at 1601 Griffith Park Blvd. — offers public coffee tastings at no cost every Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Patrons at the J. Paul Getty Museum, located in West Los Angeles, can check out art from across the world and spanning back to Medieval Times. Tickets are free, but parking costs $15 or $10 after 3 p.m.(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Once a month, Channel 101 hosts screenings of short pilot episodes at the Downtown Independent. The best part? The viewers get to decide if the show lives or dies, giving you the chance to “sit in the chair of the fat network exec,” according to Channel 101’s website. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Audi
The Upright Citizens Brigade is famous for hosting both well-known and up-and-coming comics, so it’s surprising that most of their shows cost between $5 and $7. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Audi)
Jesse Grant/Getty Images
Filled with neon lights, stores and eateries, Universal CityWalk is a lively place to wander around and pass the time. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images For Interscope Records)
Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images
Many East Los Angeles music venues, such as the Echo and the Satellite, host free residency shows on Monday night, giving you a chance to see up-and-coming bands without so much as reaching into your wallet. (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images
"Drawing from the Masters" is a free art class offered at the Getty Center where guest artists will teach you how to draw everything from landscape to fashion. The classes, which are open to artists of all skill levels, are offered the first and third Sundays of each month. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Few know that the Hollywood Bowl lets visitors in for free on summer mornings to watch performers rehearse. This is a great way to get a free concert from some of LA’s best — like the Los Angeles Philharmonic. You’ll have to call ahead of time to find out the rehearsal schedule. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS Radio Inc.)
David McNew/Getty Images
Even if you aren’t the most coordinated person in the world, just watching the skaters at Venice Beach Skate Park is entertainment and certainly helps to get you into the vibe of the area. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens
At this center, you can relax in the meditation gardens or clear your head by walking along a labyrinth. Admission is free.
Alex Vertikoff
Many of the museums in the city offer free museum days once a month. You can get into the Los Angeles County Museum of Art at no cost the second Tuesday of every month or the Japanese American National Museum the third Thursday of every month.
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney
It’s become a trope to go see the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — but seeing your favorite celebrity get honored on the path is different. Star ceremonies are free to the public so keep your eyes peeled for who will be immortalized next. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
David McNew/Getty Images
You can get away from the crowd at Venice Beach by walking just a few blocks away and exploring the winding paths and beautiful bridges of the Venice Canals. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
This popular Santa Monica shopping center offers a host of hip stores and plenty of food options.There’s also plenty of street performers, meaning there’s opportunities for entertainment at every turn. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Karl Walter/Getty Images
Not only can you see an impressive collection of records at Amoeba Music, but you can also catch some free shows. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
John Sciulli/Getty Images
It’d be a surprise if you found anything free or cheap in this high-end Glendale shopping center, but it’s a beautiful place to spend the day window shopping. Americana at Brand has nearly every kind of store you can imagine, from Barnes and Noble to Nordstrom and Sur La Table. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Caruso Affiliated)
David Livingston/Getty Images
There are plenty of routes to get to the Hollywood Sign and all of them are sure to get you an Instagram-worthy photo. Visitors can choose if they want a trek for beginners or more seasoned hikers. Either way, the climb is sure to bring you a breathtaking view at no cost. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Larry Huffman
This abandoned zoo in Griffith Park, which is completely free and open to the public, still has old exhibits in tact that you can hike around and explore. It’s a great place to go and shoot pictures of some urban decay.
Jessica Lynn
Echo Park Rising is a free festival that takes place every August and brings a wide range of music and comedy performers to stages, bars and clubs throughout Echo Park.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images
This meditation center offers free classes to help you find your inner peace Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for 1 Hotels)
Sebastian Artz/Getty Images
Los Angeles is chock full of farmer’s markets where you can get fresh-grown produce or just enjoy all the wonderful colors. The Original Farmer’s Market in the La Brea area and the Santa Monica Downtown Farmer’s Market are just a few of the many you could try. (Photo by Sebastian Artz/Getty Images)
City of Beverly Hills
This Beverly Hills Mansion has 55 rooms and has been featured in several popular movies. While the inside is closed off to the public, you can take a look at it from the outside in the surrounding park for free.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
For an admission price of just $12.95, you can learn about every part of American music from pop to punk at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live. and this isn’t one of those museums where you just stand there and look at things. The Grammy Museum features interactive technology so you can be part of music history. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Getty Images
If you’re up for a morning excursion, you can take a trip downtown to the Original Los Angeles Flower Market anytime Monday through Saturday to see thousands of flowers on display. The market is a perfect place to take your next Instagram picture and admission is just $1 on Saturdays and $2 on weekdays. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Passage Ride meets every Wednesday at the intersection of 3rd Street & New Hampshire Avenue to ride through Los Angeles together. You’re sure to get a great workout and maybe make a few friends too. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images
The Disney Concert Hall is one of the most fascinating examples of architecture in Los Angeles and they offer free self-guided audio tours almost every day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., giving you the chance to get an up-close look at the building. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
If you decide to take a ride down the famous Mulholland Drive you could end up catching a look at some of the best views in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County
Dockweiler State Beach is one of the only Los Angeles beaches that allows bonfires, and even has built-in fire pits. So if you want to have your beach and your s’mores too, this is the place to go.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Make your way to City Hall’s observation deck to see a view of Los Angeles so great that it can only be made better by the fact that you didn’t pay for it. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
LA Food Swaps holds events in several locations across Los Angeles where you can trade homemade food with your neighbors. It’s completely free, you just have to register ahead of time. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
Many television tapings, such as those for “Jeopardy!” and “Conan,” are filmed in Los Angeles. You’ll most likely have to reserve them way ahead of time, but you can watch some of your favorite TV shows in person for free. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
Charley Gallay/Getty Images
Sure, libraries are free everywhere, but most libraries don’t look like this. The beautiful architecture of Los Angeles Central Library is definitely something worth making the trip for. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for (RED))
City of Manhattan Beach
An 100-foot-tall sand dune in Manhattan Beach is a popular attraction for children and anyone looking to get a good workout by running up and down it. Admission to the park in which it is located is $1.
David McNew/Getty Images
The Mayan, with three different dance floors, has people dancing to everything from Salsa to House music — and unlike many Los Angeles clubs, the Mayan Theatre charges an admission fee of just $12 on Fridays. On Saturdays the price is $10 before 10:30 p.m.(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Michael Kovac/Getty Images
Take a look at some of the powerful photos on display in the Annenberg Space for Photography, which is free to the public. Right now, the space is featuring an exhibition called Generation Wealth by Lauren Greenfield that explores society’s obsession with money.
City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
An 18-hole round of mini-golf is just $6.50 at this course in the valley.
Ari Perilstein/Getty Images
Rodeo Drive may be best known because of the famous shopping scene in “Pretty Woman.” This Beverly Hills shopping center is a great place to get a glimpse of the high life by window shopping at some of Los Angeles’ most luxurious stores. (Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for Burberry)
City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
Runyon Canyon Park is known not only for its beautiful hikes but also the fact that it’s frequented by celebrities. Lucky hikers can see the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island from the the area on clear days.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
You can kick it on the beach and choose from more than more than 20 food trucks at Abbot Kinney First Fridays in Venice Beach. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
City of Manhattan Beach
Walking along the Strand in Manhattan Beach offers the opportunity to see some breathtaking beach views and see look at some of the area’s most beautiful, and expensive, homes.
David McNew/Getty Images
Everybody’s infatuated with waterfalls, but few know that there’s plenty of hikes in Los Angeles that could lead you to one. Escondido Falls in Malibu and Sturtevant Falls in the Angeles National Forest are just a couple Los Angeles waterfalls that are just a hike away. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Angela Weiss/Getty Images
Yogalution's Free Yoga at Bluff Park in Long Beach is just one of many free Los Angeles yoga classes that you can take part in. (Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Fitbit)
The Burrito Project is a food justice organization that brings people together to make burritos for the homeless. You can help out at several Los Angeles locations, including in Downtown Los Angeles and Lincoln Heights throughout the month.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Hosted by online radio station dublab, VIBING TIME features a host of DJs performing atop the Ace Hotel each Sunday from 1:00 - 6:00 p.m. This free event is the perfect opportunity for good tunes and an amazing view.
SuihoEn Japanese Garden
For just $5, Angelenos can enter into a world of tranquility at the SuihoEn Japanese Garden in Van Nuys. The area is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and features a Zen meditation garden, waterfalls and hand-carved stone lanterns.
David McNew/Getty Images
Checking out the hand and footprints of the stars in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is and will always be a free Hollywood classic.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Avid fashion magazine flippers can see the coolest styles in person at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising Museum & Galleries. You can find everything from Hollywood costumes to fragrance collections in the free museum.
Page Museum
At the La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park, you get a free peek into the past. You can see the preserved bones of long-extinct Ice Age animals, such as woolly mammoths and sabre tooth tigers.
yoon_queen via Instagram
This Cuban bakery, with locations in Burbank, Glendale and Downey, is known for its delectable pastries and its ridiculously low prices. Porto’s famous cheese rolls, for example, are just 80 cents each.
Contact Us