10 FREE THINGS TO DO IN LA

It’s a city of big dreams and big money, but you don’t have to have a for­tune to have fun, writes Jane Jur­gens.

Herald on Sunday - - USA -

1 Be on TV Many peo­ple move to LA hop­ing to find fame but hol­i­day­mak­ers can find their 15 min­utes too. Ap­ply in ad­vance to be in the au­di­ence of a film­ing of a game show or chat show, like The Price is Right, Ellen, Jimmy Kim­mel Live, The Voice or The Late Late Show with James Cor­den.

Go to each show’s web­site to find in­struc­tions for se­cur­ing tick­ets, or go to to see an ex­ten­sive list of shows look­ing for au­di­ences and the dates the shows are avail­able. 2 The Getty Cen­ter Voted LA’s num­ber one mu­seum by Tri­pad­vi­sor, The Getty Cen­ter is also one of the world’s largest arts or­gan­i­sa­tions. It sits high in the hills of West LA with in­cred­i­ble views out over the city, mak­ing it a must-visit des­ti­na­tion for more than just its gal­leries filled with world-class art­works. The Richard Meierde­signed build­ing is a work of art in it­self, as are the Cen­tral Gar­dens. In­side the five pavil­ions, vis­i­tors will find works from Van Gogh, Monet, Rem­brandt and more. Ad­mis­sion is free (although if you drive, park­ing will set you back US$15), and there are self-guided tours and au­dio guides avail­able to help you nav­i­gate your way around the huge space.

4 Get me­dia savvy

Where bet­ter to learn more about the me­dia, than in Los An­ge­les, the home of Hol­ly­wood? At The Pa­ley Cen­ter for Me­dia — an in­sti­tu­tion ded­i­cated to study­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween me­dia and so­ci­ety — you can ac­cess a col­lec­tion of more than 160,000 TV and ra­dio shows, cov­er­ing about 100 years of broad­cast­ing his­tory through 70 coun­tries. You choose what you want to watch or lis­ten to, then en­joy it at a pri­vate con­sole — ideal for a rare, rainy day. There are also reg­u­lar screen­ings and pub­lic pro­grammes with guest pan­els of me­dia in­dus­try ex­perts in dis­cus­sion. pa­l­ey­cen­ter.org

5 Hol­ly­wood For­ever ceme­tery

With its lo­ca­tion close to Para­mount Stu­dios, it’s no won­der some of Hol­ly­wood’s greats are buried at this fa­mous ceme­tery. No­table buri­als in­clude Looney Tunes’ voice ac­tor Mel Blanc (whose tomb­stone reads “That’s All Folks”), Judy Gar­land, Mickey Rooney, Rudolph Valentino and, most re­cently, Soundgar­den’s lead singer Chris Cor­nell. Out­door movies are screened here in sum­mer and it’s oc­ca­sion­ally the site of live mu­sic per­for­mances — if you’re vis­it­ing in Novem­ber you can see Billy Cor­gan, for­merly of the Smash­ing Pump­kins, per­form­ing four nights at The Ma­sonic Lodge (although that show is un­for­tu­nately not free). hol­ly­wood­for­ever.com

6 Run­yon Canyon Park

In a city where every­one drives, you may be sur­prised to know there are a num­ber of hik­ing trails in the area. Prob­a­bly the most fa­mous is Run­yon Canyon, close to the Hol­ly­wood Hills. There are three dif­fer­ent paths in the 65ha park, rang­ing from easy to medium to dif­fi­cult so you can choose how much you chal­lenge your­self. Run­yon Canyon Road is the eas­i­est of the three, with a grad­ual climb on a mostly paved road. To re­ally go hard, and po­ten­tially spot a su­per-fit celebrity keep­ing in shape, choose the Hero’s Trail which has a much steeper as­cent. Views from the top are worth it though — you’ll get a good van­tage point of the Hol­ly­wood sign, Grif­fith Ob­ser­va­tory and the LA Basin. run­y­on­canyon­hike.com

7 Cal­i­for­nia Sci­ence Cen­ter

Great for fam­i­lies, this mu­seum is in­ter­ac­tive and fun for all ages. As well as hands-on ex­hibits, there are also live demon­stra­tions and im­pres­sive Imax films. Per­ma­nent gal­leries in­clude Air & Space, Cre­ative Worlds, Ecosys­tems and World of Life, the lat­ter be­ing an im­mer­sive look at all liv­ing crea­tures “from the sin­gle­celled amoeba all the way up to 100-tril­lion­celled hu­man be­ings”. Gen­eral ad­mis­sion is free, although some spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tions re­quire ad­vance book­ing and pay­ment. cal­i­for­ni­a­science­cen­ter.org

8 Grif­fith Ob­ser­va­tory

Another free at­trac­tion with great city views is the Grif­fith Ob­ser­va­tory, which fans of

La La Land and Rebel With­out A Cause will recog­nise from key scenes in both movies. Opened in 1935, this is now the most-vis­ited pub­lic ob­ser­va­tory in the world with more than 1 mil­lion vis­i­tors each year. It’s home to an ob­ser­va­tory, plan­e­tar­ium and ex­hi­bi­tions, and from its van­tage point on Mt Hol­ly­wood, on a clear day you’ll see out to the Hol­ly­wood Sign, Down­town LA and the Pa­cific Ocean. grif­fithob­ser­va­tory.org

9 La Brea Tar Pits and Mu­seum

Built to house the more than 1 mil­lion pre­his­toric spec­i­mens re­cov­ered from the as­phalt de­posits known as the La Brea Tar Pits, this mu­seum has 30 ex­hibits, in­clud­ing an­i­mal skele­tons, a glass­walled work­ing fos­sil prepa­ra­tion lab­o­ra­tory, films and in­ter­ac­tive ac­tiv­i­ties. There are more than 100 tons of fos­silised bones, rep­re­sent­ing more than 200 species of mam­mals, birds, rep­tiles and fish un­earthed from the pools of sticky as­phalt that date back to pre­his­toric times. The mu­seum is free on the first Tues­day of ev­ery month (book tick­ets in ad­vance to se­cure your spot), but the Tar Pits park it­self is free to visit all year. tarpits.org

10 Walk­ing tour of Down­town LA

Once an area best avoided, Down­town has been re­gen­er­ated and is now one of LA’s most up and com­ing ar­eas. Walk­ing tours take you from Tem­ple St and end at the Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art (MoCa), along Grand Av­enue and pass­ing the Cathe­dral of Our Lady of the An­gels and the Frank Gehry-de­signed Walt Dis­ney Con­cert Hall. Do the walk on a Thurs­day even­ing and you’ll be able to visit MoCa for free (from 5pm to 8pm). In­side you’ll find more than 5000 works from mod­ern artists, in­clud­ing David Hock­ney, Roy Licht­en­stein and Jack­son Pol­lock. moca.org

Pic­ture / 123RF

Pic­ture / Getty Im­ages

Pic­ture / 123RF

123RF

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