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Museum Day on Saturday means free admission to select museums nationwide

Museum Day on Saturday means free admission to select museums nationwide
Ethnobotanist and educator Nicholas Hummingbird at the Autry Museum of the American West's outdoor ethnobotanical garden. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

September is a good month for free family-friendly activities, close to home and afar. Smithsonian magazine's Museum Day on Saturday offers free admission to select museums across the country, including 90 in California and 99 in New York.

The free event focuses on smaller, regional museums that you might not know much about, such as:

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-- The Wildling Museum of Art & Nature in Solvang, Calif., whose purpose is to “conserve wildlife and natural areas through,” its website says;

-- The Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, where you can explore the entertainment form through costumes, props, photos and artifacts;

-- The Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum in Kent, Wash., which is all about powerboat racing; and

-- The Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland, which tells the story of Japanese emigrants and their descendants.

In Southern California, participating museums include the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles, the Autry Museum of the American West, Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge and the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach.

Admission is free Saturday only.

To take advantage of the national event, go to the Museum Day website and download a free ticket for the museums you want to visit. (One ticket per email address; the ticket is good for two people.)

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