100 Free Things to Do in Santa Monica – Art & Music Activities

Posted September 8, 2023

Explore #1-57 of Santa Monica’s 100 Free Things to Do: Family & Outdoors
Explore #58-77 of Santa Monica’s 100 Free Things to Do: Health & Wellness

Art & Music Activities

78. Immerse yourself in the arts at Southern California’s largest gallery complex, Bergamot. Visit over 35 contemporary art galleries, studios, and architecture design firms.

79. Visit The Getty Villa, an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and Etruria.

80. Join in on a free Docent Tour of the Annenberg Community Beach House. Tours are offered daily from May – February at the old Marion Davies/Hearst Beach house site at 415 Pacific Coast Highway.

81. Get a glimpse of the wall mural depicting ocean scenes outside of the Heal the Bay Aquarium on Ocean Front Walk.

82. Take advantage of Santa Monica’s ideal year‐round weather and “Walk Santa Monica” to take in the city’s many commissioned public artworks.

83. The Santa Monica Library offers a dazzling public facility, showcasing cutting-edge environmental technology and featuring solar panels and an energy-efficient room. Events include author talks, concerts and presentations.

84. Explore public art displays such as Pico Boulevard’s “California Wash,” which discusses the history of the natural waterway path to the sea and the local ecology that once dwelled there.

85. Hang out and strum a vintage guitar at legendary McCabe’s Guitar Shop. Opened in 1958, McCabe’s specializes in acoustic and folk instruments and offers thousands of books and recordings.

86. Show off your talents, whether it is poetry or comedy, at Open Mic nights at Unurban Coffee House on Pico Boulevard.

87. Hit the beach in search of art. Keep an eye out for “Singing Beach Chairs,” a pair of playfully oversized lifeguard chairs by Douglas Hollis. In a strong wind, the aluminum tubes that form the backrest become 14-ft-tall panpipes.

88. Experience the latest exhibition at the 18th Street Arts Complex that provokes public dialogue through contemporary art making.

89. Discover the multitude of public artworks around the city with a neighborhood mural guide.

90. Attend a lecture at Santa Monica College. The college presents more than 100 distinguished speakers all year and is open to the public.

91. Music to your ears. The award-winning Santa Monica Symphony presents free concerts at Santa Monica High School’s Barnum Hall.

92. Free live music concerts for children come to the Pier. Wake Up With the Waves is a concert series that occurs on Saturday mornings in April through May at the Santa Monica Pier.

93. Stroll down Adelaide Drive to admire the elegant early Craftsman homes built by Santa Monica’s founding residents.

94. Visit the Third Street Historic District, south of Ocean Park Boulevard. Architecturally, the buildings chronicle the evolution of design from the Victorian era through the revival styles of the 1920s and 1930s.

95. Enjoy great buildings from world-renowned local architect Frank Gehry – from the Edgemar Building on Main Street to his one-time home of corrugated metal and chain link on 22nd and Washington, his talents are showcased right here in Santa Monica.

96. Monday evenings, hit up Trip Santa Monica to enjoy community art and an open mic show.

97. Visit the 18th Street Art Complex’s Airport Campus to experience open studios with resident artists every month.

98. Explore the newest student exhibition at the Santa Monica Community College Barrett Art Gallery.

99. Stroll along Montana Avenue during the bi-annual art walks in September and December.

100. Explore the eight neighborhoods and hunt for all of the public art and sculptures.


Discover Santa Monica

Explore itineraries, local tips, hot spots and curated adventures to make sure you get the most out of your Santa Monica experience.

View more Blogs