Orange County’s largest museum seeks to promote human understanding through its collection of 91,000 works of art representing peoples and cultures from around the globe. The collection is particularly strong in the areas of Asian, Pacific, Native American, and pre-Columbian art, as well as Orange County history.
Its location just a few miles from Disneyland makes the Bowers Museum a popular attraction for families taking a break from the theme park. General admission, which can be booked in advance to save time, includes access to the permanent collection and special exhibits. Kids under 12 years of age enjoy free admission. Occasionally, the museum also hosts VIP private gallery tours; self-guided audio tours pointing out the highlights of the collection are always available, and can be downloaded for free on a smartphone.
Things to know before you go
- The Bowers Museum is a must for history buffs, art lovers, and families.
- Book your museum tickets online ahead of time and skip the line at the ticket office.
- All areas of the museum are accessible to wheelchairs, and complimentary wheelchairs are available to borrow from the security office.
- Still photography is allowed inside the museum, but turn off your flash and leave the tripod at home.
How to get there
The Bowers Museum is located just off Interstate 5, on Main and West 20th Streets in Santa Ana. The museum is just 15 minutes southeast of Disneyland.
When to get there
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from morning to mid-afternoon. Plan to stop in for a visit on your way to or from Disneyland, or as an option for a rainy or hot afternoon.
Workshops and Classes at Bowers
The Bowers Museum keeps a full calendar of hands-on workshops and classes designed for both kids and adults. Sessions might include a family fashion workshop on embroidery and sewing, pastel landscape painting, or making paper parasols or wooden fans.
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