Museum hours: Everyday | 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Buy Tickets


The mission of the Petersen Automotive Museum’s Education Department is to serve a wide range of audiences through varied, interdisciplinary educational programs, integrating the study of history, art, culture, science and technology to appeal to all ages, backgrounds, and interests. The Department aims to build the community by being an educational resource for local schools, institutions, organizations and groups, facilitating life-long learning, growth, and a lasting relationship between these public groups and the Museum.

Public Programs

Public ProgramsPublic Programs are designed to highlight the Museum’s featured exhibitions as well as various automotive topics and are offered in a variety of formats such as: gallery talks, curator’s tours, film screenings, book signings, and hands-on workshops to engage adult audiences in life-long learning and entertainment.  Check the home page and our Calendar of Events for upcoming exhibit-related programs.

Learn more about our Public Programs >

Group Tours

Docent-led tours are offered to organized groups of 10 or more individuals on a reservation basis. Groups receive a discount and enjoy a one-hour tour led by trained docents. Groups include families, scouts, seniors, car clubs, tourists and interest groups.

Schedule a Tour >

Student & Teacher Programs

The Education Department reaches out to school and teacher audiences with a comprehensive slate of supportive programming for students and educators. K-12 education focuses on teaching students about history, social studies, science, technology, visual arts, and industrial design through the automobile. Curriculums are designed to complement classroom teaching and learning by complying with the curriculum standards set forth by the State of California in various disciplines. The Petersen also provides professional development opportunities for local educators so they can successfully connect classroom curriculum with visits to the Museum.

Schedule a School Tour
K-12 guided tours of the Petersen Automotive Museum meet California State Curriculum Standards in Visual Arts, Science, and History-Social Science for most grade levels.  All school tours are 90 minutes long and are led by members of the Pit Crew, our volunteer organization of trained docents. Large groups are divided into smaller touring groups of 15-20 students and adult chaperones to explore the galleries.  Special hands-on activities and a focused tour are recommended for K-2 classes. Schedule A Tour >

Theme Tours and Lesson Plans
The Petersen offers diverse optional thematic exhibit tours and lesson plan resources to provide relevant real-world examples that can supplement classroom learning before, after, or without a trip to the Museum. Learn More >

Teacher Previews
Each summer and fall teachers are invited to attend one of several afternoon sessions to learn about our school programs, take a guided thematic tour, and receive important information about applying for the Free School Bus Program. The Petersen offers preview workshops focused on either our permanent Streetscape exhibit or each of the two temporary feature exhibits on display.

Free School Bus
The application period for the Robert E. Petersen Free School Bus Program is closed for the 2013-2014 school year. Please contact the education department for more information about how to apply for next year: 323-964-6386.

More about the Robert E. Petersen Free School Bus Program:
When a Museum visit is not a viable option due to the lack of transportation funds, the Petersen Automotive Museum offers the Robert E. Petersen Free School Bus Program. The Program provides free transportation for a school tour to the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Title I schools in the Los Angeles County are eligible to apply. For non-Title I public schools in Los Angeles County with limited transportation budgets, please submit a letter from the school’s principal or chief administrator explaining the school’s financial situation. Request must be made at least 3 months prior to your desired tour date. Limit one (1) bus per school per academic year. Regular School Tour admission rates apply. Once approved, the school is responsible for handling the logistics of ordering the buses. The Petersen Automotive Museum will pay for the cost of the bus only. Buses must be filled to maximum capacity. Please call your school district’s transportation branch to ask for information about bus capacity and estimated cost.

Free Teacher Admission Card
Educators are encouraged to visit the Museum in advance of their school tour. Apply for a Free Teacher Admission Card to visit the Museum at any time during the Museum’s normal operating hours for FREE. Also includes admission to educational programs, such as symposia, panel discussions, gallery talks, film screenings and book signings by scholars and other experts highlighting subjects introduced in Museum exhibitions.

Student & Teacher Programs >

Youth & Family Programs

Children & Family ProgramsFrom the hands-on interactive Discovery Center to art and science workshops, various programs and services are offered by the Petersen to engage the entire family in the fun of learning and discovery.

Discovery Days
On the first Saturday of each month meet us at the third floor May Family Discovery Center between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for our monthly arts & crafts activities.The Discovery Day program is free for Museum members and included in general museum admission for non-members.

Discovery Hour
Discovery Hour at the Petersen Automotive Museum is a weekly interactive activity hour for families with kids under 6. From staff led games and storytelling, to scavenger hunts and races, join us on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. for an hour of fun, and keep coming back for more! The Discovery Hour program is free for Museum members and included in admission for non-members.

Discovery Center
The Discovery Center offers hands-on, interactive displays through which children learn about the science and culture of the automobile.  Older kids can experiment with the physical sciences of automotive technology while younger gear heads can race model cars and build their own toy city!  The Discovery Center is also the only place where visitors can sit on three actual vehicles: a CHP motorcycle, a Ford Model T, and an Indianapolis racecar.

For more information on Children & Family Programs, contact the Education Department at 323-964-6386 or

Birthday Parties

Get into gear and race over to the Petersen Automotive Museum to host your child’s birthday party! The Birthday Party Package includes a private room for up to three hours in the 3rd floor May Family Discovery Center, all day admission to the museum’s three floors of exhibits for you and your guests, and a 10% discount at the Museum Store. Goody bags available for purchase and free staff led scavenger hunt and race car craft activity.  For more Party Package information contact Citlalie Gallegos at 323-964-6373 or

Birthday Party Prices:
• Flat rate of $400 for up to 10 children and 15 adults
• Additional guests may be added for $10 per child (12 years and under) and $5 per adult (13 years and up)
• Non-refundable deposit of $100 is required to reserve your party date (the $100 is deducted from your final total the day of your party)
o Deposit includes one year of museum membership at the Station Wagon level for non-members
10% discount off total party fees for existing Petersen Automotive Museum members

Birthday times and dates:
• Saturday & Sundays
• Mornings from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Afternoons from 2-5 p.m.
(weekdays available upon request)

Secured covered parking is available during the party for $2 per half hour per vehicle (first half hour free). Parking may be hosted at $10 per vehicle.

For more Party Package information contact Citlalie Gallegos at 323-964-6373 or