Located at the heart of Orange County in California, the Bowers Museum is an impressive museum that showcases a ton of different cultures under one roof. Known for its partnerships with many museums around the world, the Bowers Museum regularly plays host to many artifacts, such as the terra cotta warriors of China, the mummies of Egypt, and the headhunters of New Guinea.
What’s even more unique to them is their vast collection of Disney items. As founder Walt Disney spent a good chunk of his life in Anaheim, a lot of his valuables and personal belongings can be found within the Bower Museum’s walls. Take delight as you see the original bag Julie Andrews wore in Mary Poppins and even Herbie the Love Bug himself!
What Else is in the Bowers Museum?
Aside from its permanent exhibits, the Bowers Museum also frequently holds special events in Orange County as part of its partnerships with other museums. Every few months, there’ll be a limited-time exhibit that people can visit and enjoy. So, the Bowers Museum isn’t just a one-trip kind of thing—there’s always something new to see! That should encourage you to keep coming back for more.
Who knew that you could discover so much about the world outside of the United States within just one building? Who knew that a city that’s well-known for its beaches could also be so culturally-rich?
What Should I Know About the Bowers Museum?
So, are you interested in visiting the Bowers Museum? Great idea—it’s definitely one of the must things to do in Orange County! Here are some things you need to know before you head there.
Days and Times
The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays and is closed every Monday. It is also closed on special holidays like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. It is open from 10 AM to 4 PM for the most part, but please check the museum’s website here just to check if your scheduled date is available. Sometimes, the museum does special exhibits that close the museum to regular visitors.
If you want to enjoy everything the museum has to offer, we recommend spending at least three to four hours. This gives you ample time to take a look at all the artifacts as well as read or watch the museum’s resources. There are free and paid tours available depending on your preference, and as of yet English is the only language available in the museum.
Santa Ana residents can enjoy free admission on Sundays. Please bring proof of residency like IDs, driver’s licenses, or even utility bills.
Active-duty military personnel also enjoy free admission all year round. Military veterans enjoy free admission every Veteran’s Day. Again, just make sure to bring proof of this when you head to the museum.
Lastly, all children under 12 years old can get free admission as long as they’re accompanied by a paying adult over 18 years old.
All other visitors must pay a small fee to be admitted. Students over 12 years old and senior citizens must pay a fee of $12, while other adults need to pay $15. You get up to $3 off each ticket if your party of over 15 members books a day in the museum.
When you head to the museum, make sure you’re only bringing the necessities as backpacks, oversized purses, and luggage isn’t allowed in any area of the museum. Furthermore, the museum has the right to inspect your belongings before you enter the premises to make sure you’re not bringing anything that could potentially damage the artifacts.
Another thing you’re not allowed to bring is food and drink. We don’t want any accidents happening or bugs crawling, so please leave all edible things outside. If you’re hungry, there is a museum restaurant called Tangata that you can dine in for lunch. They’re open from 11 AM to 2 PM on weekdays and 11 AM to 3 PM on the weekends. You might want to reserve a spot as the restaurant can get busy on certain days.
Bringing in a weapon or any type of explosive device is strictly prohibited.
Flash photography is not allowed. Bringing in tripods is also not allowed. You must only take photos with neither flash nor photography equipment.
Additionally, the still photos you take in the museum should be for private, non-commercial use only. You cannot publish or sell your photos for monetary gain.
If you’re like to inquire about possibly doing commercial work in any area of the Bowers Museum, you can contact the museum by phone at (714) 567-3600 or their contact form here.
The Bowers Museum is pretty accessible to many people with disabilities.
All areas of the museum are wheelchair-accessible. They have elevators that can go onto every floor and also ramps to get you around. Additionally, they have wheelchairs available at the entrance of the museum—simply request one at the time of your visit.
If you require a caregiver to fully enjoy the museum, the entrance fee for the caregiver is fully waived.
Lastly, while animals are not allowed to enter the museum’s premises, there is an exception for service dogs that are adequately leashed and properly trained by their owners. Just make sure to bring in your paperwork by the off-chance a member of staff asks you about it.
Planning to head to the museum events in Orange County by car? The museum has convenient parking lots that you can utilize for just $6—they are located at the north and south of the museum. Metered and timed street parking spaces are also available on the adjacent streets.
The Bowers Museum is definitely one of the things in Orange County you need to do if you ever visit. It’s filled with a ton of fascinating exhibits that will keep you hooked for hours on end! For just a small fee (or free if you’re one of the lucky ones!), you can take a trip all around the world.