Museums are places that exhibit various items that have some sort of historical, artistic or cultural significance/meaning to them. Personally, I love a good museum. There’s something about walking around and browsing through someone else’s cool art collection that I enjoy – educating myself through various aesthetics. We’re all aware of the standard museums like LACMA, MOCA and The Getty, but what about some of the other museums that are slightly off the beaten path? Check out these unusual museums that are located in and around Los Angeles.
The Bunny Museum
Located in sunny Pasadena, this “living” museum is located in the private home of Candace Frazee and Steve Lubanski and is referred to as “the hoppiest place in the world.” Featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, their home houses over 28,000 rabbit-themed collectibles, along with seven pet rabbits, and they are the proud recipients of several random titles and awards, including “#1 Insane Museum in the World” and “#1 Cutest Museum Ever.” According to their website, they are open 365 days a year by appointment, although they host an open house on holidays (no appointment necessary). Admission is five bucks per person (free for the four and under crowd), and if you bring veggies and fruits, you can feed the bunnies too, so “hop” on over!
Museum of Death
Taking a slightly darker detour from bunnies is the Museum of Death, located in Hollywood. The museum offers 45-minute tours that engage visitors in the world’s largest collection of murder-related art work, including original crime scene photos from infamous murderers such as Charles Manson and victims like the Black Dahlia, a collection of body bags and coffins, life-sized replicas of execution devices, as well as various mortician instruments. And if you can stomach it, they also have various videos that show everything from the Heaven’s Gate Cult recruiting video to actual death footage. According to the website, many people have passed out during the tour, so consider yourself forewarned.
Martial Arts History Museum
Bruce Lee fans unite. While this isn’t a museum dedicated to the epic martial arts master him self, it still has a lot to offer for those who love anything and everything martial arts-related. Founded by Michael Matsuda in 1999, the museum serves as an educational and cultural experience that teaches visitors about the different countries in Asia and the role that martial arts has played in shaping their history and traditions. Fun fact: the actual headband worn by Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid is here as well, just in case you needed that extra push.
International Surfing Museum
Located in Huntington Beach (a little more than a stone’s throw away from Downtown but still worth the trip), this museum is dedicated to the history of the sport of surfing along with the iconic surfers who have made the sport what it is today. Some of the surfing royalty that have graced the walls of this place include Rabbit Kekai, Gerry Lopez, Robert August and, of course, Kelly Slater.
FIDM Fashion and Perfume Museum
Hosted by the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, the FIDM Museum highlights historic and current fashion trends and puts them on display. Past exhibits have included costumes from television shows including Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Downton Abbey, as well as more modern ensembles designed by fashion greats such as Vivienne Westwood, Gianna Versace and Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. On the second floor is the Annette Green Perfume Museum, which houses an extensive collections of fragrance and cosmetics from the late 1800s to present times. In addition to showcasing the beautiful bottles, the exhibit also serves to enhance the public’s understanding of how perfume bottles explore identities and roles through the changing designs.