L.A.-area libraries offer much more than books on loan, from yoga classes to art exhibits. Their variety of free events are diverse enough to make you feel like you're making the most of the city, even if you're on a budget.

Here are ten of them…


10. Get Your Yoga On
Be kind to your wallet and your body by taking free yoga classes at the Sylmar branch. 14561 Polk Street, Sylmar. lapl.org/whats-on/events/free-yoga-beginners-1

Union Station rendering, March 6, 1938.; Credit: Edward Warren Hoak. Getty Research Institute © J. Paul Getty Trust

Union Station rendering, March 6, 1938.; Credit: Edward Warren Hoak. Getty Research Institute © J. Paul Getty Trust

9. See an Exhibit About LA History

The Central Library contains three galleries that produce a rotating series of exhibitions that pulled from the library’s many impressive art, photo, maps and documents collections. Currently running in the Getty Gallery through Aug. 10 is the exhibit “No Further West: The Story of Los Angeles Union Station,” featuring architectural drawings, photographs, and other archival material that tell the political and often contentious story behind the station. 630 W. 5th Street, Downtown. lapl.org/whats-on/exhibits/no-further-west-story-los-angeles-union-station

8. Become a Film Buff
Several library branches across town offer curated film screenings. For example, during Women in Film month this past March, the Central Library screened classic films featuring pioneering women. 630 W. 5th Street, Downtown. 7140 W. Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood. lapl.org/whats-on/events/film-screening-great-actresses-past-16mm

See also: 10 Oddball L.A. Museums Worth Seeing

7. Learn to Act
Alexa Almaz, who is on the nominating committee for the Screen Actor's Guild Awards, teaches six-session scene study classes for free at the Westwood Branch. Don’t let lack of funds keep you from reaching for your dreams. 1246 Glendon Avenue, Westwood. lapl.org/whats-on/events/acting-class-12

6. See Some Opera
Can’t afford a ticket to the Music Center? The Santa Monica Public Library offers a free opera concert series co-sponsored by L.A. Opera at the main branch on Santa Monica Blvd and 6th Street. 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica. calendar.smgov.net/library/eventsignup.asp?ID=13633


Credit: Courtesy Santa Monica Public Library

Credit: Courtesy Santa Monica Public Library

5. Go to the Theater
Every summer, the Santa Monica Repertory Theatre offers a reading series of plays at the Santa Monica main branch as part of the library’s Adult Summer Reading series. The series also features author talks, movie screenings and book discussions. 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica. santamonicarep.org/SantaMonicaRep/Home.html

4. Learn to Quilt
You’ve always wanted to learn quilting, but thought it was a silly thing to spend money on. The Little Tokyo branch offers quilting classes on Friday mornings. 203 S. Los Angeles Street, Little Tokyo. lapl.org/whats-on/events/friends-little-tokyo-branch-quilters

3. Learn to Knit
Perhaps slightly more practical than quilting, but not enough to invest in. Lucky for you, the Memorial branch on Olympic offers free knitting classes every Saturday. 4625 W. Olympic Boulevard, Mid City.

See also: 30 Free Things to Do in L.A. Any Time

2. Hobnob with Celebs
ALOUD is a series of conversations, readings and performances sponsored by the Library Foundation. Recent names to take the stage at the Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium include Angelica Huston and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. 630 W. 5th Street, Downtown. https://www.lfla.org/aloud/upcoming.php

1. Get Covered
Did you give up on health insurance after trying to understand the Affordable Care Act? At the Chinatown branch, certified enrollment counselors provide information on Covered California. You’ll learn if you qualify, and how to enroll. Then, at your next dinner party, when the inevitable Obamacare conversation comes up, you can be the know-it-all at the table. 639 N. Hill Street, Chinatown. lapl.org/whats-on/events/affordable-care-act-information-enrollment-7.

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