Museum visitors engaging with Bubble, Bubbles, Bubbles exhibit

fREQUENTLY ASKED qUESTIONS

GENERAL

Do I need tickets to visit?


Yes. We require guests to reserve time-slot tickets online in advance to help us keep the Cayton a safe and comfortable place for all.




What are your hours?


We are open to the general public, Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am - 5 pm. Members have advanced access starting at 9am, Wednesday through Sunday. Also the first Thursday of every month, the Cayton is open to members only.




Where are you located?


The Cayton is located at 395 Santa Monica Place, Suite 374, Santa Monica CA 90401. We are situated on the 3rd level of Santa Monica Place, which is in Downtown Santa Monica between 2nd and 4th Street directly off the 10 freeway. If you are using GPS please enter ‘Cayton Children’s Museum’ to ensure you are taken to our location at Santa Monica Place.




Where do I park?


We are attached to Santa Monica City Parking Structure 7 (enter on Broadway) and Structure 8 (enter on Colorado). The first 90 minutes are free, $2.00 for the next hour, and between $2.00-3.00 for each additional 30 minutes. There is a $20.00 daily maximum on weekdays and a $25.00 daily maximum on weekends. You can view a map here. Please note, we do not provide validation for parking. Easy access and disability parking are available in parking structure 8 off of Colorado Ave, on Level 5, as well as parking structure 7 off of Broadway on Level 4. Elevators are available on all levels in the parking lots.




How do I take public transit?


We are located catty-corner to the Metro Expo line drop-off. Find more info here. The one-way fare is $1.75. Santa Monica Place is also readily accessible via many Big Blue Bus routes. Find more info here.




How do I find the museum entrance?


Our entrance is facing the center plaza escalators. We are in the center of Santa Monica Place on the 3rd level.




How much does it cost to visit?


Admittance to the Cayton is now a pay-as-you-wish donation for all LA County residents. This means you can give as much as you like, or nothing, to play at the Cayton, when you register online for a timed-entry ticket. Admission for visitors from outside LA County is $16 for children aged 1+ and adults.




Can I bring food to the museum?


At this time, due to COVID-19 and masking requirements, eating and drinking are not permitted in the museum. At such time that we can allow eating and drinking again, it is permitted only in the designated Lounge area. This area is designed for light snacks that guests bring with them or purchase from our vending machines. Guests may not bring in outside meals beyond a light snack and beverage. Alcohol and illicit drugs are not permitted on the premises.




Can I bring strollers into the museum?


For safety reasons, we do not allow strollers on the Museum floor. We have limited space within the museum and are dealing with water elements. Please leave your strollers in the car or prepare to park your stroller in the lobby of the museum.




Where can I store my belongings during my visit?


There are lockers available at the back of the museum by the bathrooms. These are first-come, first-serve, and are free of charge. Lockers are operated by a four-digit code of your choice.




Is there anything else I can’t bring into the museum?


As a friendly reminder, all weapons, including firearms, pocketknives, scissors, and pepper spray, are strictly prohibited inside the museum. When entering the museum’s security checkpoint, please be prepared to remove all items inside your pockets, including cell phones, keys, and wallets. Please be prepared to place your purses, backpacks, and diaper bags through our x-ray machine. All items you do not wish to be searched should remain outside the museum, safely stowed in your vehicle, or left with a family member or friend that is not entering the museum. All contraband found in the possession of a guest will be confiscated by security personnel and will not be returned.




Is there space to nurse?


We have a dedicated nursing area available for guests. If this space is occupied, guests can ask any floor staff for assistance in finding a private area. Guests are also welcome to use any space they feel comfortable breastfeeding.




Can I drop my kid off to play?


No, all kids must be accompanied by an adult at all times. We ask all visitors to keep a 4:1 ratio (no more than 4 kids to an adult). Please see our Visitor Agreements for more information on museum rules and recommendations.




What does pay-as-you-wish mean?


Pay-as-you-wish means L.A. County families can enjoy the Cayton by giving a donation for as much as they would like, or nothing at all. Once you register online for a timed-entry ticket online with a L.A. County zip code, you will receive your tickets without a fee. You have the option to donate as you go through the online check-out process or you can also donate once you come to the Cayton with either cash, credit or Apple Pay. After more than a year of restrictions, loss and recovery – accessible to play has never been more important for L.A. County children. Our pay-as-you-wish admission model helps make play accessible to all.




Do I need tickets to visit?


We strongly suggest that guests reserve a time-slot tickets online in advance to help us keep the Cayton a safe and comfortable place for all.




How much does it cost to visit?


Admittance to the Cayton is now a pay-as-you-wish donation for all L.A. County residents. This means you can give as much as you like to play at the Cayton. Admission for visitors from outside LA County is $16 for children aged 1+ and adults.




Do I need to show proof of vaccination to enter the Cayton?


Guests ages 12+ are required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of entering the Museum. For more details on proof of vaccination please read our current health protocols.





MEMBERSHIPS

Should I buy a Cayton membership?


Your annual membership doesn’t just get you unlimited admission and priority access -- it’s a commitment to Cayton values that helps underwrite admission for everyone in your community. The Cayton is a non-profit organization, and your membership purchase helps us keep our doors open. Now that we have pay-as-you-wish admission, our members are an essential part of making the Cayton an accessible space for all LA County residents.




What are the advantages of purchasing a membership?


As an annual member, you can come to the museum whenever you like without reserving a time slot in advance. You also get to take advantage of members-only hours and days, early registration for classes and events, special discounts, and passes for out-of-town guests.




How do I give a membership as a gift?


A Cayton membership makes a great gift for adults and kids! To gift a membership, complete the membership form for the recipient and check the box that says “This Membership is a gift.” You will then be emailed a receipt for your purchase and your gift recipient will receive an email welcoming them to their membership.




How many people can be on a membership account?


You can have as many people as you’d like on your membership. The Launchers membership ($240) includes 2, the Climbers membership ($360) includes 4, the Reachers ($500) includes 6, and our three Super Duper Membership Levels include 6 visitors and all of the other perks of the Reachers level. You can add additional adults or kids to any membership at all levels for $75 each.




Who can use my membership?


All adults and children who want to use the membership must be uniquely named on the account. This means that the membership is not interchangeable, and each person using the membership must be specifically named.




How do I check in at the museum?


When you arrive at the Cayton, head to the front desk. One of our front desk attendants will check your ID and then welcome you inside!




Are memberships tax-deductible?


Because we are a non-profit organization, a portion of your Cayton memberships is tax-deductible. You will receive an acknowledgment letter for your donation mailed to your address that you can use for tax purposes.




I have a question about membership. how do I get it answered?


For all membership questions please email membership@caytonmuseum.org.




How long is the membership valid for?


Your membership is valid for one year from the date of purchase.




Do you offer members-only hours and events?


After August 4, our members-only hours are held every Thursday from 9-10 am and 3-5 pm. Please check the calendar to confirm the members-only hours for each month, as a special event could be happening during this time. During some of these hours, we will have special programming just for members.




Does my Cayton membership auto-renew?


No, your membership will not auto-renew. When it is time to renew, we will contact you with an offer to continue your membership.




Can I refund my membership?


A Cayton membership purchase is a non-refundable donation to the organization. All proceeds from memberships and other donations go to support our operations and programs, including helping us to offer donation-based admission to all LA county residents.




What is the Association of Children’s Museums?


The Cayton Children’s Museum is a member of ACM, the world’s foremost professional society supporting and advocating on behalf of children’s museums. If your membership has 3 people or more, you are eligible to receive the ACM reciprocal benefit of 50% off admission for up to 6 people at any of the 200 member museums in the ACM reciprocal network. Please visit the ACM website for more details and a list of participating museums.




How can I further support the museum and programs for underserved youth?


The Cayton Children’s Museum is a non-profit organization. We need the support of our donors and members to help fund the public programs and community access initiatives that guide children in their own self-discovery. If you would like to support our subsidized museum programs for underserved youth and underwrite admission for L.A. County residents, you can join one of our Super Duper Memberships. At the Playmakers ($1,000), Storytellers ($2,500), and the Community Builders ($5,000) levels, your donation not only comes with all available membership benefits but also supports our subsidized field trips, classes, camps, and public programming for students at Title I schools. Those who join a Major Membership Circle are publicly acknowledged in the museum for their support--take a look at the Generosity Garden in the lobby and the Annual Donors Wall at the Grand Exit to see some of our major donor’s names! Please contact our Individual Giving Manager, Alexander Kriksciun, at membership@caytonmuseum.org or (424) 416-2640.




How do I add a person to my membership?


To add an adult or child to your membership for $40 each, please click here.




How do I change the name of a person on my membership?


We allow members to change the names on their membership account free of charge for 48 hours after their purchase. Please visit our front desk or email membership@caytonmuseum.org to make changes within 48 hours.




As a member, how do I get tickets to visit the museum?


We do not require members to reserve tickets ahead of their visit. You are welcome to come by the museum at any time, and space-permitting you will be given the next available time slot. However, if you would like to reserve a spot in advance, you can do so here.





FIELD TRIPS

What does a Cayton field trip include?


In-person field trips include:

  • 40 minute Creativity Lab featuring a process-based art project facilitated by a dedicated member of our museum team
  • 80 minutes of full museum playtime hosted by a member of our museum team
  • Pre-visit Welcome Video
  • Pre-visit Teacher’s Guide
Virtual field trips include:
  • 40 minute LIVE online Creativity Lab featuring a process-based art project facilitated by a dedicated member of our museum team via online platform
  • Pre-visit Welcome Video
  • Pre-visit Teacher’s Guide




Who can book a field trip?


In-person field trips are available to school groups with a minimum of 10 students and a maximum of 40 students (PreK to 3rd grade). Virtual field trips are available to school groups with a minimum of 20 students and a maximum of 40 students (PreK to 3rd grade). If your group has more than 40 students, contact us for booking at groups@caytonmuseum.org or call 424-416-8368.




When do I need to reserve my field trip?


All field trips must be reserved at least 6 weeks in advance.




How much does a field trip cost?


In-Person Field Trips
L.A. County Schools: Min. 10 guests, Max. 40 guests, 1 adult to 5 children ratio - $10 per person
Title 1 schools: $5 per person
Chaperones accompanying students with special needs are not charged

Non-LA County Schools: Min. 10 guests, Max. 40 guests, 1 adult to 5 children ratio - $14 per person
Title 1 schools: $7 per person Chaperones accompanying students with special needs are not charged Virtual Field Trips
L.A. County & Non-LA County Schools — Min. 20 guests, Max. 40 guests, 1 adult to 20 children ratio — $5 per person Title 1 schools: Free Chaperones accompanying students with special needs are not charged




What is your cancellation and refund policy?


A 50% refund of the full amount is available for cancellations up to 2 weeks before the reservation date. Cancellations made less than 2 weeks in advance are non-refundable. No refunds will be offered for any child or adult chaperone that has prepaid, but that does not attend on the day of visit. Any excess funds that cannot be refunded will be considered a donation.




How do I prepare my group for a tour?


Review the exhibits and the provided Field Trip Information Guide to gain a better understanding of what your students will experience on their visit. Group leaders will be provided with important tour logistical information when the visit is confirmed.




Where can we park?


Car parking is available at public parking structures 7 and 8, attached to Santa Monica Place. The first 90 minutes are free, $2 for the next hour, and between $2 - $3 for each additional 30 minutes. There is a $20 daily maximum on weekdays and a $25 daily maximum on weekends. The first two levels in all structures are dedicated to 3-hour parking only. All-day parking is available on all upper levels. The Cayton Children’s Museum does not offer validation. Bus drop-off is at the corner of Broadway and Third Street in front of the Nike store. There is no bus parking available at Santa Monica Place.




Can we eat lunch at the Cayton?


Unfortunately, we do not allow field trips to bring food into Cayton and we do not have a place to store lunches or a dedicated area for groups to eat lunches. Many of our field trips purchase food in the mall or take sack lunches to the beach, Third Street Promenade, or local parks that surround Santa Monica Place. We can provide recommendations for off-site lunch locations on request.




Can we go back into the museum after our visit is done?


No, visits are limited to their reserved 90-minute time.




Are we allowed to visit the Cayton museum store?


The Museum Store is located after the Grand Exit. Groups are not allowed to visit until after the field trip and the whole group has exited the museum. Time for adults to shop is not built into program times. Adults should remain with the group at all times.




How do I reserve my field trip?


To make a field trip reservation please fill out our online form or contact groups@caytonmuseum.org. Please be prepared with your number of visiting persons, activity choice, and date options. After you have submitted your request, you will receive an automated email indicating that you have completed your request. Please note that the email is not a final confirmation of your visit. It only indicates that your request has been received. Please allow up to five business days to receive official confirmation of your scheduled visit.