Without history museums, humans would have no way of distinguishing the past from the present, forcing them to wear the same clothes each day, continuously sign the wrong date on checks, and live in perpetual fear of a third Jurassic Park film. Move past the past with today's Groupon to the Los Altos History Museum in Los Altos. The museum is open Thursday–Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Choose between the following options:
• For $15, you get a one-year individual membership (a $35 value).
• For $25, you get a one-year household membership that extends to all people residing at one address (a $50 value).
For more than 30 years, the Los Altos History Museum has been telling the story of the Santa Clara Valley's transformation from agricultural paradise to technological hub with permanent and rotating exhibitions designed to appeal to all ages. Perennially on display at the 8,200-square-foot museum and apricot orchard, The Crown of the Peninsula interactive exhibit explores the role of urbanization in Silicon Valley, complete with a model railroad and replica of downtown Los Altos circa 1932. Learn antique gossip about local figures such as Pulitzer Prize–winning author Wallace Stegner or mysterious arms heiress Sarah Winchester at the century-old J. Gilbert Smith House, a 1905 farmhouse featuring authentic period furnishings and the world's only still-operational tin-can phone. Rotating exhibits stud the collection with vibrant mulitmedia art in the juried HeARTs Delight show and probe the turbulent trajectory of droughts, floods, and water taxation in Shaped by Water: Past, Present, Future (opening October 8).
All museum members enjoy early warning and free admission to the museum's semiannual antique shows, opening receptions, and lectures, as well as reduced admission costs to community events such as the upcoming Crab Feed (February 4) and Oktoberfest. A quarterly newsletter updates members on special programs and field-trip opportunities, and a 10% discount at the gift shop keeps homes well dressed in historical wares and pocket calculators relevant.
North Los Altos
51 S San Antonio Rd.
Los Altos, California 94022