Now that we have learned to getting around Anaheim city, let’s get out of the Disneyland Resort area and head to downtown Anaheim and take a peek at some of the attractions and events just north of the happiest place on the planet.
We will begin our adventures in downtown Anaheim today with a peek at Muzeo, a museum and cultural center that invites the community to explore and celebrate the diversity of heritage, culture and the arts. of the city thanks to a creative program.
Muzeo also absorbed the last remaining Carnegie Library in Orange County, California, a building that dates back to 1908. One of 1,689 is believed to have been built in the country with money donated by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, whose less than half still function as a library. Muzeo is the one who survived the Wrecking Ball, and it was a public library until 1963. During the 1970s, it served as the personnel office for the city of Anaheim, and was entered on the register National Historic Places in 1979 and has the rare distinction of becoming a cultural center instead of office space or total destruction. Currently, this building is used as a gallery space, the Historic Carnegie Galleries. At the time of this writing, the galleries have exhibits featuring works by Yara Almouradi and Clarence Pointer, both of which are scheduled to be on display until January 9, 2022.
In the Main Gallery, which houses exhibits featuring the Anaheim Ballet’s Nutcracker costumes, Korean poetry calligraphy, Orange County heritage exhibits, and even exhibitions by National geography, was preparing for an annual tradition when I visited. Since 2015, Muzeo has organized an exhibition featuring many highly detailed model railroad exhibitions called “Muzeo Express”.
These displays are handcrafted over the weeks, some with mountain ranges made from giant styrofoam blocks that trains can traverse. The sets of trains feature tracks of different sizes and gauges, and different environments presented throughout the gallery space. You might even find an exhibit or two paying homage to these parks down the street.
We were there to get a special preview while setting up the sets, the end product is more complete than what is pictured here. Muzeo Express is slated to run until January 23, 2022. Again, it’s been an annual tradition since 2015, and if you can’t do it this year, you can probably pick it up again next holiday season. The event is so popular that people can even purchase a “Train Pass” which grants them access to the exhibition and Muzeo for the duration of the race.
Muzeo Express even offers special programming to accompany the exhibition, including “A Night on the Polar Express” which invites guests to put on their pajamas and a blanket for a reading of the holiday classic, then settle in with cocoa and features for viewing the film. It should take place on December 11th and you can get your admission to this event on the official website here.
A museum and cultural center in Anaheim should also have a section devoted to the history of the city, right? Law! And they do! Located in the aforementioned Carnegie Gallery (and with free entry, nothing less!), Visitors can head to the Anaheim: A Walk Through Local History exhibits created by the Anaheim Museum prior to Muzeo’s creation in 2007. There, visitors can find a repository of artifacts that showcase the history of Anaheim and its surrounding areas. Everything from Native American fossils and artifacts to 19th-century vineyards and citrus growing tools, tells the story of Anaheim and Orange County’s past. And, despite the story most Disney fans know about a “sleeping little orange grove” before Walt Disney arrived, there is quite a history in this town, and it goes way beyond early 1950s. That said, the exhibit also features memorabilia from the place that helped put Anaheim on the map, Disneyland, as well as Anaheim Stadium and other historic places in the city. Everyone, especially die-hard fans who don’t know much about the city other than the Disneyland Resort, should stop by Muzeo and this exhibit to broaden their horizons and learn that this was a real city long before the arrival of the park.
The Anaheim Heritage Center, part of the Anaheim Public Library System, is also adjacent to the Main Muzeo Gallery. Dating back to 1967, this history hall is home to nearly a million different individual articles organized and cataloged for the use of academics, students, and researchers, with trained staff on hand to offer assistance. If you can’t physically get to Muzeo, they have a selection of virtual exhibitions on their official website to hold you back until you can do it yourself. Guests can visit Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the last ticket sold at 4:00 p.m. More information and current ticket prices can be found on their official website here.
Muzeo is a small part of what is now known as CtrCity, pronounced “Center City,” considered to be the heart of Anaheim, which is filled with art, restaurants, shops, and hidden gems. You won’t find a recognizable channel name anywhere, and if you find something you’ve heard of it’s just because you’ve heard about it through word of mouth, probably raving about how good it is. . Come with me next time we explore CtrCity more, strolling along the Center Street Promenade during the weekly Anaheim Farmers Market.