Printed from
Back to Location

Space for your notes

Natural History Museum, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California, USA


When you first walk into the galleries at the Natural History Museum you are impressed by the distinctive rotunda with its dome, columns and marble walls. A dinosaur skeleton takes up the entire space. It's like you've walked into the movie Night At the Museum. But from then on, if you have young kids, it's downhill. Surprisingly this modern museum is not interactive. Exhibits in most museums nowadays have a dual display: a written plaque for adults to read and below it, at the level of a child's eyes, buttons they can push, flaps they can raise to see what's below, drawers to open. This museum has nothing like that! Instead, they stick all the poor bored parents in one tiny room in the basement, the Discovery Center, the only room that has anything hands-on for kids to do. You're sitting there while your kids have fun, wishing you could have read the plaques in the interesting rooms upstairs. What a frustrating experience! Why pay to go see world-class exhibits and end up sitting in a cramped room filled with kids? Whoever designed this museum clearly has not ever been a parent.
If you come without young children, there are some nice things to see. The best gallery is the gem one. Here you can see the most amazing jewels, minerals, and gemstones. Feast your eyes! There are also exhibits on insects, shells, mammals (yuck! stuffed animals), birds, and California history.
Our visit was a huge disappointment. Two kids stuck in a building with nothing for them to touch or do! It is a bad memory!
I recommend you skip this museum and head next door to the California Science Center. Not only will you save yourself over $30 (the science center is free) but you'll have a ton more fun and make some good memories!

Photo Gallery

Gem and Mineral Exhibit: Aragonite from China.

Azurite with Malachite from Arizona.

Aragonite from California.

One of the world's largest real crystal balls. 65 pounds. Flawless.

Malachite from Zaire, in the Gem and Mineral Collection.

The Los Angeles Natural History Museum has the most wonderful displays of minerals.

Rhodochrosite from Argentina.

Giant pieces of Topaz from Brazil.

Chalcostibite from Morocco.

Tennantite from Mexico.

Smoky Quartz from California.

Amazing python skeleton, in the Discovery Center.

Skeleton of a Galapagos Turtle, in the Discovery Center.

Row of wintry trees leading past the Natural History Museum to the California Science Center.

Kids draw outside the museum for a special event.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Cost is $14 for adults, $11 for teens, students, and seniors, $6 for kids aged 3-12, and free for children 2 and under, if you purchase tickets online. $1 more for tickets at the door.
Entrance is free the first Tuesday of the month, except in July and August, plus it's free every Tuesday in September. Get tickets in advance on these days.
Open every day from 9:30-5 and closed on Jan 1, July 4, Thanksgiving (fourth Thurs in Nov), and Dec 25.  Call (213) 763-DINO.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles is located in Exposition Park, the home of several large museums. This is near USC. The address is 900 W. Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90007.
From Highway 110, exit at Martin Luther King Jr Blvd and head west. Turn at the third right, on Bill Robertson Lane. There is a large parking lot on your left. Bring cash for the parking lot, which is around $12, or more during a USC game.
From Highway 10 east, exit at Vermont Ave and turn right. Turn left on Exposition Blvd and immediately right on Bill Robertson Lane. There is a large parking lot on the right. Bring cash for the parking lot, which is around $12, or more during a USC game.
It's best not to come when there's a USC game going on because of the traffic, so check ahead.
All content Copyright © 2006-2018 copying prohibited