Trying to inspire wonder, discovery and responsibility in natural and cultural worlds has been the mission for the National History Museum of Los Angeles County since 1913. The museum sees people, as well as the elements surrounding them in the world, as all connected. This philosophy is reflected in its practices at the museum, which offers insightful educational opportunities and promotes curiosity and understanding.
The museum safeguards more than 35 million specimens and artifacts and offers three floors of permanent exhibits. One of its signature exhibits are the dueling dinosaurs at its Grand Foyer entrance. Two complete skeletons of a Tyrannosaurus rex and a Triceratops are locked in battle there.
The museum also offers rare fossils, grand dioramas of African and American mammals, marine animals, Pre-Columbian culture, and historical artifacts from California. The museum also houses the largest collection of gold in the U.S. and plenty of kid-friendly activities.
Take the I-405 north for about 25 miles. Exit onto the I-110 north toward Los Angeles and follow for another 10 miles. Exit Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard toward Exposition Park. Turn left at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and then turn right at Menlo Avenue.
Tickets for the National History Museum are $9 for adults, $6.50 for seniors 62 and older, $6.50 for students 18 and over with valid ID, $6.50 for children 13 through 17, $2 for children 5 through 12, and free for children younger than 5. There is no additional charge for special exhibits inside the stadium.
The museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays. It is closed Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
On the first Friday of each month from January to June, the museum stays up late to provide a unique experience to patrons. Open till 10 p.m. on these days, the museum has a special guided tour revolving around the year’s theme “Discovery in the Age of Mammals: Building Brains and Making Minds.” After the tour, there is a discussion with experts and professors in different fields that audience members can participate in for a rare educational opportunity. After the discussion the museum hosts musical performances from bands and DJs. There are two dates left for First Fridays on May 2 and June 6. Cost ranges from $2 to $9.
The museum is offering a special exhibit that discusses the history of the museum itself. Through a photographic survey visitors can learn the history and evolution of the National History Museum from its 1913 origins to present day to its New Museum project. Photographer Joshua White presents the photos picturing the historic and current renovations.
— Daniel Tedford