One of my favorite museums in Los Angeles is the Natural History Museum which is located in Exposition Park. The museum is a beautiful building that is adorned with grand pillars and a massive domed roof. It houses four floors of exhibits featuring over 80 million items that include prehistoric creatures, dinosaurs and life-size replicas of mammals that date over 65 million years! It also showcases a butterfly pavilion and a beautiful nature garden exhibit. L.A. County Residents get free admission from 3–5 pm Monday through Friday. If you are 17 and younger but live outside of LA County, the admission is only $12. You can pretty much spend the whole day there, as there is so much to see and do!
One of my favorite exhibits is the Dinosaur Hall, which features an extensive collection of dinosaur skeletons and fossils. The hall showcases a 67-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Stegosaurus but there are also a wide range of others like the Brachiosaurus and the Velociraptor. The models are incredibly realistic and there is a variety of fossils and skeletons from different periods of the dinosaur era. There are also very cool interactive displays that allow you touch real fossils and participate in a virtual reality experience that puts you in an simulated dinosaur habitat!
There many other exhibits like the African Mammals exhibit that highlights various life size mammals found in Africa. The Age of Mammals exhibit, which is another completely different exhibit, shows the evolution of mammals over the past 65 million years. Also life size! There is an Insect Zoo that displays live insects from around the world. The Gem and Mineral Hall houses the famous 563-carat Star of India sapphire, as well as many other remarkable gems and minerals that you’ve probably never even heard of before. The Nature Lab which is an interactive space. lets you explore the natural world and learn through hands on fun. There is a lot! Although all of the exhibits are pretty incredible, I think the most important part of the museum is that it serves as an educational resource for the city. There are a lot of educational programs and workshops for students and teachers that are designed to engage learning and interest in scientific exploration. There is also a focus on environmental conservation and sustainability which reminds us to be mindful of the impact that we have or leave on planet Earth. This is a pretty phenomenal museum that you should visit at least once!