Our museums remain closed due to COVID-19. While LA County Public Health has entered Phase 3 of the Roadmap to Recovery, allowing for the reopening of museums on June 12, our museums are still slowly welcoming back staff and are in the process of planning for new health and safety protocols in our galleries and gardens. Therefore, we will not be reopening until later in the summer. Sign up here to be the first to know when we will safely re-open to the public and in the meantime, stay connected from home.

Field Trip Add-Ons

Our guided programs, performances, and exhibits offer students the unique opportunity to interact with our amazing museum educators and learn the inside story of La Brea Tar Pits.

In order to serve the most possible students with free add-on programs, we limit advanced booking to one add-on per grade level per visit.

Guided Programs

Guided Programs are engaging, hands-on lessons designed for your students’ grade level and led by museum educators.

Free reservations available Monday - Friday mornings, from October to January; Monday - Thursday mornings in February.

school group kids field trip skull tar pits

Windows Into Nature

Grades Pre-K - 1 (20 - 30 minutes, indoors)

In this interactive storytelling program, students learn about the lives of Ice Age animals: their families, their habitats, and how they survived. Then, students will visit the animal from the story in one of the museum's exhibits to discover what fossils can teach us about these incredible creatures!


Tar Pits Experience

Fossil Detectives

Grades 2 - 5 (30 - 45 minutes, indoors)
Investigate the lives of Ice Age animals by looking at the clues they left behind—their fossils! Like a paleontologist, share and discuss observations as a group and consider what ancient animals used to be like when they roamed Los Angeles. Record ideas and questions to take back to the classroom for further research and investigation.

employee with kids on a tour at the tar pits

Discovery Tours

Grades 6 - 12 (30 - 45 minutes, indoors/outdoors)
Join a museum educator on a tour inside the museum or out at the tar pits. We'll introduce your students to our world-class collection and our one of a kind excavation sites to discuss everything from geology to evolution.

Performances and Shows

sabertooth cat puppet in ice age encounters show tar pits

ice age encounters

Free reservations available Fridays between September and June.

Grades 2 - 6 (15 - 20 minutes)
Experience a multimedia performance where we dig into the past to uncover the mysteries of some of the extinct creatures who roamed Ice Age Los Angeles over 10,000 years ago. This dynamic show features a life-size adult Saber-toothed Cat puppet, a live performance, and film projections that bring the distant past to life. Located in the Encounters Theater.

Image of mammoths

Titans of the Ice Age 2D

Free shows offered Sept. - June; free reservations required March - May. Available Monday - Thursday, 10 am - 12:30 pm. 
Grades Pre-K - 12
(30 minutes)
This film experience will transport you to a world lost in time and ruled by giants. You'll encounter some of the Earth's most awe-inspiring mammals, from saber-toothed cats and dire wolves to giant sloths and iconic mammoths that lived 5,000 years before modern civilization. See how these magnificent creatures became trapped in asphalt, preserved in time, and are being unearthed today. 

Special Exhibits

Special exhibits offered below are a self-guided opportunity to explore our reservation-only spaces in the museum.

observation pit at the tar pits

Observation Pit 

Free reservations available Monday - Friday, 10 am - 11:30 am, March - May.

Grades Pre-K - 12 (30 minutes, self-guided)
Explore a historic La Brea excavation, complete with real fossils still buried in asphalt! Housed in a newly renovated mid-century building, the Observation Pit will connect students of all grades to the past, present, and future of paleontology in Los Angeles. Located in Hancock Park.
This popular exhibit has space limitations and requires this additional reservation.