NHM Family of Museums
La Brea Tar Pits Museum (Hancock Park / Mid-Wilshire)
The asphalt seeps at the La Brea Tar Pits represent the only consistently-active and urban Ice Age excavation site in the world. This makes the La Brea Tar Pits Museum a unique onsite museum — a place where fossils are discovered, prepared, and displayed in one place. All year long, visitors can watch paleontological excavators carefully extract fossils of animals trapped in the seeps 10,000 to 40,000 years ago. Inside the Museum is the next step of process, as scientists and volunteers clean, repair and identify those fossils — including the bones of “Zed,” the most complete Columbian mammoth ever found in the seeps — in the transparent Fossil Lab. The Museum then displays the final result: extraordinary specimens of saber-toothed cats, mammoths, dire wolves and mastodons, as well as fossilized remains of microscopic plant remains, insects and reptiles.
5801 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90036. Open seven days a week from 9:30 am to 5 pm; $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, and $7 for children ages 3-12. Admission is free for California educators, children under three, and Museum members. Visit the La Brea Tar Pits Museum’s website at www.tarpits.org or call (323) 934-PAGE.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (Exposition Park)
The Natural History Museum has amassed one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history. It holds, in public trust, more than 35 million objects — from meteorites 4.5 billion years old to new species of insects discovered just weeks ago. These collections allow the curatorial staff to embark on groundbreaking scientific and cultural research now and into the future. But the Museum also shares them with the public today, as they form the foundation of its programs and exhibits. Armed with up-to-date biodiversity research and vast collections, the Museum curates new, immersive experiences that give visitors the opportunity to explore the big picture of our planet — specimens and objects collected through time, their behind-the-scenes stories (how we discover, collect and research them), and the increasing interrelatedness of the natural and cultural worlds.
900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90007. Open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, and $7 for children ages 5-12. Admission is free for California educators, children under 5, and Museum members. Visit the Natural History Museum’s website at www.nhm.org or call (213) 763-DINO.
William S. Hart Museum (Newhall, California)
In 1921, silent film star William S. Hart purchased a ranch house and surrounding property in Newhall. On the land, Hart built a 22-room mansion, filling it with Western art, Native American artifacts, and early Hollywood memorabilia. Upon his death in 1946, he bequeathed the 265-acre estate to Los Angeles County for the enjoyment of the public at no charge. Located about an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles, tours and programs such as silent movie screenings take place frequently at the mansion, and weekend festivals unfold on the grounds. The ranch that surrounds the mansion is a popular picnic and hiking destination. Among its permanent residents is an assortment of animals, including a small herd of bison, a gift from the Walt Disney Studios in 1962.
24151 Newhall Avenue, Newhall, CA, 91321. From Labor Day to mid-June: open for guided tours Wednesday through Friday, 10 am. to 1 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm. In the summer: open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm. Admission is free. Visit the Hart Museum's website at www.hartmuseum.org or call (661) 254-4584.