Top 5 Los Angeles Museums for Kids
You’re here on your Los Angeles vacation and of course it will be about visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Disneyland and all the fun LA stuff. But you may want SOMETHING that gives the kids some learning to go with all that fun. Not to worry, there are several museums that the kids will love. You might, too!
Here are our Top 5 Museums for Kids:
1. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
Hours: Daily from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Admission: $5 for kids, $12 for adults and kids under 3 are free.
Located at 5801 Wilshire Boulevard in the heart of Los Angeles, the tar pits are the result of a natural layer of asphalt in the area. Around 50,000 years ago ice age animals including mammoths and saber-toothed tigers would become trapped in the pools of tar that ebb and flow here — preserving their skeletons for us to see today. The museum is full of exhibits including a full skeleton of a giant Colombian Mammoth. There are also still pools of tar that the kids can see live and up close.
2. Zimmer Children’s Museum
Hours:Tuesday-Thursday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Friday, 10:00am – 4:00pm; Sunday, 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm; Closed Monday and Saturday.
A great lineup of interactive exhibits and activities that teach social consciousness and world improvement while having lots of fun. They can fly an airplane, play rescue, or stage their own show. The Museum also has a vibrant youth mentoring program that helps underprivileged youth achieve their potential. So help other kids while helping your own!
3. California Science Center
Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Admission: Admission to the exhibits is free. There is a separate charge for Science Center attractions including: the IMAX Theater, Ecology Cliff Climb, High Wire Bicycle and the Motion-Based Simulator. Busy days also require a reservation to see the Space Shuttle; they can be obtained through the website at http://www.californiasciencecenter.org/ for $2 per reservation. Parking $10.
If you have space or airplane lovers in your group, this is your stop. The Space Shuttle Endeavour, military jets including the SR-71 Blackbird and F-4’s are all on display for kids with a need for speed. But that’s not all — take in the 3D IMAX theater, which plays movies with a scientific or nature bent — films about the Hubble Telescope, butterflies, life on a space station and Madagascar wildlife are the present offerings. There are also exhibits about ecosystems, inventions, and animal and plant life to keep everyone in the family fascinated.
4. Peterson Automotive Museum
Hours: Tues-Sun 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays.
Admission: Adult Standard $15, Premium (includes exotic cars vault and tour) $35; Students Standard $10, Premium $30; Kids 3-12 $5 Standard only — kids under 13 not allowed in the Vault; kids under 3 free.
The Petersen Automotive Museum focuses on the automobile and its impact on American life, especially in Los Angeles, where everyone seems to live in their cars! Its 300,000 square feet hold exhibits and more than 150 rare and classic cars, trucks and motorcycles.
The museum contains galleries with state-of-the-art displays of racecars, classic cars, vintage motorcycles, concept cars, celebrity and movie cars, and auto design and technology.
Did ya hear that — celebrity and movie cars, including bat mobiles, the Grease Lightning car, and more.
The Discovery Center is especially great for kids. Designed to spark interest in science by way of the automobile, the interactive “hands-on” learning center teaches children basic scientific principles by explaining the fundamental functions of a car.
5. Natural History Museum
Hours:Daily 9:30 am – 5:00 pm.
Admission: Adults $12.00, Seniors (62+) $9.00, Youth 13 – 17 $9.00, College Students w/ ID $9.00, Children 3 – 12 $5.00, Children 2 and under FREE.
We all know when we go to a natural history museum that what we’re really hoping for is dinosaurs, and with their new dinosaur exhibit the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County now has them to make any 10 year old swoon. There are over 300 real fossils and 20 complete skeletons, including three Tyrannosaurus Rex showing them at different life stages. You can also go on an indoor African safari, see the extensive spider pavilion, and lots more to either fascinate or frighten you, depending on your sensibilities.