Natural History Museum of Los Angeles: A Guide for Visitors
Whether you live in the Los Angeles area or you will be heading that direction for a visit, you will have access to one of the most noteworthy museums in the United States: The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.
Located in Exposition Park between Vermont Avenue and Figueroa Street, the museum is conveniently situated so it is easily accessible from all parts of the city.
Cool Things to See and Do at the Natural History Museum
The natural history museum is a well-known tourist destination and highly prized among locals because it has a little of something for every visitor. The museum is home to multiple permanent exhibits, special exhibits that change throughout the year, diorama artwork displays and more. In addition to the exhibits, the museum host an array of activities for visitors to enjoy, including workshops, festivals, community science programs for adults and students, and more.
Take a Walk Through Dinosaur Hall
Bug Out in the Insect Zoo
If you have a love and appreciation of the creepy crawlers of the planet, you won’t want to miss the Natural History Museum’s Insect Zoo. This exhibit is included with general admission and gives you direct access to some of the most unique insects on the planet. Not only will you get an up-close look at many bugs, but you will also get to know some really cool things about how they live, survive, and exist.
Discover Something New In Discovery Center
Dig for fossils in the Paleo Play Zone, get your hands on real minerals, furs, and fossils, or search for undiscovered fossils in blocks of real rock. The Discovery Center is all about placing you in a position to discover or learn something new about the world, the things in it, or the history of it. There is even a real-life display of a polar bear you can actually touch.
Fun Facts About the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles
- The museum houses and protects more than 35 million specimens that reach back as far as 4.5 billion years
- The original museum was built in 1913, but the site was previously used as fairgrounds in the county
- In 1963, the art on display in the museum grew to such a large collection that it was moved to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
- The architectural style of the original building combined Spanish Renaissance, Romanesque, and Beaux-Arts styles
- Some of the museum’s picturesque halls are so unique that they are frequently used for filming
Membership, Hours, & Tickets FAQs
How Much Are Admission Tickets?
As of 2018, general admission for adults when you buy tickets online is $14; for youth ages 13-17 is $11; children age 6-12 is $6. Plus, there are discounted admissions of only $11 for senior citizens over 62 and students with an ID. General admission gives you access to all of the traditional museum displays. The museum does have extra exhibits throughout the year that you may have to pay special ticket prices to see. You can also get an all-access admission ticket that includes all exhibits for prices between $18 for children and $29 for adults.
What Time Is the Museum Open?
The museum is open every day between 9:30 a.m. and 5: p.m. except for four holidays: New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Christmas Day, and Thanksgiving Day.
Can You Get a Membership or Annual Pass?
You can buy a membership to the museum if you will be living in the L.A. area and plan to go more than once or twice a year. Membership for an individual is $69 or you can opt for one individual and a named guest for $99. A family membership for two adults and up to four children is $119. Your membership will give you perks like:
- Free unlimited admission
- 10% discount at stores inside the museum
- Access to the member’s lounge
- Free admission into the museum’s special exhibits
Is It True L.A. County Residents Get Free Admission?
Those who are residents of Los Angeles County can get into the museum for free weekdays from three in the afternoon until five. Just take your identification that shows your address or a current utility bill with you to the admissions desk. (Related: Top Things to Do in LA County This Summer)